Unfortunately, there still exists a negative stigma surrounding medical marijuana. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the main compounds that can be extracted from the cannabis plant and has been found to offer plentiful health benefits. Part of the stigma against CBD oil comes from the close association with its parent plant – however, it is important to understand that most CBD products on the market do not produce a ‘high’ feeling.
Most of the time, CBD products don’t contain high levels of THC. They are formulated to be non-psychoactive. While most CBD products contain only trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it can be purchased with a THC infusion – only then can you expect a psychoactive effect on the mind.
In this guide, we address the rules and laws regarding CBD in Australia and make it known that medical cannabis and CBD oil are not the same things. These two substances differ significantly from and between themselves.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about CBD oil and how to get your hands on high quality, safe cannabidiol products.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. This is one of the main compounds found in the marijuana plant. Many of us know cannabidiol for its healing properties. This is what makes it highly sought. It can offer pain relief, sleep support, and skincare solutions, among other health benefits.
Regardless of how much CBD oil you consume, you will not become intoxicated. Of course, this is only true if you know where the CBD product is coming from, who you are buying from, and if it is reliable.
How CBD Oil Works
Before you make the decision to buy cannabidiol, whether online or from a physical dispensary, you need to understand how it works.
The first thing to understand is that CBD is not the same, nor produces the same effects, as smoking marijuana. While CBD is developed from marijuana, it is not psychoactive. The substance that induces the feeling of being ‘high’ – THC – is normally absent from medical CBD oil products. This compound is ideal for people who want to treat health issues without worrying about getting that high feeling.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The ECS, or endocannabinoid system, is a complex, cell-signaling system within our bodies. It assists in regulating mood, inflammation, sleep, and our immune system. Experts continue to study the ECS to fully understand it.
As of now, we know that the ECS plays an important part in regulating functions like the following:
Regardless of whether you use cannabis or not, the ECS exists and is active within our bodies.
Cannabidiol works by allowing the body to improve the natural cannabinoids it produces. Unlike THC, CBD does not attach itself to the brain receptors directly. Instead, it serves as an influence. It allows the body’s supply of natural cannabinoids to assist in pain management or inflammation more effectively. This is why CBD oil has been found to provide relief from insomnia, anxiety and PTSD, epilepsy, and other conditions.
How Does CBD Interact with the ECS?
CBD interacts much differently with the ECS than THC does. It doesn’t lead to that feeling of being ‘high,’ nor does it bring negative effects when consumed.
THC binds to receptors CB1 or CB2 – cannabidiol does not do this. Instead, it prevents endocannabinoids from being broken down, which allows them to have a more prominent effect on your body.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found within cannabis Sativa. This plant contains over 480 different compounds, and about 66 of them are cannabinoids. The most common compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). CBD makes up around 40% of the plant’s resin extract.
There are different classes of cannabinoids found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Here are some of the subclasses:
- Cannabigerols (CBG)
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
- Cannabichromenes (CBC)
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabinodiol (CBDL)
The Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana CBD Products
Before we go any further into cannabidiol and everything there is to know about it, let’s talk about hemp and marijuana.
It’s often believed that hemp and marijuana are the same; however, there are significant differences between the two. For starters, marijuana contains THC or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. As previously mentioned, that’s the substance that causes the ‘high’ feeling when smoking or consuming marijuana.
Marijuana is a drug used for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Sativa and Indica strains of the plant (as well as hybrids) are used to produce marijuana.
What about hemp? First thing’s first: hemp is not marijuana. Although it contains some cannabinoids, it has very small traces of THC. As a matter of fact, for hemp to be cultivated legally, it must contain less than 0.3% THC. This means people who ingest or use compounds derived from hemp won’t experience any of the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana.
Therefore, it’s important to note that there is a large difference between cannabidiol derived from hemp vs. cannabidiol derived from marijuana.
The main difference, and the one you need to know going forward, is that CBD oil derived from marijuana contains high amounts of THC, ranging from 5% and 30%. Since THC is a psychoactive substance, it is banned or illegal in many countries including Australia (unless it is used with a legal doctor’s prescription).
CBD oil derived from hemp – the kind we’ll be discussing for use in medical terms – contains high concentrations of cannabidiol, but its THC content doesn’t exceed 0.3%. It is generally legal in many countries. In Australia, you may obtain CBD oil for medical purposes if its THC level is below 2%.
5 Benefits of CBD Oil
CBD oil can offer many health benefits. It’s used by millions of individuals worldwide who suffer from medical issues, skincare, sleeping, or chronic pain.
Here are 5 amazing health benefits offered by cannabidiol:
- Pain Relief
The most common reason individuals consume CBD oil is for its pain-relieving properties. If you suffer from body aches or inflammation, CBD can help greatly. This compound activates CB2 receptors within your immune system, which allows them to place focus on the areas that hurt.
Users also claim it has helped them with headaches, joint injuries, and muscle soreness. Managing pain is made easier with cannabidiol, and several users have claimed they’ve helped in relieving the following conditions:
- Chronic pain
- MS pain
- Muscle pain
- Spinal cord injuries
- Improvement in Mood
CBD is commonly used to improve emotional stability. Research shows that cannabidiol has a positive effect on the levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide. This compound is produced by the nervous system to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is often referred to as the ‘happy molecule’ because of its great ability to improve mood.
It’s also used to relieve anxiety. Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress, and it affects millions of people daily. Taking CBD products is one way that may help you control this condition. If you want to improve feelings of wellbeing, think about the endocannabinoid system and understand that a balanced ECS equals a happy ECS.
- Healthier Skin
You might be surprised to hear that CBD has been found to improve skin issues like acne or eczema. If you have a skin condition, CBD may work as a moisturizer and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
CBD oil is sold in the form of creams, lotions, and moisturizers. Thanks to products like these, people don’t have to resort to expensive, severe facial treatments and medicine. In many cases, CBD can help.
- Improved Sleeping Patterns
CBD is effective in improving one’s sleep patterns. For instance, it has shown to reduce sleep issues like insomnia. When taken an hour prior to falling asleep, individuals will obtain a good night’s rest. Not only this, but CBD oil used in the correct dose for your condition and body type can provide higher energy levels throughout the day.
- Epilepsy Treatment
Research suggests that CBD can potentially help alleviate seizures. While research is still in early stages, multiple studies have given positive results, including a 2017 study where 120 children and young adults with Dravet syndrome were either given a CBD solution or a placebo.
Those that received CBD saw their seizure frequency reduce from about 13 seizures to about 6 seizures per month, while those that received a placebo saw a reduction of 15 seizures to 14.
While nothing is concrete yet, there have been numerous studies to suggest CBD can aid those with epilepsy.
Types of CBD Products
CBD oil is available in many different forms. Preference depends on your personal tastes and needs. Here is an overview of what’s available:
A CBD tincture is a liquid that is taken orally. It’s popular among users because of its versatility. It comes in either a spray bottle or dropper. Simply place some product on your tongue and let it absorb into your mouth and system.
Tinctures come in several different flavours. Because you can control the dose better than some other cannabidiol products, they are recommended for beginners.
Concentrates and Pastes
These products are for those who want the strongest CBD they can get their hands on. You’ll get your money’s worth with these products, but keep in mind that they act fast.
To use, you need to take a pea-sized portion of the paste and place it underneath your tongue. It will absorb into the system in a matter of 15 minutes and lasts in the body for up to 12 hours. You also have the option of rubbing it onto your skin or adding it to food.
If you’re a novice, be careful not to use too high a dose. There is also a strong hemp taste that many don’t like.
Next up is vape oil, which is added to vaporisers or e-cigarettes, and is inhaled and absorbed through the lungs. Effects are felt immediately and can last for about 6 hours.
This is an ideal product because it’s easy and quick to use. Since the product is inhaled, it reaches the bloodstream quicker than some other products.
Vape oil may turn into a more expensive option because users will need to purchase an e-pen or vaporiser. There is also the risk of buying CBD vaping liquids from unreputable sellers which contain undesirable substances. Be sure to research the vendor you buy from and always check the ingredients list.
There are lotions, balms, and oils infused with CBD oil. To use, simply rub them onto your skin. Topical CBD can help with pain, muscle soreness, and inflammation. This is the easiest way to use cannabidiol, but it is also the slowest.
After it’s been applied, it normally takes 2 hours for the CBD to take effect. Depending on how strong the oil is, it can last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours.
This method is very simple: just consume a capsule with some water. Because the pills are digested in the stomach, it can take a couple of hours for the effects to kick in.
Most CBD capsules come with a higher concentration than other methods. While this offers users great value for money, it also makes it hard to pinpoint exactly how much cannabidiol works for you.
Capsules can also be on the pricier side when compared to other products. This is a great option for individuals who take CBD on a regular basis. It makes it easy to take your dose and get on with your day.
Last but not least is edibles. Consumable CBD products have become extremely popular, with cannabidiol being infused into candies like gummy bears. It makes them easy, tasty, and fun to consume. Some people choose this method because the taste is better than unflavoured cannabidiol or hemp products.
There are some downfalls to edibles. Because they taste good, you may overeat. Indulging in too much CBD can be bad for you. It can lead to fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and even diarrhea. Edibles can also be pricey, so you don’t want to consume too many too fast.
How to Use CBD Oil
Now that you understand the different products out there, you should know the right way to use them. How CBD oil should be used depends on your preferences and goals. We’ll break down the four main methods of CBD consumption below:
Let’s start with topicals, which include lotions, balms, among other body care products. These products are rubbed onto the skin. They interact with the uppermost layer of cells without entering the bloodstream.
To use, you simply massage the CBD cream onto your sore muscles, damaged skin, or joints. Topical applications are great for those who want to target specific areas, like sufferers of acne or arthritis, instead of distributing cannabinoids throughout their entire body via their bloodstream.
Next up is taking CBD orally. This is probably the most popular method of taking it since it’s quick and simple. There is a huge market of CBD oil edibles, such as gummy bears or brownies. CBD can be infused in both foods and beverages.
You also have the option of cannabidiol capsules and tinctures. Tinctures can be used by dropping a few drops of the oil directly into your mouth. You may also mix them into your foods and drinks.
Regardless of which form of edibles you go with, the effect is similar. When CBD is taken orally, it passes through the digestive system before metabolising in your liver. It then enters the bloodstream, and you begin to feel the effects. It works the same was as a supplement or vitamin would.
When compared to other methods, taking CBD oil orally may take longer to kick in. It will, however, last for an extended period. This method is recommended for individuals seeking relief from stress, anxiety, or insomnia.
This method is highly effective and a quicker way to activate effects when compared to oral ingestion or swallowing. Instead of mixing CBD into food or drink, you can take a CBD tincture sublingually. Do this by dropping the oil underneath your tongue and leaving it to soak in rather than swallowing.
The oil is absorbed through blood vessels located beneath the tongue. It bypasses the digestive system and transfers directly to the bloodstream.
Oral ingestion takes 30 minutes to 2 hours to take full effect. Sublingual administration will take as little as 5 to 20 minutes. This method is recommended for instant relief from migraines, stress, and acute pain.
The final option for taking CBD is vaporised consumption. You could do this by using a vape pen or vaporiser. You would use the device to inhale the oil directly into your lungs. Using this method allows the body to absorb higher levels of CBD at a quicker rate.
Once the cannabidiol reaches your lungs, it is distributed into and throughout your bloodstream. This method is preferred among those who experience panic attacks or need instant pain relief.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Australia?
Hemp-derived cannabidiol (containing lower than 2% THC) is legal in Australia. CBD is used all around the world, and the number of patients who use CBD only continues to grow.
Though CBD oil is legal to buy and use, you need a prescription to obtain it. Once you have one, you can order it both online and offline (more on this later). While CBD oil is legal, it is necessary to go through a state program, the Special Access Scheme, to get it.
Can You Buy CBD in Australia Online?
The short answer is yes. It’s legal to buy CBD oil online in Australia. However, you need the right permissions.
Australia makes it possible to purchase cannabidiol under its Special Access Scheme. This is a medical program that offers both THC and CBD oil. In order to obtain, the patient needs a prescription given by a doctor. Once they have a medical prescription, they are eligible to legally buy CBD oil online.
Can You Buy CBD in Australia Offline?
You can purchase CBD oil offline in Australia, however, the availability is quite low. It’s also a time-consuming process to find stores that will sell CBD oil legally. Patients who have legal access through the Special Access Scheme import their own supplies (normally from Asia or Europe).
Can You Grow Hemp for CBD in Australia?
You cannot grow your own hemp for CBD in Australia legally unless you obtain special permission. Anyone who wants to cultivate hemp requires special permission from the Australian Government. Unless you have this permission, you can’t legally grow hemp for CBD.
To learn more about this, consider reading the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act of 1981 which states that all hemp production (even low THC strains) require a special license.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing CBD Oil
It’s very possible that CBD will become fully legal in Australia soon. For this reason, it’s important to know what factors to consider before purchasing a CBD product. This includes where the product is coming from, what benefits you’re looking for, and if the company selling it can be trusted.
Because of the number of factors that affect cannabidiol products, it is important to know what you are looking for to ensure you get the benefits you are looking for. Some people may have a bad first experience and become reluctant to try CBD products again.
Listed below are factors to keep in mind to guide you in the right direction:
The first and most important thing to consider when buying CBD is the concentration. These products are not inexpensive, so you should know how much CBD is in the product to make sure you are getting a fair deal.
Products must legally provide the total number of milligrams on the product label so you can see how much CBD you are getting in relation to the overall product size. This information will help you pick which products to buy and help ensure that you get the experience you are looking for.
Ease of Use
There is a wide variety of cannabidiol products, from oils to edibles. Different products can be rubbed into the skin, ingested, or even vaped. Depending on the type of product and the method of consumption, effects will take longer to occur, and the strength of the effects will also differ.
It is recommended that you sample different products to see which works best for you and ultimately find a product you are comfortable taking while experiencing the desired benefits.
Length of Effects
Another factor to consider when buying CBD is the duration of the effects. Because most cannabidiol products differ, some may be quicker at taking effect, while some may last longer overall. Products that take longer to take effect will typically give a longer experience, and the method of consumption also plays a factor.
Depending on the person, the product’s taste may or may not be an important factor. Regardless, consuming something that tastes good will certainly provide a better experience.
Most CBD products will, of course, taste earthy. However, some products are artificially flavoured to your liking. A great number of flavours exist, like blueberry, lemon, mint, or vanilla. Another option you may consider is consuming cannabidiol-infused edibles, which mask the taste with your favourite foods.
The last factor, and likely the telling factor, is the price. Because cannabidiol products are new to the market, it is difficult to gauge prices and see what is worth your money.
CBD can range from 5 cents to 20 cents per milligram, depending on the quality and method of production. CBD oils are typically more cost-effective, and while higher prices often suggest better quality, it is important to research the product to ensure you aren’t getting a bad deal.
Don’t be tempted to buy a cheap product – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Cheap products may have a low concentration of CBD and a high concentration of undesirable ingredients, which at best is a rip-off, and at worst is dangerous. Buy through a reputable seller who will price their products reasonably.
Which Do I Choose: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, CBD Isolate?
Prior to buying CBD oil, you need to understand that there are 3 classifications of CBD products: Full Spectrum CBD Oil, Broad Spectrum CBD Oil, and CBD Isolate. Read the brief description of each below and decide which one sounds most like what you’re looking for.
Full Spectrum – This type contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids found naturally within cannabis plants. It contains a high concentration of CBD and trace amounts of THC but is not recommended for individuals who want to avoid THC. Full-spectrum users run the risk of testing positive in drug tests. This option is perfect for patients with a specific prescription of a balanced THC to CBD ratio.
Broad Spectrum – This type also offers all-natural compounds of the cannabis plant, however, it contains no THC. It’s an ideal option for first-time users of cannabidiol products.
CBD Isolate – The third classification contains one compound only: Cannabidiol. It contains zero THC and is perfect for individuals who require high doses of CBD only.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
There have been some mild side effects observed by individuals who use CBD oil. These include:
- Changes in weight and appetite. CBD oil may increase appetite and lead to changes in eating patterns, which could result in weight gain.
- Tiredness. It’s very possible that cannabidiol products may ignite feelings of drowsiness. This is a natural sleep remedy, and these feelings could last anywhere from 2-6 hours depending on the method of consumption.
- Dizziness. This is a known side effect since it’s possible that CBD causes a small drop in blood pressure. This results in a feeling of light-headedness.
- Diarrhoea. High levels of CBD could lead to diarrhoea. If you experience this, it’s advised to lower your dosage intake.
- Dry mouth. Cannabidiol use may cause you to have a dry mouth since it affects saliva production. This may lead to feelings of mild discomfort and thirst.
Despite these side effects, it’s important to know that you cannot overdose on CBD oil. It’s nearly impossible because cannabinoid receptors aren’t found in the brain areas that control respiration.
CBD oil should not be used if pregnant or breastfeeding. This could affect a baby’s development. While it’s unclear exactly how CBD affects foetuses and babies, this compound is known to pass through the placental barrier.
Frequently Asked Questions
As you can see, cannabidiol is quite a complex product. If you’re a beginner, don’t feel overwhelmed with this information overload – it’s important to educate yourself about this substance and know that if it’s made and used properly, it’s safe to consume.
As we near the end of this guide, read the following FAQ section which will serve as both a recap with some extra information you should know.
Does CBD oil get you high?
Cannabidiol will not get you high. If it’s produced properly, it doesn’t contain THC levels high enough to cause a high. While you won’t achieve a ‘high’ feeling, you may feel drowsy if taking large amounts of this product. It’s important to note that all bodies are different, and some may respond slightly differently than others.
What are the side effects of CBD oil?
The effects of organic compounds like those found in CBD vary from person to person. Side effects may include:
- Increased appetite
- Dry mouth
Will CBD oil make me drowsy?
CBD oil has what’s called biphasic properties. This means that it may have different effects depending on the serving. If you take in nominal servings, it’s unlikely you feel drowsiness as an effect. However, when taken in higher servings, there is the potential it could make you drowsy.
Take with moderation, and keep in mind everyone’s body reacts differently. Take alcohol, for example. If you consume extremely high amounts of it, your body may have a depressant effect resulting in blacking out or unconsciousness. It’s the same with cannabidiol use and drowsiness.
Can you take too much CBD oil?
There is the possibility of taking too much CBD oil and experiencing side effects like nausea or drowsiness. However, cannabidiol is non-toxic. You’d have to take a super large amount of it before it results in any truly dangerous health effects.
Can I give my pet CBD oil?
High-quality CBD is safe for pets and will help calm their anxiety, pain relief, and inflammation. It could also help reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures if this is something they suffer from. Finally, cannabidiol may even help your furry pet sleep at night!
Serving size for your pet depends on their size and activity level. It’s a good idea to speak with your pet’s veterinarian prior to giving them CBD. You can find this product in the form of dog treats, tincture, and CBD oil for dogs.
How much does CBD oil cost?
Prices range significantly depending on a few factors like who you’re buying from and how much of CBD you purchase. The quality of the cannabidiol has much to do with cost. Be sure that the company you’re buying from follows quality standards.
Moreover, edibles, pills, tinctures, or vape oils are all priced differently. Keep in mind that once cannabidiol use becomes mainstream and completely legalised in Australia, companies will have the opportunity to price their products differently.
How long does it take for CBD oil to take effect?
There are some important factors to consider determining the time it takes for CBD oil to take effect. Some are related to CBD itself, while others are related to how the human body reacts to cannabidiol.
Did you know that no two people react the same way to CBD oil? This is because of genetics – everyone is different. Factors like health, weight, age, and metabolism can all affect the amount of time it takes to feel the effects of cannabidiol.
Then, you also must consider:
- The product being used
- How it’s being used
- How much is being used
For example, edibles will normally take longer than tinctures. Users who inhale cannabidiol will feel the effects almost instantaneously. All these facts, along with the individual’s genetics will determine how long it takes to enter the system.
CBD Oil Serving Suggestions for Beginners
The ideal CBD serving depends on a few factors such as the product being used, the concentration of the product, the genetic makeup of the individual, weight, and so on. Some products come with suggested serving sizes; however, if you’re a beginner, this alone is not enough. The serving size stated may be too low or too high for your body.
First things first, what product method are you using? Tinctures, capsules, or edibles?
Various CBD oil products contain different amounts of cannabidiol. While one product may contain 10mg of CBD per serving, another will have more per serving. The amount per serving that you need depends on the reason for you using it. Are you trying to improve your general wellbeing, having trouble sleeping, or suffering from anxiety?
Next up, you need to understand the concentration of cannabidiol for the product you’re using. Are you obtaining a product that contains full-spectrum CBD or broad-spectrum CBD? This makes a big difference in the effects.
Given all this information, determining the best serving size for you requires some thinking. Consuming too little will not produce the desired effect, however, taking too much may leave you feeling worse than when you started. If you are a beginner, here are some general guidelines to follow:
Stick with One Product
Now that you know different types of products associated with CBD oil select the best one for you and stick to it! This will allow your body to get used to the effects of a product. If you switch back and forth between products, determining what the right serving amount for you will be difficult.
Start with a Low Dosage
When you’re first beginning to consume cannabidiol, start with a smaller serving size. This will allow your body to adapt to the cannabidiol and react positively. It’s a smart idea, to begin with, 1mg of CBD for every 20 lbs. of weight. This means if you weigh 100 pounds, you should start with 5 milligrams, while someone who weighs over 200 lbs. can start with 10 milligrams, and so on.
Start Before Bedtime
The best time to consume CBD oil for the first time is before bedtime – about an hour prior, to be exact! This way, if it makes you drowsy, you can just fall asleep – which you couldn’t do if you were at work. It’s very uncommon that a low serving size will cause drowsiness, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when starting off.
If you have no issues, feel free to take another serving in the morning. CBD oil has the potential to support both nighttime sleeping patterns and daytime focus! For this reason, it can be taken as needed throughout the day.
Increase Serving Size Slowly
Depending on how your body reacts to that first serving size, increase or lower it. If all goes well, you can double your serving. Each time you increase serving size, wait a few days to make a note of how your body feels before increasing it again.
CBD oil is just the beginning of an industry that’s going to boom in Australia. The benefits of this product are being experienced worldwide. Whether you need support sleeping or something more serious like a chronic illness, this is a good treatment for you.
We hope that after reading this article, you understand what cannabidiol is and why it’s so beneficial to millions of people. It’s natural, effective, and does more good than harm. It’s a great treatment option for many different conditions.
As Australia begins to scratch the surface of cannabidiol use, we hope the stigma that connects CBD to marijuana begins to subside. It’s predicted that the CBD industry will boom by 2021 in Australia. This is because each day, more people are taking advantage of the wonderful benefits it offers.
Start reaping the benefits yourself and buy CBD oil online today!