We get asked many, many questions about CBD oil. If you’re curious too, then this is article is for you!
I will take you through everything you need to know about CBD oil in NZ: what is it? is it legal? how do you access it? how much does it cost? how to get a prescription for it? is it safe? what are the side effects? and more.
Let’s get started!
What is CBD?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol and it is an extract of the cannabis plant. There are also many other extracts of cannabis and these compounds are labelled cannabinoids in general. Another well-known cannabinoid compound is THC.
CBD has many properties and benefits. However, the two most important things I want you to know are as follows:
- CBD is non psychoactive – no matter how much or how you take it, I can assure you CBD will not make you high
- CBD is non addictive – no matter how long you use it for and how much you take, there is no addiction potential
Compared to many other medicines which have side effects, CBD is very well tolerated and side effects from it are rare!
Does CBD oil contain THC?
CBD oil can sometimes contain trace amounts of THC but in such small amounts that I would not consider it to be in any way significant.
The exact answer does depend on what type of product you are using. If you are using a CBD isolate for example, this product will contain only CBD in a carrier oil such as MCT coconut oil or hemp seed oil.
If you are using a full spectrum CBD oil, however, this product will contain traces of a range of other beneficial cannabis compounds, including THC.
In NZ, a CBD product must not contain more than 2% THC and other cannabinoids. So, in practical terms, a medium-sized bottle of full spectrum CBD oil may only contain 1mg of THC in total in New Zealand. Therefore, each dose from your product will contain such minute doses of THC as to be not significant.
Does CBD get you high?
No, CBD does not get you high at all, no matter how much you take. This is also true if you use a full spectrum CBD product (one where there are traces of THC).
The only products that can get you high are THC vape juice or oral THC oil at high enough doses. See below.
Does THC oil get you high?
No, not when taken medicinally at the prescribed doses. Smoking cannabis and using an oral THC oil are two very different things. Smoking cannabis involves using very high doses of THC. We start our prescriptions at 1/50th of that dose.
The goal with medicinal cannabis is to improve your quality of life using cannabis oil without getting you high. We prescribe and use THC for medicinal reasons and do not make our patients high. Our patients use THC oil with as few side effects as possible. We do this by helping you adjust your dose carefully.
THC is a very therapeutic and beneficial compound. As a matter of fact, using THC and the CBD together can, in many cases, enhance the potential health benefits we see for our patients.
Is CBD Oil Legal in NZ?
Yes, it certainly is. It is a prescription-only medication which means that any doctor in NZ can prescribe it for you, including your GP. Remember, if your doctor prescribes you CBD oil, you are limited to the specific product they have specified from the pharmacy (unless they include the wording “generic substitution allowed”).
Can I purchase CBD oil over the counter?
No you cannot, and buying it online means you are likely buying hemp oil bottled in smaller containers. CBD (and THC) is a prescription-only medication.
Is THC oil legal in NZ? Can I be prescribed THC in NZ?
We have helped thousands of people in NZ improve their quality of life using both CBD and THC prescriptions. We use the right prescriptions for each person to make sure the treatment is the most affordable and most appropriate.
Obtaining THC without a prescription is illegal in NZ.
What Are The Benefits of CBD Oil?
CBD may have many possible benefits to the body: it may help to reduce pain, inflammation, anxiety and may also promotes general well-being. It may also be healing when applied to the skin. CBD is a natural, plant-based medicine which means you don’t have to pump your body with artificially engineered pharmaceutical medications. My personal belief is that if you have a suitable natural option, opting for the more natural medication is always the best course of action.
CBD is also very safe and well tolerated. Many medications have a long list of side effects and are not suitable for children or those who are older. A great benefit of using CBD oil is that it really is safe to use over the longer term and it does not matter how old you are, you can still have it as part of your daily health routine.
What conditions can CBD oil possibly help support?
CBD may be used to help support a wide range of symptoms. Although cannabis medicines are unapproved medicines, we have consulted with the following list of symptoms:
This can be short term pain due to an injury or long term pain, whether the cause is known or not. Nerve type pain is also very commonly treated using CBD and cannabis oil.
Such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, autism & ADHD. Sometimes people use CBD oil for mental health wellbeing and feeling generally more at peace and settled.
Insomnia and difficulty getting a restful nights sleep
This could be due to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis and various auto-immune conditions.
Such as Parkinson’s Disease, tremors and multiple sclerosis.
CBD oil and cannabis oil may possibly help with managing the pain or side effects of cancer treatments, such as possibly helping to reduce nausea and improve appetite.
Although these are the most common issues we see, there are many other rarer conditions and symptoms that we have tried to use CBD oil to support. As time goes on, more and more scientific research is coming out to back-up what we see personally with our patients on a daily basis.
In 2017, a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said that there was really good evidence that medicinal cannabinoids are helpful in managing: chronic pain, treatment of nausea and vomiting, helping multiple sclerosis patients, improving sleep and in fibromyalgia.
Are There Any Side Effects Or Risks With Using CBD Oil?
CBD is very safe and well tolerated, meaning the side effects are very few and usually mild. These are: stomach upsets, tiredness from taking CBD oil and very rarely, allergy to CBD or the carrier oil. Sometimes CBD oil can upset the stomach and cause diarrhoea, however, this will usually settle within 1-2 weeks of use. Some people find CBD oil makes them tired which makes for a great-night time dose! If you do find yourself allergic to any ingredient, I suggest you stop using it immediately.
The other area people run into problems in using CBD oil is with liver impairment. If you have any liver problems or your doctor has told you that your liver tests (LFT’s) are abnormal, it is important this is continually checked while taking CBD. At higher doses, CBD oil has been known to make those liver enzymes worse. So it pays to be cautious.
In those with significant liver issues, we use low doses and we follow up closely.
Is CBD oil safe for children?
Yes it is. As a matter of fact, it is an FDA approved drug for the treatment of specific forms of epilepsy.
Our patients include children from a young age for various conditions, not just epilepsy. For example, we have children with ADHD using CBD oil on a daily basis.
It is not an easy decision to give medicinal cannabis to a child but if you are considering it, talk to a specialist about it.
Are there any medications that interact with CBD oil?
Using CBD safely is very important. And yes there are medications which CBD oil can interact with.
- Sodium valproate
For people who use the above medications, consulting with a doctor beforehand is recommended. There are also other medications which CBD may interact with, especially ones that are broken down by your liver.
If you need assistance with the safe use of medicinal cannabis, consider speaking to your GP or consulting with us.
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil vs Cannabis Oil – What’s the Difference?
Hemp oil is not medicinal at all and is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. It is good as a dietary supplement for healthy fats or as a salad dressing.
CBD oil is extracted from the flower of the cannabis plant and has medicinal properties.
Cannabis oil is a generic term and is any oil that is extracted from cannabis. Therefore, it can refer to either of the two products above but more commonly refers to CBD oil.
Understanding the difference between the terms is important when it comes to purchasing CBD oil in NZ to ensure you buy the right product for you.
What is full spectrum CBD oil?
CBD oil that is “full spectrum” means that it contains not only CBD, but also other medicinal cannabinoid chemicals, such as CBN, CBG, CBD, alongside traces of THC. These are all present in small amounts.
Yes, it still won’t make you high! Full spectrum CBD oil is generally considered a better product than others.
The general consensus is that the full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD is better than an isolate or pure CBD oil. The idea is that the combination of compounds work in combination better than the individual molecules. This is called the entourage effect, which was coined in 1999.
We always recommend full spectrum products when possible.
What is full spectrum hemp oil?
Full spectrum hemp oil is extracted from hemp seeds and is a great addition to a healthy diet as it is rich in healthy fats for the body. This is not, however, the same as CBD oil or medicinal cannabis, even though it may appear to be.
The words ‘full spectrum’ when used with hemp oil are more of a marketing term and it is no different to ordinary hemp seed oil. Selling full spectrum hemp oil is sneakily trying to allude to full spectrum CBD oil and encourage you to buy it.
But remember – full spectrum hemp oil is not medicinal and contains no or very little CBD!
What is cannabis oil?
Cannabis oil refers to any oil extracted from the cannabis plant. It refers to either: CBD oil or THC oil. Or it can refer to an oil with both in it. These are usually called “balanced products”.
CBD Oil Dosage – How Much Should I Take?
People usually start taking CBD oil at 25mg per day but increase it up to 100mg per day over 2-3 weeks. Some people are very sensitive to CBD oil and find that a low dose of 5-10mg is enough.
The good news here is that because CBD oil is so well tolerated, the big differences in does not cause any issues. Some people are known to be taking 300 – 500mg of CBD per day.
While for some conditions this higher dose is helpful, the cost of it starts to get in the way.The right dose for you must be balanced with the cost of the product. We do not want to over treat as then it makes it much more expensive for you to use over the longer-term.
What is the Cost of CBD Oil in NZ?
CBD oil varies in price depending on concentration and brand. Most CBD products cost between $3-5 per day on average to use. An average bottle of CBD is $200.
The best way to save on cost when using CBD oil is for us to work with you to find a treatment plan that works and then utilise the most cost-effective prescriptions to achieve it long term.
We know all the prescriptions available and can help you achieve the most cost effective treatment plan. To help with the upfront cost of CBD oil, THC and our consultations, we can also offer you interest free payments using Humm.
What are the Best CBD Oil Products in NZ?
There are a number of CBD products available in NZ.
All products are imported from overseas (sold by NZ based companies) and there are no NZ-made products at the moment.
Worldwide, CBD products come in different forms – from oil tinctures, to capsules, gummies, creams and vapes.
Choosing the right CBD oil prescription depends on what your requirements are.
For example, for a child you may want for your doctor to prescribe CBD isolate product over a full spectrum one. For the purpose of saving on cost, you may purchase a more concentrated bottle over a smaller one.
Does CBD Oil Show in a Drug Test?
CBD oil will not get detected on a drug test as it does not contain THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis.
Using THC however will show up positive on a drug test. This is not a reason to not use THC as it is a safe and effective natural medicine. We support our patients with letters stating medicinal use of THC at any time this is required.
Can you provide me with a letter for work?
Yes we absolutely can and free of charge, just ask! We are here to help you use CBD in NZ safely and legally.
We always encourage you to openly communicate and share with your employer about your use of medicinal cannabis. This is, however, optional and you are entitled to keep it private.
Can I travel with CBD Oil or THC?
Yes you can travel while using CBD oil and THC. We can provide you with a letter of support to help you.
However, please be cautious with overseas travelling as different destinations and transit countries have different laws about carrying medicinal cannabis with you, especially THC.
Can I use CBD oil when driving?
Yes, you can drive while using CBD Oil and THC as long as you feel well and not impaired.
We generally advise that THC is used at night time and by morning, you are able to drive or operate machinery normally.
In NZ, you can drive and be using THC as long as you are not impaired. This is determined by your pupil reaction, your ability to perform a one leg stand and a walk and turn assessment. Driving while impaired is an offence.
Should there be any legal concerns, we can supply letters of support for you.
Where Can I Get a CBD Oil Prescription in NZ?
Any registered doctor can prescribe you CBD oil in New Zealand, but not every doctor knows enough about it.
If your GP is open to prescribing CBD oil, you can talk to them about it. However, unfortunately for many people, they find that their GP does not know much about it or simply does not believe in it so declines to prescribe it.
There are a range of CBD prescriptions that your doctor can write in different forms for different uses and at different prices.
If you want to speak to us about the getting the right medicinal cannabis treatment plan, see one of our specialist cannabis doctors.
Can I Use CBD Oil for Dogs in NZ?
CBD oil is commonly used for animals overseas and results have been promising. Currently medicinal cannabis products are not available for pets as they must be registered as veterinary medicines and therefore there is a process of approval. No product has reached that stage yet.
If your loved pet is struggling, CBD oil may be a good option to try. Until products are available, your pet will need to wait.
I hope you have found this guide to be helpful. I have tried to answer the most common questions we get asked about CBD oil.
CBD oil is a great natural alternative when conventional medicine is not helping or the side effects are not tolerable and it may help with some symptoms. With a thorough understanding of CBD oil, what it is, how much to take, the side effects and choices, you are now empowered to take control of your health.
To speak to a specialist about using CBD oil, please talk to us today!.
What has been your experience of using CBD oil? We would love to hear it!
Disclaimer – medicinal cannabis and CBD oil are unapproved medicines in NZ which means that there is no conclusive evidence for their effect, apart from Sativex. Many doctors do not routinely prescribe cannabis medicines. The above article was written for general educational purposes and does not intend to suggest that medicinal cannabis can be used to treat any health condition. Please consult with your healthcare provider.