CBD oil is legal, and parents can treat their kids without risk of legal action
In May 2019 health minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that low dose CBD products were no longer restricted, and can be legally bought and sold until May 2020.
CBD oil will be available from pharmacists under prescription, much like antibiotics are (iStock)

Just a day after we discussed how CBD oil isn't legal yet, and chatted to parents who are giving it to their kids anyway, the cannabis extract was been removed from South Africa's list of highly-controlled drugs and is now officially available on prescription.

"For the next 12 months at least "preparations" containing CBD will fall entirely outside the scheduling system that controls drugs in South Africa, in terms of an exemption gazetted by health minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Thursday," reports Business Insider.

CBD was a schedule 7 drug

Previously CBD was classified as a schedule 7 drug, alongside heroin, and buyers not protected by special dispensation were technically breaking the law.

Also read: CBD oil isn't legal yet, but parents are giving it to their kids anyway

It is now rated as a schedule 4 drug, meaning it will be available from pharmacists under prescription, much like antibiotics are.

To be considered exempt the maximum daily dose of CBD must be 20 milligrams or less, and "the product can not claim to cure or treat any specific condition".

This exemption is scheduled to expire in May 2020.

South African parents will celebrate 

This is good news to nearly a third of South African parents who have been skirting the law and giving the controversial compound to their kids anyway. 

27% of parents who responded to our survey revealed that they were treating their children with the as-yet unregulated, and therefore illegal, substance. 

They felt that the benefits outweighed the risks, and that while further research is certainly needed, they are willing to take the risk to help their kids. 

Many want more testing 

The majority of respondents revealed that they felt they needed more scientific reviews before they would consider using the oil, with 38% of parents saying they'd not be comfortable giving unregistered medicines to their kids, regardless of the supposed benefits. 

However, 35% of respondents were adamant that they will never let their kids near CBD oil, condemning the substance as a drug, regardless of scientific research and impending legalisation.  

Dangers of untested products 

A US based study found that 43% of CBD products contained too little CBD, while about 26% contained too much, and one in five of the CBD products tested contained the intoxicating chemical THC. 

"That's a problem because THC can increase anxiety. It can actually make seizures worse. Those are the sorts of things you need to be careful about," researchers warned, in the 2017 review.

There has also been some indication that CBD might harm the liver, and there are concerns that the compound could interact with common prescription medications.

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