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Guidance on cannabis oil and products containing CBD

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Guidance on cannabis oil and products containing CBD

Update follows the increase in demand from the public

Many members have sought information on various CBD products and guidance on whether to stock, sell and supply such products from their pharmacy premises.

To assist you in making a decision on this the Pharmacy team has developed the ‘Cannabis oil and cannabidiol-containing products: pharmacy sales’ guidance. This guidance is intended to assist you and your team in dealing with requests for cannabis oil/CBD-containing products and provide appropriate advice to your customers. The guidance includes:

  • Information on current legislation
  • Guidance on the marketing and classification of such products 
  • What clinical and patient-specific implications to consider 
  • Current statements from the MHRA, the Home Office, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the NPA Legal Indemnity team

As further information becomes available, this resource will be updated as required.

The legality, safety and ef cacy of cannabis oil and CBD-containing products is uncertain. Guidance, from the Medicines and Healthcare product Regulatory Agency (MHRA), not yet available on the status of cannabis oil and CBD-containing products in the UK and their suitability for sale and supply to the public.

A common question addressed by the Home Of ce is: “I want to grow cannabis (industrial hemp): do I need a licence?”. In response, the Home Of ce has advised that a licence is required to legally grow and cultivate cannabis. Applicants may apply for a licence via the Home Of ce Drugs Licensing website. However, it is important that pharmacists engaging in such activity consider the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Standards for Pharmacy Professionals, in particular whether undertaking such activity could compromise your professionalism and the public opinion of pharmacy.

Before deciding to stock, sell and/or supply cannabis oil and CBD-containing products, it is strongly recommended that you consider the following points (more details are available in the guidance document):

  • There is limited evidence of the clinical benefits and uses of cannabis oil/CBD.
  • There may be potential clinical interactions with other medication that the customer may be taking (either prescribed or bought over the counter).
  • All products which are marketed for medical purposes in the UK require a marketing authorisation (product licence) from the MHRA before they can be legally be sold/supplied.
  • What is the legal status and licensing of cannabis oil/CBD-containing products?
  • Are the relevant products marketed as a food supplement?
  • Does the product contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)? 

Kind regards,

Leyla Hannbeck MSc, MRPharmS

NPA Chief Pharmacist

For further information contact the NPA Pharmacy team on 01727 891800 or email at:

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