You’re in Australia and you’re interested in buying CBD oil? We’re going to explain exactly how and where you can do this.
We’ll cover the steps involved, the costs, the dangers and everything in between. If you’d like step-by-step instructions to help with accessing CBD oil in Australia, you can click here to access the guide.
We’ve spent the last few years buying, trying and crying over CBD oil. We’ve imported the stuff, bought it from the green/black market, we’ve applied through medical pathways and we’ve spoken to countless companies, doctors, patients, farmers and stakeholders within Australian medicinal cannabis communities.
We’re sharing our findings so that you don’t make the same mistakes we did when buying CBD oil.
Options to Buy CBD oil in Australia
When it comes to buying CBD oil in Australia, you have 2 main options.
The legal medical market, and the illegal black (or green) market (online and offline). All options have their pros and cons which we’ll detail in the article.
Accessing CBD oil safely and legally through a medical pathway is possible, but it’s certainly not easy and doesn’t always guarantee a quality product or experience.
It is possible to buy quality CBD oil from the black market, but it’s difficult. If you decide to do this, it’s important to be careful and understand the costs (and more importantly), the dangers.
You can get safe, tested CBD oil products and helpful customer service through the green market pathway, but it’s really important you do your research. If you’d like step-by-step instructions to help with accessing CBD oil in Australia, you can click here to access the guide.
Finding a consistent, high-quality CBD oil can absolutely change your life for the better. The benefits of CBD are undeniable.
This article aims to help you do exactly that.
So where can I buy CBD oil in Australia?
There are three main options when you want to buy CBD oil in Australia. We’ll also explore the current state of play for over-the-counter low-dose CBD products.
Find a ‘Green Market’ Australian seller
If you don’t want to go down the medical pathway, you might consider seeking CBD oil through the green market in Australia.
It is possible to access safe and tested products through the green market. But if you do you need to be extremely careful as there are some companies selling products containing no CBD at all!
Worse yet, there’s a chance that products on the green market contain harmful chemicals and toxins.
If you choose to access it through the green market, it’s worth investing time into research.
You could join Facebook groups, ask people in your local community etc. We recommend not buying from a faceless seller online without recommendation.
Find a medical cannabis clinic
While it is getting easier to access CBD oil medically, it can still be difficult. A lot of GP’s are ignorant to the research and reluctant to provide this plant and medicine as a potential treatment option.
If you’ve suffered from anxieties, sleep disorders, pains (chronic and sometimes mild), there’s a chance you’ll qualify for medicinal cannabis, including CBD oil.
Ideally, find a clinic with Doctors who specialise in cannabis medicine. Speak to your local GP and get a referral to visit the cannabis clinic.
A cannabis clinician or even a GP can apply on your behalf through the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s special access scheme (SAS B) to access CBD oils and other medicinal cannabis products.
Import CBD from an overseas company willing to ship to Australia (illegal)
While this is often the cheapest and easiest method, it’s also the most unsafe, especially here in Australia. The one we’d recommend least. Don’t fall for the free shipping and fake reviews.
As you can see, ordering an unknown CBD product through an international website is fraught with issues.
Low-dose CBD oil in pharmacies
In February this year, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved low-dose CBD oil to be made legally available as an over the counter medicine in pharmacies without a prescription.
There are a lot of unknowns in this scenario. As no products have yet been approved for sale, it remains to be seen whether it will be a full-spectrum CBD oil or an isolate product.
We are unlikely to see any products in pharmacies until at least some time next year, however, it will eventually offer consumers another avenue to legally buy CBD oil.
So which option is best?
After exploring all the options, it’s hard to claim any of them are ‘best’. If you have the time and money, it’s worth exploring the medical pathway and obtaining CBD oil via the special access scheme.
If the medical pathway is too expensive and takes too long, it may be worth exploring the green market.
Buying CBD oil through the ‘green market’ in Australia
It is possible you can ask around your local communities and/or join online groups and forums to find Australian sellers of CBD oil. Proceed with caution. While there are a number of quality green market suppliers, there are also scammers selling products with no CBD whatsoever.
If you’d like step-by-step instructions to help with accessing CBD oil in Australia, you can click here to access the guide.
If you search for ‘Australian CBD oil groups Facebook’ and join some communities (ideally ones that are not run by companies selling cannabis oil), you’ll find some references, contacts and products with some legwork.
Here is an example:
Another option is to ask people in your local community. If you have alternative wellness or hemp stores in your area, someone might be able to point you in the right direction. This is ‘illegal’ and may land you in an awkward conversation. So again, proceed with caution.
Under federal law, possessing CBD oil in Australia without a medical permit could land you a criminal offence.
I initially joined Facebook groups, read a lot, asked around, and got a phone number to text. The company messaged me back with details on the different products I could purchase.
The quality of the information in the text message indicated they knew what they were talking about. I paid for and received the product. It was $250 for a 50ML bottle, high CBD low THC oil (at least this is what I was told).
Update: Since originally writing this article, I’ve been able to access high quality organic CBD oil through a quality greenmarket seller for around $190. They are able to provide me with lab reports and quality information about the products. The products have been effective for myself and my friends.
Looking to Buy CBD oil online from Overseas [what are the dangers?]
Aside from the fact you’re doing something illegal, there are a number of additional risks to consider in Australia.
If you decide to purchase CBD illegally through the green/black market or import CBD from an overseas company, the worst-case scenario ranges from wasting money on a product containing only a fraction (or none) of the advertised CBD content to purchasing a product with harmful moulds, toxins and heavy metals.
Making an uninformed purchase from a faceless overseas company claiming to ship to Australia is nothing short of stupidity. Don’t do it.
Most reputable companies overseas wouldn’t risk shipping their product directly to Australia due to legal backlash.
So for the most part, you’re dealing with companies who are deliberately trying to sell a poor quality product to an uninformed consumer.
If you buy CBD oil online from an international website, there’s also a fair chance your product will be stopped at the border and you’ll lose your money.
After telling you that purchasing CBD products online isn’t a good idea, I’d like to confess I did exactly this. And this wasn’t even an attempt to research. It was a combination of desperation, impatience and … stupidity.
The first attempt resulted in me receiving a poor quality, horrible tasting CBD vape juice, while the second attempt felt to have no CBD content at all.
How to get (tested, safe) CBD oil from a doctor
Obtaining medical CBD (and medical marijuana) in Australia is becoming easier and cheaper. But it is by no means an easy process for everyone.
Going through the medical system can sometimes be a daunting task, depending on how open your GP is to CBD.
If you have an ongoing medical condition such as chronic pain, sleep or seizure disorders or a number of other conditions, and you’ve tried alternative methods of treatment or medication, you might qualify for medical cannabis.
The recommended process is to:
- Take an eligibility test (you can do this online)
- Speak to your local GP to request a health summary (can be difficult)
- Book an appointment with a trained cannabis clinician (important) tele-health (Special Access Scheme)
If you decide to take the medical pathway, we can’t stress the importance of speaking to a trained cannabis practitioner and/or clinic. They need to understand the plant.
This is essential to ensure you get the most out of CBD oil and this extremely versatile plant.
A skilled cannabis practitioner might also recommend to you a product containing both CBD and THC.
Most CBD oil you purchase through the green/black market will be derived from hemp, meaning it will be low in THC.
However, a doctor can prescribe and design you a medicinal cannabis product (oil, flower etc) containing both CBD and THC.
The amount of THC won’t necessarily make you high but will offer therapeutic effects you wouldn’t find in hemp-derived CBD oil.
It’s also possible to find a combination product through the green market.
Here are some helpful links.
How much does CBD oil cost?
This is kind of like asking ‘how much does a car cost?’
Buying CBD online, cheap (and usually nasty) can be done for as little as $60 AUD. But you’re probably getting next to no CBD. Who knows what’s in there. Bad idea. It can also cost as much as $500 or more.
It’s important to remember there are many different consumption methods and many different types of CBD. How the plant was grown, how the CBD was extracted, the terpene profile (and much, much more) all contribute to the end product.
It’s also important you don’t focus on the size of the bottle. What you are looking at is Mg of CBD. Prices for a milligram of CBD range from .07c to nearly $1 across both the legal medical and green markets. If you’re paying nearly $1 on either side, you’re being ripped off.
To give you an example, I need roughly 20mg of CBD for a very mild effect. If I’m paying about 0.20c per mg of CBD which works out to be around $4 per required dose. Some people need less, some people need a lot more. It depends on you personally, and it depends on your conditions.
Is medicinal cannabis oil (CBD or THC) more expensive through the medical pathway?
You can get similar pricing through the medical pathway. Though it generally tends to be more expensive and there are cheaper, high-quality products on the green market.
You can generally assume a higher level of safety if you’re accessing CBD oil through a medical practitioner because more is at stake (shareholders, licences etc). But it’s certainly not quality guaranteed as many informational sources would lead you to believe.
Is CBD oil legal in Australia?
After diving into the pros and cons of each of the options described above, it’s important we quickly clear up some confusion.
Medical CBD products are legal.
Recreational CBD products are still illegal.
Though things are changing, cannabis has been mostly withdrawn from the UN’s dangerous drug register, and CBD has been down scheduled in Australia.
Plus, many medical cannabis businesses are actively funding further clinical trials and studies to provide additional data on the therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis.
Hemp seed oil and CBD oil are NOT the same thing
Confusion arises because hemp seed oil (derived from hemp seeds, not to be confused with hemp or marijuana derived CBD oil) is legal and sold in Australia.
Hemp seed oil, while incredibly healthy for you, contains little to none of the therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis.
Hemp seed oil (and many other hemp products) have an incredible range of health benefits. They’re great sources of omegas and fatty acids, but they don’t contain the same body and mind balancing effects of CBD.
You can purchase hemp products like hemp oil legally from supermarkets in Australia, or from local and overseas websites. The cost shouldn’t be that much greater than high-quality olive oil.
To learn more about hemp seed oil, the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) has posted about some misleading claims made by overseas companies here.
Many Australian businesses are selling CBD oil, but labelling it as ‘hemp oil’ to avoid legal repercussions. So hemp oil could be CBD in disguise. Or, more likely, hemp seed oil with a huge price hike.
What is CBD oil (Cannabidiol)?
If you’re now more confused about CBD oil than you were before reading this article, you’re not alone. It’s worth grasping a basic understanding of what CBD is along with its benefits.
CBD oil in a nutshell
CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many active compounds found within the cannabis plant. CBD is just one of 113 known cannabinoids found in the plant.
Countless studies are now highlighting the incredible medical benefits. Everything from pain treatment and chronic pain relief, anxiety, PTSD, depression, to epilepsy and seizure treatment. Much of the scientific literature also supports CBD as a novel anti-inflammatory medicine.
Most of the CBD products on the market are extracted from the hemp variety of cannabis. Meaning they only contain tiny amounts of THC. This is largely due to the fact that hemp-derived CBD is legal to sell in the US, and arguably less frowned upon in Australia.
If you’re working with a cannabinoid doctor, the CBD product may be derived from the marijuana variant of the plant. You will definitely have more transparency over the exact ratios.
The amount of THC won’t necessarily lead to you having a psychoactive effect but may be more beneficial from a medical and therapeutic standpoint.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CBD PRODUCTS
When you start researching CBD, you may have come across terms like isolate, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum, and the term CBD is often used interchangeably to describe these different types of products.
Let’s explore the differences between these three key terms.
Full-spectrum CBD oil contains the complete profile of terpenes, cannabinoids, essential fatty acids, and flavonoids found naturally in the cannabis plant.
Full-spectrum CBD is also often referred to as a whole plant extract and is considered the most complete type of CBD product as none of the natural compounds are removed during the filtration process.
The benefits of a full-spectrum oil can, in part, be attributed to something known as the ‘entourage effect’. This term describes how all naturally occurring cannabinoids work synergistically to create a more significant effect in the body.
For example, a CBD oil extracted from a hemp plant will usually contain up to 0.3% THC; whilst this isn’t enough to exert any psychotropic effects, it still plays a crucial role.
Recent studies have demonstrated that even this tiny amount of THC can play a critical role in furthering the therapeutic potential of other cannabinoids such as CBD.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains all naturally occurring cannabis compounds; however, the THC has been removed during the filtration process.
Even though the THC has been removed, all the remaining compounds are likely to provide some of the benefits of the entourage effect.
Broad-spectrum products may be more difficult to find than full-spectrum; however, they are gaining momentum in international markets where recreational use has been legalised.
Broad-spectrum products are an excellent option for those whose circumstances don’t allow for any trace of THC to be in their system.
Isolate CBD is pure CBD, and all other compounds and cannabinoids have been removed during the filtration process known as winterisation.
The winterisation process involves suspending the cannabis extract in a solvent. The solvent is frozen until a pure CBD powder forms and is separated.
From there, the CBD powder can be dissolved into oils, topicals, edibles, or capsules.
In Australia, the most common forms of isolate CBD products available through the medical market are powders or crystals.
Many isolate oil products lack the traditional colour and flavour profile of a full-spectrum product due to removing the plant compounds.
Similar to broad-spectrum products, the main benefit of this form of CBD is that it contains zero THC. The downside is that you miss out on the benefits of the other natural compounds found in the full-spectrum product.
What to look for in a CBD Product
If you can’t receive answers to these questions, you really shouldn’t be wasting your money or risking your health.
- How is the oil made?
- Is the oil full-spectrum CBD?
- Is the cannabis organically grown?
- Has the oil been independently tested?
We need to change the conversation.
By far the biggest tragedy is that people who could really benefit from CBD products aren’t given the opportunity to explore these incredible benefits with use from a high-quality product.
They are sold either a poor-quality product or a product not suitable to their condition and unique physiology and/or given poor quality advice and education about their product and how to best use it.
There are numerous clinical trials taking place that demonstrate the efficacy of medical cannabis therapies, and it’s time to change the conversation surrounding CBD oils and medicinal cannabis
Firstly, getting access to high-quality full-spectrum CBD oils can be achieved through both the green market and with medical CBD oil. People (including GPs) need to be made aware that this is not a ‘drug that will get you stoned and make you unproductive’.
Secondly, quality CBD oil is safe and does not get you high. It has little to no side effects. The fact that there is such a stigma and confusion around CBD is what ultimately encourages people to access CBD oil from dodgy sites and end up with poor quality products instead of a high-quality product that offers therapeutic benefits.