The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has concluded that Cannabidiol (CBD) may now be referred to as a medicinal product because of its “restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions”.
According to MHRA, Cannabidiol has already been used in the authorised multiple sclerosis spray Sativex which in only to be prescribed.
Now, after a Parliament debate in September, following the campaign to legalise cannabis and the petition which gathered more than 150,000 signatures, the agency has concluded that Cannabidiol can relieve severe pain, caused by mental illnesses and other deceases.
Until now, sale and usage of CBD was not illegal, unless the supplier implied that it had any medicinal effects and advertised it as a medical product.
The new legislation would mean that all CBD vendors would now need a licence to sell the product or face a fine or two-year prison sentence.
The Scottish National Party has shown support for the decriminalisation of cannabis for medicinal use and called for devolution and independent power for the Scottish government to regulate the drug, on Monday, October 17.
Jordan Owen, Managing Director of MediPen, one of the biggest suppliers in the UK, told The Independent: “Since our inception we’ve worked hard to obtain our goal of breaking down the negative connotations surrounding Cannabis to lead to a reform in the law for medicinal use.
“Now this is finally becoming a reality, which will provide ground-breaking results.”
Kiara McKenzie, 22, from Salford suffers from anxiety, panic disorder and borderline personality disorder, which mean that she is constantly “very nervous and anxious around other people” to the point where she feels sick every day.
She said: “The medication I have been prescribed in the past two years has been more of a sedation, to numb the pain and stop me from feeling.
“However, CBD calms me down, slows my brain and makes me feel better. With the CBD it’s a very smooth transition – I would take it and within the hour I would feel better because I realise I am doing things and it’s not painful”, she added.
Ms McKenzie explains that the THC in marijuana is what makes you feel “stoned”: “The CBD oil doesn’t content any THC so instead of making you feel high and wanting to lie down, it makes you want to do things. It makes your brain feel more alert.
“For me everyday conversation is like being bombarded by feelings and words from other people, but when I’ve taken CBD it all comes a lot smoother”.
Ms McKenzie admits that she had to take a few puffs on the way: “I knew I would be very anxious, struggling to find words, I would be fiddling a lot with my hands, you would be able straight away to know I’m not comfortable at all.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this interview without CBD”, she said.
MHRA’s spokesperson has advised: “If you use CBD and if you have any questions, speak to your GP or other healthcare professional”.
The MHRA assessment:
‘The MHRA has now completed it’s review and has considered all information available to it relating to Cannabidiol(CBD) and having taken into account all the scientific advice and evidence, it has come to an opinion that products containing Cannabidiol will satisfy the second limb of the definition of a ‘medicinal product’ because it may be used by or administered to human beings either with a view to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis.’