South Africa permanently removes some CBD products from narcotics scheduling

South Africa has amended its drug law to allow some CBD products to be available over the counter, making a temporary rule on non-prescription CBD permanent.

Certain CBD medicines and full-spectrum cannabis-derived products will no longer be subject to medical controls, according to a notice in the official gazette that was published last month.

The move was taken by the health minister at the recommendation of SAHPRA, the country’s health product regulators, and applies to:
  • CBD medication marketed for general health or the “relief of minor symptoms” containing no more than 600 milligrams of cannabidiol per pack and provide a maximum daily dose of 20 mg of cannabidiol.
  • Ingestible products derived from raw biomass that contain 0.0075% or less of cannabidiol and only the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the source material.

All cannabis-containing products in South Africa were previously subject to the Medicines and Related Substances Act of 1965, which said that medicines containing cannabidiol, THC, or both cannabinoids required a prescription.

In May of last year, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi amended the law to remove certain cannabidiol preparations for non-serious health claims that contain a maximum daily dose of 20 milligrams of CBD. The moratorium was valid for 12 months and expired last month.