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FDA Wants to Hear From the Experts on Pot, THC and CBD

FDA pot experts Cannabis Now
Photo Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now

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FDA Wants to Hear From the Experts on Pot, THC and CBD

The federal government is seeking comments on cannabis safety and medical uses before it presents before the UN’s World Health Organization.

The Food and Drug Administration has officially put out a call for public comments on cannabis, THC and CBD to bring to the World Health Organization (WHO) later this year. This call for public comment is just a single step in a years-long process of the WHO considering a change in its cannabis policy. The United States is a signee of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. That means that when the WHO notifies the U.S. under Article 2 of the convention that it has information that may warrant a substance being added to the control list or having a current schedule changed, the Secretary of State must send the notice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

On Monday, this procedure was kicked into action, and a notice was published in the Federal Register, the daily bulletin of the federal government, calling for experts to submit comments on cannabis. All of those comments are supposed to contribute to the final U.S. testimony prepared by HHS. In this case, experts have two weeks to submit their testimony.

The reason the WHO put out the call for input is because the 40th Expert Committee on Drug Dependence will convene for a special session later this year. The committee will examine the current status of cannabis on its potential to cause dependence, abuse and harm to health, as well as its therapeutic applications. The WHO will then make recommendations to UN Secretary-General António Guterres on whether there is a need for international control of these substances.

The expert committee has been working on reviewing cannabis over the last three years.

At their 37th meeting, they requested the collection of data that would go towards a pre-review of cannabis, cannabis resin, extracts and tinctures of cannabis at a future meeting. Following the request, the WHO went on to commission two updates on the scientific literature for cannabis and cannabis resin, which were prepared and presented in 2016.

In those meetings, some of the main takeaways were that the organization is concerned about scheduling the entirety of the cannabis plant under one category, that there has been an increase in the use of cannabis and its components for medical purposes, and that the emergence of new cannabis-related pharmaceutical preparations for therapeutic use will impact the decision.

Monday’s FDA announcement hit a lot of the U.S. government’s usual cannabis talking points. It reminded everyone that the FDA has not approved any product made from the whole plant form of cannabis, including CBD, but substitutes like Marinol are available to people with appetite issues as a result of AIDS or chemotherapy. As for CBD, the announcement states it is being looked at for a variety of medical purposes in various clinical settings, but no FDA-approved CBD medications are on the market.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project‘s Senior Communications Director Morgan Fox, the pro-marijuana organization will be filing their evidence with the FDA, but in the end, he expects the final package that the U.S. government will take to the WHO will back the current state of federal marijuana policy.

While this all sounds America-centric on our end, the impact on the global cannabis community could be huge. Most of the 182 million cannabis users cited in the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime 2017 World Drug Report live under the risk of being criminalized for their use. The WHO and UN pushing back on that trend could be a massive development.

All electronic and written comments are required to be filed with the Department of Health and Human Services by April 23.

TELL US, will you tell the FDA what you think about cannabis?

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. JAMES Gleason

    October 19, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Cannabis is the most versatile, efficacious plant on Earth. This is practically concerned with cannabis biomass. The FCDA have produce their biomass equstion which shows that cannabis biomass is the most effective and potentially the cheapest and most reliable way to produce energy. Hemp seed is a single most complete food on the planet. There are over 50,000 industrial uses with cannabis. It also treats and cures over 250 debilitating diseases. This plant is nothing short of a miracle.

  2. Cannabis oil

    July 18, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    While taking cannabis oil it is of vital importance that the diet is organic and mostly raw food is recommended. Avoid chemicals of any kind in your food supplies and in your daily environment. Make sure to consume all the vital vitamins and minerals. Within a short period of time after taking cannabis oil you will sense the effects of these unique natural healing cannabinoid molecules on your body.

  3. Caryle Hearte

    April 15, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    I have left my comment and I keep checking to see how many comments to date. Only 3,908 comments are listed. There has been no “News” story on television. I keep at it daily to spread the word as time is short.

  4. Jennifer Fanuzzi

    April 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Hello. I actually have a very long history with pain and opiate medications. I was able to get off of several prescription drugs , Vicoden, Fentanyl patches and Oxycodone by using Cannabis. I started with tinctures and edibles and used concentrates when the pain was severe. Without being overly dramatic, I have to say that Cannabis gave me my life back. I am a Registered Nurse and have years of experience in the fields of geriatrics and memory care. I am also a hospice nurse. I now take CBDs every day because it is a proven NEUROPROTECTANT. I’m now a certified Cannabis Nurse and work in a dispensary. I study the research and educate our clients and anyone who will listen. PLEASE RESCHEDULE CANNABIS TO ITS OWN SCHEDULE 6 for the purposes of further RESEARCH and DECRIMINALIZATION. Thank you!

  5. Melissa Kay Fish

    April 12, 2018 at 6:39 am

    I’m a 56 year old who’s been on disability for 25 years. A toxic relationship of mental and physical abuse for 8 years. I live with pain, depression, anxiety, ptsd every day of my life. I quit all my medication in 2015 all 15 plus including 180 hydros, clonazepam, lorzapam, 3 antidepressants, sleeping pills it goes on and on. But I quit and started smoking pot. My life changed. I was functioning like I hadn’t in years. Life was good. Then I got caught. I’m now on probation and living with all the pain and mental issues again. Went back to the doctor after 6 months of their meds I told him I was going off them they didn’t help before and they weren’t helping now. He told me we would have to do this gradually. The following month asked me how it was going? Told him good. And he wants to up the doses. I just shook my head. They push this poison they call miracle drugs. When the true miracle drug comes in a simple plant that the all powerful drug company’s don’t want legal because they will lose billions. Please allow us a God given medicine the right to use it. Legalize it.

  6. Smokey

    April 11, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    I have used cannabis for 25 years now multiple times daily. I have had no side effects, I sleep better, I’m not having anxiety or the depression issue I had prior to self medicating with cannabis. The real crime is allowing doctors to give lethal pharmaceuticals yet a plant that has never harmed anyone to that degree is banned.. it’s a sad money greed issue and is a crime against humanity to ban a god given gift as such..

  7. Rico Camacho

    April 11, 2018 at 8:01 am

    I Haven’t had a Migraine in five years.

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