We hear a lot of claims about the benefits of medicinal cannabis and Australians are now a step closer to being able to purchase it without a prescription.


In 2020, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved low-dose Cannabidiol (CBD) products sold over the counter in Australian pharmacies. And although some celebrities and influencers espouse the benefits of medicinal cannabis, we need to ensure we separate fact from fiction. So here are some facts about CBD:

The cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa) produces hundreds of different compounds in its leaves and flowers.

One group of cannabis compounds are cannabinoids. More than 100 different cannabinoids have been found in cannabis so far, including tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), the chemical that gets you high.

CBD is another cannabinoid. It doesn't get you high but does have anti-psychotic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Depending on the cannabinoid, they can make us hungry, sleepy, forgetful or euphoric (or a combination of all of these). 

There are several clinical trials currently running in Australia investigating the effects of CBD. But the levels of CBD administered in these trials are far higher than the maximum dose approved by the TGA for over-the-counter products. And despite the TGA's approval, you still can't buy CBD from a pharmacy without a prescription because all products sold at a pharmacy must first be put on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods as a Schedule 3 drug. So far, that hasn't happened.



Nov 2020 The Conversation Medicinal cannabis users in Victoria could soon be allowed to drive with THC in their system. Is it safe?

Feb 2021 CSIRO CSIRO secures licence to develop medicinal cannabis

April 2021 The Canberra Times Australian cannabis laws are dishonest and need to change

Aug 2021 ABC Australia What’s the deal with getting and using CBD oil in Australia?

Aug 2021 WebMD CBD vs. THC: What's the Difference?