But those afflicted with pain, anxiety or simple curiosity looking to buy CBD would have received a disappointing response from their pharmacists this week. While the substance itself is hypothetically legal, no product containing it has been approved by the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) – a requirement of sale.
“Now we have approval, but in order for companies to get these products to market they have to … show that the product is safe, but also efficacious.
There are plenty of wild health claims about CBD oil’s properties (which have resulted in TGA fines in the past). There is also lots of anecdotal evidence that CBD helps with everything from insomnia, to chronic pain, to anxiety, to epilepsy. Clinical trial data backs up some of these assertions – but only at much higher dosages than the TGA has approved.
“And therein lies the problem – there are no good clinical trials that show CBD at 150mg [the daily dose approved by the TGA] is actually effective.”
Founded by CEO Tommy Huppert in 2015, Canntrek began building up its local farming and development operations as soon as medical cannabis was legalised in Australia in 2016.
Chemist Warehouse, Australia’s largest pharmacy chain, will be able to supply low-dose cannabidiol (CBD) products to the masses thanks to an exclusive supply deal with medicinal cannabis company Cannatrek.
CBD products are used to treat conditions such as inflammation, anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it does not induce the “high” associated with cannabis.
“In the immediate future it will be far more mainstream. And we’ve got thousands of doctors in Australia prescribing it now.”
“We’re just four years in. The first year was licensing and compliance, then companies like us started building farms. This year you’ll see the supply chain mature considerably.
Cannatrek will work with Chemist Warehouse to develop and bring to market new CBD products on an exclusive basis and these will be sold under one of the Chemist Warehouse brands. Both parties hope the products are available to the general public quickly.
Speaking to The Australian Financial Review, Chemist Warehouse founder Jack Gance said the deal involved Chemist Warehouse receiving equity in Cannatrek, which he believed would result in a better outcome for both companies, as well as consumers.