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Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) – overview 21.04.2021 updates



Implementation guide by the technical platform for delimitation issues of the FOPH, the FSVO and Swissmedic

Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) are gaining popularity in Switzerland. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is not subject to the Narcotics Act because it does not produce a comparable psychoactive effect. However, this does not mean that CBD can simply be added to random preparations at will or advertised arbitrarily.Products can only be marketed legally if they comply with the legislation of the country where it is placed on the market. Depending on the classification, the corresponding Swiss legislation is applied.

This Information sheet provides an overview of the various CBD-containing raw materials and products offered by suppliers and their classification and marketability according to the current legal situation. It is intended primarily as an implementation guide for identifying the competent authorities and promoting consistent implementation. At the same time, it aims to raise awareness of the legal requirements among possible suppliers.

Main updates are:

Products that are offered as remedies (medicinal products, medical devices)

  • CBD mono-preparation Epidiolex® is ok
  • It is possible to manufacture and dispense medicinal products containing CBD in pharmacies in accordance with Article 9 paragraph 2 letter a HMG and taking into account the corresponding requirements under medicinal product law.
  • Futher information: Swissmedic

Products offered as foodstuffs

Products sold as cosmetics

  • The use of “cannabis”(non-resinous flowers and fruit stalks) and products made from it (e.g. hemp extracts, CBD) is prohibited in cosmetics. Seeds and leaves that are not mixed with inflorescences or fruits are, however, excluded from the term “cannabis” and may be used in cosmetics.
  • Further information : Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO

Products offered as articles of daily use (e.g. CBD-containing liquids for e-cigarettes)

  • The addition of CBD to liquids for e-cigarettes in pharmacologically effective doses is therefore not permitted.
  • Further information : Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO

Products presented as chemicals

  • If the presentation does not suggest any other application, products containing CBD, such as fragrance oils, can certainly be legally marketed under the provisions of chemicals law.
  • Further information: Joint Notification Authority for Chemicals

Products marketed as tobacco substitutes

Agricultural production of hemp, hemp seeds and planting material

  • From 1 January 2021, the agricultural production of hemp, which is not considered a narcotic, will be permitted. All provisions in the seed law for the production and marketing of hemp seeds and planting material are repealed. For the agricultural production of hemp, the provisions of plant health law and direct payment law must be observed. If hemp is to be used as animal feed, reference is made to the law on animal feed.
  • Further information

Import and export of cannabis and cannabis preparations with CBD and a total THC content of less than 1.0%.

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