DATE: December 20, 2019

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is warning the public against buying imported Cannabidiol (CBD) oil being used as pain reliever and helps improve overall health and wellness.

PDEA Director General Aaron N Aquino reiterated the warning after the increased trafficking of CBD oil using the mail and parcel services was recorded. CBD oil is also openly sold in online shopping platforms in the country.         

                                                   What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol is the second most prevalent of the active ingredient of marijuana next to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)- the main psychoactive cannabinoid of marijuana which causes mind-altering and euphoric effects. THC is a dangerous drug included in the 1971 United Nations Single Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

However, unlike the THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and there is no evidence of public health problems associated with it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.

 “CBD is not addictive, but contains very small amounts of THC which remains illegal under the law. In general, the law dictates that any variety and derivative from marijuana, including CBD, is prohibited,” Aquino said.

                                           Medication and side effects

Clinical studies suggest that CBD has broad therapeutic value. CBD is known to be effective for seizure disorder and chronic pain. The cannabis oil may also be used to help improve sleep, and reduce anxiety and stress.

Other than the treatment, the CBD oil can also cause unpleasant side effects, the most common include nausea, fatigue, and irritability. The cannabis oil can also cause dry mouth, low blood pressure, light headedness, and drowsiness.

                                              Methods of consumption

There are four ways to consume CBD oil-- inhalation, sublingual drops, ingestion and topical application.  

 Inhalation of the CBD oil is done through smoking and vaping.  Likewise, drops of the substance can be placed under the tongue before swallowing, and can be infused to food and drinks. CBD oil can also be applied like a balm or ointment on the skin.

                                             Compassionate use                                          

According to Section 2 of Republic Act 9165, or “The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002”, “People with legitimate medical needs are not prevented from being treated with adequate amounts of appropriate medications, which include the use of dangerous drugs”.

“While marijuana remains illegal, including for medical purposes, in the country, terminally-ill patients may apply for a special permit from Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for the compassionate use of CBD oil,” Aquino noted.

To apply for the special permit, the patient needs to accomplish an application form from FDA, and submits letter from the prescribing doctor, medical abstract and the amount of the medical cannabis needed. All documents will be the subject of evaluation by the FDA.

                                            Recorded seizures

Since February 2019, a total of 792 milliliters and 621 grams of CBD (with THC) contained inside bottles, droppers, capsules, vape juice cartridges, and gummy candies, were intercepted following 14 incidents of mail and parcel interdiction operations in airports and seaports. Two consignees were also arrested as a result of the operations. The rest of the seized packages reflected senders with fictitious names, and were placed under investigation.

“PDEA cautions the public not to buy CBD oil simply because the law expressly forbids it,” the PDEA chief said, advising the public to surrender any products containing CBD to the nearest PDEA regional offices, or report it to PDEA contact numbers 09998887332, 09255737332 or 09279160616.

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