CBD is a non-intoxicating component of the hemp plant. Evidence suggests it has beneficial effects in treating conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, pain and insomnia while carrying few, if any, risks of major side effects or addictions. In early September, the TGA announced that it may allow over-the-counter access to CBD products in Australian pharmacies from mid-2021.
However, analysis from the Lambert Initiative, which is a not-for-profit research centre at the University of Sydney, has rung alarm bells. It shows that the maximum doses permitted under the TGA proposal—that is, 60 milligrams—are nowhere near high enough to provide therapeutic benefit to most patients. Indeed, they say the benefits begin somewhere between 300 and 1,500 milligrams per day. The Lambert Initiative has also identified that Australia lags behind other countries on consumer access to CBD products.
My question to the minister is: what will the minister do to ensure that the enabling of CBD to be provided at pharmacies is not a mirage in a desert but indeed is at an appropriate dosage for patients not to have to resort to the black market?