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Since the beginning of October, no “Full Spectrum” CBD products are available in New Zealand

Since the end of the transition period, several brands of affordable CBD products have been removed from the market, leaving only inferior and more expensive “Isolates” that are approved against the quality Standard.

To soften the blow about this reduction in patient choice, and indeed, perceived efficacy, the Minister himself announced that “through their GP or pharmacist, they can import a product that is more suitable”

This process is enshrined in the Medicines Act, and is known as Section 25. As there is a cross over of various regulations, it is explicitly stated in the Medical Cannabis regulations that the Quality standard doesn’t apply to imported Section 25 CBD products . This is further bolstered by the BPAC draft guidance on Medical Cannabis having an entire section dedicated to this import process.

The process is intended for imports for a limited number of patients, so pharmacies, in particular, won’t hold stock for on the day pickup. They have to order it from overseas, which can take a few weeks in our post COVID environment. However the smorgasbord of CBD products available globally, from patches to lozenges to superior full-spectrum oils, ensures that for many patients dissatisfied with New Zealands “approved” CBD Isolates in MCT Oil, can get better, and cheaper, products if they are prepared to wait on shipping. Generally, as this is intended for limited use, there needs to be a good clinical justification that the prescriber can fall back on, such as the preferred format for the patient, eg capsules, or superior efficacy from a full spectrum extract.

If you wish to have an offshore product prescribed via section 25, talk to your GP or a Specialist Cannabis clinic today.