KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — The Health Ministry (MOH) aims to conduct the registration of some Cannabidiol (CBD) products in 2023.
Its minister, Khairy Jamaluddin said the framework for the CBD product registration will be obtained thi year and the National Pharmaceutical Regulation Agency (NPRA) will assess the proposals.
“I foresee that we will be able to begin the registration of several CBD products next year, but what’s important isn’t the product itself, we need to see the veracity of the product data from safety aspects and effectiveness against certain diseases.
“Education and scientific exposure (on this matter) would need to be provided to medical officers in Malaysia,” he told reporters after the launch of a report titled ‘How Do Malaysians Really Feel About Drugs?’ by The Centre, a think tank co-founded by Khairy that conducted a survey on 500 adults nationwide in April 2022.
He also stressed that the use of CBD would be on prescription only, not for personal and self-medicating use and would never encompass recreational use.
“When we bring CBD in, it cannot be sold over the counter, it must be through prescriptions and what’s important is that when the product is available, doctors know how to provide prescriptions,” he said.
Khairy said the matter would take some time as the ministry was taking a cautious approach and was viewing international practices and scientific data on the use of CBD products.
He said the ministry would begin with assessing CBD product registrations, which is open to all, followed by clinical tests that encompass human trials conducted by Malaysian researchers on CBD use.
The ministry is also having discussions with several researchers from Universiti Malaya to have them conduct clinical trials for CBD use on several medical conditions in the country.
“When we have evidence from clinical trials for certain diseases or conditions, then it will boost the use and provision of CBD by medical officers,” he said.
On whether the CBD framework approval will result in cannabis cultivation in Malaysia, Khairy said it would not be so in the near future.
“We will consider cultivation, we go step-by-step. We take cautious measures, start with registering a few products and we see how well it’s received by doctors and patients. Then if it’s well received, safe and effective, then we can think about cultivation,” he said.
He said there have been many proposals sent to open cannabis farms but Malaysia had not reached that stage yet.