A Korean Startup Needs to Capitalize on CBD Oil in Korea

Korea became the first country in East Asia to legalize medical marijuana. CBD oil in Korea is big news considering the United States has seen a boom in the cannabis market in the past few years once cannabis was legalized. Furthermore, what makes this news so shocking is that South Korea has always been against legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. However, with this step toward legalizing medical marijuana, it might be possible that marijuana will at some point be legalized in Korea.

CBD for medical use now legal in Korea

The legalization of recreational marijuana is not coming anytime soon. However, the use of hemp oil or cannabidiol (CBD) is now legal for medical use. In addition, CBD has no hallucinogenic effects. Therefore, the medical community has tested CBD for its efficacy in neurological and brain diseases. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) will create regulations regarding medical cannabis. The regulations will be done by the middle of 2019.

CBD Oil in Korea

The laws in Korea will be strict regarding CBD. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products will be prohibited. Not all cannabis plants are created equal. Hemp, for example, has very little THC but a large amount of CBD. It is a huge craze in the United States due to its relaxing effects. Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how CBD affects the body. Some initial studies have shown that CBD can help with a number of different medical conditions.

The Potential CBD Market in East Asia

Early on everything regarding medical marijuana will be controlled by the Korean government. Therefore, the key here is that the cannabis market now has Korea as a target market. With possible other East Asian countries following in Korea’s footsteps.

CBD Market in Korea

For Korean startups, this is now the perfect time to plan to start a CBD oil business in Korea. This is because if history has anything to say, CBD products will soon be legalized in Korea. Those that plan early can reap the benefits.

This is what happened in America. There is CBD in everything from lollipops to lattes. CBD products are part of what is estimated to be a one billion dollar industry in the United States. Therefore, it will only be a matter of time before Korea opens CBD to the masses. We will be seeing CBD in more and more Korean products.

The current state of CBD oil in Korea

This does not mean you can bring CBD oils or products in Seoul.  Therefore don’t even think about having them mail it to Korea to help a loved one.  The good news is that now people in Korea can go to a hospital and get medical CBD treatment.  There have been close to 70 arrests made in Korea in 2018 for smuggling CBD into Korea.  Koreans need to get a letter from their doctor explaining their condition and why CBD would be beneficial. Furthermore, the letter then needs to be taken to the Korean Orphan Drug Center for final approval which should not take longer than a week.  

If CBD oil gets legalized in Korea, more patients would be able to get affordable cannabis-based treatments at a more reasonable cost. Getting CBD oil from the hospital is 10 times more expensive. 

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Medical Cannabis in Korea

What kind of cannabis-based drugs will be allowed in Korea for medical purposes? 

For those suffering from epilepsy, they will be prescribed Epidolex. Those suffering from multiple sclerosis, they will be prescribed Sativex. For those having issues with nausea and vomiting because of cancer treatments of the AID virus will be prescribed Cesamet and Marinol

Can companies produce medical cannabis in Korea? 

No. Korea is not allowed to manufacture cannabis-based drugs. 

How do I qualify for medical cannabis in Korea? 

Step 1: Get a medical diagnosis from a doctor for cannabis-based drugs. 

Step 2: Fill out an application for medical cannabis. In addition, the application will ask for the diagnosis from the doctor, a letter from the doctor, and full medical records. 

Step 3: Send the application to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety via fax, mail, or online. 

Step 4: If approved the Korean Orphan Drug Center will import the requested drug into South Korea. 

Could more cannabis drugs be added to the list of 4? 

Yes, a representative from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety stated that there is room for expansion. There is no final list. 

Which Hospital in Korea offers medical cannabis? 

The only way to get cannabis medicine is to pick it up personally at the Orphan Drug Center in Seoul. They will not mail it to you.