As of the 1st of February 2021, it is now legal to purchase CBD oil over the counter in Australia, but you may curious as to what CBD oil actually is and what these changes mean for you?
What’s the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil?
As a hemp seed company, we often get questions about CBD oil. We think it’s important to first understand the differences between hemp seed oil and CBD oil.
CBD oil is made by extracting the two main cannabinoids cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the leaves, stalks and flowers of the cannabis sativa plant that has a drug-like effect.
Hemp seed oil is made by cold-pressing the hemp seeds of the cannabis sativa plant and only contains trace amounts of CBD and THC that won’t get you high. Hemp seed oil is known for its impressive omega fatty acid profile that helps to regulate inflammation and is beneficial to our health.
How does CBD oil work?
Both THC and CBD act on different cannabinoid receptors (aka endocannabinoids) that are found in the body that are part of ‘the endocannabinoid system’. There are two main kinds of cannabinoid receptors in the body that we know of so far, they are cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1) and cannabinoid type 2 receptors (CB2).. but there may be many more!
CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system (eg. brain and spinal cord) and less in other major periphery organs (eg. heart, liver, uterus, testis, and gastrointestinal tract). CB1 may be responsible in mediating our pain response, mood, memory, coordination, appetite and thinking. THC found in high amounts in marijuana typically acts on these receptor sites, that explains marijuanas psychoactive effect and why you may have got lost while in Amsterdam (2).
CB2 receptors are mostly found in cells of the immune system and the peripheral nervous system (anything that isn’t the brain and spinal cord). These receptors can affect inflammatory responses throughout the body and changes in CB2 receptors have been reported in many areas of the body that include the heart, liver, kidneys, brain, bone, skin and tumours (3).
What can CBD oil be used for?
While you may have heard a bunch of anecdotal evidence (stories about successful treatment), there is still not a great deal of scientific evidence for the use of CBD oil or medicinal cannabis in health conditions.
Despite this, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia has done an extensive review of the current evidence and suggests that medicinal cannabis may be useful in treating (1)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatment (such as nausea, pain and loss of appetite)
- Symptom relief in palliative care
What are the changes to purchasing CBD oil?
In the past, you’d have to visit your doctor to be considered eligible for CBD oil to be prescribed. However, since the 1st of February 2021, the TGA down-scheduled CBD oil from Schedule 4 (prescription medicine) to a Schedule 3 (pharmacist-only medicine) making it now legal to purchase low-dose CBD oil over the counter.
These changes also saw the maximum dose for adults being increased from 60mg/day to 150mg/day of CBD oil. Although, based on current evidence there is still some concern that this dosage is not high enough to have a beneficial effect on health.
Despite these changes in law, there are currently no products approved for sale and it could be years before you see CBD oil stocked in your local pharmacy.
So how do I access CBD oil?
Well, you could potentially wait a couple of years, or you could go and speak to your doctor.
Medical practitioners (aka your GP) do not need an accreditation or to be a specialist to prescribe CBD oil. Your GP will decide if CBD oil is suitable for you based on your circumstances and may be able to prescribe you a higher dose if required.
If CBD oil is something that you have considered, you can watch this quick video that explains exactly how you can access CBD oil in Australia.
If you have any questions or are interested in nutrition consulting, feel free to email our head nutritionist Ben at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article does not constitute medical advice and does not take into consideration your personal circumstances. Please see your medical professional before implementing the above.