Medical use of CBD products a step forward, say pharmacists

PETALING JAYA: Decision to allow registration of cannabidiol (CBD) products is no problem as long as it passes due diligence checks by National Drug Regulatory Agency (NPRA), says Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS).

The products, he said, would have to undergo a thorough review by the NPRA before being cleared for medical use, noting that they would undergo the same process as other products intended for medical use.

MPS Chairman Amrahi Buang said there was no problem using CBD products for medical purposes, given that they had received prior approval from the NPRA.

“The important thing to note is that the products will be reviewed in three aspects in accordance with good manufacturing practices.

“The aspects assessed cover factors such as quality, safety and effectiveness of the product against certain conditions if it is intended for medical use,” he said.

He pointed out that morphine was readily available for medical purposes in a controlled manner.

“Using CBD products for this purpose is no different if approved,” he said.

Mohamad Aris Mohd Moklas, a neuroscientist in the Department of Human Anatomy at Universiti Putra Malaysia, said allowing CBD products for medical treatment is a step in the right direction.

“This decision also highlights the government’s openness and proactivity in creating new pathways for various treatments,” he said when contacted.

He explained that CBD was a non-psychotic component of cannabis and would cause minimal to no euphoria from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) consumption.

“Outside of Malaysia, CBD products are most commonly used to treat patients with mental illnesses by providing a sense of calm and relief.

“Currently, the only CBD product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration is Epidiolex, which is used to treat seizures associated with epilepsy,” he explained.

Dr. Mohamad Aris also did not foresee any abuse, given that the drug would have to be prescribed without authorized over-the-counter sale. He noted that although cannabis and marijuana refer to the same thing, cannabis was more often associated with medical use while marijuana with recreational use.

On Thursday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said registration of CBD products would likely start next year, with a framework for registration of cannabis products for medical use to be released. during the year.

He said the NPRA would also analyze proposals on its implementation, adding that doctors must be trained to prescribe CBD for medical purposes.

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