CBD oil, or cannabidiol, has grown rapidly in popularity in Brisbane and across Australia in the last few years, with people using it for therapeutic benefits and relief from a range of symptoms.
However, the availability and legality of cannabis oil in QLD can be confusing to newcomers to the legal cannabis market. This guide will help you get to grips with buying and using CBD oil in Brisbane.
Is Cannabis Oil In Queensland Legal?
If you have a doctor’s prescription for medicinal cannabis or CBD oil, it is legal for you to buy CBD oil products, some of which can also contain small amounts (2% or less) of other cannabinoids. Lower dosages (less than 150 mg daily) of CBD oil can be purchased legally without a prescription at a pharmacy. 
Technically that means you should be able to find hemp oil in Brisbane pharmacies, but that is not really the case.
Low dosage CBD oil products are classified as a schedule 3 substance. Pharmacists can only sell products containing a schedule 3 substance if the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) has approved it for sale.
As a result of these circumstances, for most people, the easiest way to legally purchase high-quality CBD oil in Queensland is to get a doctor’s prescription.
However, many people are still finding that their doctor’s reactions range from hesitant to downright dismissing when it comes to medical cannabis. Due to the ongoing lack of knowledge and awareness within some medical establishments, many are turning to green market suppliers who can often provide high-quality products at a lesser cost.
Buying CBD Oil in QLD
While you can legally purchase cannabis oil in Queensland, you won’t find it in regular pharmacies yet.
To get CBD oil through your pharmacist, you will need to go through a lengthy process of having your doctor complete a medicinal cannabis application for approval from the TGA and then finding a pharmacist willing to fill the order.
Instead, it can be bought more easily online or via a registered cannabis clinic. These clinics specialise in providing access to well-educated doctors and pharmacies in medicinal cannabis and streamlining the approval process.
As some doctors and pharmacies still do not want to prescribe or provide CBD oil products in Queensland, this can be the only route to acquiring medicinal CBD oil for many people.
Different clinics have different requirements and processes for getting a CBD oil prescription. Some require a referral from your regular healthcare provider, however many do not.
You will usually have to attend several checkups throughout the year, and some clinics will do several consultations before prescribing anything. In most cases, consultations and checkups occur online or via phone.
Consultations and appointments can often be as quick as 10 minutes. They provide an opportunity to discuss your treatment and dosage with a healthcare professional and any side effects you might experience.
If you decide to search for CBD oil on the green market, you need to be cautious of products labelled as hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is not the same as CBD, and while it is nutritionally dense it does not contain enough CBD to have any therapeutic potential.
Pathways To Buying CBD in Queensland
As you can see, getting your hands on CBD oil in QLD is not quite as simple as walking into a shop or pharmacy and buying a bottle because it is tightly restricted and regulated in Australia. These are the main routes people take to get cannabidiol in Brisbane:
With A Prescription From Your Doctor (Special Access Scheme)
Your regular doctor must apply to the TGA via the Special Access Scheme before they can prescribe a specific CBD product to you.
Their application must include clinical evidence of the efficacy of CBD in treating your symptoms. This process can take some time. It also carries a higher risk of the application request being rejected if your doctor is not familiar with the process and paperwork of prescribing medicinal cannabis products.
Often, your doctor will refer you to a medicinal cannabis specialist instead.
Currently, there is no exhaustive list of conditions for which cannabidiol may be prescribed. It can be prescribed for anything, as long as your doctor can provide the necessary evidence.
Accordingly, researching your eligibility for medicinal cannabis  beforehand can help to streamline the process.
With A Prescription From An Authorised Prescriber
An Authorised Prescriber (AP) is a healthcare specialist who already has the approval to prescribe a specific substance to treat specific conditions. For CBD oil, this usually means a ‘cannabis clinic’.
If you have a condition that a cannabis clinic is already authorised to treat with cannabidiol, this may be the fastest route to a prescription.
An AP can give you a prescription on the spot without needing to get approval first. This can even be done via a telehealth appointment, saving you the need to visit a clinic in person.
If your condition is not covered by a cannabis clinic’s TGA approval, they are usually also more experienced with the process of getting approval for you.
The process of getting a CBD prescription through a cannabis clinic differs greatly from one clinic to the next. While there are certainly some cannabis clinics that will rush you through the process in a matter of minutes with check-ups that are little more than a token gesture, most are not like this.
Clinics that are serious about providing the best patient treatment, rather than just making cannabis products more available, have a more thorough process.
For example, PlantMed conducts an hour-long consultation to discuss your medical history and needs, with frequent follow-up appointments over the first 6 weeks as your dosage is increased.
Without A Prescription
While it is technically legal to buy CBD products below a 150mg a day dosage without a prescription, in reality, no products have been approved for this kind of sale yet.
Nonetheless, there is a ‘green market’ of online businesses selling CBD to people without a prescription anyway.
If you are not eligible for CBD treatment, you might be tempted to buy it from one of these sellers instead. However, there are some important considerations to research when going down this pathway:
Unregulated CBD products may not contain the amount of CBD listed on the packaging, or any CBD at all. Furthermore, the dosage can vary a lot from batch to batch. As a result, working out a consistent and effective dosage can be next to impossible, since you don’t know how much you are taking each time.
It is important to note that in many countries where CBD is easier to buy legally, such as the UK or US, it is not regulated as a drug.
Consequently, producers in these places can make bolder or more misleading claims on the packaging and do not need the same rigorous quality testing you might expect for a therapeutic product.
In other words, buying CBD from a legal overseas shop does not necessarily mean the product will be safer than any other unregulated product.
Unregulated products may not have been tested for the presence of contaminants, or have been produced under proper hygiene controls. If you experience an adverse reaction to a product, often not even the seller knows what is in the product that may have caused the reaction.
Furthermore, when you get CBD through a doctor or AP, you also get check-up appointments to manage your dosage and assess side effects. You don’t get this care when you buy an unregulated product, putting you at greater risk if you are affected by a harmful substance in the product.
Considering that their dosages are often lower than labelled, unregulated products usually work out more expensive despite the lower price per bottle, because of the lower concentration of cannabidiol.
How Buying Cannabidiol Works In QLD
Your CBD prescription can allow you to buy up to 3 different specific CBD products from a list of manufacturers approved by the TGA.
You can present your prescription for these products to your local pharmacy and ask them to order them for you. As we’ve already discussed, this can be slow and your pharmacy can simply say no if they don’t want to provide medicinal cannabis products.
While some cannabis clinics provide a prescription that your pharmacy will order for you, others, such as Alternaleaf, provide access to an online pharmacy that specialises in providing medicinal cannabis prescriptions.
Accordingly, if you seek treatment through one of these cannabis clinics, you can have your CBD oil delivered directly to your home. This skips the potential hassle of finding a pharmacy to fill the order.
Cannabis clinics Brisbane
Cannabis clinics partnered with pharmacies to deliver directly to Brisbane addresses include:
- Australian Access Clinics
- Medicanna Health
Alternatively, you can buy from an online shop. Whether you are buying from a local or overseas shop, and whether you have a prescription or not, this is technically illegal since no products are approved for over-the-counter sale yet.
If you’re interested in learning more about reputable Australian medical cannabis manufacturers, check out the Althea CBD oil review article for more info.
Cannabis doctors in Brisbane
We’ve spent time interviewing and learning from one of Brisbane’s prominent cannabis clinicians, Dr Jon Teh.
He owns and treats at his clinic PlantMed, as mentioned above. We had the opportunity to sit down with him last year to film a few videos, his insight and knowledge about the plant are fascinating.
Throughout Queensland, cannabis oil is used by more and more people who experience a range of therapeutic benefits.
While it is not yet as easy as it should be to get CBD oil from your local pharmacy, it can be bought easily and safely through specialised clinics. These clinics are typically much more experienced in guiding patients through CBD oil treatment.