In this week’s podcast Mitch and Andrew had the chance sit down with CBD Reviews Australia founder Steven Ng to chat about how unreliable access to cannabis products and information can harm the consumer.
Steven Ng is a passionate cannabis advocate and a founder of CBD Reviews Australia, an online community where members review cannabis and hemp products. Steven analyses medicinal CBD products for quality and composition and publishes this data openly and freely to avoid the dangers of unreliable access to cannabis.
CBD Reviews Australia is a group of supportive educational community where CBD and cannabis is discussed. Cannabis products are reviewed and experiences shared. Whilst providing educational information, members are not allowed to use the social media group as an attempt to solicit sales or will the user will be banned and details published on a blacklist.
In Australia, 90% of cannabis products are still being accessed via the black market as opposed to legal avenues. Medicinal cannabis products bought online may be unsafe, of poor quality or contain a different dose to what the label claims. This statement critically reviews the use of medicinal and recreational cannabis from a clinical but also a policy and public health perspective by evaluating its safety and efficacy profile, particularly in relationship to cardiovascular health.
Much of this is due to the country’s conservative regulatory policies, and the lack of publicly available information about these legal, medicinal alternatives. Growing cannabis inside your own home or using it for non-medical purposes is still illegal.
The barrier of entry placed on legally obtaining medicinal CBD can draw consumers to purchasing from the black market, where there is an assumption that these products are cheaper, of better quality and more easily attainable. However, with a lack of data, health monitoring processes or quality control in these unregulated marketplaces, consumers are placed in harm’s way.
Check out episode 4 of the AltMed Podcast
1:10 – Steven explained that he was introduced to cannabis in his teenage when he grew cannabis in his balcony and was technically self-medicating without realising. He believed that h learned a lot through this cultivation experiment.
2:15 – Steven asserted that he was re-introduced to this industry due to his dog’s illness. He elaborated that he started researching on field when the frequency of his dog’s epilepsy attacks intensified yet again. He explained that he conducted some basic tests and soon realised that there was no consistency in products. Therefore, he started a CBD review Australia Facebook group to help others.
8:16 – Steven spoke in detail about the passion of people to know more about cannabis industry.
11:02 – Steven praised the role of cannabis in decreasing the intensity of attacks as well as reducing its frequency as well.
15:35 – Steven believed that due to the huge commissions offered to doctors, it was extremely difficult to practice impartiality owing to alliances and competitive nature of industry.
21:54 – Steven explored the mechanism of clinics briefly while illustrating that the normal procedure involved a consultancy session with nurse followed with prescription based on nurse’s recommendations.
24:43 – Steve talked about the false perceptions that black market products are cheaper and clarified that the CBD or THC oils available legally are around 6.6 cents per milligram cannabinoid content.
28:38 – Steve agreed that countries across the globe are following different approaches for legalisation of medicinal cannabis.
29:34 – Steve expressed his bewilderment that although Australia was following the testing standards of Europe but their regulatory standards are being avoided as Australia follows a more conservative approach.
30:41 – Steve spoke in favour of legal industry due to non-existent quality standards in black market. He also spelled out his initial claim that although oils are less expensive in legal market but flower is still more expensive than black market.
34:00 – Steve was of the view that legal and black market products could never be
35:10 – Steve asserted that the legal side did not hamper the prescription process at all, rather it inflicted some additional costs which were difficult to manage.
37:20 – Steve spelled out that the timeframe of both legal and black markets are at par with each other. He believed that despite of peer-reviewed researches, there are numerous hurdles in legal market which are not faced as such by black market growers.
39:04 – Steve clarified that despite of all difficulties, the legal industry was gradually taking off in Canada and other countries. He also talked about the absence of statistics for black market growth on global scale.
41:00 – Steve illustrated that the bureaucratic processes needed to be improved so as to ease out the chaos in access process.
43:18 – Steve denied that growing cannabis on domestic end was the actual issue and asserted that the fraudulent claims were the real problem. He advised to enhance the scrutiny process so as to ensure quality along with credibility of products from legal market.
46:14 – Steve was happy to report that the prices of legal products have reduced in last 18 months as compared to those of black market products which are stagnant. He advised the government to bring in the black market manufacturers in the legal infrastructure so that cannabis industry could flourish.
48:18 – Steve projected that the black market legalisation could actually aid in the cultivation side.
50:00 – In response to a question, Steve iterated that despite of various platforms for disseminating cannabis relevant information, most frequently asked question was relevant to legal access to cannabis. Another frequently asked question was related to the conditions which could be treated through cannabis.
51:41 – Steve believed that the best strategy for hampering the illegal cannabis business was to block the social media pages of black market companies who use their page for advertising their products.
1:03:41 – Steve illustrated that it was quite an achievement to reduce the prices of legal cannabis products despite of frequent problems in this stream.
CBD Reviews Australia: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cbdreviewsaustralia/
Canna Reviews Australia: https://cannareviewsau.co/