A panel of scientists for Health Canada — the country’s health regulator — recently reported that CBD is “safe and tolerable” for adults. It took three years for the endorsement to be handed down by the Health Canada-appointed team of experts.
The nine-member panel determined that CBD is considered, “safe and tolerable for short-term use (a maximum of 30 days) at doses from 20 milligrams per day to a maximum dose of 200 mg/day.”
They also recommended that:
- CBD should be made available without a prescription
- The approval of CBD products should be accompanied by public education about CBD
- CBD products should have helpful labels with warnings, dosing instructions, and more
- Low-dose CBD is safe in dogs and may be used to treat osteoarthritis pain
Although CBD is already legal in Canada, the panel’s recommendations may signal Health Canada to allow CBD to be sold by mainstream retailers such as grocery stores, similar to the United States.
Status of CBD in Canada
Canada legalized all cannabis products in 2018 but CBD is still a regulated substance. CBD sales can only take place in provincially licensed stores and CBD products cannot be imported into the country.
As a result, there’s a huge unlicensed CBD market and many are frustrated about being unable to offer CBD products in mainstream retail stores. That’s why the panel’s recommendation has the potential to be a game changer, signaling CBD to be treated like a dietary supplement that can be sold in grocery and drug stores.
The panel also recommended that CBD products follow the following criteria for warnings and safety on the product’s label:
- Request that CBD users first consult with a physician if they are currently taking other medications
- State the possibility of interactions between the use of CBD and the ingestion of other drugs or alcohol
- Have a label that prominently states that CBD should never be used by women who are pregnant and nursing or individuals who suffer from allergies or have shown a degree of hypersensitivity to cannabis
- Display dosing instructions
- Contain clear warnings about potential side effects
CBD for Dogs
The review panel also examined the use of CBD in animals. They concluded that CBD is safe for use in dogs in low doses (0.2-2 mg per kg of body weight) and may be helpful for the treatment of osteoarthritis pain.
They did not give the okay for use of CBD by cats due to lack of evidence.
The panel stated the following: “There is some promising early evidence for dogs, that CBD might work to promote calmness, treat nervousness, rashes and limit aggression, but data was not strong enough to support recommendations for use.”
Good News But Not Binding
This news is positive and signals that Canada may be moving to a system closer to the United States, where CBD is widely available online and in retail stores. But unfortunately, the panel did not state anything about CBD’s efficacy and potential benefits.
More importantly, Health Canada does not have to adhere to the panel’s recommendation. Also, no deadline has been put in place for how long they can act upon the information.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.