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Health Canada: Cannabidiol help or hindrance?

Herbal products are heavily regulated by Health Canada. Cannabidiol is also enjoying its attention. Will this intervention be beneficial or disasterous?

September 12, 2016
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Although Canada appears to be streets ahead of the neighbouring USA in Cannabis legislation, this hasn’t always been the case. Before 2000, we were way behind on the medical cannabis front, and even less controversial herbal medicines were hard to get onto the market.

 

 

Heath Canada and the herbal medicines natural supplements industry have had a turbulent history. Now, with medical cannabis fully legal, many using cannabinoids to self-medicate, and recreational marijuana on the horizon, industry experts wonder what relationship Heath Canada and Cannabidiol (CBD) will have.

Although Canada appears to be streets ahead of the neighbouring USA in Cannabis legislation, this hasn’t always been the case. Before 2000, we were way behind on the medical cannabis front, and even less controversial herbal medicines were hard to get onto the market.

“Pssst, have you got any Echinacea?”

At one time Health Canada regulated the herbal supplements and herbal medicines industries as rigorously as it did pharmaceuticals. Traditional remedies that have been used effectively for thousands of years could not be sold until medical claims could be incontrovertibly proven. In fact, herbal remedies were treated just like pharmaceuticals, despite their high safety profile. It even became difficult to get hold of widely-used products like Echinacea.

As with cannabis prohibition, this state of affairs gave rise to a thriving herbal medicines black market. Health shops would sell “under the counter” products, ducking regulation altogether. But despite all this, no-one got ill from herbal medicines. The regulatory body recognized the need for change.

Regulation from Health Canada, Cannabidiol and other plant-based remedies

Health Canada’s current regulations are a lot more accommodating, but they still don’t allow for backyard or kitchen production of plant-based supplements. Proper manufacturing facilities have to be used, licenses have to be obtained, and high certification standards have to be met.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you are using a herbal supplement for health reasons, you have a right to expect hygienic production practices and a certain amount of product uniformity. Already, Canadian health supplements are in demand around the world thanks to the high quality requirements laid down by Health Canada.

Canada and cannabis production go back a long way despite tough prohibition laws that failed to stop the (mostly recreational) marijuana industry. Now, with cannabis enjoying recognition as a medicinal plant, clinics are poised for an influx of medical marijuana and cannabidiol patients.

Certification for trust

Under Health Canada regulations, they can expect their cannabis based supplements to be of a high standard, and many believe that as cannabis, particularly non-psychoactive cannabidiol, gains worldwide recognition, a thriving export market will be created. Although it is easy to demonize regulatory bodies such as Health Canada, Cannabidiol will be seen as a much more reputable herbal health product thanks to its intervention in the supplements market.

Tags: Canada , Cannabis , CBD , Enecta , Health , Hemp , Marijuana , THC
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