This piece of news has been circulating for a while, but we feel it’s important enough for CBD Movement to cover again, especially since the World Health Organization (WHO) apparently has plans to dig back in on CBD again later this year. The WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations, and is dedicated to international public health concerns.
Back in November, in response to the clamor of interest in medical-cannabis research from UN member states, the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) published a report declaring that CBD is safe and well tolerated by humans and animals, and that it does indeed have clear medical applications. This goes directly against U.S. government policy, which lumps CBD in with THC and generalizes all cannabinoid compounds coming from the cannabis plant as Schedule 1 controlled substances. We’ve seen how two-faced the U.S. government can be around this issue many times over; it’s especially evident in the fact that the United States actually owns patents on the development of cannabinoid-based medicines. The WHO report only reaffirms the medical value of CBD that the United States continues to pretend not to acknowledge.
One of the tenets of the Schedule 1 classification is that there is an addictive component to using these types of drugs. But when it comes to CBD, it is widely understood that there are no issues with dependence whatsoever, which makes the Schedule 1 classification all the more puzzling. America’s hard stance against all things cannabis, in our opinion, cripples the potential of CBD and other non-addictive cannabinoids to help heal those who truly need it. The WHO fully agrees that CBD is “not associated with abuse potential,” and also acknowledges that CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. (To be clear, we don’t believe that THC should be Schedule 1, either, but it is the only cannabinoid known to be somewhat addictive—we think that THC is the closest aspect of cannabis to a Schedule 1 drug, and as such is a scapegoat for America’s demonization of the entire cannabis plant and the idea of cannabis as medicine.)
It’s great that the WHO dismisses the idea of CBD as an addictive substance. But it’s even better that they officially acknowledge that CBD has positive medical benefits. Their researchers confirm that CBD is “an effective treatment for epilepsy” and that “preliminary evidence” suggests that CBD is effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psychosis, Parkinson’s disease, and more.
Of course it’s no secret, in the United States or anywhere else, that since its discovery in the ‘60s, CBD research has continued to prove its medical value. Other countries have used this mounting evidence to modify their national controls “to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product.” The fact that the United States still refuses to make this adjustment not only smacks of stubbornness and hypocrisy, but also tarnishes CBD’s image and creates confusion for people who are interested in exploring its benefits. CBD is readily available online and in medical and recreational dispensaries where cannabis has been legalized on a state level, and it’s also available to ship throughout the United States so long as it meets the under-0.3% THC requirement. People can debate this against federal regulations all they want, but the CBD industry is booming and no government body is likely to stop it—if anything, they’re more likely to cave eventually, and try to cash in on the boom themselves.
The gray area around CBD and cannabis legalization, and the unregulated CBD market, means that people who seek to heal themselves with this type of natural medicine are often taking stabs in the dark when it comes to selecting CBD remedies. People need to be educated not only on what CBD can and cannot do, but on what to look for if they intend to try it (we actually have an article on that HERE). Stiff regulations, in our opinion, can be both an obstacle and a clear path to learning. Our government won’t help you, but if you’re dedicated to understanding the subject, you can perhaps learn about CBD in a more honest way than you would from government-supplied information. (This is, in fact, why CBD Movement was born.)
In this statement from the WHO, it’s stated that they will do a further review of cannabidiol in May, based on the ECDD’s conclusion that according to their investigation, CBD does not belong on a scheduled/controlled substance list. Various agencies will be weighing in and advising the WHO in their upcoming review—the FDA being one of them. Despite repeated appeals to change its stance on cannabis, the FDA has yet to budge. The most recent of such appeals came from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) back in September; the appeal offered evidence as to the safety and medical legitimacy of CBD and asked that the FDA oppose international restrictions on CBD. You can view NORML’s entire appeal document HERE.
Could the United Nations hold the key to eventually setting CBD free from the prison of Schedule 1 classification? It will be interesting to see if the WHO declassifies it, and which side the FDA chooses to stand on, when the review comes up in May. Hopefully, the WHO will rule in CBD’s favor. Then, perhaps, the States will follow suit.