If you’re feeling like everyone is talking about CBD oil, it’s not your imagination. Google searches for CBD oil have gone up a hefty 250% over the last couple of years, and now that it’s legally available over-the-counter at pharmacies here in Australia, we sure that’s going to go up even more.
So why is everyone talking about it? Well, CBD oil has been shown to assist with pain, depression, anxiety and sleeping problems, chronic conditions which plague more than a few of us, and with a higher focus on mental health and wellbeing these days than ever before, we’re guessing the growing interest in CBD oil isn’t going to wane any time soon.
If you’re wondering what it is, how it’s legal and whether it could benefit you, here’s everything you need to know.
What Is CBD Oil?
In sciencey speak, CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive extract from the cannabis plant—yep, the same one marijuana is from. You’ll notice we said non-psychoactive however—that means it won’t get you high. For that, you need the other element of the cannabidiol plant, THC. Same same, but actually, different.
Targeting the brain and central nervous system, CBD is essentially a calming agent, which is why it’s believed to be helpful for anxiety, pain, memory and sleeping problems.
What Are The Benefits Of CBD Oil?
Well, clinical research has shown that low-dose CBD oil can help with a heap of issues, from anxiety and insomnia to chronic pain. And it’s been found to help significantly—decreasing anxiety by up to 80% and improving sleep by up to 70%. Other studies indicate that it can improve the symptoms of chronic pain, provide antidepressant effects and assist with stress relief. Apparently, it makes endorphins like dopamine and serotonin more readily available, leaving users feeling more at ease.
It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with CBD oil will be different, and effective doses will vary wildly from person to person. Dr Ben Jansen, from CDA Clinics, advises people new to CBD oil to "start low and go slow," gradually increasing the dose until it is effective.
Does CBD Oil Have Any Side Effects?
There are a handful of side effects that can occur while people are getting used to taking CBD oil, but they’re usually minor, like nausea, dry mouth and diarrhea. It’s recommended that you take it with food to help prevent any possible side effects.
Is CBD Oil Legal In Australia?
Yep, as of 1 February, 2021, CBD oil is legal to purchase over the counter in Australia, without a prescription from your doctor. It does have to be low-dose oral CBD oil, with a maximum dose of 150mg per day, so anyone who was hoping to tip it in their vape is out of luck.
Where Can I Buy CBD Oil In Australia?
Well, here’s the catch—it might be legal, but because the law only just changed, there aren’t any CBD oil products available or even approved for use in Australia yet. It’s going to be at least six months to a year before you can duck into your local chemist and buy it, and probably longer before we can get our hands on the likes of CBD gummies, a la Martha Stewart. Until then, best to chat to your doctor about getting a prescription.
In the meantime, here are 10 ways to look after your mental health this year.
Image credit: Sophie Nengel