Thabiso Mochiko, Business Live
In an astounding development, the South African Health Regulatory Authority has classified CBG as a Schedule 6 substance! This is a complete setback for commercialisation and undermines the President’s intentions to develop a cannabis and hemp economy.
This is an extract of an article that appeared in BusinessLive on 12 February 2023.
Last year the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) classified products that include cannabigerol (CBG), a cannabinoid, as a schedule 6 medication.
All cannabinoids excluding CBD are now schedule 6.
CBG is one of many chemicals found in the cannabis plant, which contains at least 70 distinct compounds — the most popular being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is a cannabinoid that produces a psychoactive effect but also has medicinal advantages. CBD is a cannabinoid with mostly medicinal properties.
CBG's schedule 6 classification means consumers require a doctor's prescription to buy the medication.
SAHPRA has put limitations on the dosage of CBD products. Any product with less than 600mg per package and less than 20mg per dose is allowed without prescription, but above that a doctor's prescription is needed.
SAHPRA spokesperson Yuven Gounden said all cannabinoids structurally related to THC fall under schedule 6. CBG “is a homologue” of THC, meaning it also produces a psychoactive effect.
This is misleading.
Let’s look at what CBG is. Cannabigeroil has been described as the "Mother of all Cannabinoids". It is actually the acidic form and “parent” molecule of the other main cannabinoids, CBD and the psychoactive compound THC.
That means THC and CBD (along with all other cannabinoids) can’t exist without the initial formation of CBG in its raw form. This does not mean, however, that CBG contains THC or CBD.
In order for CBG to become something else, it must convert the raw, acidic form of CBG into CBD and THC cannabinoids. If the CBG is extracted prior to that conversion, it remains pure and potent with no psychoactive properties present.
This creates an incredible opportunity for a healing plant without the legal implications of psychoactive side effects.
Gounden said “the industry or any other person or association may make submission to SAHPRA to request review of the scheduling status of a substance, in line with existing published guidelines”.
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