Cannabis: WHO guidelines on good agricultural and collection practices (GACP) – Free PDF download

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Interest in traditional systems of medicine and, in particular, herbal medicines, has
increased substantially in both developed and developing countries over the past two
decades. Global and national markets for medicinal herbs have been growing rapidly,
and significant economic gains are being realized. According to the Secretariat of the
Convention on Biological Diversity, global sales of herbal products totalled an estimated
US$ 60 000 million in 2000. As a consequence, the safety and quality of herbal medicines
have become increasingly important concerns for health authorities and the public alike.


Within the overall context of quality assurance, the WHO guidelines on good agricultural and
collection practices (GACP) for medicinal plants are primarily intended to provide general
technical guidance on obtaining medicinal plant materials of good quality for the
sustainable production of herbal products classified as medicines. They apply to the
cultivation and collection of medicinal plants, including certain post-harvest operations.
Raw medicinal plant materials should meet all applicable national and/or regional
quality standards. The guidelines therefore may need to be adjusted according to each
country’s situation.


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The main objectives of these guidelines are to:

! contribute to the quality assurance of medicinal plant materials used as the source for
herbal medicines, which aims to improve the quality, safety and efficacy of finished
herbal products;

! guide the formulation of national and/or regional GACP guidelines and GACP
monographs for medicinal plants and related standard operating procedures; and

! encourage and support the sustainable cultivation and collection of medicinal plants
of good quality in ways that respect and support the conservation of medicinal plants
and the environment in general.


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