In the quest to find out which indeed is true, here are some responses received from various branches of government on the status of CBD products:
From Industrial Hemp Section:
“Cannabidiol is a scheduled substance under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act and is not legal to obtain without a license or exemption…To sell for therapeutic or medical use for livestock or companion animals, you can contact the Veterinary Drug Directorate for more information….”
Ok, so we contacted the
Veterinary Drug Directorate
, who said the following:
“Health Canada’s Veterinary Drugs Directorate (VDD) evaluates and monitors the safety, quality and effectiveness, sets standards, and promotes the prudent use, of veterinary drugs administered to food-producing and companion animals.
The VDD’s assessment of the status of a product is guided by the requirements of the Canadian
Food and Drugs Act
. The status of a product is based on numerous factors such as the indications or intent of the product, dosage form, route of administration, formulation, conditions of use, etc.
As per the
Food and Drugs Act
, a drug includes any substance or mixture of substances manufactured, sold or represented for use in:
a) the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder, abnormal physical state, or its symptoms, in human beings or animals,
b) restoring, correcting or modifying organic functions in human beings or animals, or
c) disinfection in premises in which food is manufactured, prepared or kept.
Currently cannabis and its derivatives such as cannabidiol (CBD) are considered veterinary drugs. For a veterinary drug product to be imported for sale, sold or advertised in Canada, it must have a valid DIN, according to section C.01.014 of the
Food and Drug Regulation
s. All veterinary drug products that are imported and/or sold in Canada must be manufactured in accordance with the conditions of the Good Manufacturing Practices and hold an establishment license as per Division 2 of the
Food and Drug Regulations
There are currently no CBD oil products approved by Health Canada and therefore there is no legal pathway for veterinarians to obtain (purchase, import), dispense or use these products.”
So where is the grey area?
From our perspective, it lies within the Schedule listing of CBD in Controlled Drug and Substances Act.
It clearly lists cannabidiol as being a controlled substance (see point 3 in Schedule II below) under Cannabis. Cannabis sativa is the Latin name for both marijuana and hemp, despite them being different cultivars. However, CBD the molecule is the same regardless of source. So without the distinguishing information on which source, it could be interpreted that cannabidiol is restricted regardless of where it comes from. To add to the confusion, because CBD is in hemp (which is of course legal), there is no regulation for the amount of CBD in any given hemp product (unlike THC for example, which in hemp must stay below a specified percentage).