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How Much Does Prescription CBD Oil Cost in Australia?

As the medical field in Australia progressively recognizes the therapeutic potentials of cannabis, its cost and availability continue to be a pressing concern for patients. Despite its therapeutic use tracing back thousands of years, the legalisation of medical cannabis in Australia only occurred in 2016.


Given this relatively recent acceptance, the cannabis market is still maturing, and as with any nascent industry, costs are initially high. However, the landscape is gradually shifting as more local cultivation and production decrease prices.


As such, a comprehensive understanding of medical cannabis costs is vital.


Market Overview


With over 100,000 registered medical cannabis users in Australia, the market's upward trend is evident. Interestingly, the continual rise in demand has been met with a decrease in average monthly expenditure, showcasing the evolving affordability of medical cannabis products. As the market matures, locally cultivated cannabis is becoming more prevalent, contributing to reduced costs.


Moreover, the emergence of telehealth, offering virtual consultations and follow-ups, ensures patients across Australia can access medical cannabis. This has significantly lowered associated healthcare costs and facilitated a seamless experience for patients, making medical cannabis a progressively more feasible and affordable healthcare option.


Calculating Medical Cannabis Costs


Medical cannabis costs vary widely depending on a multitude of factors, including the type of consultation needed, the specific product prescribed, and the patient's unique medical requirements.


It's crucial to note that medical cannabis consultations generally fall outside of Medicare's purview, and prescriptions are not covered under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.


Therefore, exploring potential coverage options with a private healthcare insurer is advised before initiating the medical cannabis journey.


cannabis legalization day


Consultation Costs


Initial consultations typically involve a preliminary screening process, which is usually free. This step involves a series of questions to assess the patient's potential suitability for medical cannabis.


Following this, a nurse consultation is scheduled to explore the patient's medical history and discuss the applicability of cannabis for the chronic condition in question.


Lastly, a meeting with the prescribing doctor will take place, where a personalised treatment plan will be developed if medical cannabis is deemed beneficial.


These consultations usually range from $80 to $150, although costs can fluctuate depending on the clinic.


Prescription Costs


The cost of the prescribed medical cannabis products forms the bulk of the overall cost. Multiple variables, including the prescribed dosage and the specific product type, significantly influence these costs.


On average, a patient can expect to spend between $5 to $15 daily, translating to $250 to $300 monthly. This figure is a marked decrease from earlier years, reflecting the continued decrease in medical cannabis costs.


Personalization of Prescriptions


Medical cannabis prescriptions are not a one-size-fits-all solution. The intricacies of each patient's condition, personal experiences, and therapeutic objectives mean that dosages can differ greatly.


Just as in conventional medicine, tailoring prescriptions to meet individual needs is paramount.


Therefore, understanding the patient's unique physiological response to medical cannabis is key to prescribing an effective treatment plan.


woman with different essentials around her


Product Variations and their Impact on Cost


The Australian market boasts over 400 distinct medical cannabis products, with prices varying based on the product's quality, THC content, cultivation process, and whether it is a full-spectrum or isolate option.


Product types range from oils, dried flowers for vaporisation, creams, to sprays, among others.


Typically, THC and CBD oils tend to have lower prescription costs and are frequently prescribed due to their ease of administration.


Decoding Product Costs

While the upfront costs of medical cannabis products might appear high, it's important to focus on the cost per milligram of active components - THC or CBD.


This cost is the true determinant of value. On average, CBD's base price is approximately $0.05/mg, while THC can be $0.12/mg or more.


Hence, comparing prices by milligram provides a clearer understanding of the actual cost, enabling patients to make informed decisions.


Challenges in the Australian Cannabis Market


Although strides have been made in the medical cannabis market, the cost remains a barrier for many patients. Several factors contribute to the relatively high cost, most notably the youthfulness of the Australian cannabis industry.


Current cannabis producers have yet to achieve the economies of scale necessary for substantial price reductions.


Moreover, the stringent regulation and scrutiny medical cannabis producers face, although crucial for ensuring product quality and safety, add to the production costs.


However, the landscape is changing rapidly. Increased competition is exerting downward pressure on prices, and locally produced cannabis is now more commonplace, reducing dependence on more expensive imported products.


Current Situation: Parity with the Illicit Market


Notably, the Australian medical cannabis market has now reached a point of cost parity with illegal offerings, especially when considering more efficient consumption methods like vaporisation or oils. This breakthrough is significant and showcases the growing accessibility of legal medical cannabis products in Australia.


Prescription of CBD Oil in Australia

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) declared in 2021 that low-dose CBD oils could be purchased over the counter at local pharmacies. However, due to the stringent regulatory processes in Australia, acquiring pure CBD oil without a prescription remains a challenge.


Products sold in pharmacies must be registered with the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), an intricate and time-consuming process involving clinical trials and formal approvals.


However, patients can still acquire a CBD oil prescription through their doctor. As with other medical cannabis forms, costs depend on dosage and treatment plans but are generally cheaper than THC-dominant products.


happily shopping for cbd


Conclusion: The Future of Medical Cannabis in Australia


Although medical cannabis still presents a significant cost for many patients, the landscape in Australia is changing rapidly. With decreasing prices and increasing accessibility, medical cannabis is becoming a viable therapeutic option for an increasing number of patients. For those suffering from chronic conditions and who can bear the costs, it may be worthwhile to explore medical cannabis as a potential treatment option.


It's essential to remember, however, that medical cannabis may not suit everyone and carries specific risks. Comprehensive discussions with a healthcare provider are crucial before commencing any treatment regimen. Moreover, the future may see the Australian cannabis market achieving cost parity with conventional medicine as it matures and evolves.


Can I buy CBD oil over the counter in Australia?

As of 2023, CBD oil is not yet available for over-the-counter purchase in Australia. It requires a prescription from a health professional and is obtainable through the Special Access Scheme.

How hard is it to get CBD oil in Australia?

Getting CBD oil in Australia requires a prescription from a medical professional. This process can vary in difficulty based on your healthcare provider, your specific health condition, and the current regulations around medical cannabis in your state or territory.

How much does CBD oil cost in Australia?

The cost of CBD oil in Australia can vary significantly based on the product's concentration, brand, and cost of importation. However, prices generally range from $100 to $300 per bottle.

Why is CBD oil so expensive in Australia?

CBD oil can be expensive in Australia due to the costs associated with its production and regulation, including cultivation, extraction, testing, and compliance with Australia's medical cannabis regulations. Importation costs can also contribute to the price.

What is the cheapest way to take CBD oil?

Taking CBD oil sublingually, or under the tongue, is typically the most cost-effective method. This allows for high absorption and doesn't require any additional equipment like vaping devices. To save money, it can also be beneficial to buy CBD oil in bulk or subscribe to regular deliveries from a trusted supplier.

Is CBD oil legal in Australia for dogs?

As of my knowledge cut-off in September 2021, CBD oil for pets in Australia is not available over the counter. Veterinarians can legally prescribe CBD oil for animals under certain conditions. However, it's recommended to always check with a local veterinary professional or relevant regulatory body for the most recent information.