HomeNewsIs Non-Cannabis Cannabidiol Legal In Australia?

Is Non-Cannabis Cannabidiol Legal In Australia?

Some Australians may think a new non-cannabis source of cannabidiol could be the answer to accessing CBD without the regulatory headaches. That might not be the case.

Last month, Medical Marijuana, Inc., Peak Health and ImmnuAG announced a partnership relating to the world’s first non-cannabis CBD oil. The CBD in the product is extracted from a specially bred humulus plant. Humulus is more commonly known as hop or hops – which is used extensively in making beer.

“There are many places in the world that do not allow cannabis. ImmunAg™ is a new option for them to get CBD today,” said  Director of Peak Health Dr. Bomi Joseph. “People around the globe will now have access to a product that is licensed and approved as a food ingredient.”

The product is being marketed as Real Scientific Humulus Oil (RSHO-K).

It’s certainly an interesting product, but as for legal access in Australia it would appear this is still not quite as simple as placing an order online.

In Australia, cannabidiol is a Schedule 4 substance. The Schedule 4 section of Poisons Standard June 2018 lists cannabidiol in this way:

“CANNABIDIOL in preparations for therapeutic use containing 2 per cent or less of total other cannabinoids found in cannabis.”

And therein lies the problem – it doesn’t specifically state cannabidiol sourced *from* cannabis and with regard to “found in cannabis” – that part could be seen to relate to total other cannabinoids only.

While cannabidol is not illegal in Australia, you still need to jump through a bunch of hoops to legally obtain it. As a schedule 4 substance, this means it’s prescription only. However, the red tape doesn’t end there. A prescription must be obtained from an Authorised Prescriber (of which there are few) or more commonly via a specialist through the Special Access Scheme (SAS).

As for the “food ingredient” designation or it being considered a supplement – which in theory could bypass the Schedule 4 classification – Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) may view it differently based on the Food-Medicine Interface Guidance Tool.

The legal situation of importing RSHO-K or any other non-cannabis cannabidiol into Australia without prescription seems to be uncertain at best. If you’re considering doing so and want to stay on the right side of the law and not have your shipment risk being held up by customs, perhaps contact the TGA for advice for your particular situation.

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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