With Cannabis 2.0 fully underway, licensed processors now have the opportunity to begin producing additional classes of cannabis, and to develop new and exciting products to add to their portfolios. One of these new additional classes is the Cannabis Topical class, which has opened the door for companies that want an alternative to the stringent requirements to produce edibles.
Health Canada is allowing the creation of topical products that contain THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), up to a maximum level of 1000 mg of THC per immediate container. For the rest of the formulation, they recommend following the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist, which details ingredients that are restricted or forbidden for use in cosmetic products. While cannabis topicals do contain THC, making them a different type of product from regular topical cosmetics, it is still important that they follow proper testing and considerations to ensure that they are safe for the consumer to use on their skin. One way to ensure this is for processors to adhere to the specific quality requirements laid out in the Good Production Practices (GPPs) for cannabis, which are more stringent than the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) recommended for cosmetic production.
Part of these requirements would include the creation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that lay out the types of testing that should be done on the finished product, such as heavy metal testing, microbiological testing, viscosity, and parameters for properties like odour and colour. An additional area of concern would be stability testing of the product to ensure that it remains within the THC, chemical, and micro limits over the life of the product. For all of this testing, documentation will need to be kept and a sample of each batch of the finished product will need to be retained.
Like other cannabis products, packaging is also an important consideration. All openings are required to be child-proof, and to withstand repeated opening and closing, and the product inside should be compatible with anything used to line the inside of the packaging. The THC and CBD content of the topical must be declared on the labelling, along with the standardized cannabis symbol if it contains more than 10 ug/g, along with a warning to keep out of the reach of children. Along with additional labelling requirements, it is very important to note that cannabis products are forbidden from making any claims or implications that they provide a health or cosmetic benefit.
If you are a processor looking to include cannabis topicals on your licence, or interested in obtaining a processing licence to produce topical products, we can advise you from start to finish on how to create your own brand of cannabis topical that is compliant and stands out from the crowd.
For more information, please contact dicentra Cannabis Consulting today for a quote.