German group rejects CBD narcotic classification, wants sales only via prescription

An association of pharmacies dispensing medical cannabis in Germany spurned the idea that CBD ought to be considered a narcotic but wants the cannabinoid to remain available only via prescription.

The German Association for Cannabis Dispensing Pharmacies said in a news release that “CBD is an important ingredient of the cannabis plant, which both influences the effects of THC and can trigger significant effects due to its ability to activate special receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system.”

“As a result, CBD is classified as an active pharmaceutical ingredient and must be treated as such.”

Asked by Marijuana Business Daily to confirm whether the position stated in the German-language news release is that CBD should be sold only via doctor prescription and not over the counter, an association spokesperson replied via email that the organization “opposes the classification of CBD as a narcotic but supports at current state of research selling (it) only under prescription.”

The pharmacy association issued the communication amid an ongoing European debate about whether plant-derived CBD should be considered a narcotic.

Using Epidiolex as an example, the association said in the release that CBD has no intoxicating effect, so it should not be considered a narcotic.

However, the association is concerned about CBD being freely sold as a foodstuff.

“(CBD) deserves the chance to be perceived as an effective drug,” the association said.

Selling “non-standardized” CBD products as foodstuffs could eventually result in a “negative appraisal of the cannabinoid from authorities and health insurance companies.”