Cannabis legalization proponents have argued for years that the cannabis plant offers numerous medical applications. Now the World Health Organization (WHO) has finally joined the bandwagon. The agency issued an official report declaring Cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound found in cannabis, to be a safe and effective medicine.
CBD Cannabis Compound
CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoid compounds in cannabis that give the plant its medicinal properties. This particular cannabinoid stands out because it is both non-psychoactive and displays a broad range of potential medical applications.
Here’s what the pharmaceutical industry has to say about CBD:
“CBD, the second major cannabinoid in marijuana after THC, has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, but no psychoactive effects. However, recent research shows that CBD can be an effective treatment for many kinds of pain. Inflammatory pain has been treated effectively with CBD as well and some studies have shown that CBD may be more effective at treating inflammatory pain than traditional medication.”
WHO’s Declarations on CBD
The United Nations and the WHO have spent a good part of 2017 seeking information about CBD, and how it should designate it under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. As a result of its research, the WHO has issued a report that makes some very important statements:
• In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential
• CBD has been demonstrated as an effective treatment of epilepsy in several clinical trials
• There is also preliminary evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions
• CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile
• To-date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD
Law Continues to Lag Behind Medical Research
Sadly, antiquated laws with regards to drug enforcement continue to classify cannabis as a dangerous drug in many countries. In the U.S., the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency has gone as far as to create a new classification of schedule I drugs for cannabis extracts in an attempt to stop the sale and consumption of CBD oil. As of mid-2017, the DEA continues to believe the following about CBD oil:
Because this extract is a derivative of marijuana, it falls within the definition of marijuana under federal law.
Accordingly, it is a Schedule I controlled substance under the CSA.
Research continues to mount evidence regarding the powerful therapeutic properties of cannabis. The cannabis plant seems to fill the gap in treating a number of illnesses for which mainstream treatments remain unsatisfactory.
Hopefully, the WHO announcement will help thousands of people who are seeking alternative treatments to existing pharmaceuticals to obtain CBD medicine without legal repercussions.
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