Low Dose CBD Oil in Australia

FAQ about low dose CBD oil: regulations, who it's suitable for and how to access it in Australia.

How can I access low dose CBD in Australia?

In late 2020, the Australian Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) gave the go-ahead for low-dose CBD to be rescheduled to schedule 3 pharmacist-only medication – effective technically from 1st February 2021. 

The TGA decision allows TGA approved and registered low-dose CBD containing products, up to a maximum of 150 mg/day, for use in adults, to be supplied over-the-counter by a pharmacist, without a prescription.

However, there are currently no registered low-dose products available for sale over the counter. 

Medicinal cannabis companies around Australia are now doing the necessary research on safety and efficacy to allow for low-dose CBD oil to be a registered therapeutic product and made available at pharmacies. 

In the meantime, CA Connect is providing a simple platform for CBD oil access in Australia.

Who is suitable for low dose CBD?

Low-dose CBD is suitable for short-term or temporary treatment of mild medical conditions. If you have a condition which is more complex or chronic, such as epilepsy or multiple sclerosis, then low-dose CBD may not be appropriate for you.

The TGA has specified that over-the-counter CBD products must contain 98% or more CBD (cannabidiol). There may only be 1% or less THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and 2% or less of any other cannabinoid and will only be oral, oromucosal and sublingual delivery formats.

The science behind CBD 

CBD oil, including low dose CBD, has been prescribed in Australia since medical cannabis legislation changed in 2016, for conditions where there is evidence to support its benefits.

Conditions where CBD may be helpful include chronic pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, palliative care, cancer treatment support and more. 

Although gold standard research, such as randomised clinical trials and meta-analysis, are still emerging in the medical cannabis field, there is plentiful clinical data to make evidence-informed decisions on treating with CBD oil or medicinal cannabinoids.  

Low dose CBD oil for anxiety 

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence touting the benefits of CBD oil for anxiety and clinical data is slowly catching up. CBD interacts with chemical signals in the brain, including serotonin, which may have positive effects on the areas of the brain that influence mood and emotional regulation.

While most of the research from human studies analysing neuroimages and subjective anxiety indicates CBD to be useful in acute doses, there is naturalistic research that shows reductions in anxiety when CBD is administered at low doses outside of clinical trials.

Can CBD oil treat chronic pain? 

Mechanistic research shows that CBD has analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions which theoretically make it well suited as a safe, pain-relieving agent. 

Still, human studies on the benefits of CBD oil for pain relief and the most appropriate dose are currently insufficient to make sweeping statements about the effectiveness of CBD for chronic pain for all patients. 

Nonetheless, the abundant scientific evidence that is available, allows for practitioners to prescribe CBD oil from evidence-informed principles.

Research supports the benefits of CBD in reducing pain when prescribed alongside standard medical care, with THC or alone. In many cases studies have shown patients are able to reduce their dependence on opioid medications with CBD oil treatment.

A recent 2021 study of patients with multiple sclerosis showed low dose CBD oil (50mg) per day assisted in reducing pain, improving sleep and spasticity. 

Although trials such as this one and others show positive trends for pain reduction, studies are still small, with more research needed.

Can low dose CBD oil help me?

When being assessed for your eligibility for low-dose CBD oil access, the team at CA Connect will assess whether this type of CBD is appropriate for you, or refer you on for medical cannabis assessment at a specialist clinic like CA Clinics for more complex conditions.

Research into the efficacy of low dose CBD is being actively conducted at the moment and will help to further uncover for whom and in what conditions it may be most helpful. 

Pending clinical trials showing safety, quality and efficacy, and subsequent approval from the Australian Register for Therapeutic Goods, over-the-counter low dose CBD is likely to be available for mild symptoms of anxiety, insomnia or pain such as headaches, period pain and arthritis.

Why can’t I find low dose CBD at the pharmacy?

Even though low dose CBD is legally available via pharmacies, there are currently no approved products on the market. 

Unlike medical cannabis prescriptions, where unregistered products are available via the special access scheme, low dose CBD oil products must go through clinical trials and an approval process to be registered as a therapeutic medicine in Australia.

Many trials are underway in Australia, with industry experts expecting approved products to begin to be on shelves in the second half of 2022. 

Until then, CA Connect offers patient access to low dose CBD alongside care and follow-ups from a healthcare professional.

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