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NPA: Pharmacists need clearer guidance on selling CBD products

Jasmine Shah: Current government CBD guidance is “difficult to interpret”
Jasmine Shah: Current government CBD guidance is “difficult to interpret”

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has called for “clear, authoritative guidance” on cannabidiol (CBD) products to ensure pharmacists and patients can “make informed choices”.

Current Home Office guidance around CBD products is “difficult to interpret”, said NPA head of advice and support services Jasmine Shah.

Clearer guidance would make it “easier for manufacturers, healthcare professionals, retailers and customer [t stay] on the right side of the law and safe from harm”, she said last week.

The NPA advises pharmacists to “ensure they are acting legally and in the best interest of patients – which is the same advice we give all other products sold or supplied in pharmacies”, she added.

Ms Shah appeared on BBC News on December 12, where she said “more research is required” on CBD products and that it is “up to each individual” to decide whether they stock them or not.

RPS: Limited evidence for clinical use of CBD

Current guidance by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society states that there is “limited evidence on the clinical uses of CBD”.

It also outlines that the terms “cannabis oil” and “CBD oil” have no legal definitions, and “may cause confusion”.

For more information on selling CBD products in your pharmacy, advising patients on their use and the difference between CBD and medicinal cannabis, read C+D’s in-depth analysis.

Answering patients’ CBD questions

Q: Is CBD oil the same as cannabis?

A: No, CBD oil is derived from one compound found in cannabis, called cannabidiol.

Q: Does CBD oil get you ‘high’?

A: No, it should not contain more than a total of 1mg THC, which is the compound in cannabis that gets people ‘high’. Products at this level should not cause this sensation.

Q: Can CBD oil be used to treat medical conditions such as epilepsy, arthritis or insomnia?

A: CBD oil is not licensed to treat any medical conditions.

Q: What is CBD oil used for?

A: It’s a dietary supplement. Some people claim it has health benefits, such as anxiety relief, but there is limited evidence of its clinical benefits.

Do you stock CBD products in your pharmacy?

Sunil Patel, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Advice for the NPA, there are more pressing matters that you should be focusing on as an organisation. Did you know that pharmacy contractors are drowning in stress and struggling with funding? Did you know that we are making losses but despite that we put a brave face on and deliver clinical services for our patients? Get real! 

C&D, are you running short of stories?



Mr CAUSTIC, Community pharmacist

What we need is for Which to disclose which brand CBD oil they tested and found no active ingredients in .  We need Trading Standards to test products and to publish their results and to prosecute companies that are producing  products with no CBD in them . Once we are aware of which products are genuine we can then  judge the efficacy of the oil in various conditions .






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