Extension of medicinal cannabis scheme arrangements

It is very pleasing and good news that today, Health Minister Andrew Little stepped in to grant an extra six months for medicinal cannabis companies to meet a stiff quality standard imposed by the Government.

What this means to you?

By extending the deadline, to 01 October 2021, patients will be able to access various products, while suppliers have the additional time they need to apply to the Medicinal Cannabis Agency for verification

Why has this happened?

As of 5th of March 2021, just two products from one company had met the standard for medicinal cannabis, and were both approved.

Without the extension to the deadline, all products except two Tilray cannabidiol (CBD) products and Sativex (which has gone through Medsafe approval rather than the standard specific to medicinal cannabis) would have been taken off the market on March 31st.

Suppliers have indicated difficulties in providing evidence to establish that their existing products meet the quality standard, which is further complicated by COVID-19 affecting global supply chains. Cabinet had previously supported importers and suppliers to ensure that the supply of existing medicinal cannabis products was not disrupted, by initially setting the the transitional period to 31 March 2021.

For now, Pharmacies will still be able to source their patient’s currently prescribed medicinal cannabis products through their existing suppliers, with products not required to meet the quality standards until 1 October 2021. Prescribers can be assured there is no inadvertent disruption to the supply of medicinal cannabis products they prescribe to their patients.


You can now source various CBD products from multiple suppliers, which leads to “ price competitiveness” which is a very healthy situation ! 

CBD Oil Longevity and Storage

Here are answers to some common questions about CBD longevity, including how to extend the shelf life of CBD oil and put this “liquid gold” to best use.

How long does CBD oil last?

If you’re only using a few drops a day, it could be many months or even a year before you use up the entire bottle. Which might leave you asking yourself questions?

Does CBD oil expire?

The general rule of thumb is that CBD oil has a shelf life ranging from 14 months to two years, depending on how the product is stored. Direct sunlight and intense heat are two factors that can cause a bottle of CBD oil to go bad before its expiration date. Higher-quality products tend to last longer, especially those that have been minimally processed like full-spectrum CBD oil. Pure CBD oil may last longer than flavored oils since any added ingredients have a shelf life of their own that could be shorter than the shelf life of the CBD.

It’s also a good idea to be aware of what extraction process was used to make the product. Many cannabis experts agree that the CO2 method is best for producing premium oil that stays potent longer because the hemp or cannabis compounds remain stable during this type of extraction. Other methods may destabilize the compounds, potentially creating a lower-quality bottle of CBD oil with a shorter shelf life.

Any CBD product — whether it’s top-shelf or bargain-priced — should have an expiration date clearly printed on the label. The Medafe regulations, requires such labeling for consumer protection, so steer clear of any CBD products (or any products for that matter) that are not in compliance.

Does CBD oil go bad?

CBD oil can lose its potency if stored improperly or kept for longer than two years. Weak CBD oil means that the cannabinoids have broken down and don’t function at peak levels in the body. So, an older bottle is less likely to deliver any of the potential therapeutic effects of CBD oil, such as pain relief.

How do I know if CBD oil has gone bad?

The aroma and flavor of CBD oil may become unpleasant over time, transforming from earthy to skunky. You can also observe visual changes in the oil, which may turn cloudy over time. Likewise, the texture of CBD oil will change and the oil may appear thicker and lose its smooth consistency. Lastly, a change in color indicates that the CBD oil is no longer fresh.

Can old CBD oil make you sick?

CBD oil does not spoil or turn rancid like milk or other oils, so you are unlikely to become ill if you consume a small amount of the product past its prime. This is especially true if you are microdosing. But to be on the safe side, toss any bottles that have been improperly stored or sitting in your medicine cabinet for longer than two years.

What is the best way to store CBD oil?

Manufacturers know that cool, dark places are optimal for storing CBD oil, which is why many of the best products are packaged in glass bottles tinted green. Dark green bottles prevent damaging sunlight from penetrating and hastening the product’s expiration date. Refrigerating CBD oil is not necessary. In fact, the most favorable environment may just be room temperature, between 15 to 21 degrees Celsius

How can I make CBD oil last longer?

Here are some pointers to keep CBD oil fresh until the upper end of the shelf-life range (24 months):

  • Open the bottle only when in use, then reseal the cap tightly. Oxidation is a foe of CBD and will shorten the shelf life.
  • Store bottles upright rather than horizontally.
  • Find the coolest, darkest place in your home to store CBD oils and tinctures. Drawers, cabinets, a pantry, and the cellar all make ideal CBD storage centers.
    Try not to store your CBD in a room where you use a humidifier, as excessive moisture can encourage mold to form.
  • Do not store CBD oil near a window. Direct sunlight will accelerate the expiration date of any CBD product.
  • Keep CBD oil away from all warm places in your home, such as radiators and ovens. Likewise, don’t store CBD oil in your purse or pocket for long periods. Any warm place can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • If you’re using a spoon or a dropper to dole out the CBD, make sure the utensil is clean. Don’t “double dip” a spoon, as you can introduce harmful bacteria and contaminate the oil.
  • When it comes to keeping your CBD oil potent, to sum it up best: “Shelf life for most products is about one year, although the storage conditions are important. Minimizing exposure to heat and light can help extend the shelf life.”

Cannabis dosing and allergy


Cannabidiol (CBD) is widely used by those suffering from a range of maladies and conditions, which is understandable given that studies show CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, increases the duration of sleep, and reduces the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Choosing an appropriate (and effective!) dosage for your body can be a challenge. Based on limited reach and patient feedback, it has been noted that some research participants have taken as low as10mg, while others have taken as high as 1000mg, respectively. 

This suggests that there is no exact dosage to be taken by everyone across the board. However it does not mean that you can’t find the right balance to achieve your desired results.

The safest and most effective method for finding the right dose of CBD is to follow two simple steps:

Start low and slow.

Going slow is the best way. Sure, it will take you some time to figure out the proper dosage that works for you, but you won’t have to second guess yourself about whether you’re taking too much CBD for your goals.

Start with a low dose and see how your body responds to it. If you start off with a large dose, you may start to feel mild, unpleasant side effects like drowsiness and fatigue.

If you aren’t seeing results after a week or two, increase your dose.

Naturally, not everything may go according to plan. So if you notice that your body isn’t responding the way you want it to when you take a lower dose, it might be time to increase your dosage a bit and monitor how your body responds.

Keep increasing the dosage slightevery 1-2 weeks until you begin experiencing the effects you’re going for.

The trial of dosing should be as per advise from your Cannabis Doctor team

What’s if you’ve found the right dose of CBD?

Remember, it’s not all about finding the right dosage for you and leaving it at that. How you consume CBD also makes a difference. It’s wise to go in with a general understanding of the different methods of taking CBD, including vaping CBD oil, eating CBD edibles, applying CBD topicals, and taking CBD oil sublingually. Now that you understand the process of finding the perfect CBD dose for you, it’s time to decide what method of taking CBD is preferable foryou and your lifestyle.


Marijuana is similar to any other plant which, can be generally beneficial, but may cause allergies in some consumers

According to studies, about 45% of patients who were allergic to cannabis also reported a reaction to plant-derived foods.

Symptoms, can range from skin irritation to respiratory issues to — in the most severe cases — anaphylactic shock.

“Skin symptoms are generally from touching it,”

One can sometimes see itchy skin and hives and sometimes there is swelling of the eye if you touch your eye after touching the marijuana plant. Respiratory symptoms can be nasal running and sneezing with associated itchy, watery eyes. Occasionally you’ll see wheezing, shortness of breath and asthmatic reactions. Anaphylactic symptoms generally occur with hempseed (or eating marijuana products)… Potentially, any anaphylactic event can be serious and life-threatening.”

Studies have shown that  some people just with passive exposure (to marijuana) did have sensitization or allergy symptoms. “At this point, it’s under-recognized and under-diagnosed.”

Avoiding marijuana is the only “truly effective way to deal with a marijuana allergy.” The good news is, if you test positive for cannabis allergies and experience common allergy symptoms, a doctor or allergy specialist may be able to prescribe common allergy treatment methods — i.e. nasal spray, antihistamines, or EpiPens if necessary — to reduce or eliminate symptoms.

Medicinal Cannabis Education

There is a lot of confusion, uncertainty and lack of reputable information about Medicinal Cannabis.

Hence it is very important that individuals (with health issues such as chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, migraines, fibromyalgia, cancer related side effects amongst other medical conditions), access reputable health platforms to access Medicinal Marijuana.

In order for health professionals, to practice management of patients with Medicinal Cannabis “It is imperative that they achieve competence by study, courses and other education resources about Medicinal Cannabis”

Many Medicinal Cannabis portals are run by Health professionals with little or no training about Medicinal Cannabis.

An ideal Medicinal Cannabis portal, needs to have a Multidisciplinary team with appropriate knowledge and qualifications to be able to manage a patient in a holistic manner in their Medicinal Cannabis journey.

Thankfully with the advent of telemedicine, there are a number of reputable educational portals on Medicinal Cannabis, to assist the Health professional to acquire the required knowledge and it is up to the health professional to avail of these.

The Entourage Effect

The interactive synergy between various cannabis compounds is called Entourage effect.

When various compounds within cannabis are combined, they collectively interact in the human body leading to astronomical results in comparision to individual compounds.
There are over a hundred different “Trepenes” in the cannabis plant and their interaction produces the Entourage effect.

CBD is more effective when it is ingested with other cannabinoids at the same time, as opposed to standard CBD oil, used in an isolated form with no other cannabinoids attached. Using the whole hemp plant, full spectrum CBD contains all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, along with trace amounts of THC.

While CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors, it does not bind to them. This is rather unusual among cannabinoids. By using full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD oil, you will be consuming a range of cannabinoids that bind to receptors located in both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. You can think of the entourage effect as the enhancement of your endocannabinoid system through the use of multiple cannabinoids.

Health benefits abound when high-quality medicinal cannabis is consumed by humans. The entourage effect may be one of the reasons why marijuana is such an effective medicine.

Is medicinal cannabis in New Zealand facing a looming crisis?

There are concerns about the availability of Medicinal Cannabis in NZ.

Beyond 31 March 2021, when a deadline to meet stiff new government rules is expected to keep the products of some the country’s main importers out of the market.

In April 2020, the government unveiled a new regulatory system to create more safe, widespread and affordable access to medicinal cannabis. It is yet to approve any product.

On March 31, special provisions, which have allowed companies to import under an old, stop-gap system will expire.

Even after receiving ministry verification, products will face a lag in reaching New Zealand. Companies require licences to both import to New Zealand and export from abroad, these cannot be obtained until after verification, and shipping times are uncertain.

Domestic production, still in its very early stages, is not likely to reach the market until late this year.

Ministry of Health spokesperson have indicated that as of now even though
no products have been approved under New Zealand’s new system, it does expect “a number of products to be verified as meeting quality standards by 1 April 2021.”

So looks like Medicinal Cannabis consumers, will have access to products after 1st April 2021, though it is not yet clear which products will be approved

Medicinal Cannabis in New Zealand

We are fortunate that Medicinal Cannabis is legal in New Zealand.

The Medicinal Cannabis Agency administers the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme and ensures medicinal cannabis products meet the minimum quality standard.


In a society that has witnessed extensive positive experiences with medicinal marijuana, individuals with a variety of medical conditions, should have the right to access it.
A New Zealand registered Doctor can prescribe Medicinal Cannabis for the suitable patient.

Interestingly many Doctors do not prescribe Medicinal Cannabis for deserving patients

There is a lot of confusion, uncertainity and lack of reputable information about Medicinal Cannabis.

Hence it is very important that individuals (with health issues such as chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, migraines, fibromyalgia, cancer related side effects amongst other medical conditions), access reputable health platforms to access Medicinal Marijuana.

Cannabis Slang 420

Four-twenty, 420, 4:20, or 4/20 is slang for marijuana and in cannabis culture for the consumption of cannabis. This slang term has come to represent the “ideal” time for smoking marijuana, being 4:20 pm, and has become synonymous with the date 4/20 being designated as “national pot day.

It’s a commonly known term in cannabis culture, but most people don’t know where it originated from. The prevailing theory is that, in 1971, the terms was invented by five high school students – Mark Gravich, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, Dave Reddix, and Steve Capper, who lived in San Rafael, California at the time.

They called themselves the Waldos, a play on words stemming from them sitting on a wall outside their school to survey the nearby area for a hidden cannabis crop based on a treasure map made by the grower.  Having agreed to meet every day at 4:20, the plan became code-named “4:20,” apparently giving rise to the term as slang for consuming cannabis.

Bowel Disorder

Bowel Disorders

“If living with bowel disease was an Olympic sport, one would have more medals”

Medicinal cannabis alleviates symptoms of Crohn’s disease

Chron’s disease is a truly an invisible disease. One day you may be fine and the next day you may experience severe symptoms

A rogue immune attack on the digestive tract appears to be the cause, and the result is symptoms such as abdominal pain and chronic, bloody diarrhea

Although the food a person eats can affect their symptoms during a flare-up, there’s no evidence that diet causes inflammatory bowel diseases or brings on flare-ups. It is important, however, for people with colitis and Crohn’s to eat as healthy and balanced a diet as possible – which they most likely know already.

Living with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, is a challenge.

Recent clinical trials have produced dramatic results with 50% of Crohn’s patients achieving complete remission and over 90% achieving substantial improvement.

How will I benefit?

How can cannabis help with inflammatory bowel diseases ?

Clinical studies, indicate that some cannabinoids may reduce pain related to certain Inflammatory bowel disorders. In particular individuals with Crohn’s disease treated with cannabis showed improvement of symptoms related to the disease, and improvements to their Crohn’s Disease Activity Index.

Crohn’s patients treated with Medicinal cannabis, reported significant relief of their symptoms, they are also able to reduce the amount of immunosuppressive medications that have been a mainstay of conventional treatment…

Beneficial effects were reported for appetite, pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, activity, and depression. Patients also reported that cannabis use resulted in weight gain, fewer stools per day and fewer flare-ups of less severity,even though it has no impact on gut inflammation



When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven't. Remember how far you've come, not just how far you have to go. You may not be where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.


On balance, while there is excellent evidence of anti cancer benefits of cannabis few would disagree that the palliative value of cannabis is of great benefit to many Cancer patients

How will I benefit?

How does Medicinal Cannabis help in Cancer ?

Medicinal Cannabis has been shown to be helpful for reducing nausea and vomiting linked to chemotherapy. it has also been found to help improve food intake and prevent weight loss in cancer patients.

Pain is a troublesome feature of most cancers and Medicinal Cannabis has proved useful to reduce cancer pain that is unrelieved by strong pain medicines, in some people.