Prescribing CBD in Australia: state by state overview

VET Clinic for CBD Oil for pets

Are you a vet in Australia wanting to prescribe CBD to your animal patients?

Wondering what the state by state regulations are across Australia for prescribing CBD to animals? Here’s what you need to know.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) regulates all veterinary products that meet the definition of a veterinary chemical product under section 5 of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (Agvet Code) scheduled to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994, unless specified as exempt in the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations 1995. As of 4 August 2023, the APVMA has not registered any veterinary chemical products containing cannabis.

CBD Vets Australia is fully compliant with current Australian legislation and regulation on the therapeutic use of medicinal cannabis in veterinary practice, as outlined by APVMA.

CBD Vets Australia provides a compounded product (compounded in Australia) using raw materials sourced from overseas. Our products are only accessible upon the issue of a script for the intended patient. CBD Vets Australia does not sell medicinal cannabis products commercially.

For further context, APVMA has compiled a range of helpful answers to frequently asked questions on their webpage, which are summarised below.

1. Registration status:

  • No veterinary products containing cannabis are registered as of August 4, 2023.
  • Authorization requires an application for registration or approval under permit.

2. Safety of cannabis products:

  • Unregistered products may not be safe for animals.
  • Owners should consult veterinarians for prescribed therapeutic use of unregistered cannabis products.

3. Cannabis in pet food:

  • The use of cannabis in pet food requires APVMA registration.

4. Hemp products:

  • Any products containing hemp (including hemp seed oil and hemp oil) that meet the definition of a veterinary chemical product would require registration by the APVMA.

5. Prescribing compounded veterinary products:

  • The only cannabis products that can be legally prescribed by veterinarians for therapeutic use in animals only are those that comply with the entry for CBD in Schedule 4 of the Poisons Standard.
  • Pharmacists and veterinarians should contact their state or territory regulator for further guidance on compounded products. 

6. Promotion and sale:

  • Veterinarians cannot promote or sell unregistered cannabis products.
  • This is an offence under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (Agvet Code)

7. Local products by small-scale producers:

  • Selling or supplying locally made cannabis products is illegal under the Narcotic Drugs Act 1967.

8. Penalties:

  • Civil and criminal penalties exist for possessing, advertising, and supplying unregistered veterinary chemical products.
  • Sale of CBD products without a veterinary prescription is illegal.

9. Reporting non-compliance:

  • Unregistered product issues can be reported to the APVMA via their website and non-compliance reporting form.
Prescribing CBD for animals

Here’s a State by State overview of current regulations and requirements.


NSW – Veterinary Practitioners Board of NSW

NSW prescribing regulations allow vets to prescribe compounded CBD S4 medicines without approval by NSW Health. 

‘’A veterinarian may issue a prescription for a Schedule 4 cannabis medicine as for any other compounded pharmaceutical.’’ – BoardTalk Dec 2020

QLD – Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland

Vets must have an approved veterinary premise in Queensland to prescribe CBD. A veterinary surgeon can only administer, dispense, prescribe, obtain a drug for an animal or sell a drug for a person’s animal if the animal is under their care.

The Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland defines ‘under the care of the veterinarian’ as a patient described as being under the care of a veterinarian when:

  • the veterinarian has directly examined the animal(s) as part of the provision of veterinary care; or
  • the veterinarian has indirectly examined the animal(s) as per the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland veterinary telemedicine guidelines.

‘Any possession of a schedule 4 medicine without a valid prescription is an offence, so if clients are sourcing the oil from the internet they may be committing offences under the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019.’


VIC – Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria (Vetboard Victoria) 

Veterinary practitioners are authorised to obtain, possess, use or supply most drugs and poisons for the lawful practice of their profession – accorded to section 13 of the Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981. This means that Victorian vets are able to prescribe CBD for the veterinary treatment of animals under their care.

Veterinary practitioners must not prescribe or supply Schedule 4 or Schedule 8 poisons other than for the veterinary treatment of animals under their care and then only after taking all reasonable steps to ensure that a therapeutic need exists (regulations 19 and 38).

NT – Veterinary Board of the NT

A vet can prescribe compounded CBD for a patient, as long as the vet is registered in the Northern Territory.

SA – SA Veterinary Practitioners Board 

South Australian vets can prescribe CBD when a bonafide relationship exists with them and their patient. They cannot diagnose a previously unknown animal and not without first seeing the patient beforehand.

WA – WA Veterinary Practitioners Board 

The Veterinary Practice Board of WA lists cannabidiol as a schedule 4 product which means veterinary surgeons may prescribe these products as long as the total amount of cannabinoids present does not exceed 2%. 

TAS – Veterinary Board of Tasmania

The Code of Practice for the Supply and Use of Veterinary Chemical Products – Section 1 – Use of chemical products by veterinarians states that ‘you may treat an animal with a registered veterinary chemical product off-label except where such treatment is prohibited by this code or in other legislation.’

To understand the national scheduling of medicines visit THIS PAGE. 

CBD is becoming more talked about for pets in Australia


CBD Vets Australia are dedicated to tailoring dosages to your animal patients’ needs and ensuring that negative drug interactions be avoided.

Have an animal patient who may benefit from CBD? Follow these simple steps to start prescribing CBD today.

  1. REGISTER YOUR VET:  Access our online portal for research material, information on dosage, and prescribing and training videos.
  2. WRITE A SCRIPT. Fill out a prescription online, or send it by email, when you have an animal patient who may benefit from CBD.
  3. DIRECT DELIVERY: The prescribed CBD Oil will be posted directly to you or your patient from our clinic.

If you would like some more information about prescribing CBD to animals in your clinic, please feel free to get in touch at [email protected]

Discover more about what CBD is and how it works in animals HERE.

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