The Legal Status of CBD oil in Australia

There is a lot of confusion out there as to what is allowed and what is not allowed in the Australian market in terms of CBD oil. In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about the legality of cannabidiol oil in Australia and explain exactly what is legal and what is not.

So first things first: what is CBD oil? Is it not marijuana?

Cannabidiol oil

Cannabidiol oil

Well, CBD oil is any oil with an active compound called Cannabidiol. So the long form of the name is Cannabidiol oil. Cannabidiol is one of the active compounds found in the marijuana plant. Unfortunately, marijuana also has another powerful active compound by the name THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). It is unfortunate because it is this compound that causes the mind-altering effects associated with smoking cannabis or taking cannabis products such as cookies.

But there is good news! CBD can also be found in the hemp plant – a cousin of the marijuana plant. CBD oil derived from the hemp plant is referred to as hemp oil. It has plenty of CBD but very minute amounts of THC. More specifically, compared to THC levels of about 30% in marijuana-derived cannabis oil, hemp-derived oil has a THC concentration of about 0.03%. So the difference is pretty stark.

So what is the legal status?

Hemp oil is legal in Australia (we provide evidence for this in the next section). While cannabis oil derived from the marijuana plant is illegal.

How do we know that this kind of CBD oil is legal?

Well, if you have been living under a rock or for one reason or the other you have not been watching the news for the last one year, then we are glad to inform you that federal and state health ministers did approve the trade of hemp food. This was done late last year when the country’s health ministers met and approved the recommendation by the government of Tasmania to make the plant lawful.

But there is a caveat; the hemp food or oil has to contain no more than the allowed levels of THC. If it has high levels of THC it could be considered marijuana and that could land you in trouble. However, if it is derived from industrial hemp, there is almost no chance that it will have higher than the permitted levels of THC.

So it is important to check out from what sources a company produces its CBD oil.

Some of the proofs, we have gathered include this news article from the ABC. The article discusses how hemp foods are now hitting the shelves in many stores across the country. So as you can see, from the time the ministers agreed, which was in early 2017, it took some time before their decision was gazetted and became law in November. As of now, you can buy legally buy hemp oil or foods from any store across the country.

What about importing? Can I import?

Yes, you can. You can import CBD oil the same way you can import a car or any other thing that is legal. But just like in many other cases, there are requirements that have to be met. The requirements, in this case, are set out by the federal department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

In a notice published last year, the department highlighted some of the changes made by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand agency. The standard clearly states that it is okay to import hemp seed and foods into the country. However, the product must not include words like cannabis or marijuana.

The product must also not include any images of the marijuana plant other than the seed. The product must also not make any health claims or nutrition content claims about cannabidiol. Lastly, the product must not claim that it produces a psychoactive effect. Other requirements and important information are listed on the link provided.

We have listed these requirements because we think they are important to those who would like to import marijuana products into the country. With the knowledge of these requirements, you will know what to get and what not to get from international websites. Basically, if the product you have imported contains the image of the marijuana plant or leaves on the label and things like that, it will be delayed and you may be contacted by the authorities.

What are politicians and relevant authorities saying?

Most politicians are positive about it. As mentioned earlier, state ministers of health and the federal health agreed in a meeting last year, that there was no major harm in legalizing hemp foods. The person who chaired that meeting was Federal Assistant Health Minister David Gillespie. We can only assume that his position reflects the position of other leaders in the Commonwealth government.

Minister Gillepsie

Minister Gillepsie

What’s more, the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand also agreed with the proposal to approve the ban on hemp foods last year. Thus, the move to approve did receive backing from the main authority concerned with foods in the country. In other words, it was not just a political decision but a decision backed by experts.

Now that you know that hemp foods and oils are legal, we thought we would show some of you the benefits you have been missing out on.

So as you all know, hemp is a superfood; it is nutrient rich and thought to have massive benefits for physical health and general wellbeing.

The therapeutic oil can give you beautiful skin and gorgeous hair. It can also boost your immunity and correct hormonal imbalance. More importantly, it can treat chronic pain (there is evidence for this but it has not been approved by the health ministry for this purpose). Moreover, those who want to improve their moods can benefit from taking CBD oil regularly. Hemp oil also has nutrients and vitamins that are important for general wellbeing.

Now that you know that this oil is legal, you can go ahead and buy it to enjoy its many benefits.