If CBD Is So Helpful, Then Why Can’t People Legally Grow It?

Cannabis — and its offspring CBD — are great for your hair and skin, benefits entrepreneur creativity, could be used to treat STI’s and has the potential to tackle the misuse of opiates. Oh, and it also improves outcomes for those living with Parkinson’s. And yet, with all those benefits, CBD still can’t even be bought in pharmacies right now. What’s more, it’s notoriously difficult in terms of home growing.

You may be a bit confused because the TGA approved CBD medicines to be sold over the counter, but the actual approval process of products themselves can take six to 12 months. And, it’s also only approved for up to 150mg a day.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that sounds like a lot, and it would be effective for people seeking relief from chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety and sleep disorders, according to Dr Mark Hardey, medical director and addiction specialist at Cannabis Access Clinics.

But in terms of people with childhood epilepsy, cancer-related weight loss and nausea, muscle spasms associated with Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis, “a dosage of up to 150mg a day would be too small”.

These conditions also generally require the psychoactive component of marijuana, THC, to be taken in tandem with CBD. The combination would, in fact, increase its effect.

Michael Balderstone, president of the Nimbin Hemp Embassy, feels vindicated by the news, saying to Echo NetDaily, “It’s a fantastically useful, safe medicine for so many things.” However, even among the repetitive proof that CBD and THC are effective, local growers are confused and questioning as to why they’re unable to legally cultivate marijuana’s benefits at home — why home growing isn’t allowed.

Currently, cultivation for any purpose other than what is allowed under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967, is a criminal offence — and the maximum penalty for cultivating cannabis is between 10-20 years imprisonment. Licences and permits that allow for cultivation and production (but not the manufacturing) of cannabis, for medicinal purposes only, are available through the Office of Drug Control — and it’s all under strict controls.

So what will happen moving forward? It seems like growing still faces its difficulties, but Dr Hardy is hopeful that the drug may be used to treat even more conditions.

“We’re looking at dementia, brain injury, and these are areas of research… Inflammatory bowel disease, endometriosis — there’s a wide range of potential applications for THC/CBD combinations.”

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