No prescription needed! Cannabis oil now available over the counter

Feb 01, 2021
CBD oil has been touted for its wide-ranging health benefits. Source: Getty.

Do you take medicinal cannabis for health reasons? Well, we’ve got some good news for you! Low-dose cannabidiol (CBD) products are now available over the counter in pharmacies across Australia, meaning patients will only need to speak with a pharmacist before purchasing the products.

However, there’s a small catch, patients will only be able to pick up a maximum daily dose of 150 milligrams, and vaping and topical cream products will still need a prescription from a doctor.

CBD has been touted for its wide-ranging benefits, such as anxiety and pain relief, as a possible treatment for epilepsy and some studies have suggested CBD may help alleviate cancer symptoms and cancer treatment side effects, although more research is needed on this. And while CBD comes from the marijuana plant itself, it can’t actually get you ‘high’ — that’s caused by another cannabinoid (chemicals found in cannabis), known as THC.

And if you’re just jumping on the medicinal cannabis bandwagon now and have a few questions – don’t fret! Cannabis Doctors Australia (CDA Clinics) – the industry leaders in personalised, safe, evidence-based medicinal cannabis services – along with its founder Dr Ben Jansen have compiled a guide on everything you need to know about using low-dose CBD.

So how is CBD consumed? Well, according to the experts, the most common way to consume CBD is via an oral oil method, however each person’s dose will vary depending on their symptom response.

“CDA Clinics advise people to start low and go slow gradually increasing one’s dose until it is effective,” they explained. “In cannabis medicine, we call this the minimal effective dose.”

It’s also important to note that CBD is lipophilic, similar to curcumin, which means it has an affinity for fat. “It can be very helpful to eat something with fat in it when administering CBD, so your body absorbs it at a higher rate, ultimately making it more effective,” CDA Clinics says.

All medicines, including CBD, can have unwanted side effects. For CBD they include nausea, dry mouth, and diarrhea. However, not everyone will experience them.

“These side effects are possible, not probable, and usually self resolve once your body has gotten used to taking a CBD product,” they said. “This is why it is recommended to take CBD oil with food.”

And because CBD doesn’t affect your mental capacity, it’s considered safe to drive after using it. However, this can change from state to state so it’s best to check with your pharmacist first.

As for how long it takes for CBD to work, CDA Clinics recommends at least one week at effective dose to see effects. However, this can vary person to person, depending on their age, sex, gender, weight, hydration and other medications.

“R​egular use of CBD can have long-term downstream effects, helping people with chronic health problems,” CDA Clinics says. “With regular dosing of CBD, we see the most benefits in our patients overall.”

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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