It’s legal to buy over-the-counter cannabis in Australia — but it’s still a long way from your local chemist

Cannabis has been legal in Australia since 2016, but getting your hands on the drug still faces a lot of obstacles. The law that legalized cannabis was relatively loose — there’s no regulation over where you can buy it and how much is safe for consumption. This means if you want to get high, especially if you’re local shop doesn’t carry the product, or their stocks are running low due to demand from locals wanting legal marijuana — well then, sorry -you gotta head out into the bush.

The “cbd over the counter australia” is a question that has been asked before. It’s legal to buy over-the-counter cannabis in Australia, but it’s still a long way from your local chemist.

It’s legal to buy over-the-counter cannabis in Australia — but it’s still a long way from your local chemist

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It is difficult to bring a non-prescription drug to market in Australia.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has permitted the over-the-counter sale of low-dose cannabidiol (CBD) products in Australian pharmacies from early 2021. But you won’t find any in your neighborhood pharmacy.

The situation is different in other countries. Although CBD products such as sweets are not authorized at the federal level in the United States, they are available over-the-counter in numerous states. Low-dose CBD oil may be marketed as a dietary supplement in the United Kingdom, but not as a medication.

 CBD is a cannabinoid that may be found in the cannabis plant. It has intoxicating properties, similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is also present in cannabis. It has the ability to make individuals drowsy and alter the electrical impulses in the brain. It won’t make you “high” or cause any other psychotic consequences, unlike THC.

Even non-prescription medicines need substantial study and expenditure to reach the Australian market. It might be too much for tiny cannabis growers to handle, and it could be a turn-off for major pharmaceutical corporations if the investment is made at the cost of impending blockbuster treatments. And if research indicates that the impact of cannabis is limited when compared to other medicines, the procedure may not be worth it.

 

Having high expectations

After the TGA downgraded CBD from a Schedule 4 (prescription medication) to a Schedule 3 (over-the-counter) chemical, it became permissible to buy products containing low-dose (less than 150 milligrams per day) CBD over the counter in Australia (pharmacist-only medicine).

However, the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), which is required for pharmacist sale, has yet to authorize any CBD-containing product. ARTG approval indicates that regulatory quality data on the product’s safety, contaminants, microbiological content, shelf-life, and effectiveness meets TGA criteria and has been verified in regulatory-grade labs.

The time and money it takes to produce a medicine that meets the ARTG requirements may be substantial. Aspiring cannabis businesses may not realize the distinction between selling cannabidiol vs other things like toys or apparel.

Down-scheduling was opposed by expert clinical groups such as physicians, psychiatrists, the Australian Medical Association, and the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists, citing a lack of safety data, efficacy data, product labeling issues, and the potential for interactions with prescription medicines.

In reality, there is only one regulatory-grade CBD product allowed for usage in Australia, Epidyolex, which is only accessible on prescription and is licensed for treating types of severe infantile epilepsy. (A medicine called Sativex, which includes both CBD and THC, has also been authorized.)

Regulating formulation and ensuring that safety and quality data has fulfilled the TGA requirement is critical from a patient-safety standpoint. It’s also appropriate to demonstrate effectiveness. The usage of illegal CBD products may diminish as a result of the downscheduling while still insisting on ARTG approval — a gain for public health if it happens.

The TGA’s decision to down-schedule yet need ARTG certification might be perceived as beneficial to business in terms of ensuring quality and limiting supply. In Australia, it is projected that there is a market worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and crop development is already underway. As a result, a CBD company’s substantial investment in medicine research might be financially lucrative, as long as the conditions are followed.

What may CBD at low doses be useful for?

Low-dose CBD is not yet advised for medicinal usage. Higher dosage CBD may be beneficial for certain children with a severe type of epilepsy who haven’t responded to previous medications, according to clinical study results. However, it’s unclear if the advantages may have been explained by the fact that the patients were also taking Valium. There were also substantial adverse effects that were more prevalent in the CBD group.

There are growing requests in several nations for patients, especially those with chronic pain, to be able to legally use cannabis, thanks to certain high-profile proponents such as basketballer Lauren Jackson. Low-dose CBD has also been claimed to benefit persons with anxiety, sleeplessness, arthritis, and inflammatory disorders, although there has yet to be any study to support this up.

We don’t know whether any cannabis companies have applied to the TGA to have their products registered and been turned down due to safety, effectiveness, or quality issues.

Due to the intricate extraction, synthesis, combinations, medication interactions, and side-effects profile of cannabis, it is doubtful that many non-medical firms in Australia would have the equipment, processes, and personnel to meet the needed requirements.

Big pharmaceutical corporations have showed little interest in low-dose CBD thus far. They may be unsure if physicians will offer low-dose medications, or they may be waiting for additional study. When compared to other medicines in their pipelines, they may not consider CBD to be a potential blockbuster.

Some local growers are exporting cannabis and conducting therapeutic research. Australia is “poised to become a recognized leader in the worldwide supply of the highest-quality medical cannabis products,” according to federal health minister Greg Hunt.

Are you planning to visit a pharmacy soon?

If we’re going to use cannabis as a treatment, we should hold it to the same standards as other drugs in terms of patient safety. This necessitates sound manufacturing practices, accurate laboratory measurement standards, clear labeling, and enough clinical information for informed patient consent.

Medical practitioners should be aware of what they are prescribing or advising and should be able to consult dose-response data for each substance. They must be familiar with pharmacology and medication interactions, as well as the evidence supporting their usage in certain situations and potential side effects.

They must also be aware of the legal, professional, and regulatory responsibilities that prescribers and dispensers face. When purchasing items from a chemist, keep in mind that they may interact with other medications or meals. Companies who seek to offer such goods in Australia must first ensure that their medication development meets regulatory requirements. Only time will tell how many people are capable of doing so.

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Cannabis is now legal in Australia, but it is still illegal to buy over-the-counter cannabis. This means that you can only buy it from a chemist or online. It’s not legal yet in Queensland though. Reference: is cbd oil legal in queensland 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: The Australian criminal code does not make any mention of cannabis, but the country has a Federal government law which prohibits importing or possessing marijuana. However some states in Australia have laws that support legalized recreational and medicinal cannabis use, such as Queensland from 2014 onward and New South Wales since 2018.

What schedule drug is cannabis in Australia?

A: Cannabis is a scheduled drug in Australia. This means that the drug cannot be used to make other drugs, or produce an intoxicating effect of any kind, with certain exceptions.

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