All eyes will soon be on Geneva, Switzerland, as the World Health Organization prepares to discuss its stance on CBD, which could have huge impacts on countries’ policies around the world.
The Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) will convene at the conference, which will be held between November 6-10, to address the future of 17 psychoactive substances, cannabidiol included (even though it isn’t psychoactive!). As well as investigating whether users could become dependent on these substances, the committee will review the likelihood of abuse and harm to overall health.
The ECDD has no direct authority to impose policies on other countries, but it can give recommendations to the United Nations Secretary General on how the considered drugs could be regulated, and if immediate action is required. Even psychoactive substances with medical qualities are assessed for their addiction potential.
In awesome news for CBD, HempMeds Mexico president and excellent medical marijuana advocate Raul Elizalde will give a speech on CBD when the ECDD meets. It’s personal for Elizalde, whose daughter Grace, 10, suffers with rare, severe epilepsy. CBD has been transformative for her, and Elizalde hopes the compound could benefit others in a similar way.
Elizalde has already had a huge impact in his native Mexico, playing a key role in getting medical marijuana legalized nationwide. As of now, medical cannbabis is government-controlled in Mexico, and it’s Elizalde’s company that produces the country’s only legal CBD oil.
He hopes that he can convince the ECDD delegates to change their opinion on CBD, from not labelling it a psychoactive drug to not scheduling it as a drug altogether.
Elizalde believes that recommending CBD regulation would only restrict the availability of CBD further still to the pharma industry. With so many patients already reliant on CBD medication as a more successful option to prescription meds, denying them access would be cruel – Elizalde thinks classing CBD as a dietary supplement would be a more sensible move.
As a supplement, patients would have better information on how much to use CBD, with dosage guidelines in the same way we have dosage advice for vitamin and mineral products.
For the United States, the ECDD’s recommendations could have a huge impact, due to a UN treaty – the Convention on Psychotropic Substances – the country signed up to in 1971. Advice from the ECDD is supposed to be implemented by all member nations.
If the ECDD decides that CBD should not be regulated, then the pressure will be on the US government to reschedule the compound – it’s currently classified as Schedule I and deemed to have no medical uses. The last serious challenge to CBD’s scheduling came as part of a 2004 case concerning hemp in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.