The South African government has opted to legalise small micro doses of CBD edibles – but only for a trial year. The decision to allow lower dosage CBD was taken by the outgoing health minister Aaron Motsoledi. It means a dosage of under 20 mg per day and 0.001% THC content is completely descheduled from the South African Medicines and Related Substances Control Act, while higher dosages are confirmed in a lower schedule category.
Decision based on good safety profile
The decision was based on government research which concluded that CBD was well tolerated and had a good safety profile, however, the temporary nature of the ruling indicates government uncertainty about how to proceed.
The change also means CBD producers can make some limited health claims. This includes general health enhancement unrelated to any specific disease, health maintenance, or relief of minor symptoms not related to a disease.
Mogale Molewa, head of law enforcement for the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) said it will be in consultation with the health supplement industry to develop a framework for these supplements to be controlled.
Molewa said that although lower-dose consumer CBD is legalised for a year, products would still have to be registered with SAHPRA if it was intended to make more significant medical claims.
Recently, the Traditional and Natural Health Alliance has called on the South African government to introduce quality controls for cannabis oil products, and help legitimise the industry to thrive.
“We don’t want to peddle false hope”
“We want to get rid of the cowboys and the reason is simple – we don’t want to peddle false hope,” the alliance’s Anthony Rees said.
“A doctor should monitor the symptoms of an ill patient taking these products.”
Rees said CBD is the most researched and safest component of the cannabis plant, but products containing UK cannabis oil for sale were still regulated in the same way as high-dose painkillers, under the Drug Trafficking Act.