“There is a lack of sufficent evidence surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaporizing cannabinoids”
Dr. John Lee, Cayman Islands Chief Medicial Officer
(CMR) The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has issued an immediate cease notice making the sale of vaporizable medical cannabinoids illegal on the island after an outcry on CMR's Facebook page.
The CMO used his powers under section 14 of the Misuse of Drugs Law (2017 Revision) to compel all health care professionals to:
“cease and desist from the insurance, processing, dispensing or selling of any cannabinoids which will be used by vaporization until further notice.”
The notice was issued yesterday after Cayman Marl Road called into question the sale of these products at a medical facility called Doctor's Express in George Town.
The matter was brought to our attention after a text message was sent to all Digicel clients on Tuesday afternoon. Several concerned persons also reached out to us indicating they did not appreciate receiving the text and were surprised that it was allowed at all.
The text message stated that THC vapes were available for sale exclusively at Doctor's Express.
As a result, CMR posted yesterday afternoon asking if the sale of these products was even legal and why the various on-island medical counsels were allowing it.
The outcry was swift and in just 24 hours the post received over 113 comments. Some people inquired as to why the text would be sent especially knowing that children might have Digicel phones and would have received it.
Doctors Express advertised the product for sale on their Facebook page earlier in September. The adverts indicated that the product is designed for people seeking “bliss, relation, relief, sleep and wellness” and that it was medical grade.
This advert seemed to go against the grain of what most medical professionals are now advising clients which is to stay away from vaping entirely and in particular vaping THC.
There has been an ongoing debate in the United States regarding vapes being marketed specifically to younger impressionable minds.
The letter states that the Ministry in collation with the Health Practice Commission and other relevant entities have opened an investigation into the use of cannabinoids in medicine at the request of the CMO.
It further states that serious concerns have been raised by local and international bodies about what appears to be the over-prescription of cannabinoid and related products.
He further states that the specific concerns about the safety of vaporizing cannabinoids were a factor in his decision.
In fact, THC has been called into question as being a potential cause of death and illness in relation to vapers in recent times. Most physicians are admitting they do not know for certain the cause of the alarming illness and would suggest people stop vaping in the interim.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in cannabis. In the Cayman Islands, limited usage of CBD oil is allowed for medical purposes since 2016 with a doctor's prescription.
For their part, Doctors Express calls the decision shortsighted and encourages people to contact the Minister of Health.
Meanwhile in the USA there's an interesting article in Newsweek that talks about the pop culture of CBD vs. the science of it and noted that:
“Trouble is, almost all of the claims are currently unsubstantiated. Clinical trials have failed to produce convincing evidence that CBD works on anything other than rare epilepsies, the sole treatment licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency, in fact, forbids companies from attributing any other health benefits to the substance. (It reprimanded Curaleaf, a startup, for making unsubstantiated claims about cancer and other diseases.)”Pal Pacher, an investigator at the National Institutes of Health and president of the International Cannabinoid Research Society