Additives, or excipients, are substances that are added to the active pharmaceutical ingredients in medicines to promote or support their therapeutic effects.

Additives are any substance that is added to the formulation of products and medicines to improve or maintain their existing characteristics. In the pharmaceutical industry, additives are known as excipients and are often used as preservatives or diluents. 


What is an additive in medical cannabis?


An additive in medical cannabis refers to any additional substance included during the manufacturing process to improve taste, shelf life, or efficacy. These can include natural terpenes or artificial agents.


Are additives in medical cannabis safe for everyone?


Only additives with a proven safety profile can be added to CBPMs in the UK, but some patients might react negatively, especially to synthetic additives. The medical cannabis sector is under stringent regulations, and additives must meet strict safety standards before they can be used. 


How can you find out what additives are in your medical cannabis product?


All cannabis-based medicines in the UK must come with a full certificate of analysis, which lists all additives and their concentrations. This certificate can be requested from the manufacturer or dispensary from where you received your medical cannabis product.

If you have any concerns about additives, speak to your prescribing specialist. 


How common are additives in medical cannabis products in the UK?


Additives are not particularly common in UK medical cannabis products, but they are found in some formulations designed for vaping or oral consumption. However, the UK has strict regulations, so all additives must meet safety standards and be clearly listed on the product label.


To find out more about additives, click here.