Long stigmatised, CBD is finally making headway in Australia as a treatment for a plethora of conditions.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has made a significant step forward in making cannabidiol (CBD) available to Australians.
Earlier this month, low dose CBD (the non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana) was downgraded from ‘prescription only’ to ‘pharmacist only’, meaning the substance will be available over-the-counter at 150mg per day with a 30-day supply for adults aged 18 and over.
“It is a massive milestone in the medical cannabis industry,” says Dr Matua Jansen, one of Australia’s leading medical experts on medicinal cannabis and founder of CDA Health.
“It will allow for more education to the public around cannabinoid medicine and better access to those that can benefit.”
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There has long been stigma concerning the study and application of CBD products in Australia because of its association with cannabis, or marijuana.
Victoria was the first state in the nation to prohibit the use of cannabis in 1928, despite little research into its use and its medicinal study would be banned for decades to come.
CBD was made legal federally in the USA in 2018 and is also completely legal in the UK and Canada. Australia is slowly moving towards the future, which experts are actually thankful for.
“For safety and efficacy, I think Australia has a better system than the US and UK,” says Diandra Phipps from Tetra Health, a company helping Aussie patients access medicinal-cannabis products safely, told Body+Soul previously.
Now, however, there is solid evidence that CBD can be used to treat a plethora of conditions and its safety has been closely examined.
These include but are certainly not limited to anxiety, psychosis, insomnia, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and arthritis.
The beauty of CBD is that it comes with mild to no side-effects, and according to a report by the World Health Organisation, it “exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Exciting new research, released last month, showed CBD actually “extended lifespan and drastically improved activity levels in the late stage of life” in roundworms, which are often used in toxicity studies sharing 60-80 percent of their genes with humans.
“The stigma is continuing to change as education and information starts to outweigh ignorance and mistruths,” says Dr Jansen.
“80 years of false stigma takes time to change.”