Is CBD Oil Legal in New Zealand

Is CBD Oil Legal in New Zealand?

This is a frequently asked question and the answer is yes. The cannabis-derived cannabidiol oil (CBD) has always received praises from different parts of the world for its almost miraculous pain-relieving attributes and lack of side effects. It is now legal in about 40 countries from all over the world. Furthermore, you can’t find it in the UN’s list of Psychotropic Substances.


The acceptance of cannabis products in New Zealand has been steadily increasing over the years. As of 2018, approximately 67% of New Zealand pledged their support for the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use, whereas about 87% of the population was in support of the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use. The figures were significantly lower just two years prior.

New Zealand is not the only country in the world showing increased figures of acceptance. This is a phenomenon that is taking over the world by a storm. This is why many countries voted to legalise cannabis for medicinal use in the last decade only, among them being the United States, Uruguay, Canada and many European nations.

You cannot discuss the medicinal value of the cannabis plant on health without mentioning cannabidiol CBD. Although THC may have some therapeutic effects, CBD users won’t feel any psychoactive effects after consuming CBD products. That is why CBD oil is a better substance for medicinal purposes than cannabis THC. In this post, we are going to shed some more light on CBD oil in New Zealand and how things have changed over the years plus some of the health uses of CBD products.

What Changed for New Zealand?

Medicinal cannabis was legalised in New Zealand back in December of 2018 by the government, under the Ministry of Health. It is no longer a controlled drug. However, the regulations to enable the scheme to run effectively in the country were later passed on December 2019. Some of the important planks of the scheme to note are:

  • Descheduling CBD products making sure that they were not listed as controlled drugs any more by the Ministry of Health.
  • They established a statutory defence for health patients in palliative care to enable them to obtain, possess and use cannabis products legally.

The government also put in place minimum quality standards for labelling and batch testing of CBD products and medicinal cannabis from the cannabis plant to ensure patient confidence and the doctors’ too as they prescribe the CBD products. Furthermore, they made sure that they increased local production to lower the costs of legally obtaining medicinal cannabis while ensuring consistency of supply of the CBD products. Additionally, vapes for using medicinal cannabis were also legalised. Since then, doctors can prescribe cannabis herbs to be vaped rather than smoked.

Therefore, vapes are now registered as medicinal devices under the drugs act and they can be prescribed by doctors. Other types of vapes not intended for medicinal use get confiscated by the country’s customs. Moreover, they also allow home delivery of CBD products by online pharmacies for patients with health problems but are stuck at home. However, it is important to note that people are not allowed to grow the cannabis plant at home.

Is THC Legal too?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is legal in New Zealand too. However, it has to be prescribed by a registered doctor. It has been legal since the medicinal cannabis regulations were launched.

THC is what is responsible for getting people high after consuming cannabis. Since it is only legal for medicinal purposes rather than getting high, it is used in combination with CBD and it is only acceptable in small doses. This is to make sure that patients don’t feel a psychoactive high as stipulated under the Ministry of Health in the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Although THC was available in the country before April 2020, you had to receive special approval to use cannabis plant with THC. The approval process was very lengthy and at the same time complicated. Therefore, there were only a few people that could legally use THC. A large number of people just accessed it illegally.

Who can use CBD Oil and for what?

In New Zealand, for you to use CBD oil, you have to be looking for a treatment to treat some symptoms of pain or discomfort. For you to use cannabis oil, the condition has to be medically-related for it to be legal, otherwise it will just be a controlled drug. CBD oil and cannabidiol CBD products are believed to treat a wide range of conditions. Cannabidiol CBD is the pain-relieving compound in cannabis. On the other hand, THC is euphoric.

CBD is believed to provide relief for conditions like:

  • Anxiety
  • Glaucoma
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cancer treatment

This list can go on and on. Studies are going on every day and new testimonies always emerge on the beneficial uses of CBD products. However, the most studied effect of CBD is that of treating epilepsy. For instance, Epidiolex was FDA approved to treat patients with epilepsy in the United States, although cannabis remains illegal.

Importing Medicinal Cannabis and CBD Oil

As of April 2020, it is illegal to import medicinal cannabis to New Zealand. Before April, this was an incredible way of cutting down the costs. They stopped this because the market was flooded with many products that made unsubstantiated claims about their CBD products. The government wanted to make sure that its citizens only have access to high quality medicine. Not to let them use substances that would otherwise harm them. However, since this is a very new exploration, the regulations could probably ease as the years go by and as more studies are carried out.

The ban on importation of medicinal cannabis and cannabidiol CBD products also affect those who have a prescription. They are required to through a certified pharmacy first.

Can I Bring CBD Oil Into New Zealand while Travelling?

If you are travelling and you want to bring into New Zealand your CBD products, the law legally allows you to. Therefore, you are free to carry with you your CBD oil as you travel to New Zealand. The same also applies to other medicines. The quantity you are allowed to carry with you entirely depends on the kind of prescription you have. Other controlled drugs remain illegal.

However, you are only allowed a supply of up to 3 months of CBD. On the other hand, if you have CBD products with THC in them, you will only be allowed a month of supply. Moreover, there are some provisions that you have to abide by while travelling to New Zealand. Some of these provisions are :

  • Make sure that you are carrying a CBD product that is only prescribed by your doctor.
  • Make sure that you carry your prescription in its original container.
  • You should carry with you a copy of your doctor’s prescription letter expressly declaring that you are using the CBD product for treatment.
  • You should make sure that you declare you are carrying the CBD product on your passenger arrival card.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will CBD oil show up in a drug test in New Zealand?

If your job asks for regular drug tests, you must ask for CBD isolate prescription rather than full spectrum CBD. Although full-spectrum CBD is better than isolate, it contains other cannabinoids including some THC, which may be picked up in a drug test. However, if you use CBD isolate, it won’t show up. Sometimes even full-spectrum CBD doesn’t get picked up.

Are there side effects of using CBD oil?

The side effects of CBD oil are very few, almost negligible. However, you should take extra caution if you are on liver medications or you have liver conditions. Therefore, it is always wise to consult with your doctor first.

Who can prescribe CBD products in New Zealand?

Any qualified doctor can prescribe CBD products for you. However, it is also important to note that Dr Graham Gulbransen is the first doctor in New Zealand to prescribe Tilray CBD, a standardised cannabis product.

How much does CBD oil cost in New Zealand?

The costs depend on your treatment plan and dosage. However, they average between $5-10 per day if you want to buy CBD. You have to consult with your doctor first.


Like in many other different parts of the world, CBD oil is an amazing natural alternative in cases where conventional medicine is not seemingly doing the job on a patient’s health or the side effects are intolerable. Since CBD oil is now legal in New Zealand, it is easier to get prescriptions for cannabis oil or medicinal cannabis to treat pain and discomfort with minimal chances of experiencing adverse effects. Furthermore, since the support for the legalisation of cannabis is growing by the day, someday soon it may even be possible to use cannabis products for recreational purposes other than just medicinal. You just have to understand that you are not permitted to import the product.

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