FDA approval is a long and rigorous process, meaning it could take years for CBD-based drugs to reach the market even if the FDA changes its stance. In the meantime, standard CBD oil — the kind found in pharmacies, supermarkets, and medical cannabis dispensaries around the country — would still not be covered.
Unfortunately, CBD is also quite expensive, so people will likely continue to ask this question until the answer becomes yes.
“If a product is being marketed as a drug — meaning, for example, that it’s intended to have a therapeutic effect such as treating a disease — then it’s regulated as a drug, and it generally cannot be sold without FDA approval.”
Why Health Insurance Doesn’t Cover CBD Oil
This has remained a popular view among many federal authorities. In 2018, when U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was asked about medical marijuana as a pain relief alternative to opioids, he responded by saying there is “no such thing as medical marijuana.”
Though most people know that no health insurance plan will cover medical marijuana, many still have questions on whether such plans might cover CBD oil and CBD products. They don’t induce a high, after all, and since the federal government legalized hemp-derived CBD in the 2018 Farm Bill, it seems counter-intuitive to most that health insurance companies would be averse to a product that is both legal and wildly popular.
Yet as with many cannabis-related matters, old attitudes are easy to shift but difficult to eradicate completely, and the association of CBD with the 20th century’s most demonized plant has created a blurry line that insurance companies are reluctant to cross. It also doesn’t help that marijuana-derived CBD, which many say is more effective than the hemp-derived variety, is still a Schedule I controlled substance according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“If it is undisputed that such drug has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and it is further undisputed that the drug has at least some potential for abuse sufficient to warrant control under the Controlled Substances Act, the drug must remain in Schedule I.”
It recently approved the first CBD drug to treat seizures related to 2 rare diseases. This drug is called Sativex. It's a purified version of CBD.
It's going to require time for the establishment to catch up with the millions of people finding relief from CBD.
Is CBD legal?
CBD basically stopped the seizures where no medications were working.
Even more incorrectly associate it with marijuana and THC.
In this way, the FDA does not have much regulation of it.
Cannabis is an eligible medical expense under Revenue Canada’s Medical Expense Tax Credit . So you can claim expenses related to medical cannabis on your tax return, as long as you have receipts from an approved Health Canada-licensed producer and medical authorization to back up your claim.
You could also be eligible for coverage under your workplace benefits plan. Earlier this year, Sun Life added an option for medical cannabis coverage through its group benefits plans. Employers with group benefits plans insured or administered by Sun Life have the option to add medical cannabis to their plans. If your employer has added this coverage, you may be able to recover the cost of your medical cannabis, if you have one of the health conditions for which Sun Life approves coverage.
Cannabis can be used for either medical or recreational purposes. The difference is really in the use. When we talk about medical cannabis, it’s in reference to cannabis being used to alleviate symptoms of various health conditions and diseases under the guidance of a physician and with the right authorization. Recreational cannabis, however, is not used to serve any medical purpose.
Claiming cannabis as a medical expense
To start, visit your doctor and talk about whether medical cannabis is an option for your treatment. If your doctor decides that cannabis may help you, they can provide you with a medical authorization, in compliance with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).
Once you have authorization, you can register with a Health Canada-licensed producer of medical cannabis . You can purchase medical cannabis in various forms, such as fresh cannabis, dried cannabis, cannabis oil, extracts and seeds.
Before you submit a claim for medical cannabis, here are a few things you should know.
Currently, the coverage offered by Sun Life is only available for conditions where there’s sufficient clinical evidence to support its use: