In a ground-breaking decision, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that the United Nations should no longer classify
cannabidiol (CBD) as a drug. A convention of the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) in November 2017 assessed the potential risks of 17 scheduled substances, with CBD products on that list.
The ECDD looked at evidence from studies in both animals and humans in their assessment of CBD, concluding that the compound may have medicinal value for treating epilepsy, and that it has no abuse or dependence potential. Hence, the ECDD determined that, with the information available, there was no justification for the UN to schedule CBD.
The group will convene once again in May 2018 to carry out a more complete study on marijuana and key cannabinoids.
One wonders how important the presence of Raul Elizalde, president of HempMeds Mexico, was at the ECDD convention. The medical marijuana activist spoke favorably of CBD and urged them to classify the molecule as a dietary supplement and not a drug. Elizalde’s interest in CBD stems from his daughter Grace, who has been treated with medical marijuana oil for her severe epilepsy. HempMeds Mexico is government-approved and produces all the MMJ oil permitted in Mexico.
Elizalde said that he and HempMeds Mexico were “ecstatic” about the decision of health leaders to change their stance on CBD, and that it’s closer to being recognized for its therapeutic qualities. He hopes that 2018 will see the CBD conversation continue. In August 2017, the FDA interestingly referred to CBD as ‘beneficial’.
CBD is listed as a Schedule I substance in the United States, but should the UN now rule that CBD should not be regulated, the federal government would be under pressure to reschedule the compound. This is due to the US being signed up to a 1971 treaty known as the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.