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If you want to buy CBD Oil NZ you’ll need a prescription from a licenced medical professional. 

You may have been researching the benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and have been curious how it works and why. In this short article, we’ll be covering just that along with the details of how to buy CBD Oil in NZ.

Continue reading below...


Yes. CBD oil is legal in New Zealand with a doctor's prescription after medical cannabis regulations were passed on April 1st 2020. These regulations allow you to purchase CBD oil from a pharmacy using a prescription, although not all pharmacies stock CBD oil in New Zealand so you may need to look further into this with your medical practitioner. 

You may also find not all doctors will prescribe CBD oil due to a lack of experience, education and/or confidence in prescribing such products. Luckily, The Hemp Foundation have already completed some incredible work in educating and surveying over 600 GP’s in New Zealand who are now confidently prescribing CBD oil for patients. According to The Hemp Foundation 89% of 280 GPs surveyed in 2017 did not know about their own endocannabinoid system, despite our Ministry of Health knowing about it for at least ten years.

Many countries around the world have already legalized the sale of cannabis products which can be purchased online or over the counter. The increased availability world-wide has led to a revolution in cannabis and hemp products with a reemergence of this once historically medicinal plant along with its many industrial uses.

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Due to the overwhelming amount of evidence in the medical literature on CBD and the effectiveness of products derived from hemp, many products have been developed and later approved by governments to be prescribed by medical practitioners. Cannabis products in New Zealand are regulated by Medsafe and the Ministry of Health.

Pharmaceutical grade cannabis products are different to food or supplement grade cannabis products in that they are produced and regulated to medical grade standards. These products are certified by Medsafe through strict safety and efficacy requirements for distribution in New Zealand. Unfortunately, currently there are limited pharmaceutical grade cannabis products available and they prove both incredibly costly and difficult to access, even with a Doctor’s prescription.

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Since medical cannabis regulations were passed on April 1st 2020 importing CBD into NZ is illegal, and as such, would be seized by customs if an overseas order was dispatched. So the short answer is, no, you cannot import CBD into NZ. 

Prior to April 1st 2020, importing CBD was a cost-effect method of being able to buy CBD oil in New Zealand. Now, with current regulations, you are unable to do this. The reason for this is that as CBD oil and other cannabis products became more popular with the explosion of scientific evidence around cannabis efficacy, many products were produced to meet market demand with some companies making claims that were far from accurate.

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CBD is the common abbreviation for cannabidiol. This is a naturally occurring compound (a cannabinoid) found in its highest concentration within the hemp plant. It does not adversely affect mental processes. In therapeutic doses, CBD does not cause adverse side effects. 

In fact, CBD neutralizes side effects from other cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In those who use marijuana, CBD has shown efficiency in reducing paranoia and anxiety.

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Hemp and cannabis both come from Cannabis Sativa L. Other species of cannabis also exist, mainly Indica (Cannabis sativa indica), which originated in India and then spread throughout southeast Asia, and Ruderalis (Cannabis ruderalis), which is native to Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. Sativa also originated in eastern Asia.

Cannabacae is the family name scientists have given to all hemp/cannabis species, and they have given them all classification of ‘hemp.’ Hemp and cannabis are one in the same, like Macintosh and Granny smith apples. They taste different, smell different, and look different, but ultimately, are the same thing.

Unlike most plants, hemp/cannabis have male and female sexes and reproduce sexually. This is crucial to the survival of the species and has contributed to its success over the millennia. Sexual reproduction provides several advantages such as being able to pollinate for several miles, thus increasing potential for the species to spread; cross pollinating with a species that has different traits can produce offspring that are most suitable for that particular environment, and it makes it easier for humans to manipulate the plants through selective breeding.

Throughout cannabis prohibition, hybrids have been created by selective breeding between specific species to express desired traits, again, think of apples. Most breeders concentrated on increasing THC to increase the psychoactive effects. This has led to what we commonly think of as cannabis today.

The legalization of hemp has led to the demand for higher CBD and lower THC products. This has breeders doing the opposite; selectively breeding to reduce THC and boost CBD.

What we commonly call ‘industrial hemp’ as opposed to a hybrid as described previously, is original landrace species that have not been selectively bred. These are in their natural state as they were thousands of years ago.

Most do not contain much more than a few tenths of a percent of THC, and the CBD is typically only a few percent. There are some landraces in Africa and Asia that do contain a significant amount of THC and low CBD. There are some of what were originally used to increase THC during prohibition.

Today, the difference between cannabis and hemp is a legal one. In most countries, legal documents are stating ‘the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.’ Plants that exceed 0.3% are referred to as ‘cannabis.’

Hemp products high in CBD are called ‘Hemp CBD’ because they typically contain a full spectrum of bioavailable compounds found inside the hemp plant, not just CBD, but many of the 100+ other cannabinoids, fatty acids and terpenes, all with their own respective health-bringing properties. If you want to learn more about hemp read this article.

Prescription CBD oil on the other hand is an isolated product containing only one cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD). It is devoid of all other respective cannabinoids from the hemp plant, and as such is much like taking vitamin C instead of eating an entire orange. You miss out on all the other bioactive compounds that work together to produce synergy and enhance the effectiveness and absorbability of the vitamin C.

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CBD works with the CB-1 and CB-2 receptors in the body, which allows it to provide advantages to multiple systems within the body. Whole plant provides the endocannabinoid system with enough cannabinoids to create balance in mood, sleep, pain, inflammation and anxiety and is used to help reduce seizures due to its low levels of THC.

Whole plant contains THC, CBD and many other cannabinoids. In some instances, the THC is higher (more than 0.3 percent), and this means that the product is not legal to import into New Zealand. While the CBD neutralizes most psychoactive effects, THC can still create side effects like anxiety in some people. A majority of whole plant CBD users experience the enhanced benefits of the “entourage effect.” This means that the THC and CBD work together with the other plant compounds to boost each other within the endocannabinoid system. You can learn more about the entourage effect in this article

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Cannabinoids fuel a physiological system in the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS’s primary function is to create homeostasis, or internal balance, regardless of outside stimuli. There are two receptor sites in the body, CB-1 and CB-2, which work with a variety of other systems.

The ECS is responsible for regulating sleep, balanced mood, pain, inflammation, and the immune system. When one of these areas has a cannabinoid deficiency, disturbances in healthy patterns will occur. Supplementing with cannabinoids will provide the ECS with the compounds it needs to correct and maintain.

An extensive report from the Ministry of Health in 2008 had this to say about the ECS:

"A unique system, critical for our health, and in all of our main organs and tissues. It is responsive to system demand and environmental conditions."

As mentioned, the ECS contains two receptor sites, CB-1 and CB-2, and each receptor site is linked to various other systems within the body. CB-1 primarily expresses in the brain (the central nervous system), but it also affects the liver, lunges, reproductive organs and kidneys. CB-1 plays major functions in cognition, motor regulation, appetite, pain management, mood, and sleep. You can learn more about the ECS in this article.

CB-2 is mainly expressed in the immune system and related functions. CB-2 is integral in reducing inflammation, which in turn prevents damage to tissue and provides pain relief. Of the various 113 different cannabinoids, some interact with both receptor sites and some with one, making a hemp oil with a full spectrum of cannabinoids, fatty acids and terpenes superior to an isolated CBD oil product containing just one single cannabinoid.

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You can learn more about the different cannabinoids and their own respective benefits in this article and if you’re wanting to buy New Zealand CBD oil you’ll need to get a prescription from your Doctor as mentioned at the beginning of this page.

Keep in mind, you can no longer import CBD oil legally due to cannabis regulations and not all Doctor’s feel comfortable prescribing CBD oil due to a lack of experience and/or education of various cannabis treatment options. We hope this article covered what CBD oil is, whether it is legal to buy in NZ, and how CBD works within the body. 

As always, prior to making any adjustments to your lifestyle or treatment plan, consult with a licenced medical professional.