We consider that veterinary products containing Cannabidiol (CBD) are veterinary medicines and should be regulated as such. We have made this decision on the basis that products containing CBD fulfil the following definition of a veterinary medicine in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) by virtue of the effects they have:
any substance or combination of substances that may be used in, or administered to, animals with a view either to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis.
Marketing Authorisation requirement for CBD products
CBD products for use in animals therefore now require a marketing authorisation before they can be sold or supplied in the UK. There are currently no CBD based products that have been granted a UK veterinary marketing authorisation.
Using human CBD products to treat animals
As there are currently no CBD products authorised in the UK for veterinary use, a veterinary surgeon may prescribe a legally obtained human CBD product under the provisions of the prescribing cascade. Administration of an unauthorised product containing CBD without a veterinary prescription is an offence under Regulation 8 of the VMR. Companies supplying CBD products for human use in line with the requirements of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency must not indicate or recommend their products for use on animals.
Our next steps
We will be writing to UK CBD suppliers and manufacturers to inform them of our decision and to ensure products containing CBD satisfy the requirements of the VMR. We will continue to provide regulatory guidance to any company wishing to apply for a marketing authorisation.