Just a decade ago, it would have been unthinkable for the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to hint that marijuana or any of it compounds could be medically beneficial. The same could perhaps be said even a year ago, when the agency was trying to ban CBD products by classifying the cannabinoid as a Schedule I controlled substance, which would have deemed it to have no medicinal value.
However, just 12 months on, and it seems that the FDA may finally be adopting a more open stance to this therapeutic compound and dietary supplement.
CBD is non-psychoactive and has medicinal value
The FDA’s tentative 180 has come with the agency reaching out to the public to find out users’ experiences with CBD. The agency put out a request in the Federal Register for people to get in touch and offer their thoughts on CBD and how it should be designated by the World Health Organization under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.
In making this step, the FDA has effectively acknowledged that CBD is medically “beneficial,” particularly for patients suffering with neurological disorders.
Since CBD is non-psychoactive and has medicinal value, there isn’t really any justification for prohibiting the substance. Unfortunately, however, the U.S. federal government still takes a dated approach to marijuana and the possibilities of the herb as a medicine.
Those who have useful information about CBD or experiences with the compound are urged to comment on the Federal Register before September 13. It’s important to act fast as any viewpoints offered after this date won’t be taken into consideration.
The WHO’s scheduling review of CBD comes as part of a wider program to address the classification of 17 substances in all. Any decisions taken will only affect how CBD is scheduled within the framework of the United Nations and will not directly impact how the federal government schedules the cannabinoid. But the US is signed up to the 1971 Convention, and any changes at the UN could have influence here at home.
Comments from FDA Deputy Commissioner Anna K. Abram indicate that the agency may be ready to cede some ground.
She said that experimental models of neurological disorders, including seizure and epilepsy, have demonstrated CBD to be medically beneficial.
This position is in direct contrast to another federal agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Just last year the DEA sought to make CBD a Schedule I controlled substance, which would determine it to have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”
Other substances included in the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances include five synthetic cannabinoids, six types of potent synthetic opioid fentanyl, and psychoactive muscle relaxant fentanyl.
All the drugs being assessed by the UN will also be evaluated by the FDA. However, federal officials will not give any opinion on whether any of the substances should be internationally controlled.
If you would like to offer your two cents on CBD to the FDA, head to the Regulations.gov.