Medicinal cannabis oil is available to buy from Australian pharmacies without the need for a prescription, after the nation’s medicine regulator eased restrictions.
Monday marked the first day that patients no longer required a referral, special approval, or a prescription to access low-dose cannabidiol, a derivative of marijuana.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration green-lighted the change in December, and authorities have pointed out the legal oil is non-psychotropic and will not give users a ‘high’.
The oil is available to adults only and should not be used by pregnant women, the TGA warned in its approval.
Medicinal cannabis expert Ben Jansen welcomed the easier availability of cannabidiol, which he said has a range of applications.
“It provides a reduction of pain, symptoms or anxiety, improves overall wellbeing, fending off other side effects like anti-inflammatory drugs or paracetamol,” he said.
Suppliers of the oil must meet strict regulatory guidelines and availability could be several months away.
The oil would typically be taken orally with food and it can take up to a week of treatment before taking effect.