The Future of Medicinal Cannabis

By |Published On: June 18th, 2020|
Cannabis Can Help South Africa

Cannabis oil and medicinal Cannabis have been used for centuries to prevent and treat major ailments and conditions, and to lessen pain.

Some Cannabis Health Uses

Fight cancer – cannabinoids found in Cannabis and cannabidoil have been shown to improve the body’s ability to fight certain types of cancer.

Regulate and prevent diabetes – Cannabis can help to stabilise blood sugars, whilst regulating and preventing diabetes.

Relieves chronic pain – The chemical compounds in Cannabis can help relieve chronic pain and aids in better sleep.

Medicinal Cannabis Regulations

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has shown an interest in regulating and controlling the medicinal market of Cannabis and cannabidoil (CBD).

In May 2019 the Minister of Health announced non-prescription access to certain CBD products, alongside a publication of a 12-month exclusion notice. The notice allows CBD products to be sold, provided they contain no more than a 20mg “daily dose” of CBD, and make no claims to assist in treating diseases. This notice expired in May this year, therefore new amendments have been made.  This includes:

medicinal cannabis
  • THC (the main constituent of Cannabis) has been listed as a Schedule 6 drug.
  • CBD products with a low dose are listed at Schedule 0, and those dealing with these products (apart from retailers) will be required to have a 22C license.
  • Where the CBD constituent exceeds the prescribed limits, these products will be listed as Schedule 4, and will be dispensed under prescription only.

Recognition and differentiation of Medical & Adult uses Cannabis policies in South Africa have been structured around two different kinds of uses: the medical use on the one hand (recognised by the Government in 2016) and adult use as a personal right on the other hand.

Future Cannabis regulations must acknowledge the intersection of the two and acknowledge the urgent need for education and training across the board. Regarding medical uses: Education of healthcare providers remains a pivotal issue here. Certain Cannabis preparations will be registered as medicines and become available through conventional medical supply chains. However, no patient should be hindered from accessing treatment via other supply streams:

  • Self-medication via home cultivation
  • access to Traditional Healers’ Cannabis formulations
  • Dagga Private Clubs
  • traditional informal providers

With the rise of adult-use cannabis, experts see medicinal marijuana dominated by two distinct markets: wellness products and government-approved medicines.

Regardless of the age limit for adult use, minors that need Cannabis or Cannabis products for a medical condition cannot be refused treatment or access because of their age. Physicians must be trained to address specific recommended formulations for younger patients.

We are fighting for the use, cultivation and trade of Cannabis for ALL uses – responsible adult use, traditional cultural and religious use, industrial and health uses. We stand behind the belief that everyone has the right to self-medicate should they wish to do so.

Our aim is to stand together to educate our lawmakers to allow for the many health benefits of Cannabis to be available to everyone!

Cannabis Can Help South Africa

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About the Author: Marleen Theunissen

Cannabis lover, spreader of love, hater of injustice and recently-turned activist.

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One Comment

  1. Herbal Leaf October 21, 2020 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    I’m so happy that the law is changing regarding the use of cannabis for medicine and recreational use.
    excellent article

    Thank You

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