Cannabis products with a THC content of less than 1% are not subject to the Narcotics Act in Switzerland and are therefore increasingly being commercially exploited. Especially products with the non-intoxicating active ingredient CBD are gaining in importance.
Low THC cannabis
Cannabis or products made from it that have an average total THC content of at least 1% are prohibited under the Narcotics Directory Ordinance (BetmVV-EDI). However, there are various low-THC cannabis products that are not subject to the Narcotics Law because they have a THC content of less than 1%. In addition to raw materials such as hemp flowers or powder, these include processed products such as extracts in the form of oils or pastes, capsules offered in bulk, and ready-to-use products such as dietary supplements, liquids for e-cigarettes, tobacco substitutes, scented oils, chewing gum and ointments, some of which are offered as care products.
The production and sale of low-THC cannabis products have recently increased considerably, raising various health and legal issues. Even though these products are not covered by the Narcotics Law, they cannot be distributed and advertised at will. Depending on the product category, the Therapeutic Products Act, the Food Act or the Federal Act apply to their industrial utilization. To raise awareness of the legal framework, Swissmedic, the Federal Office for Health, the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Veterinary and the Federal Office for Agriculture have therefore produced a Fact sheet .
Over 80 cannabinoids and over 400 other active substances are found in the hemp plant. The most important cannabinoids are the intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD), which also reduces the psychotropic effect of THC. CBD is not subject to narcotics laws.
Among the low-THC cannabis products, those with increased CBD content are gaining in importance. The supply and demand are growing rapidly. Discussions include possible therapeutic effects such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, antiemetic, anxiolytic, or antipsychotic effects. However, the medical effect of CBD is currently only insufficiently researched.
Similarly, experts are debating whether cannabis with high CBD and less than 1% THC content can be used as a substitute product in harm reduction or in the treatment of problematic cannabis use.