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/ How can I access CBD Oil in Australia?

22 May, 2020 /

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How can I access CBD Oil in Australia?

What’s CBD?

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a compound that can be extracted from Cannabis plants that have been cultivated to contain large amounts of CBD by regulated manufacturing processes to ensure the integrity of the product.

CBD is non-psychotropic or non-psycho-active.

Whilst studies show that CBD does have a range of potential health benefits for people suffering from certain conditions it’s important to note that CBD may cause you potential side effects. CBD has a narrow side effect profile. Some reported side effects of Cannabidiol include dry mouth, low blood pressure, light-headedness, and drowsiness, however, these are very uncommon.

Patients with autoimmune disorders or those who suffer from a lot of allergies could have a negative response from carrier oil or capsule container. In those cases, CBD Isolate (which is 99% pure CBD) would be a better form to try CBD.

Signs of liver injury have also been reported in some patients, but this is very uncommon.

Side effects from CBD are very uncommon but they might include dry mouth, nausea or even allergy to the carrier oil in the CBD. We also look for other interactions with other medications, most commonly the P450 metabolism medications.

Cannabis Plant

Cannabis is a family of plants with two primary classifications  –  Indica and Sativa, however, these classifications are under debate. What is more important than the classifications is the type and amount of Cannabinoids in your Cannabis oil.

The scientific word for Cannabis is Cannabis Sativa.

Note: Marijuana is the bastardised word for ‘Marihuana.’ Marihuana is the Mexican word for any Cannabis plant. The term Marijuana is mostly used these days in place of Cannabis (and not hemp) as it is associated these days with recreational Cannabis (Cannabis high in THC).

Cannabinoids: CBD & THC

The two central operative substances in cannabis plants are Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound found in street or black market Cannabis which has been cultivated for recreational purposes. Black market cannabis is unlikely to contain other Cannabinoids that may be more beneficial for treating your conditions or symptoms. THC is a psycho-active compound and will illicit a psycho-active response, making you feel high.

CBD and THC (both Cannabinoids) are listed on the Controlled Drug Register in Australia, meaning that they cannot be legally sold direct to the public. Products with less than 0.01% of any Cannabinoids can be sold direct to the public in Australia, but 0.01% is not a therapeutic dose.

If you’re looking to buy CBD oil in Australia, you cannot buy it online or over the counter. CBD is considered a Schedule 4 Controlled Drug by the Office of Drug Control.  This means that a doctor must apply to the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) for an approval to be able to prescribe products containing CBD.

The TGA has been made aware of false claims made by some US and other International companies supplying products containing (or claiming to contain) CBD (Cannabidiol)

The TGA have posted the following on their website:

Companies located in the United States have been illegally exporting Cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp products to persons in Australia without import permission.

The TGA is aware of at least one company who has claimed that the TGA has invited them to register their CBD and hemp products on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) due to growing demand. This is incorrect. The TGA does not ‘invite’ businesses or sponsors to register a product on the ARTG. The onus is on the sponsor to apply to the TGA and follow due process.

Cannabis Doctors

CDA doctors can apply to the TGA for an approval to be able to prescribe you a particular regulated and legal product. Each application he does is per patient, per product. Your Cannabis Doctor will check your medical history and current medications list to ensure that you’re not taking any substances which could interact with CBD making your current medications less or more effective or creating side effects.

Understanding the distinctive preparation of each product is a significant consideration when buying CBD oil, as the concentration of CBD varies with each method of administration.

Furthermore, you should always buy CBD oil through legal channels to ensure that:

  • you know what you’re getting,
  • what the label claims and what’s in the bottle is the same thing, and
  • that there are no harmful substances present in the product.

What’s CBD or Cannabidiol Oil?

CBD oil contains Cannabidiol (CBD) in a carrier oil such as Hemp Seed Oil, Olive Oil or MCT Oil.  Some oils contain other Cannabinoids within the oil. Patients with autoimmune disorders or those who suffer from a lot of allergies could have a negative response from carrier oil or capsule container. In those cases, CBD Isolate (which is 99% pure CBD) would be a better form to try CBD oil.

When Medical Cannabis oils are commercially manufactured and adhere to the strict standards of manufacturing and sale, the concentrations of CBD and THC must be well-managed to make the medicine easy to calculate doses and provide consistency from bottle to bottle. Consistency is not likely with black market products.

Labelling and Package Details

Medical grade cannabis oils are highly regulated meaning that they must conform to strict standards such as clearly stating all ingredients and active ingredient measures on the product packaging. If your Cannabis oil doesn’t tell you how many mg of the active ingredient is in the bottle, the product is likely to be illicit and you cannot be sure that it includes any active ingredients. Some products bought from other countries online may appear to be medical grade but if they are not regulated by Australian legislative bodies, you cannot trust them.

Percentages of active ingredients are not helpful to you unless the packaging also states the measure of all content within the product. For e.g. 10ml of CBD Oil stating 10% CBD contains 90% carrier oil (such as Hemp Seed Oil) and 10% CBD. But it is not stating how much CBD in milligrams is in the product.

The ratio of THC to CBD

CBD is known to decrease the psychoactive properties of THC. A more significant proportion of CBD-to-THC means less psychoactive results.

People using these Cannabinoids together need to determine the best ratio of CBD to THC to treat their condition. This is why there are so many products containing different ratios of CBD to THC.

Cannabis oils can contain a ratio of CBD to THC, or they can contain only THC or only CBD.

As an example:

THC 20:8 CBD or THC 20%: 8% CBD is a high THC oil. The remaining percentage (72%) is carrier oil.

And THC 5: 20 CBD or 5% THC to 20% CBD a low CBD oil

Any remainder % is the carrier oil.

Note: The product should also state the active component measurement in milligrams for dosage reasons.

The difference between Hemp oil and CBD oil.

These days you can find many Hemp products on the shelf of your local supermarket. These are usually products derived from Hemp seeds such as Hemp seed powder and Hemp seed oil. While Hemp seeds contain many beneficial nutrients such as protein, omegas and iron, it doesn’t usually contain therapeutic amounts of Cannabinoids (including CBD). CBD oil is Cannabis oil with a substantial proportion of Cannabidiol (CBD). It’s produced from the flowers, leaves and stalks of the Cannabis plant and not from the seeds like Hemp oil.

Although both oils derive from the same plant, Hemp oil is fabricated from the seeds of the hemp plant which has minimal Cannabinoids.

Hemp is grown and cultivated primarily for industrial purposes such as for textiles and health foods, while Cannabis is grown for recreational and medicinal purposes.

Some hemp products may contain trace amounts of CBD. If they contain over 0.04% CBD or over 0.01% THC then this product is illegal to have on your person without an approved prescription from an Australian-registered Medical Practitioner. Cannabis Doctors Australia (CDA) urges the public to be cautious about buying hemp products, over the shelf or online, that claim to contain CBD.

Not only is it illegal, but you may only be purchasing a Hemp seed oil product that contains only trace amounts of CBD. Without being regulated through the legal channels, you cannot trust the label of this product as the suppliers are not subject to audits and enforcement by the TGA.

Furthermore, illegal and unregulated products can contain harmful contaminants such as heavy metals, bacteria, fungus, viruses, herbicides, or pesticides.

Knowing the content and cost of your product

By working out the price per milligram (mg) of each Cannabinoid (both THC and CBD) of each bottle that you’re comparing, you should find that CBD costs between $0.08 – and $0.50 per mg of CBD.

For combination oils (CBD & THC) you should expect to pay between $0.25 and $0.60 per mg.

If the bottle only has a percentage or a mg/ml indication on the label (instead of a total CBD content), first we’ll need to work out the total amount of CBD first.

Example 1: Total Cannabinoids

A 10ml bottle of CBD oil with 300 mg of CBD costs $80.

We can use the $ / mg method to work out how much each mg of CBD costs:

 

Cost / mg = $ (per mg)

$80 / 300mg = $0.26

 

Therefore, each mg of CBD costs 26 cents.

Check Cost per MG Calculator

Example 2: milligrams / millilitre (mg/ml)

A 60ml bottle purchased for $255 contains 10 mg/ml of CBD. There is 60 ml of total oil (CBD in a carrier oil).

 

mg x ml = total mg of Cannabinoid in the bottle

10 mg x 60 ml = 600 mg of CBD (total)

 

$255 / 600 = $0.43

 

Which bottle of oil is more value for money? Bottle 1. Bottle is smaller (10 ml), but the contents are more concentrated than Bottle 2 (60ml).

Note: ‘300 mg / ml’ is very different to ‘300 mg’ and it always depends on the size of the bottle.

How can I access CBD oil legally in Australia then?

Our Medical Cannabis Doctors are specialists and can apply to the TGA for approval to be able to prescribe you a particular regulated and legal product. Each application the Doctor does is per product, per patient. Your Medical Cannabis Doctor will consult with you discussing your medical history and current medications list, in order to ensure that you’re not taking any substances which could interact with CBD making your current medications more or less effective or creating side effects. The Medicinal Cannabis Doctor will provide a medical specialist, products and appropriate information for your needs.

Understanding the distinctive preparation of each product is a significant consideration when buying CBD oil, as the concentration of CBD varies with each method of administration.

Furthermore, you should always buy CBD oil through legal channels to ensure that:

  • You know what you’re getting,
  • What the label claims and what’s in the bottle is the same thing, and
  • That there are no harmful substances present in the product.

Conditions that CBD Oil may help:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Scelorosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Cancer Pain

So what does the research say?

Anxiety and Insomnia

A recent surge in scientific publications has found preclinical and clinical evidence documenting value for CBD in some neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system. Interest in CBD as a treatment of a wide range of disorders has exploded, yet few clinical studies of CBD exist in the psychiatric literature.

The objective of this study was to determine whether CBD helps improve sleep and/or anxiety in a clinical population.

The study was conducted by analysing large retrospective case series at a psychiatric clinic involving the clinical application of CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints as an adjunct to usual treatment. The retrospective chart review included monthly documentation of anxiety and sleep quality in 103 adult patients. The results that were measure were sleep and anxiety scores,by using validated instruments, at baseline and after CBD treatment.

The final sample consisted of 72 adults presenting with primary concerns of anxiety (n = 47) or poor sleep (n = 25). Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time. In this chart review, CBD was well tolerated in all but 3 patients.

Multiple Scelrosis and Scoliosis

While there needs to be more research conducted to show conclusive evidence, the scientific community has studied the benefits of Medical Cannabis as an alternative for pain relief. Medicinal Cannabis doesn’t have the properties to realign your spine as that will require surgery. So, while medical cannabis can’t magically heal scoliosis, it can be a great alternative for pain relief.

A clinical study measured the efficacy of Medical Marijuana as a supplement to an opioid-based pain relief regimen. The study concluded that 27% of patients were able to reduce the number of opioids they were taking while feeling the same level of release from their pain. [2]

In a 2015 review of 28 studies (2,454 participants) of cannabinoids in which chronic pain was assessed, the studies found that the patients showed improvements in pain measures in people taking cannabinoids.[3]

Chronic Pain

A study conducted by The Department of Pharmacology reviewed a large amount of Cannabis studies. From their findings, they stated that “current evidence supports the use of medical cannabis in the treatment of chronic pain in adults. Monitoring and follow-up of patients are obligatory.”.  In terms of side effects for Medical Marijuana it was also stated that “The current review of evidence from clinical trials of medicinal cannabis suggests that the adverse effects of its short-term use are modest, most of them are not serious and are self-limiting.”

Disclaimer: This is not an inducement to use Medicinal Cannabis. Medical Cannabis doesn’t work for everyone, and it may not work for you. How Cannabis affects a person depends on many things, including their size, weight, age and health, dosage and tolerance, and the results can vary. Some people may experience side effects when taking Cannabinoid medication. The information provided by CDA Clinics is for educational and informational purposes only. For medical advice, please check with your doctor and request a referral.

Understanding the distinctive preparation of each product is a significant consideration when buying CBD oil, as the concentration of CBD varies with each method of administration.

Disclaimer: This is not an inducement to use Medicinal Cannabis. Medical Cannabis doesn’t work for everyone, and it may not work for you. How Cannabis affects a person depends on many things, including their size, weight, age and health, dosage and tolerance, and the results can vary. Some people may experience side effects when taking Cannabinoid medication. The information provided by CDA Clinics is for educational and informational purposes only. For medical advice, please check with your doctor and request a referral.

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