Cannabidiol, a substance found in cannabis plants that has no effect neither psychoactive nor narcotic but used to reduce physical pain or anxiety, it has been banned in Hong Kong.
The island’s authorities included the substance on their list of prohibited substances, at the same level as cocaine and heroin, something that has caused a wave of claims because CBD is used legally around the world for medical reasons.
However, Hong Kong considers that these effects are not based on “solid scientific evidence”.
Albert Chung, a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Hong Kong, said there was insufficient clinical evidence to support whether CBD can relieve stress and prevent eczema, saying it could be more of a “placebo effect.” for individual users.
In addition, the authorities justify their decision by claiming that CBD-based products can be transformed into tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, a psychoactive molecule from the cannabis plant), a substance that is no longer authorized in the territory.
But the process of converting from CBD to THC is complex. It generally requires a full lab environment and is not easy for hobbyists to do.
From now on, its import, export and production can carry penalties of up to life imprisonment and fines that can reach five million Hong Kong dollars (640,000 dollars).
For people who possess or use cannabidiol, there is a penalty of up to seven years in prison and a fine of one million Hong Kong dollars ($127,000).
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