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The Law of CBD in Australia

You've probably heard of CBD, short for cannabidiol. It's been touted as a solution for everything from anxiety to skincare. But does it work? Will it get you high? And, more importantly, what's the go with it being legal to use in Australia?

What is CBD?

CBD is a cannabinoid typically sourced from the hemp plant. It's a cousin to marijuana, but unlike marijuana, it's not going to get you high. CBD is often available as an oil, and may be used in edibles, beauty products, and topical solutions. You can even vape CBD oil for a faster effect.


Is CBD Legal In Australia?

Australians do not have the same level of access to CBD as many other countries. CBD and other hemp products are well regulated and considered a medicinal cannabis product. Any product containing more than 50 mg/kg of cannabinoids such as CBD is considered a drug.

How Can You Legally Access CBD in Australia?

Using CBD requires a doctor's approval and approval under the Special Access Scheme with the Australian Government Department of Health. The Special Access Scheme is intended for exceptional clinical circumstances and medicinal cannabis is only available from a licensed pharmacy.

Generally, your first step to using CBD in Australia will be through your doctor. However, keep in mind that your doctor should be authorized to prescribe CBD according to the Therapeutic Goods Administration and at the state level. If your doctor isn't authorized, but they recommend CBD treatment for you, they may be able to refer you to a doctor who does have the proper authorization.

Some doctors are not familiar with medical cannabis and may hesitate to recommend CBD as a treatment for you. However, you may be able to make your case by explaining what you've tried so far, which symptoms you plan to manage with cannabis, and how you plan to use the drug.

READ MORE: Why CBD is the new TRUE superfood

Is CBD Used Outside of the Special Access Scheme?

CBD use in Australia is restrictive, but CBD remains popular. Online searches suggest that people of Australia are using CBD, whether it's legal or not. Although it can be risky breaking the law, it's clear CBD is available in Australia, even outside of the Special Access Scheme.

If you decide to use CBD outside of the Special Access Scheme, be extremely cautious. Not only is it illegal, but it could put you at risk of using a subpar product. You'll want to look for a CBD product that's well tested and from a reputable source, so you can be sure the quality is as promised and you're not exposed to harmful chemicals, heavy metals, or other substances that could make their way into CBD oil.

However you access CBD, it could offer relief for chronic symptoms. Consider the laws of CBD in Australia and how you can get access to the CBD you're looking for.

Amelia Noble is a researcher with the CBD Awareness Project. When she's not working, you can find her playing board games.

Sally O'Neil - Editor in Chief

Sal is on a mission to prove that healthy and nutritious doesn’t have to be boring – and that even while staying in shape you can have your cake and eat it too. After losing 14kg from adopting a healthier lifestyle, she shares her journey with others on The Fit Foodie Blog. She also works as a commercial food photographer and stylist, is studying a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, and is the author of two cookbooks: Love Move Eat (Bauer Media, 2017) and Meal Prep Plan (Murdoch, 2019).


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