Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical substance in cannabis plants known for its potential medicinal benefits. Unlike some other molecules derived from cannabis, CBD does not contain a psychoactive component. In Australia, CBD is legal through a doctor’s prescription, giving patients access to certain approved and unapproved medicinal CBD products like pills, oils, and tinctures. Little Green Pharma (LGP) is a provider of CBD-based medicines in Australia. We provide helpful resources for prescribers and pharmacists so you can make informed decisions about CBD treatments.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of the most prevalent chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. It can be extracted from either cannabis or hemp plants. It should not be confused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another common compound from cannabis plants known to cause psychoactive effects. These chemical compounds, or cannabinoids, target cannabinoid receptors in your body to alter the way you feel, move, and react. CBD typically comes in the form of an oil but has been developed in recent years to accommodate other forms, such as vape pens or capsules. In conjunction with other medical treatments, CBD carries many potential health benefits for a variety of conditions.

Difference between CBD and THC

One of the main differences between CBD and THC is the potential for psychoactive effects. THC interacts with your cannabinoid receptors differently from CBD and has the potential to impair your cognitive function. Despite this, THC and CBD do have similar chemical structures. They’re both made up of 30 hydrogen atoms, 2 oxygen atoms, and 21 carbon atoms. However, their arrangement is dissimilar, accounting for the difference between them. Both CBD and THC are naturally occurring in cannabis plants and have similar potential therapeutic benefits. The main difference is that CBD does not produce the ‘high’ effect that we typically associate with cannabis. Medicinal products containing THC also experience stricter regulations than CBD products due to the aforementioned side-effects.  For example, in Australia, it is illegal to drive while having THC in your system. It is also against the drug policies of many Australian workplaces to perform work duties while taking medicinal cannabis containing THC.

CBD legality

Medicinal CBD became legal in Australia in 2016. However, its production, distribution, and consumption is still highly regulated by the government and health authorities. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) imposes strict quality and safety criteria to protect patients from unsafe or ineffective CBD treatments. They have only approved one

CBD product in Australia, but doctors can still provide unapproved CBD products so long as they receive permission from the TGA. Before late 2021, CBD was only available through medical prescriptions. Now, the TGA has downgraded low-dose CBD to a Schedule 3 (pharmacist-only medicine), allowing approved CBD products to be accessed over the counter. Even with this new law, the TGA has not yet approved any over-the-counter CBD medicines, so there are currently no non-prescription CBD products available for Australians. 

CBD product types

CBD comes in a range of product types. These include vape pens, creams, lozenges, and CBD flowers. The kind of product you’re prescribed depends on your individual medical requirements. Health conditions vary widely, and some products may be easier to consume for some patients than others. The kind that is most effective is based on what you’re using it for. Topical salves could be more efficient for targeted treatment, and oral treatments may deliver more general therapeutic benefits.

CBD oil

CBD oil is the most common form of CBD medicine. The potential medicinal properties of the oil may differ depending on what extraction method is used. CBD oils are differentiated by their overall phytocompound makeup. The three main types of oil are isolate, which is ‘pure’ CBD with no THC, full spectrum CBD oil, containing all cannabis compounds, and broad spectrum, made up of all cannabinoids except THC. These oils are often used with other ingredients like essential oils. 

Little Green Pharma is dedicated to providing affordable and accessible medicinal cannabis products. Our CBD products are made in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and are on-par with stringent Australian standards. We bring patients, doctors, and pharmacies, quality information and products, with patient care at the forefront of our practice.

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