Ultimate CBD Oil Buying Guide

in New Zealand


Updated January 2021

  • CBD Oil is a prescription medicine in New Zealand.
  • The cost of CBD oil is going to depend on the strength and source.
  • It is illegal to buy CBD online in New Zealand.
  • Don’t get confused between hemp oil and CBD oil.

As of January 1st 2021, CBD oil is still a prescription only medicine in New Zealand. You need a medical professional to write you a prescription and then have them or a pharmacy source you the CBD oil.

We hope to see this change in the future to match global trends with many other countries allowing CBD to be purchased online and over the counter but for now you can only get it legally through a doctors prescription.

If you wish to be notified as soon as it is legal to buy CBD oil in New Zealand without a prescription, sign up here and we’ll let you know.

So how can I get CBD oil now?

Our recommendation - Telemedicine

The fastest most cost effective way of obtaining CBD oil right now is through a tele-medicine consultation. No matter where in the country you are located, you can book a time slot with a doctor, have a consultation over the phone or video call, have a prescription written if suitable, then have the CBD oil couriered to you.

You can book one of these with the Appearance Medicine & Wellness Centre. Below is a link to their website to find out more about the consultations they offer which are available during lockdowns.

Have your Doctor Prescribe and Source it

As CBD oil is regarded as a prescription only medicine you need to see a doctor that is willing to write you a prescription in order to get hold of CBD legally. Note, not all doctors are willing to prescribe CBD oil. If they haven’t yet taken the time to learn about it and understand what CBD is and what it does, they are unlikely to just write you a prescription.

If your doctor is willing to, they can prescribe it and source the oil. They can either import it or buy it from a domestic supplier for patients under their care. Individuals cannot legally buy CBD online.

From a Pharmacy in NZ

If you have obtained a prescription from your doctor, any pharmacy can order in some CBD for you if they don’t have it on hand. However, this can be expensive depending on the pharmacy’s markup.

How much is CBD oil going to cost?

The price you pay for some CBD oil is going to depend on the strength of the bottle and where you get it from.

Typically, CBD will come in 25ml, 30ml or 60ml dropper bottles of varying strength or concentration.

The total amount of CBD in the bottle is usually quoted on the packaging which refers to the strength of the product.

Some common CBD strengths include 500mg, 1500mg and 2500mg. All referring to the total amount of CBD present in the bottle. This CBD is mixed into a carrier oil such as coconut oil, in order to give it more substance and make it easier to dose.

Along with strength and size to consider, pharmacy or clinic mark up will also play a role in price differences.

Using the most common strengths of CBD, you can expect to pay around:

  • 500mg – $75-100
  • 750mg – $100-150
  • 1500mg – $200-300
  • 2500mg – $300-500

When it comes to how long this will last, it will all depend on the dosage you are prescribed. You can read more about our CBD dosage guide here.

Can I buy CBD oil from an online shop?

Not legally. According to the Ministry of Health, personal imports of medicinal cannabis products are not allowed. All medicinal cannabis products must be dispensed by a doctor or a pharmacy.

If you see CBD oil online in New Zealand it is being sold illegally, or it is not actually CBD oil.

If you purchase CBD oil from overseas, you run the risk of losing it at customs.

What is the current NZ regulation around CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) falls under a Medical Cannabis product and is classified as a prescription medicine. You need a prescription from a doctor registered to practice medicine in New Zealand before you can obtain any medicinal cannabis products. Once you have a prescription, the doctor or a pharmacy will dispense the product to you. You cannot purchase medicinal cannabis products online or from a third party.

It is illegal to sell or supply a prescription medicines over the internet. Such sales could normally only be made by pharmacies and by some health care professionals, provided they meet certain requirements.

The on-sale or supply of a medicine that had been dispensed for a particular person is illegal. It is also illegal to supply pharmacist-only and pharmacy-only medicines unless authorised to do so. In the case of prescription medicines, it is illegal for the purchaser to purchase and possess the medicine without a valid authorisation.

You can read more about medical cannabis regulation on the Ministry of Health website here or what Medsafe says about buying and selling prescription medicine online.

What is the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil?

In an attempt to get around some advertising restrictions, some international companies have labelled their CBD oil as hemp oil. This has added some additional confusion into the marketplace now with companies also calling hemp seed oil, just hemp oil.

To avoid paying high prices for cheap hemp seed oil, make sure the product has the words “Cannabidiol” or “CBD” on the label. Make sure it quotes exactly how much CBD is in the bottle, typical amounts being between 500mg – 3000mg. If a product is really a CBD product, they’ll want to show how much CBD is in the bottle. While commercial CBD does come from hemp plants, it is one molecule found in hemp oil. Hemp seed oil on the other hand is cold pressed from the seeds of the hemp plant.

Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum & CBD Isolate, what is the difference?

There are three forms of CBD oil you might come across, full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. Basically all CBD on the market is extracted from hemp plant flowers.

The difference in these three forms lies in the amount of refining that goes into each of them.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil – This is the least processed form of CBD available. This form refers to the raw oil extracted off the hemp flower. It contains a range of naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes and plant molecules. 

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil – This is a refined version of the full spectrum which has a few cannabinoids left but no terpenes or other plant molecules. Typically there will be no THC left in a broad spectrum extract. It will be primarily CBD with very small amounts of some other cannabinoids.

CBD Isolate – This is the most refined version of them all. Further refining down the extracted oil to the pure CBD molecule. 


Unfortunately, New Zealand’s definition of a CBD product only allows for broad-spectrum and CBD isolate, as full spectrum contains too much THC. 

The hemp plant naturally produces an oil containing between approximately 20-30 times more CBD than THC. In order to meet the definition of a CBD product in New Zealand, the oil is required to have 50 times or more CBD than THC which does not occur naturally in the plant.

To meet this requirement, the raw oil has to be refined to remove the THC which unfortunately also removes other cannabinoids and terpenes.
Even though a full spectrum product with a range of cannabinoids is regarded as a superior product, 


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