Cannabidiol now sold in pharmacies in Belgium
Pharmacists can now sell cannabidiol (CBD) as a prescription drug from a doctor, according to a circular issued Tuesday by the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP).
CBD is a component of cannabis, as is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has psychotropic effects. In Belgium, a Royal Decree of June 2015 prohibits pharmacists from dispensing magistral preparations - medicines prescribed by a doctor and made in the pharmacy itself - containing THC. Only Sativex, which contains both THC and CBD, is licensed under certain conditions for multiple sclerosis patients.
The Royal Decree also prohibited CBD preparations because of the possibility of contamination by traces of THC. "Such a ban does not seem to be the aim of the Royal Decree", However, says the FAMHP in its circular.
Therefore, the agency now allows the use of "raw materials such as cannabidiol containing traces of THC"For masterful preparations if the patient's exposure to THC does not exceed 1 microgram per kilogram of body weight per day. Pharmacists need to monitor side effects and gain the necessary knowledge, the circular adds.
Only pharmacists can legally sell it as medicine
The FAMHP spokesperson, Olivier Christiaens, points out that CBD can be legally sold as a medicine only by pharmacists. It also warns people against "CBD shops", Which offer products based on cannabidiol. "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 pharmaceutical raw material CBD - a powder - into oil, pills or ointment. In the United States, there is a recognized antiepileptic drug based on CBD.