Bet You Didn’t Know This: UK is World’s Biggest Producer of Medical Cannabis!
Cannabis is not legal in the United Kingdom. Yet the UK is the main source of cannabis extracts and pharmaceutical preparations containing cannabis extracts supplying the world market. That’s according to the UN’s 2022 Drug Report.
It says that “currently, 64 countries have provisions in their national legislation or guidelines allowing medical use of cannabinoid pharmaceutical preparations and/or cannabis herb for a range of medical conditions and with varying degrees of restrictions or permissiveness. Of those 64 countries, 34 countries allow the use of both pharmaceutical prepa- rations and cannabis herb for medical conditions. In essence, all countries that allow medical use of cannabis herb also have provisions for medical use of cannabinoid pharmaceutical preparations.”
The UN says “around 40 countries reported to INCB in 2020 their estimates of production, consumption or stocks of cannabis for medical purposes. Since 2011, an increasing number of countries have started to use cannabis and cannabis extracts for medical purposes, as well as for scientific research. Among those 40 reporting countries, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Canada are the two main producers of cannabis for medical use, accounting for 71 per cent of the global production of 650 tons of medical cannabis in 2020.
Some CBD products could be forced off the shelves in the UK after recent lab reports showed them to be “illegal,” the country’s Food Safety Agency (FSA) has said.
Forty-four of 61 products (72%) recently analyzed by Kent Scientific Services (KSS) on behalf of several local authorities, were found to contain presumably higher levels of THC than allowed. KSS reported, for example, that one consumer failed a workplace drug test after taking one of the CBD products.
KSS operates an Official Control Laboratory under the Kent County Council, one of just four public laboratories across England that provide scientific services to local authorities and companies under the Food Safety Act of 1990.
“We have asked to see the complete set of sampling results so we can work with local authorities to ensure that those CBD products that should not be on sale are removed from shelves,” said Linden Jack, Deputy Director of Food Policy at the FSA, which is currently reviewing 12,000 CBD products as it seeks to clear up an existing gray market and assure consumer safety.
The UN report says the following cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals, with marketing authorization, are currently approved for medical use in a number of countries:
Dronabinol. Oral capsules or an oral solution containing synthetic THC. Dronabinol is indicated for anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS and nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, usually after previous treatments have failed.
Nabilone. Oral capsules containing synthetic cannabinoid similar to THC, for use to treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemo- therapy, usually after previous treatments have failed.
Nabiximols. A medicinal product containing approximately equal quantities of THC and CBD from two cannabis extracts. This product has been authorized for the treatment of muscle spasticity resulting from multiple sclerosis.
Epidiolex. A plant-derived CBD oral solution indicated for the treat- ment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients 2 years of age or older.