Cannabidiol now sold in pharmacies in Belgium
Pharmacists can now sell cannabidiol (CBD) as a medicine on prescription from a doctor, according to a circular released Tuesday by the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP).
CBD is a component of cannabis, just like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which has psychotropic effects. In Belgium, a royal decree of June 2015 prohibits pharmacists from dispensing magistral preparations - drugs prescribed by a doctor and produced in the pharmacy itself - containing THC. Only the drug Sativex, which contains both THC and CBD, is authorized under certain conditions for patients with multiple sclerosis.
The royal decree also banned CBD preparations due to the possibility of contamination with traces of THC. " Such a ban does not seem to be the aim of the royal decree“, However indicates the FAMHP in its circular.
Therefore, the agency now allows the use of " raw materials such as cannabidiol containing traces of THC »For magistral preparations if the patient's exposure to THC does not exceed 1 microgram per kilogram of body weight per day. Pharmacists must monitor side effects and acquire the necessary knowledge, adds the circular.
Only pharmacists can legally sell it as medicine
FAMHP spokesperson Olivier Christiaens points out that CBD can be legally sold as a medicine only by pharmacists. He also warns the population against " CBD shops“, Which offer cannabidiol-based products. " Unlike pharmacies, there is no supervision and medical follow-up in these stores. Only pharmacies can administer CBD as a medicine.«
Pharmacists can turn the CBD pharmaceutical raw material - a powder - into an oil, pills, or ointment. In the United States, there is in particular a recognized anti-epileptic drug based on CBD.