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In October 2017, the MCC – Medicines Control Council, rescheduled CBD, Cannabidiol, to a schedule 4 substance.
Read more about that CBD article by CLICKING HERE.
The advent of whole plant CBD-rich oil as a grassroots therapeutic option has changed the national conversation about cannabis, nationally and globally.
It’s no longer a question of whether medical cannabis works – today the key question is how to use cannabis for maximum therapeutic benefit.
But most health professionals in South Africa have little experience in this area.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 113 naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.
CBD does not appear to have any psychoactive effects such as those caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and it may have a downregulating impact on disordered thinking and anxiety.
It is a 21-carbon terpenophenolic compound which is formed following decarboxylation from a cannabidiolic acid precursor, CBDa, although it can also be produced synthetically.
CBD can be converted to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) under experimental conditions; however, this does not appear to occur to any significant effect in patients undergoing CBD treatment.
A few possible benefits of CBD:
- CBD can stop epileptic seizures
- CBD can treat serious neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s
- CBD can relieve pain
- CBD can fight cancer
- CBD can reduce inflammation
- CBD can treat mood disorders
- May be used in addiction treatment
- CBD can help treat those suffering from anxiety
- CBD can help those suffering with depression
- CBD can help reduce acne
- Fights Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria
- CBD can help those suffering from Schizophrenia
Who would have thought that one of the main components of Cannabis which doesn’t provide a high effect would become such a big component in todays medicine?
CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications. Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product. To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.
On 23 May 2019, the Department of Health published Government Notice No. 42477 wherein the then Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, excluded certain preparations containing cannabidiol (CBD) from the operation of Section 22A(2) of the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act 101 of 1965 (the “Act”).
In terms of this notice, any preparation containing CBD:
- with a maximum daily dosage of 20 mg of CBD with an accepted low risk claim, or health claim which only refers to general health enhancement, health maintenance, or the relief of minor symptoms (unrelated to a disease); or
- consists of processed products made from raw plant material, where the cannabinoids in the product is naturally occurring, the total tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content does not exceed 0,001 %, and the total CBD content does not exceed 0,0075 %;
is excluded from the operation of Section 22A(2) of the Act.
Section 22A(2) of the Act determines that the Minister of Health can declare certain products to be scheduled medicines.
What this means is that any product which contains a daily CBD dose of not more than 20 mg and bears a low risk health claim; or which consists of the processed product of a raw cannabis plant wherein the levels of CBD and THC are very low, is not a scheduled medicine.
This means products within these limits are legal to manufacture, sell, purchase, possess, and consume and without a license.
Examples of such products, which are already available on the market, include certain cannabis oils for human and animal use in relation to symptomatic support during the treatment of certain ailments; soaps, lotions, shampoos, ointments and other toiletries for human and animal use; as well as sweets and mints containing CBD marketed as nutritional support, amongst others.
This latest Notice has provided some much needed clarity in a specific section of the rapidly growing cannabis industry.