Athough cannabidiol (CBD) is still considered an illegal substance in the eyes of the United States government, the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that the substance has a number of therapeutic benefits and should not be listed a Schedule I drug.
Earlier last month, WHO published a report indicating that CBD, the non-intoxicating compound of the cannabis plant, was safe for both human and animal consumption. The report, which was penned by the agency’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD), shows that CBD is not only a treatment for controlling epileptic seizures, but it also has absolutely no risk potential for abuse in the world of recreational drugs.
“The ECDD did an initial review of a cannabis compound called cannabidiol (CBD). Recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions,” the WHO wrote. “Current evidence also shows that cannabidiol is not likely to be abused or create dependence as for other cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), for instance).”
The WHO committee also noted that a full review of CBD extracts was postponed until May 2018, when they said the committee “will undertake a comprehensive review of cannabis and cannabis related substances.”
WHO also said there is “preliminary evidence” showing that cannabidiol could be beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psychosis and Parkinson’s disease. It is for this reason, the agency explained, that a number of countries have “modified their national controls” in order to give CBD more flexibility in the medical community.
Unfortunately, the United States has not exactly been progressive when it comes to recognizing CBD’s benefits.
As it stands, anything derived from the cannabis plant remains illegal at the federal level. This means cannabidiol is considered a Schedule I dangerous drug, right up there in the ranks with heroin. The government is of the opinion that this substance comes with a high risk for abuse and it has absolutely no medicinal value. Yet, it has been made legal in some states as an alternative treatment for children suffering from seizure disorders.
Although U.S. regulators, including the FDA, may take the WHO report into consideration when it comes to making recommendations for the rescheduling of this cannabis component, it is not likely to do much good under the current administration.
Right now, President Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, are fighting a new drug war against cannabis. So, it is not likely that we will see an updated policy with respect to marijuana (even if it is only for cannabidiol) while Trump is still in office. Sure, the president has said that he supports medical marijuana, but there does not appear to be any evidence that he would actually get behind it at the national level.
In addition to giving cannabidiol the green light for medicinal application, WHO also recommended that fentanyl, the powerful opioid that has been killing thousands of people all over the country, be put under the toughest controls possible all over the world.
You can read the full report here.
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