Although the popularity of CBD continues to expand across the globe, the cannabinoid remains somewhat out of reach in many countries, such as Australia. While low-dose CBD oil (containing 98% CBD) has been legalized in Australia, no products are yet available for retail in pharmacies as they must first undergo a rigorous screening process.
Due to the unavailability of CBD products in Australian storefronts, many Australians instead turn to online platforms to make their CBD purchases. In this complete guide, we’ll walk you through the legality of CBD in Australia, where to purchase CBD oil, our list of the ten best CBD oil products available to Australians, how to dose CBD, and more.
Here’s your complete guide to buying CBD oil in Australia.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabis contains more than 100 different cannabinoids. The most well-known is THC, which causes a ‘high’ or feelings of intoxication. CBD is another major cannabinoid in cannabis, however unlike THC, it is non-intoxicating. CBD oil is created by extracting CBD from hemp plants that contain 0.3% THC or less.
Due to its non-intoxicating properties, CBD is safe for athletes and has been approved for use by diverse sporting organizations throughout the globe such as the World Anti-Doping Agency. Growing research also shows that CBD can have a positive effect on diverse bodily systems thanks to its anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antioxidative and neuroprotective properties. People consume CBD to treat health issues, but also to support wellness.
CBD oil can be full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. Full-spectrum oil contains the full complement of major and minor cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. Broad-spectrum oil contains everything except for THC, and CBD isolate is simply pure CBD with no other phytocompounds.
Is CBD oil legal in Australia?
In diverse countries throughout Europe and most states in the USA and Canada, CBD is legal for medical and recreational purposes and can be purchased without a prescription. In these places, CBD has become part of everyday life and is available in health food stores, supermarkets, drug stores, and of course, online.
Laws surrounding CBD in Australia, however, have been changing at a slower pace as the cannabinoid is still largely treated as a medicinal compound in the Pacific nation. On February 1st, 2021, low-dose CBD was approved for over-the-counter sale in Australian pharmacies. CBD products must, however, contain at least 98% CBD and 2% or less other cannabinoids. Australians will also be limited to purchasing a maximum daily dose of 150mg, and they must be 18 or older to make the purchase.
However, CBD products will only be available without prescription when they meet the criteria outlined by the Australia Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which governs the regulation, sale and consumption of CBD. Meeting this criteria can be a costly and time-consuming process, which is a major deterrent for many CBD companies. As a result, there are currently no CBD products available for purchase over-the-counter in Australia. The only CBD products available in Australia require a prescription (Sativex and Epidiolex).
Due to this complex situation, many Australians have begun buying CBD products online. It’s important to note, however, that there can be a risk of customs confiscating purchases containing even low-dose CBD products.
Can you buy CBD oil in Australia?
At present, it is not possible to buy CBD oil in Australia as no CBD products have been approved for over-the-counter purchases.The approval process to allow more CBD products into the Australian market can be time-consuming, so it could be years before Australian pharmacies become stocked with a selection of CBD products that fulfill the TGA’s criteria.
In the interim, many Australian consumers are purchasing CBD products from online overseas retailers, although these products may be confiscated when they arrive in the country.
How we choose the best CBD oils
We’ve chosen a selection of the most reputable CBD brands that currently ship to Australia, profiling their most outstanding products below.
To create our list of the top ten, we assessed brands based on the following criteria: Transparency (the availability and accessibility of their third-party purity and potency testing); value (the cost per milligram of CBD); reputation (how customers review and rate their products) and provenance (how they cultivate or source their hemp, and whether they use organic products in their formulations.)
Here’s our pick of the top ten CBD oils available to Australians buying online.
The Best CBD Oils
1. Best Overall CBD Oil and Best Full-Spectrum CBD Oil: Kiara Naturals Full-Spectrum Organic CBD Oil
Kiara Naturals is a Swiss-based brand that has received the SwissMedic tick of approval (Swissmedic is the Swiss authorisation and supervisory authority for drugs and medical products). The entire Kiara range is certified organic and uses CBD derived from Swiss hemp cultivated in the pristine Swiss Alps. Kiara Naturals products are created according to GMP standards, which means compliance with the strictest manufacturing standards recognized by health organizations worldwide–including Australia.
Kiara Naturals Organic Full Spectrum CBD Oil is the most popular product formulated by the Swiss brand, with more than 100,000 bottles sold (and counting). Customers can choose between three different potencies based on their wellness needs: 1,000mg CBD (10% CBD), 2,000mg CBD (20% CBD) or 3,000mg CBD (30% CBD). The full-spectrum oil is made with organic CBD sourced from hemp flowers, resulting in a formulation that boasts higher potency and secondary cannabinoid content than products created using the entire hemp plant. If you’re seeking a high-quality CBD oil loaded with whole-plant benefits, Kiara’s full-spectrum organic formulation stands out from the competition.
2. Best Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil: R+R Organic Broad Spectrum Tincture
R+R has long been a leader in the CBD industry due to its carefully curated range of USDA certified organic CBD products and its competitive price point. The brand has also recently reinvented its look, with clean, green, streamlined packaging. One of R+R’s most popular products is its Broad Spectrum Tincture that contains non-detectable levels of THC. The formulation is perfect for consumers who are looking to avoid THC altogether, but still want to enjoy the broad-spectrum entourage effect.
Unlike other brands, R+R do not create their broad-spectrum formulation using CBD isolate combined with terpenes. Rather, their tincture is created by an organic process that removes THC but retains all the natural terpenes, minor cannabinoids, flavonoids and antioxidants found in the hemp extract to optimize the therapeutic effects of the plant.
3. Best CBD Isolate: Kiara Naturals Pure CBD Oil
For some CBD consumers, nothing will do but pure, unadulterated CBD oil, also known as CBD isolate. Kiara Naturals Pure CBD Oil is our pick of the best CBD isolates available to Australian consumers.
CBD isolate is ideal for those who want their CBD served up straight, without the confounding effects of other terpenes or minor cannabinoids. Isolate is also a great option for those who want to add CBD to their food or drink, and don’t relish the somewhat earthy, grassy flavor or scent of broad or full-spectrum formulations.
Kiara Naturals offer their Pure CBD Oil in three potencies (1,000, 2,000 and 3,000mg). The brand extracts high-quality CBD from hemp flowers using ultrasonic extraction then transforms it directly into pharmaceutical-grade oil, without the use of chemical solvents.
4. Best Price: R+R Full Spectrum Tincture
R+R boasts competitive pricing compared to many brands, with their full-spectrum tincture (available in unflavored or fresh mint) priced at USD$29.99 for 500mg of CBD, $49.99 for 1,000mg of CBD, or $99.99 for 2,500 mg of CBD. One serving contains (1mL) delivers a 33.33mg serving of CBD and over 4mg of minor cannabinoids, including CBC, THC, CBG, CBDv, CBL, and CBN.
What’s more, the brand really stands behind the quality of its products, and encourages customers to try the product at least once per day for a few weeks. If their expectations aren’t met, they can then request a full refund within 60 days of their purchase.
5. Best CBD Oil for Pain: Kiara Naturals CBD Pain Relief Tincture
One of the most common reasons that consumers seek out CBD products is to ease pain, soothe joint aches, and relax muscular tension. Kiara Naturals have formulated a CBD tincture to specifically address these concerns. The tincture promises fast-acting relief and contains CBD isolate complemented by a range of botanical compounds, such as Corydalis yanhusuo, that are recognized for the analgesic, anti-inflammatory properties.
Kiara’s Pain Relief Tincture contains a highly concentrated 1:3 ratio: It’s one part pure plants, and 3 parts liquid. The brand uses alcohol as the liquid base as this is the most rapid way to deliver pain-relieving compounds into bodily circulation.
6. Best CBD Oil for Relaxation: NuLeaf Naturals Multi-Cannabinoid Full Spectrum Oil
If you’re looking to achieve a state of supreme relaxation and ease, NuLeaf’s Multi-Cannabinoid Full-Spectrum Oil offers a unique blend of CBD complemented by minor cannabinoids including CBC, CBG, and CBN.
While research on these minor cannabinoids is still in its nascent stages, growing evidence suggests they may help to ease stress and promote general well-being. Customer reviews rave about the product’s ability to help soothe anxiety and promote a sound night of slumber.
7. Best CBD Oil for Sleep: Kiara Naturals Sleep and Relax Tincture
Kiara Naturals has a fast-growing reputation for formulating dedicated CBD products blended with botanical compounds capable of addressing specific well-being concerns. Among their dedicated CBD range is the Sleep and Relax Tincture. The product contains 1000 mg of CBD blended with 4 unique powerful plant extracts, such as Valeriana officinalis.
These compounds have all been heavily researched and included in the tincture based on evidence that they can support relaxation and sleep. The tincture contains an alcohol base for quick and efficient dissemination of the compound into the bloodstream.
8. Best Multi-Purpose CBD Oil: Kiara Naturals Full-Spectrum CBG+CBD Oil
Kiara’s Full Spectrum CBG+CBD Oil teams the benefits of CBD with CBG–a powerful precursor cannabinoid that has been associated with diverse therapeutic benefits such as antioxidant properties, reducing inflammation, skin-protecting qualities, sleep support and easing stress. Customers rave about the CBD and CBG blend, noting that the formulation offers more potent effects on sleep and anxiety than CBD alone. If you’re aiming to use CBD to target multiple wellness concerns, this potent blend of CBG and CBD may be what you’ve been looking for.
Australian consumers can rest easy knowing that Kiara subjects all its products to multiple rounds of third-party testing, sharing all lab results on the product information pages.
9. Best CBD Oil for Pets: NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum Pet Oil
Like people, pets can also experience pain, anxiety, insomnia, or inflammation. While research on the effects of CBD for pets is still very much in its early stages, many pet owners have found the compound to help address diverse common complaints in their furry friends.
NuLeaf’s Full Spectrum Pet Oil is one of the highest-quality products on the market, formulated with organic CBD and organic hemp seed oil. More than 2,700 customer reviews and a 4.9 star rating from satisfied pet owners attest to their positive experiences with the pet-specific product.
10. Best CBD Gummies: R+R Full-Spectrum Gummies
While CBD tinctures and oils represent the most popular entry points for those experimenting with CBD, there is also a world of other delivery methods available–including edibles, topicals, and capsules. Gummies are an easy-to-dose and delicious method of consuming CBD, and R+R’s Full-Spectrum Gummies are known for their fun multi-fruit flavor (evocative of the candies you ate as a kid), and transparency. Lab results are available for every batch and linked on the product description page.
R+R’s gummies are available in a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum format. Best of all, they’re gluten-free and vegan, so are suitable for most dietary needs.
Tips for buying CBD in Australia
If you’re based in Australia and are thinking about purchasing CBD online, it’s critical to assess the safety and quality of any products you’re interested in buying. One of the most effective ways to ensure you’re receiving value for money is to verify the product’s third-party purity and potency tests. Purity tests verify whether the product contains harmful levels of contaminants. Potency tests, on the other hand, indicate whether the product contains the concentration of CBD specified on the label or falls within an accepted variance level. You can often find third-party results on the product description or lab results page.
Remember, if you can’t access the lab results, then you can’t trust the label.
Where to buy CBD oil in Australia
As mentioned earlier, CBD isn’t widely available for consumer purchase in Australia at present. However, a selection of reputable CBD retailers currently ship to the region, including Kiara Naturals, R+R, and NuLeaf Naturals.
Online shopping offers a number of unique benefits. Consumers can buy CBD from the privacy of their own home, taking their time to research, review and compare prices and products. Online shopping also often boasts more competitive pricing.
Some online CBD vendors, such as Kiara Naturals, also offer a rapid and affordable turnaround for Australian buyers when it comes to shipping. Kiara Naturals ships to Australia from Switzerland, which enables competitive shipping rates. A purchase from Kiara will arrive in Australia within 6 to 12 business days and is free for purchases $49.99 or over. Purchases less than $49.99 cost $9.99 to ship. In comparison, CBD purchases from companies such as R+R that are based in the United States can take between 15 and 35 business days to arrive, with a higher $30 shipping cost.
How to take CBD oil
If you are new to CBD oil it’s helpful to know there are a number of ways to consume the cannabinoid. Sublingual drops represent one of the quickest and easiest methods of consumption: You simply place oil under your tongue and allow the oil to stay there for up to a minute before swallowing. This delivery method can help you to begin feeling the effects in as little as 15 minutes. The underside of the tongue contains a mucous membrane that can absorb CBD and disseminate it into the bloodstream more effectively than if it had to go through the gut.
You can also add CBD oil or tincture to your food or drink. Simply place the desired number of drops in a smoothie or your morning coffee. However, ingesting CBD this way may take longer to take effect, as the cannabinoid has to be metabolized by the gut before it reaches the bloodstream. The metabolic process can also degrade the quantity of CBD available, lowering the amount that actually reaches bodily circulation.
How much CBD oil should you take?
There are no firmly established guidelines on how much CBD oil to take, except in the case of FDA-approved drugs such as Epidiolex. However, many CBD brands provide their own dosing guidelines on their websites. Different conditions may also influence how much CBD to consume. When it comes to chronic pain, experts recommend about 40 mg of CBD daily. Research suggests that higher doses of 300 mg to 600 mg of CBD may help improve anxiety. A widely-followed adage is to start with a low dose and slowly increase it until you reach your desired effects.
Does CBD have any side effects?
CBD is generally recognized to be well-tolerated, however, it can cause mild side effects, such as a dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue.
CBD can also interact with other medications, such as blood thinners. It’s advisable to talk to your doctor to check if CBD may impact any medications you’re taking.
CBD is not currently available in Australia for over-the-counter purchases, although it has been legalized. Australian pharmacies presently only carry prescription CBD products, so many shoppers choose to access a wider range of products from overseas vendors.
However, given Australia’s current importation restrictions on the cannabinoid, CBD products purchased online could be seized by customs. It’s possible that current restrictions may ease or become more flexible in the coming years, but for the time being, CBD shoppers based in Australia should be mindful when making online purchases.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is CBD oil good for pain?
Research on CBD for chronic pain conditions, such as osteoarthritis, have shown promising results but more research on humans is needed.
Is CBD oil good for sleep?
There is growing evidence to suggest that CBD can support sleep in people with insomnia or other sleep disturbances, but more evidence is needed to provide definite data. Many people nonetheless use CBD to support sleep, and the cannabinoid may also support healthy slumber by reducing anxiety and promoting calm.
Is CBD oil good for anxiety?
There is evidence that indicates that CBD can help ease anxiety and promote relaxation, and may specifically help in the treatment of social anxiety.
Is CBD oil good for inflammation?
Research suggests CBD may also soothe pain associated with inflammation. The potential anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects of CBD may also support muscle recovery.
Is CBD oil good for depression?
Preliminary studies on CBD indicate that it could be helpful for treating symptoms associated with depression. Similar to other antidepressant medications, it appears to alter serotonin levels in the brain.
Is CBD oil good for seizures?
CBD has been proven to be effective in treating seizures associated with certain forms of childhood epilepsy that don’t respond well to other medications.