What does “CBD” stand for?
CBD is cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. The compound has grown popular for its medicinal properties, with several studies supporting its efficacy as a treatment for a range of health conditions.
Another popular cannabinoid is THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which has strong psychoactive effects. This compound is responsible for that euphoric feeling that recreational cannabis users seek. While THC has medicinal properties as well, the medical community prefer CBD because of its lack of psychoactive effects.
Over the years, both components have become hot topics in the debate over cannabis legality. Most people around the globe are supportive of cannabis as a medicine, for which CBD is the more sought after substance.
This has resulted in a CBD trend, where countless products have surfaced, making it difficult to determine which is real or fake. While there is a legal market for the drug, there is also a black market and a gray market where outlandish claims are made in an effort to market the drug. In many cases, the advertised CBD strength and contents are misleading or outright false.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the growing CBD market so you’ll have the information needed to purchase the right products.
How to get CBD legally in Australia
In 2016, Australia legalised cannabis for medical use, and this includes CBD. Although the drug remains illegal, you can purchase it legally with a prescription if you have a health condition that cannabis can help treat.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration controls the prescription process. However, the process is riddled with red tape and can be discouraging for some.
A doctor who wishes to prescribe cannabis for their patients must first apply to the TGA to become an authorised prescriber for a certain class of patients. A doctor can also apply on a per patient basis through SAS-B (Special Access Scheme B). Both scenarios present some hurdles delaying the prescription process.
After complaints of the slow prescription process, the TGA has made efforts to simplify things. One of those efforts include moving the process online. There has been significant increases in the number of prescriptions, but the process still needs some work.
Although medical cannabis prescriptions are increasing on a monthly basis, the TGA still needs to do more to ease the process. src
The difficulties in accessing CBD through the legal route has created demand in the black and gray markets. There are several companies outside Australia that sell a range of CBD products online, with promises to ship their products to your door step. There are also several products available in the country, being sold without any licenses or approval by the TGA.
Purchasing CBD from such outfits is not a good idea. Such products do not go through the rigorous tests and regulation mandated by the TGA for legal CBD products, so it is almost impossible to be confident that what they are selling is actually what they claim to be selling.
For example, a study by CBD Reviews Australia tested 62 black market products to see if their claims of CBD content was accurate. Only 63 percent of those products actually contained CBD.
CBD Reviews Australia research suggests many black market CBD products do not contain CBD at all. src
CBD strength in Australia
CBD strength refers to the concentration of CBD - the potency. You can determine this by looking at the label of the product, where the amount of CBD should be stated, usually measured in milligrams (mg).
But determining the strength of the CBD product also depends on bow much is in the bottle - typically measured in milliliters (ml) on the label. For instance, if a CBD product claims to have 2400mg of CBD in a 10ml bottle, the concentration is 240mg of CBD per 1ml dose (2400mg divided by 10ml). Such a CBD product is very strong. On the other hand, if a CBD product has 30mg pf CBD in a 2000ml bottle (a much bigger bottle), the concentration is only 66.6mg of CBD per every 1ml dose - much weaker.
Knowing how to determine the strength of CBD in a product will help you determine whether you’re getting what is being advertised. In the previous example, the bigger bottle could give the impression of a better buy - more CBD. However, in reality, the strength of the CBD contents were much less than the smaller bottle, making it a very weak product despite its size.
In Australia, you’ll find CBD products of varying strengths. However, the legal products are likely to give you the more CBD for your money. Black market products are hardly ever as strong, and are likely to contain much more additives like oils and other canbinoids.
It is also important to note that CBD in Australia is only legal where traces of THC are less than 2 percent.
Final words - What CBD Products are available in Australia?
You’ll find several CBD products available in Australia if you’re willing to try out the black market. Most of those products are sold online, and they come with many question marks about their strength, or if the even contain any CBD at all.
If you want an actual CBD product, your best bet is to go the legal route. This will involve getting a prescription from your doctor. So far, only Sativex is available in Australia, but Epidiolex is currently being considered in a fast-track manner.
Also, the TGA is reviewing lower dose CBD products to determine whether to allow them be sold over the counter. This could happen this year, 2020 - a move that will significantly increase the availability of legal CBD in Australia. An over-the-counter CBD product will be able to compete with the black market. Despite its low dosage, Australians will have confidence that its label accurately represents its contents - unlike black market CBD products.