Products that contain a cannabis-based ingredient called cannabidiol, or CBD, are to be classed as medicines by the UK medicines regulator from this year.
The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it had looked at CBD because a number of manufacturing companies had been making “overt medicinal claims” about products.
Gerald Heddel, Director of Inspection and Enforcement at the agency, told Sky News: “The change really came about with us offering an opinion that CBD is in fact a medicine, and that opinion was based on the fact that we noted that people were making some quite stark claims about serious diseases that could be treated with CBD.”
He said that a review of the evidence showed that “it was clear that people are using this product with the understandable belief that it will actually help”.
Cannabis has two key ingredients – THC and CBD. The THC gets you stoned, and it can also make you anxious and psychotic.
But, isolated, CBD has the opposite effect, often calming people down – which is why some people are using it in small doses as medicine.