It has been more than a decade that medical cannabis was legalized in Canada. It was in October, 2018 that the federal ministry lawfully recognized the plant, making it recreationally legal.
However, edibles with cannabis-infused in them are still illegal in Canada, whereas, they’re legal in most of the states in America. This is because the U.S. FDA recently made their stance very clear about the treatment of CBD-based products.
Despite the fact that cannabis-infused edibles are illegal in Canada, they’re heading towards classifying Cannabidiol (CBD) as a natural health food product. The Canadian progress in this specific area is immensely different than that of the U.S.
A number of Canadian consumers, physicians, and even lawmakers view and treat CBD as a natural medicinal and therapeutic substance. It was not that long ago when CBD was stamped illegal to be a part of food product or natural health food product in Canada. According to Health Canada, before this October, products containing CBD were considered illegal, until or unless they were medically approved for health purposes.
It is now when recreational cannabis is deemed legal, that the products containing CBD are regulated like traditional cannabis products.
Modern legitimacy of Canadian CBD-infused health food products
Cannabis edibles being illegal are a major subject of many ongoing discussions these days. Due to the numerous benefits of cannabis-infused edibles and the tireless efforts of the Canadian activists, most probably Canada will make cannabis-infused edibles legal in the near future. In addition, the country is also planning on an eventual selling of cannabis edibles at different dispensaries.
The Canadian Health Food Association primarily focuses on the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis edibles and CBD-infused health food products as well. Moreover, they recently reached out to the government about lessening the restrictions on CBD restrictions.
A huge number of American physicians, researchers, and lawmakers understand and encourage the use of CBD for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. Their designated cannabis program has legalized the cannabis-infused edibles in more than 50 states. This is one major difference between Canada and the U.S.
Note that cannabis remained a Schedule I illegal substance in the U.S as well. Cannabis is a very complex plant. It contains various cannabinoids including CBD, which is completely non-psychoactive, non-toxic, and non-addictive. Moreover, CBD is very beneficial for people’s health and well-being thus; several individuals believe it should be treated as a dietary supplement or vitamin.
Throughout the U.S., numerous head shops, health food stores, and independent health & wellness clinics sold various CBD products as dietary supplements. Unfortunately, this was considered illegal. The U.S. FDA cracked down on companies that market and advertised different CBD products.
Although the World Health Organization marks CBD safe yet the FDA states that all CBD products aren’t included in this category. Various warning letters were sent out from the FDA to companies marketing CBD as dietary supplements. These letters spoke volumes about the FDA’s standpoint on CBD.
Compulsory steps to legalize the CBD-infused health food products in Canada
Let’s get back to the Canadian efforts in this area.
Different provinces, states, and entire countries have started to acknowledge the medicinal value of CBD-infused products. Canada, especially, has led to a set of laws that support the acceptance of CBD as a legal product.
Health Canada has held conversations about permitting natural health products and health food products to contain CBD. For this to become a reality, the natural health products in Canada were must to meet the following requirements,
- The product must be safe to consume as over-the-counter products
- The product won’t require individuals to have a prescription before purchasing them
If the natural health food product were to contain CBD, the cannabinoid would have to go through strict guidelines and testing. Following criteria was set for the approval of CBD-based natural health and food products,
- Accurate information and evidence about its effectiveness
- Reasons for use
In addition, Adam Gibson enumerated the following necessary steps,
For the approval of health products, they must be monitored for adverse drug reactions. These are essential requirements to report them, developing a robust system around health products.
In addition, Health Canada also explained that the classification of a drug as a prescription or not is evaluated by its possible risks. The organization asked for additional information about the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids. This will let the experts determine dosage limits and other thresholds.
The recurrent expansion of Canadian CBD market
A recent report by the Bright-field Group states that the CBD market is expected to beat the cannabis market. Experts estimate CBD market to reach $22 billion USD by 2022. This is because the demand for CBD-based products is huge and the Canadian natural health industry is geared up to get more involved with CBD. They’re very well aware of the growing demand for products exhibiting medicinal, therapeutic, and nutritional benefits of CBD.
So far, it is anticipated that CBD-infused health food products and other natural health products will be available at many Canadian enterprises including the shelves of different grocery stores and pharmacies. Thus, besides strictly regulated dispensaries, other businesses will ultimately get a piece of the Cannabidiol success pie.
Odds of the legal sale of health food products based upon CBD
Health Canada has experienced pressure to change the classification of CBD as a legal substance because of the array of benefits it possesses. A lot of this pressure, in particular, came from the Canadian Health Food Association. The approval of CBD-infused health food products by Health Canada will lead the Cannabidiol in the same category as Vitamin D, echinacea, and other health supplements.
Trina Fraser, an Ottawa Canada-based lawyer, expects the selling of CBD-infused health food products at Canadian drug stores and pharmacies, in the years to come. She believes that CBD-infused health food products will significantly bloom the Canadian market. Not only pharmacies but also drug stores, clinics, and convenience stores will receive a green signal to sell CBD-infused natural health products.
Legal approval of CBD by Health Canada will also help other countries to regulate CBD as another natural health food product. However, for this purpose, the U.S. FDA would have to remove cannabis and CBD out of its Schedule I classification. Restrictions on the cannabinoid would have to be reduced.