A breakdown of New Zealand law and regulation surrounding cannabis based products.
Updated 27th July 2020
Cannabis-based products include a wide range of products that may be prescribed to treat a host of medical conditions and symptoms.
What defines a Cannabis-Based product?
Cannabis based products contain usually contain one or both of CBD and THC. As most of the research and benefits have been focused around these two cannabinoids, these are the two ingredients you’ll see in most cannabis-based products. Some less refined or full spectrum products may also contain the plants other cannabinoids and terpenes.
|Non-psychoactive cannabinoid||Psychoactive cannabinoid|
|Can reduce the anxiety and the effect of the THC high||Responsible for the psychological effects such as head high, potential increase in heart rate, and slower reaction times|
|Cannabinoids work best together without each other|
Medical Cannabis versus Recreational Cannabis
Medicinal Cannabis Products in New Zealand
From 1 April 2020, registered medical practitioners no longer need Ministerial approval to prescribe Sativex™ for off-label use for patients under their care, where this is within their scope of practice. When a prescription has been issued, Sativex™ can be dispensed to the patient by a registered pharmacist, or by a registered medical practitioner if the patient is in their care.
A CBD product is defined as a product that contains cannabidiol:
- AND must have < 2% of THC (or any other psychoactive components within cannabis)
- AND does not contain any other controlled drug
- AND contains cannabidiol and does not contain a psychoactive substance.
Dosing of Medicinal Cannabis
- Some are synthetic and some are natural (plant-based and have different strengths from different parts of the plant).
- Different products have different amounts of cannabinoids, so until there are more reliable products available, it is difficult to know the right dose.
- There are side effects and dangers of using smoked cannabis for medicinal use because it is impossible to know what doses are being inhaled.
- The general advice for any medicinal cannabis product is to start with low doses and increase slowly to assess for beneficial effect