If someone came over and gave you a bottle of liquid, told you that in this magical bottle has the cure to everything you’ve ever dreamt of. Pain, anxiety, depression, and maybe even cancer can be eased using this bottle. Would you take this magical bottle, or would look at them like they’ve lost their minds?

During the recent years, this magical bottle has been all the hype. That liquid, also known as the CBD Oil, has been promised to be an alternative cure for many things. You can find it sold now as oil, in gummy bears, as lotions, creams, and even bath bombs. It’s everywhere you go. And whichever country you live in, people are sharing their miracle stories of how CBD Oil turned their lives around. 

As a person living in Australia, I’m sure you’re wondering where fellow Australians fall into the picture with CBD Oil. Is it legal? How do they use? What is CBD anyways?

 Let’s start from the beginning of the story.

CBD Oil: What’s All the Hype?

Back in the years, as early as the 29th century B.C, people have been using Marijuana as a pain remedy. This unconventional treatment of pain has maintained its traditions up to our 21st century, but it’s always been frowned upon by the authorities and members of the society alike. After all, pain is bound to go away when you’re high.

You must be pretty confused right. What does CBD oil have to do with Marijuana? Did you just click on the wrong link, or have we gotten our topics mixed up? Neither, actually. 

CBD is short for Cannabidiol. Sounds pretty close to cannabis (aka. Marijuana), right? That’s because they both come from the same plant family, and this is where they get mixed up together. Sometimes CBD oil also gets mixed up with hemp oil, or hemp CBD oil. 

But if you’re living in Australia, you’ll be making a great mistake if you mix any of them up with the other. Let’s start with explaining the difference between all of these.

cbd and marijuana in australia

CBD Oil Vs. Marijuana

While it’s true their plant source is the same, CBD oil and marijuana work in different ways. 

Cannabis Sativa is the mother plant that we can get both marijuana or CBD from. It also has more than 500 other chemicals, but these are the most interesting to us so far. Marijuana is known for its psychoactive properties, but if we were to get more scientific, one of its constituents is the main culprit. That culprit is the substance known as THC. Marijuana also contains CBD oil, which explains its alternative therapeutic use over the years. 

What came to light in the later years is that the CBD oil in the marijuana can be used as a remedy on its own. So if only there was a way to extract that CBD oil on its own instead of having to experience the psychoactive effects of marijuana, that would open a whole new world of possibilities… And so it was. 

While marijuana is mainly extracted using the plant as a whole, CBD oil is extracted from specific parts in an almost pure form. That pure form can contain 0.005% of THC at most, which means that the level of THC is too low to have any effect or significance. That way you can benefit from all of its properties without having your mental functions tampered with. 

CBD Oil Vs. Hemp Oil

Another common mix up is mistaking CBD oil and hemp oil for each other. Hemp seed oil has become widespread because it’s rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, making it a great remedy for acne and skin. 

While hemp oil also comes from the Cannabis sativa family, you can say it’s the cousin plant strain of marijuana. CBD oil can be extracted from the marijuana plant, or it can be extracted from the hemp plant. If the CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant, it can be called CBD hemp oil. In either case, CBD oil is extracted from the stalks, leaves, flowers, and the parts that have high cannabidiol content, while hemp oil is mainly extracted from the crushing of the seed only. Being extracted from the seeds, hemp oil contains trace to no amounts of THC and CBD. 

CBD oil

Why Do Some Claim that CBD Oil is a Hoax?

Alongside all of the hype that CBD oil has been getting, there’s been an opposing voice that claims that CBD oil is just a hoax created by marketing companies for profit. Why is that?

The fact of the matter is that, you’ll come across a lot of products that fall short on any regulations or GMP (good manufacturing practice). Some products have little to no percentage of the claimed amount of CBD they’re supposed to have. And the job of advertising is taken over by marketers who have no scientific background, you’ll be promised a lot of results that won’t take place when you actually decide to give their products a shot. Other products can have adequate levels of CBD but the advertising promises are too unrealistic, which raises the expectations of the users’ way too high, only to be extremely disappointed when the truth is out. In other cases, CBD products can be contaminated with high THC levels, when it’s cultivated or imported illegally. 

All of these scenarios can make people doubt the true value of CBD oil, but the key is to look for authentic products that offer what they promise. Moreover, if you’re a health nut that values organic and pesticide-free products, you might want to use CBD oil that’s sourced from non-GMO hemp farms in Australia. Non-GMO means that it’s free from any genetic modifications. In addition to checking for the true value of CBD oil in the products you’re considering, the non-GMO label gives you some insurance that the crops have been cultivated without the use of harmful herbicides. This ensures both environmental and sustainable benefits in the long run, while giving you a guarantee about the product you’re using for your health.

Is CBD Oil Legal in Australia?

In 2017, the Australian government started considering the proposals about legalizing hemp and CBD oils and extracts. As of this day, cultivation of cannabis with any considerable amount of the psychoactive THC for personal use without license is still illegal, no matter whether it’s used recreationally or even medicinally. However, the case is a bit different when it comes to hemp seed oil and CBD.

According to the official statement of the Office of Drug Control, Department of Health, Australia, hemp plant has been legalized for consumption, import, and export, without a license given that it complies with the PI regulations, such as:

  • The substance or product containing hemp oil can not contain more than 0.005% of THC or 0.0075% CBD
  • Hemp seeds, fibers, and hulled hemp seeds are in the clear
  • Hemp products should not contain any other drugs
  • And that the hemp products shouldn’t contain any other extracts from the full plant. 

As for CBD Oil, it’s been legalized after a long period of discussions, but the case is a bit more difficult than it is with hemp oil. CBD oil is now recognized as a schedule 4 substance, which means that, legally, it can only be acquired for therapeutic use through a written prescription for a specialist. While this is optimistic, it still has its pros and cons.

To be permitted to acquire CBD oil or any of the products rich in cannabidiol, you’ll have to present your needs to a specialist to review and evaluate your case. After a few months of evaluating your case, the government can either permit your prescription or deny it. While this seems like a lot of trouble, some argue that this will provide the government with much more accurate data about the patients and their needs. 

But then, if growing cannabis is still illegal, how come some Australian states such as New South Wales and Victoria have started their own Cannabis cultivation sites?

The answer to that is Cannabis is still illegal to grow for personal and recreational purposes, but it can be grown for medicinal purposes only so far. But to do so, you need to have a license from the Federal Office for Drug Control, and it’s going to be under some really strict regulations. Ever since the official announcement, 19 licenses for medical cultivation of Cannabis and 13 other licenses for the manufacture of narcotics have been issued. 

To sum it up, cultivating hemp plants has been legal for some time now, with little to no regulations. But cultivating, buying, selling, importing, or exporting full plant-extract based substances and products is still heavily scrutinized and regulated. If you’re caught doing any of the previously mentioned activities, that is considered illegal and you’ll be subjected to Federal Law penalties.

How People Benefit from CBD Oil

With the legal status of CBD oil now clear, it’s worthy to mention why it’s getting so much attention lately. The fact of the matter is that it’s been legalized in almost every other country, and that’s because the results of the research done on CBD oil and its therapeutic benefits are indeed amazing. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD oil has a significant therapeutic effect on around 18 different diseases and conditions such as:

  1. Pain Relief

Due to its soothing and calming effects, many patients are turning to CBD oil for pain relief and treatment. Cannabidiols work on a system in our known as the ECS, or Endocannabinoid System. Through stimulating the proper receptors, CBD oil can activate the ECS, which in turn floods the body with pain relief substances. In addition to pain relief, this system plays a critical role in regulating sleep, appetite, and the response of our immune system. 

2. Relief of Inflammation and Inflammatory Diseases

The ability of CBD oil to relieve inflammation has been remarkable. It’s been proposed as a treatment for many of the advanced inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel and Crohn’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, and every other inflammatory disease.

3. Neuroprotective Properties

Other studies have shown its neuroprotective diseases, those which hit with age or genetic dispositions, and are usually untreatable. What comes to mind when you mention neurodegenerative diseases is usually Alzheimer’s, but CBD also shows promise with Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and even injuries resulting from Hypoxia-Ischemia. 

neurological effects of marijuana

4. Anxiety and Depression 

Owing to its soothing and relaxing properties, CBD oil acts as a great anxiolytic and antidepressant. It has the ability to calm down the anxiety, relieve muscular tension, fatigue, and restlessness, in addition to improving focus and social interactions. The best thing about it, is that it bypasses all of the dependency issues that arise with other antidepressant medications. 

5. Epilepsy

Currently being the only approved FDA approved medicinal use for CBD, with the drug in question undergoing the third phase of clinical trials, CBD oil has shown the most announced results in the treatment of resistant epilepsy in children.

6. Cancer Therapy

In some of the research done on cancer cells, cannabinoids have shown to attack the cancer cells instantly and effectively, without causing any unwanted damage to the healthy cells. Research is still ongoing, but there was ever a dream of the perfect cancer cure, then that must be it!

7. Others

We’ve mentioned just some of the conditions that CBD oil shows great promise to relieve and cure, but the continuous research being done has much more in store for us. Starting from easing down nausea and vomiting to providing cardioprotective benefits, helping with diabetic complications, and even the potential to treat psychotic diseases, CBD oil really sounds like magic in a bottle.

CBD Oil In Australia: The Takeaway

With many hopes looking forward to CBD in providing cure to every resilient disease out there, the doubts and hardships standing in the way of Australians is still as strong. The process of legalizing the cultivation of medicinal cannabis and the very long road you’ll need to go through to get a Federal license make obtaining legal CBD oil very hard. Even as a person seeking therapeutic benefit, getting a prescription is long and unsure. Some might be tempted to acquire some illegal CBD products, but due to the poor regulations that these products lack, they’re usually only a sham with no provided benefit at all. And yet, it’s not impossible to acquire legal CBD oil for medicinal purposes, the only hope is that the process improves over time.