This report in Maltese publication lovinmalta.com interviews the oncologist tasked to select the initial product most suitable for prescription purposes
Here’s a snippet of his argument for making the synthetic choice initially.
Refalo said he agreed to sign it because there exists scientific proof that the drug is an effective one, and is indeed used to alleviate pain amongst patients at the Dove Clinic for chronic pain in the UK.
He said that such proof does not, as yet, exist for the natural form of CBD oil – a herbal remedy containing cannabidiol (CBD) one of two main active ingredients derived from cannabis. Unlike the synthetic stuff, the natural CBD oil also contains strains of THC – the second, and the psychoactive, active ingredient derived from cannabis.
However, he predicted that hemp oil will one day hit the shelves of Maltese pharmacies once further research is conducted, an eventuality he will welcome because it will allow the market to be regulated.
Yet, until that time comes, the only hemp oil available in Malta will be the extremely expensive synthetic form – 20ml of the oil that is 5% synthetic CBD costs around €700, while the same volume of the oil that is 10% synthetic CBD will cost €1,500. This makes it around ten times as expensive as natural CBD oil.
Refalo admitted that the high price was a concern and that it will essentially price the average people out of buying it.