Is CBD Oil Legal in Canada?
IS CBD OIL LEGAL IN CANADA?
Posted By: Dr. Singh
Recreational cannabis was legalized on October 17, 2018, under the Federal Government of Canada’s Cannabis Act, but there still remains quite a bit of confusion about what products are legal. CBD oil made from cannabis plants, and produced by Health Canada approved Licensed Producers are legal, both medicinally and recreationally.
CBD Oil can be purchased through a Licensed Producer (LP) for patients who have a medical prescription to consume cannabis. You may also be able to purchase CBD oil in legal recreational outlets such as the Ontario Cannabis store, or approved brick & mortar retailers, however, ( at the time this blog was published ) supply is less consistent, than purchasing directly from an LP with a medical prescription. CBD oil found in health food stores, convenience stores, or in illegal dispensaries is not legal or regulated for quality or potency.
Prohibition of Cannabis in Canada
Although the use of cannabis can be traced back hundreds of years, to ancient Chinese medicine, it remained almost unheard of in Canada until the 1900’s. Soon after its introduction to Canada, cannabis was placed on the Confidential Restricted List under the Narcotics Drug Act Amendment Bill after the bill was created in 1923.
Some historians believe that cannabis was restricted due to the publication of the book entitled The Black Candle, by Emily Murphy, in 1922. Emily Murphy was a police magistrate and suffragist who often wrote for Maclean’s Magazine under the pen name Janey Canuck. Her arguments were based on information from anti-drug reformers and police officers, and her book invoked panic after she referred to a “new drug called marijuana” being popular amongst immigrants. Ms. Murphy used numerous prohibitionist anecdotes to show how immigrants, particularly the Chinese, would corrupt the white race.
Cannabis began to gain popularity in Canada in the 1930’s, although the first arrest for cannabis possession did not occur until 1937. Between 1946 and 1961 only 2% of drug arrests in Canada were related to cannabis.
The Popularization of Cannabis
The popularization of cannabis in Canada boomed in the 1960’s, due in part to the “hippie ethos” which spread northward from the United States. Cannabis was being discussed in underground newspapers and on underground radio stations across the country. College students were rejecting traditional values and began to question law makers and authority figures.
Cannabis use increased significantly in the 1980’s and 1990’s as people began using cannabis to treat a wide array of health concerns. Growing use of cannabis for medicinal purposes became a concern for lawmakers. They were forced to put in place medical allowances for cannabis use and in 2001 a regulation on access to cannabis for medical purposes was established.
Medical Cannabis in Canada
Medical cannabis became legal in Canada in 2001. Initially, only two types of patients were eligible for medical cannabis: those requiring end-of-life care and patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions.
This created an upsurge in illegal cannabis use and patients buying their medicine from unregulated sources. As a response, lawmakers put into effect the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) in April 2014. These regulations stipulated that licensed medical patients must buy their cannabis from a Licensed Producer (LP) who was regulated by Health Canada.
In August 2016 the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) replaced the existing Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). The ACMPR recognized a patient’s right to produce medical cannabis in all forms including oils, tinctures, edibles and plant flowers. Under the new law patients were no longer required to purchase cannabis only from an LP and could now produce their own medicine, with a valid authorization from their Healthcare Practitioner.
On October 17th 2018, Canada introduced the Cannabis Act, or Bill C-45. Under this new legislation, both medical and recreational cannabis use is federally legal in Canada. There are minimal changes to the medical stream, as patients can continue to purchase directly from their licensed producers and have their medical cannabis mailed directly to their home, including regulated & tested CBD oil.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that comes from the Cannabis plant. Cannabidiol, or CBD, can be extracted from both the industrial hemp and cannabis parts of the plant. CBD extracted from the cannabis plants is only sold through Licensed Producers across Canada.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD oil acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is found in all mammals and contains CB1 and CB2 receptors, more receptors than any other system in the human body. Human bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, which in turn, act on the receptors to produce a physiologic response. CBD introduces extra cannabinoids into the ECS and can help to regulate many of the body’s functions. CBD gives your body more of what it already produces to promote health, well-being and return to homeostasis.
Endocannabinoid Deficiency is the term used to describe a lack of endocannabinoid activity in the human brain. The term was coined by Dr. Ethan Russo in 2004 and is thought to be linked to certain medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, seizure disorders and many more. CBD therapy can activate and engage the endocannabinoid system so that crucial body systems become regulated and maintained.
The endocannabinoid system acts as a master conductor, sending chemical messages and triggering biological actions throughout the body that are critical to health and well-being.
Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil
CBD oil is becoming a more mainstream, natural remedy used for many common ailments and symptoms. Unlike THC, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and will not make the user feel “high”. This allows CBD oil to be consumed in a safe way that should not interfere with activities of daily life.
Many individuals are turning to CBD oil as a replacement for pharmaceutical drugs that may have numerous side effects. Other individuals choose to use CBD oil to manage the side effects of medication, such as opioids.
CBD oil is a discreet way to consume CBD and does not require the user to smoke or vape the product. Many seniors and baby-boomers have begun using CBD due to its anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial effects on overall well-being.
In order to purchase CBD oil it is recommended that you have a valid medical cannabis prescription/ authorization to consume medical cannabis. This is so you have consistent access to supply from Licensed Producers, and the medical advice on dosing and product selection to be successful with using CBD oil to treat a symptom or condition.