DOH and PDEA Issue Advisory against Use of Hempseed Oil

The Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) have joined forces in stopping purchase and use of hempseed oil products or their varieties and derivatives from marijuana.

A joint advisory to this effect was signed Sept. 8 by PDEA Director-General Arturo G. Cacdac, Jr.,   and DOH Secretary Janette Garin, who was represented by Undersecretary Kenneth Go during the ceremonial signing. The signing was held at the PDEA national headquarters, Quezon City.

The advisory orders all manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, dealers and retailers of the consumer products to: Declare sources of hempseed oil products, or their varieties and derivatives in their labels or in writing to DOH’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or PDEA for verification and investigation.

Stop the importation, sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution, and transportation of hempseed oil or its varieties or derivatives from marijuana or Cannabis Sativa.

Surrender immediately hempseed oil products or their varieties or derivatives from marijuana to the nearest DOH-FDA or PDA offices, without prejudice to the filing of any administrative, criminal sanctions under RA 9165 and RA 7394.

Marijuana and Hemp are different varieties of the same species of plant, Cannabis Sativa. They are scientifically distinct from each other and propagated in various ways.

Hempseed oil is obtained by pressing hemp seeds. Unrefined hemp oil is dark to clear light green with nutty flavor, while the refined is clear and colorless, with little flavor and lacks natural vitamin and anti-oxidants.

Hempseed oil has been found being used in industrial and commercial production of textile, food, papers, body care products, personal hygiene products, cosmetics, detergents, plastics and building materials.

Cacdac said that “the general public is strongly advised that at present, products containing hempseed oil are strictly prohibited in the country. Although the benefits of hemp outweigh the risks, it is not yet legal or authorized by FDA to distribute or offer it for sale in the market.”

Cacdac emphasized that all local authorities are being urged to monitor and report proliferation of hempseed oil products or their varieties and derivatives from cannabis or marijuana to their nearest DOH-FDA or PDA offices.