When a quantity of medical products are produced at one time, collectively, they are often referred to as a batch.

When medicines are manufactured, they are typically made in specific quantities, usually referred to as a batch. These batches can vary in size and scale depending on the pharmaceutical manufacturer, and sometimes the term 'batch' is used to refer to an individual’s quantity of prescribed medication. 

In each batch of medicine, the units, or individual products, should be uniform in composition, efficacy, and safety, because they have been produced under the same conditions, using the same methods, materials, and processes. 


How are medication batches identified and tracked?


Every batch receives an identification number, or unique ID, known as a batch number, so that it can be traced to ensure safety and efficacy. Alongside recording each batch number, every time a new batch of medicine is produced, the ingredients, their sourced location, the manufacturing location, process, specifications, and date are all recorded. 


Why are batches of medical cannabis numbered?


Grouping products that have been manufactured at once together, or with medical cannabis flower, harvested and cultivated together, and giving them batch numbers helps in a number of ways. Not only does it make tracking and tracing easier, but it also ensures quality control and consistency. If any issues or defects arise with a particular batch, the entire batch can be easily recalled.

Because these products were produced at the same time, they will expire at the same time, and so, each batch has an expiration date that determines how long the medication will be effective, or safe to use, for. 


Are batch numbers on cannabis-based medicines required by law?


In the UK, it is a legal requirement for every cannabis based medicinal product to display its batch number on its label. Batch numbers also need to be recorded by suppliers of unlicensed cannabis based medicines for record-keeping reasons, and during importation or exportation. This is crucial for traceability, and allows quality control throughout the supply chain, from production, to distribution, to patient. 

If you would like to learn more about medical cannabis in the UK, Releaf is here to help.