Larry, a 43-year-old carpenter living on the Gold Coast, has been using it to cope with anxiety and depression for the past 18 months.
“Unfortunately, not all GPs are familiar with CBD products and feel confident enough to prescribe them to patients,” she says. “This is a gap that we need to address through balanced education in Australia.”
Piecing together the puzzle
But while the evidence of its effectiveness remains inconclusive, for the many Australians who are looking to the drug for hope in relieving their pain and other conditions, the costs can be formidable.
Long before medicinal cannabis was legal in Australia, while Helen was travelling across North America, a doctor at a dispensary suggested she try cannabidiol oil. “He gave me this bottle of tincture and taught me to use one or two drops under my tongue,” Helen says. “My pain decreased dramatically. I was stunned.”
Complex and individual
“CBD has very complex pharmacological action we still don’t fully understand,” McGregor says.
And it's jumping through the efficacy hoop that will be the tricky part.
"We don't know what long-term effects are for cannabidiol.
"The honest answer is we don't really know how all the cannabinoids exert their activity," said Jennifer Martin, director of the Australian Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence.
There are a number of clinical trials currently running in Australia looking into the effect of CBD on conditions as varied as insomnia, Tourette's syndrome and a transplant condition called graft-versus-host disease.
ABC Science on YouTube
Cannabinoids do this by activating specific biological sensors on our cells called receptors, which, in turn, change how the cell behaves and the chemicals it releases.
That's because any CBD products sold at a pharmacy must first be put on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods as a Schedule 3 drug — and none so far have passed muster.
Plus there are plenty of gaps in the research, he added.
Who should be cautious about using CBD?
"I think that makes them fascinating, but also makes it complicated from a clinical use perspective."
Christian Read insists while medical medicinal cannabis can't cure him of the pain he experiences, it grants him some relief.
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is one of two well-known chemicals found in the cannabis/marijuana plant (the other being THC). Although CBD is only one single atom arrangement away from being THC, the two have very different effects on the body.
What is CBD oil Good For?
There are generally 3 different types of CBD oils: Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and Isolate.
Is CBD Oil and Hemp Seed Oil the Same?
Broad spectrum CBD oil is full spectrum CBD oil that undergoes further refinements to remove the trace amounts of THC.