A big barrier to accessing CBD oil in New Zealand is its cost. In this article, I am going to show you just how much CBD oil costs and what you, or your loved ones, can do to make your medicinal cannabis treatment as affordable as possible.
How Much Does CBD Oil Cost in NZ?
Over the longer term, the biggest price you will need to pay when you are on a medicinal cannabis treatment plan is for the CBD products, especially CBD oil.
CBD oil price does vary depending on the product used and its concentration (strength). For most of our patients, a daily cost of $5 – $7 is the average. For THC products, the cost is significantly less and is usually $1 – $3 per day, as long as the doses used are low to moderate. A medium-sized bottle of CBD oil is about $200. This will usually last around 3-5 weeks.
An approximate cost indication for the cost of CBD oil bottles in NZ is:
- 750mg – $80 – $130
- 1000mg – $100 – $150
- 1500mg – $200
- 2000mg – $250
- 2500mg – $300
- 4500mg – $450
What about the cost of specific CBD Oil brands?
There are various companies importing CBD oil from overseas, including Medleaf, Tilray, Nubu (Theraleaf) and Eqalis. Although some companies, such as Cannasouth and Helius Therapeutics, are planting and getting ready to process locally, none of the existing CBD products are NZ-made. They usually originate from the USA, UK or Switzerland. We expect NZ-made products in late 2021/2022.
Specific CBD oil product cost depends on their concentration or strength. Some have a low concentration of only 10mg CBD in 1mL while others are very concentrated, up to 150mg per 1mL.
To see these products and their exact cost, you can register to be an e-patient of ours and we can breakdown these costs for you.
I would love to be able to write a list of every CBD product here with the cost, but believe it or not that would be considered illegal. This is because all medicinal cannabis products are considered unapproved products under “section 29” of the Medicines Act. Medicinal cannabis is definitely legal, but just not approved for the treatment of any particular health condition, and therefore, cannot be advertised at all.
To give you an example, Paracetamol is approved for pain, but not for asthma. Therefore, it can be advertised as a medicine for pain, but not for asthma. Medicinal cannabis is available and legal, but not approved, meaning that even mentioning the name of a brand here is illegal.
This is why it is crucial you are using medicinal cannabis and CBD oil prescribed by registered doctors and not buying it randomly online – we know there are many unreliable and illegal products advertised for sale in NZ.
CBD Oil Prescription Cost
GP consultation costs to get a CBD oil prescription can add up. For example, if every time you need a repeat script your GP charges you $20, then over the year you could pay up to $240 just in repeat fees alone. That alone is the cost of a CBD bottle.
At the Cannabis Clinic, our consultations for a CBD oil prescription start as low as $79 and our follow-up consultations start at $35. Importantly, we do not charge you any repeat script fees.
We also give you access to The Dispensary which allows you to chose your CBD products based on your budget, with the option of very small and very large CBD oil bottles.
The only currently approved medicinal cannabis product is Sativex. The price of Sativex is around $1000 for a pack of three spray bottles, depending on which local pharmacy you purchase from.
As I explain in more detail below, it is possible for you to access much cheaper THC products (around $200/bottle) with a specialist approval if you book in with us.
Will Health Insurance Pay for CBD Oil?
Private health insurance may cover your CBD oil cost! Although we are not an affiliated Southern Cross clinic just yet, we have had success with patients claiming their costs. Do check your policy fine print, as your cover may not include unapproved medications (such as medicinal cannabis) but only the GP or specialist consultation cost.
Affordable CBD Oil – How Can I Save Money & Reduce Costs?
Having helped thousands of people throughout NZ, we know exactly how you can save yourself money while using CBD oil and medicinal cannabis products.
Here are our 9 tips to help you save money:
1. Find a willing and experienced doctor at an affordable price.
The last thing you will want to do is pay for multiple consultations with a GP who you are not sure has any experience in prescribing medicinal cannabis.
We also hear from a lot of our patients that their GPs are not willing to consider medicinal cannabis and CBD oil as a treatment option. Most GP consultations are around $50 – $80, depending on where you live. After 2-3 GP consultations, the costs can start accumulating.
If your doctor needs to refer you to a specialist before being willing to prescribe THC, you could end up waiting months just for the specialist appointment. Alongside multiple doctor and specialist visits, you still may not end up with a prescription.
2. Determine which medicinal cannabis product will suit you best.
If you have never tried medicinal cannabis and are wondering if it may help, I recommend you start off with a small bottle of CBD oil. This is a great way of testing the waters and seeing how it works for you!
If you have already been using CBD oil or THC, and you know it works for you already, I would do the opposite and invest in the bottle with the highest total amount of medicinal cannabis. While the up-front cost will be higher, the daily cost will be lower.
For example, with a bottle that has a total of 1000mg CBD oil, a daily dose of 50mg will cost about $7/day. With a 2500mg bottle of CBD oil, this is reduced to about $5/day.
For more information about CBD oil and products available in NZ, see The Dispensary.
3. Find the best place to buy CBD oil.
Once you get your prescription from your GP, your local pharmacy can order the product on your behalf. Depending on where you live, the price may fluctuate, and delivery times can be unpredictable. We have also had patients being offered almost double the price of what another pharmacy would charge!
That is why we have put together all the products available to you on The Dispensary to save you calling around and show you exactly how much each product will cost.
We also break down the daily cost of use for you so you do not have to calculate it with confusing conversions!
4. Consider paying for the product over time.
It is much harder to commit $300 upfront, but easier to pay $37.50 every week for 8 weeks.
This is why we incorporated payment plans to our medicinal cannabis service, which allows you to pay for the consultation and products over time with 0% interest.
5. Consider ACC and the WINZ Disability Allowance subsidy.
We have had some success in helping our patients get financial support from WINZ via a disability allowance in supporting the ongoing cost of their medicinal cannabis use. While the result is dependent on your case manager and specific situation, it is possible. Whilst the cover may not be for the full cost of the product, it will nevertheless help.
A positive outcome cannot be guaranteed but it is definitely worth a try.
It helps to have the right documentation and supporting letters from your doctor. We provide supporting letters to our patients, alongside filling out the relevant paperwork. This helps your case manager in approving your case.
What also really helps is having been on CBD oil and noticing a benefit from it before applying. That way, your case manager knows that the treatment you are on is actually working and helping you. Back that up with a signed doctor’s letter and your chances of success here is increased.
While claiming on ACC is also possible, unfortunately we have found them harder to deal with. The good news is that we are hoping this will change over time and Medicinal Cannabis Awareness NZ (MCANZ) is doing some great campaigning and work to push this forward.
6. Make sure you are taking your correct CBD dose.
Every day we see patients taking the wrong dose of their medicinal cannabis medication and this can be costly over the long term. I know you are very keen to get started and to see a benefit, but remember that using too much means the costs can quickly get out of hand.
I always recommend a very gentle and slow approach to using medicinal cannabis, especially CBD oil. This advice is even more relevant for conditions such as PTSD and anxiety, where the effect may not be so obvious immediately.
We usually start at 25mg/day and increase it slowly over a period of time.
Stopping at the right dose when it starts to work is the key. The last thing you want to be doing is using a high dose (at a higher cost), when a smaller dose would be giving you the benefit you need.
Confirming your dose is extremely important for CBD oil because most products are in liquid form and converting how many mL (and drops) to the mg per dose can be confusing. Double and triple check. If you are unsure, please ask.
7. Don’t use it if you don’t need it.
Using your product only when you need it is important to avoid wasting it. This can be tricky with CBD oil as it sometimes takes regular use for 2-3 weeks to see an effect.
But for THC, the results are usually much quicker and it can be used on a “as needed” basis, as opposed to daily.
8. Make sure your THC product is done with a Ministry of Health approval.
If you are using Sativex, chances are you are paying up to $1000 per pack for your product. Via a specialist approval, it is possible for you to access much cheaper THC products (around $200/bottle).
If you cannot arrange this through your own specialist, please book in with us so we can process the paperwork on your behalf.
9. Apply for Cannabis Clinic help.
This is a program we are developing to help those in most need (WINZ or community service card holders) be able to access products at the cheapest price possible. Once launched, we will update this section on our website.
The cost of CBD oil and prescriptions can get expensive if you are not on the correct treatment plan and taking the right dose, but it does not need to be unaffordable. With various smart choices, as well as the right advice, you can be one step ahead in making sure your money is well spent.
For more information about CBD oil costs in NZ, prescriptions, and all products currently available, consider registering as an e-patient with us today.
If you have a story to share or a question to ask, we would love to help below.