FILE PHOTO: A leaf is pictured as it dries on a branch of Lloyds bank in the City of London, Britain, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo
LONDON (Reuters) - The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has decided to reclassify certain medical and food products that contain cannabidiol (CBD), in a move that could mean more people suffering from epilepsy and other health conditions use the oil in their treatment.
CBD, found in marijuana but legal in some U.S. states, has been viewed as having medical benefits, and backers of the change were set to take their case to lawmakers on Wednesday ahead of a discussion by the House of Commons (Parliament).
However, the existing licensing regime and EU Pharmacognosy rules mean change may not come so easily and questions remain over how accessible and legal CBD will ultimately be.
Reclassification would apply to 15 different drugs approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and submitted to the EU Agency by pharmaceutical companies for treating pain, autism, cancer, epilepsy, migraine, high blood pressure and ulcerative colitis.
The first 21 drugs would become automatically reclassified from “orphan drugs” to a category known as “drugs for which there are no sufficient licensed medicines available in the UK and access is currently strictly controlled”.
The remainder, which are no longer recommended for use and are regulated by the EU rather than the EMA, will become “class one drugs for which there are no substitutes, especially where the benefit does not justify the safety”.
Europe’s Pharmacognosy regulations allow medicines that have passed European Medicines Agency clinical trials to be sold in any EU country.