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CANNABIS LEGISLATION NOVEMBER 02, 2022

How To Access CBD & Medical Marijuana in Australia

It's no secret that the Australian government doesn't exactly love the idea of its citizens having access to cannabis in any form. While it's legal to buy and use hemp seeds, which contain negligible amounts of THC, the same can't be said for cannabis as a whole. 

Cannabis is listed as a Schedule 4 or 8 controlled substance in Australia (depending on cannabinoid content). It is, therefore, illegal to possess or use. However, this rule has some exceptions, including medical use if you have approval via the TGA.  

 

What are the Cannabis Laws in each Territory or State in Australia? 

 

Cannabis has been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years. Still, it wasn't until the early 20th century that the plant was synthesised into a pharmaceutical product. As a result of its unfair dismissal as a medical application, cannabis was outlawed throughout most of the world during the middle of the 20th century. During this period, Australia saw a rise in anti-drug policies, including the prohibition of cannabis. We are still very restricted in Australia compared to many other countries that have "moved on" and recognised the medical benefits. 

To answer this question in full, and find where your state or territory sits on cannabis head over to this article here. 

 

But the short answer is that unless you live in the ACT, the easiest and most cost-effective way to gain access to CBD or THC products in Australia is to grow them yourself. Google has thousands of online merchants selling seeds, and YouTube has many growing videos. If you know elementary gardening skills, then cannabis is an easy and cost-effective plant to grow.

 

However, it must be noted that you can only grow for personal use, can never sell any, and are limited to the amount you can have in your possession. If you are not fortunate to live in the ACT, read on about accessing this excellent plant.

 

Warning: ACT residents, if planted outside, cannabis plants can grow enormous!  

 

If you do not want to put yourself at risk of a visit from the local blue team, then at this present time, there is only one way to gain access to medical cannabis legally in Australia. That is via the government-approved access pathway, known as the Special Access Scheme, which includes both CBD and THC-infused products. 

 

The reason why the government created this scheme was to give patients access to drugs that are not approved by the TGA (therapeutic goods administration). Since there are no cannabis products listed on the TGA (aside from Epidolex – a synthetic (yuck!) cannabinoid mouth spray used to treat MS and costing AUD $745 for one month's supply), this scheme is the only way to gain access to medical marijuana in Australia. 

 

Ask your doctor about CBD


Next Step - Speaking to a Medical Professional?

 

As the Doobie Brothers sang in 1989, "listen to the doctor, just like you ought to" – the best person to consult about medical cannabis is your doctor. They understand your medical history and should be your first discussion about any cannabis therapies for your treatment. Under Australian law, medicinal cannabis is only available via prescription from a doctor and dispensed from a licensed pharmacy. As it is primarily an unregistered medicine, the doctor must be authorised to prescribe at the Federal (Therapeutic Goods Administration; TGA) and State/Territory level (unfortunately, this differs between States/Territories).

 

Know What To Say

 

Always remember: you must be your own advocate. Your doctor may be unfamiliar with medical cannabis and the treatment options available and, therefore, hesitant to recommend it.

 

Many doctors should be familiar with current research that supports medical cannabis as a treatment plan. Bring documentation, studies and any other information that you believe will help your case; it is essential to understand the facts yourself and advise your doctor why you think this is the best treatment option for you. If you need access to a doctor, please let us know; we have a friendly team just waiting to chat with you; call our toll-free number on 1300 420 420. Cannabis is safe for children as well as adults; we have put together a helpful guide on this subject here. 

 

As a patient, you are entitled to unbiased and professional medical advice. Patients regularly ask doctors about different treatment options, and medicinal marijuana is no different. Some medical professionals may have a negative attitude towards medical cannabis, so it is very important for you to be informed about medical cannabis and its benefits so you can receive your doctor's support. Many doctors who are open to alternative forms of medicine (such as herbal or Chinese medicine traditions) are unwilling to consider cannabis. A majority of doctors report that governing bodies in the medical and pharmaceutical industries unofficially direct them to "always say no" to patients who ask about cannabis.

 

7 Steps To Acces Medical Cannabis in Australia

 

  1. Make a list of medicines and treatments you have tried for your symptoms. Identify which worked and which didn't.
  2. Identify symptoms that you believe could be managed better with medical cannabis.
  3. Describe the symptoms in detail.
  4. Advise how you are planning on using medical cannabis (tincture, vaporisation.)
  5. If you are currently using cannabis, explain the amount you use and how often you use it.
  6.  Ask your doctor to recommend a dose and delivery method applicable to your treatment.
  7. Arrange your prescription and a referral to a GMP-certified medical cannabis supplier (we have an excellent recommendation for you)

CBD & Medical Marijuana in Australia

FAQs on CBD, Cannabis and Marijuana

 

Q: Will CBD make me feel "high" or "stoned"?

A: No. This is because it contains no "psychoactive" element. Other parts of the cannabis plant contain psychoactive elements, making people feel "high" or "stoned". CBD doesn't. Learn more.

Q: What happens if my doctor says no?

A: Many doctors are still unfamiliar with the current research that supports medical cannabis as a treatment plan. Bring documentation, studies and any other information that you believe will support your case; it is crucial to understand the facts yourself and advise your doctor why you think this is the best treatment option for you. 

As a patient, you are entitled to unbiased and professional medical advice. Patients regularly ask doctors about different treatment options, and medical cannabis is no different. Some medical professionals may have a negative attitude towards medical cannabis, so it is vital for you to be informed about medical cannabis and its benefits so you can receive your doctor's support. Please get in touch with our team via our contact form or call on 1300 402 420, and we can recommend a doctor.

Q: I've heard of people buying CBD online. Is this safe?

A: Yes, you can safely purchase any CBD product online. Like anything, quality is a big difference based on who you buy from. Ensure you purchase from a reputable seller with numerous genuine reviews, and the online store can demonstrate third-party testing on the product. This is important to ensure that the CBD contains the correct amount of cannabinoids and also to safeguard against heavy metals and other substances being present. CBD can become tainted in the production process like other natural substances if it is poorly extracted. 

Q: I don't care about the law; I'm going to buy it online anyway. How do I ensure that I'm getting good-quality CBD?

A: We don't recommend breaking the law, but we do recommend doing your research before making any critical decision. When purchasing a CBD product, it's crucial to ensure you are receiving whole plant extracts over synthetic cannabis or isolates. Every reputable source will always tell you where their CBD comes from, and if it doesn't say whole plant extracts - we recommend not to buy. Whole plant extracts ensure all terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids are left inside the product, ensuring that they all work together in a synergy commonly referred to as "the entourage effect".

Q: Can I drive whilst being treated with medicinal cannabis?

A: Patients should not drive or operate machinery while being treated with medicinal cannabis. In addition, measurable concentrations of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol – the primary psychoactive substance in cannabis) can be detected in urine many days after the last dose. It may take up to five days for 80 to 90 per cent of the dose to be excreted. Drug driving is a criminal offence, and patients should discuss the implications of safe and legal driving with their doctor. Check our full breakdown of how long cannabis stays in your system via this link.

Q: Does CBD show up in blood tests or roadside swab tests?

A: No. They only test for active THC, and there is not enough THC content in CBD oils for them to show positive. To be specific, make sure to ask your supplier about the percentage of THC in your CBD oil.

 

If you would like us to help you access medical cannabis in Australia (we have helped hundreds of people gain access already) and make a recommendation, please call us now: 1300 402 420

 

Final words

 

Cannabis has been in the public eye more than ever before in recent years, and for a good reason. It is a robust plant that has the potential to help people with a number of different health conditions – and can even be used to replace prescription drugs for specific requirements. If you live in Australia, you can legally access CBD oil and medical marijuana – you need to apply for approval via your medical professional. Want to try plant-based medicine while you wait for your script to be approved? Check out our range of terpene tinctures.

 

READ NEXT: CBD Oil – Uses & Benefits 

 
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