GUEST BLOG: Tadhg Stopford – Hemp CBD – Cannabidiol – is safe, beneficial, and should be food


Pain, anxiety, cancer, inflammation, these are only some of the things Hemp CBDs good for, so it’s a good food to have.

Plant compounds like terpenes, phenols, and cannabinoids kill cancer. It’s a fact. That’s partly why we are not allowed Hemp CBD foods.

CBD was nearly food. But some legal gymnastics by the Ministry of Health locked it up as a pharmaceutical. Hmm. Come into the Cannabis Paradox… where Ministers of ‘Health’ ask the food regulator (FSANZ) to block public access to CBD foods “to distinguish between a food and a therapeutic good” and “avoid blurring the line between food and therapeutic”.

Ie. Public servants try to prevent the public accessing foods with health benefits.

Does this seem unethical to you?

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 Anyway. Because it’s so safe, FSANZ said it couldn’t block public access in a way that would be secure from legal challenge. Which is when MedSafe NZ piped up with “CBD is a controlled drug”.

This was the opposite of what its own specific advice said in 2009. But, if true, it would have ensured CBD could not be a food, a supplement, or a herbal remedy (as it is in the OECD).

However, New Zealand’s forensic Chemistry team at the police laboratory/ESR used *facts* to contradict MedSafe on this, so CBD foods were still good, until…

MedSafe concocted a perverse legal opinion that CBD was a controlled drug, which no one is allowed to see.

It’s cloaked under legal privilege, ie. a secret. OIAs tell us the opinion is based on a Treaty’s ‘explicitly prohibitionist nature’ – which is, curiously, the opposite of what the Treaty actually says re: Cannabis.

Hence, in 2020, the European Court of Justice ruled controlling CBD would be “counter to…the Treaty”. (UNSCN 1961)

But, this secret legal opinion was vital to prevent kiwis and aussies from accessing CBD foods. With it, Medsafe extinguished the food category for CBD, as well as dietary supplements, and herbal remedies. Because you can’t make controlled drugs into any of those things. It would be deeply concerning if MedSafe had dishonestly denied the public access to foods that could cure cancer. So the legal opinion used to secretly make CBD a controlled drug should be available to the public. Yet MedSafe deems “a lack of public interest”.

If only medsafe hadn’t denied the public CBD foods, supplements, and remedies in 2016. Then we could have all had cheap safe beneficial CBD foods made by kiwi farmers. Instead, it seems that the cannabis shenanigans of medsafe are a microcosm of the regulatory ram raid called “the Therapeutic Products Act (2023), which gives MedSafe all the other natural health products in the world “to regulate as it sees fit”

For more detailed information, and all the source documents, please go to
Join us, help us prove there is “public interest”
Tadhg Stopford is a cannabis activist. 


  1. “cannabinoids kill cancer. It’s a fact.”

    Is it? Guns also kill cancer cells in a petri dish, by your logic guns should be freely available as cancer cures.

  2. Interesting read and thanks for the links to studies, however would appreciate the non-mass-generalisation of ‘Public servants try to prevent the public accessing foods with health benefits’. I’m a public servant. I rally and am a massive advocate for CBD. So I see what you mean, but still… not a good choice of words.
    Plus no mention of the fact that for some reason, the general NZ public voted no in the 2020 referendum?
    I agree there is something amiss as CBD is so widely available abroad, from general chemist/health food shops, etc. – sadly I don’t have much hope for the incoming new govt to make things better (unless they can turn a tidy profit…)

    • Hi, thank you for your service Ivana!

      Sorry Re: choice of words, it wasn’t every public servant, but it was medsafe and health legal.

      The referendum is irrelevant. What’s relevant is the ‘long con’ we have all been a part of, which includes the referendum in a way.
      To wit,
      1. The 2006 Hemp Regs (MoDA) were world leading legislation designed to enable “all/any product(s) of hemp”
      …they were disabled by medsafe for 12 years, until they could be lobotomised by the ‘medicinal cannabis amendment act’ (MCA) in 2018.

      2. Along the way, in 2016, what seems like a fraud was done to extinguish the categories of food, supplements, and remedies for cannabinoids like CBD.

      3. In 2018 the MCA made hemp a pharmaceutical. Much as the proposed US rescheduling to schedule 3 will do.

      4. The 2020 referendum was forced on labour, who, like national, and MoH, are committed to an inequitable pharmaceutical monopoly model. It was a non starter that came surprisingly close to winning despite massive institutional bias.
      Eg. In the chief scientists report, why were the potential harms of legalisation part of the terms of reference, but not the benefits?

      It’s all anticompetitive practices and fraudulent marketing. That’s the cannabis paradox, everything the establishment tells us is pretty much a lie or misinformation; because we are treated like stock units not citizens.

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