The World Health Organization has spoken: the use of cannabidiol or CBD could have some therapeutic value and that it is not likely to create dependence or to be abused.
According to the WHO, as a response to the growing interest in the use of cannabis for medical indications, it has gathered robust scientific evidence on cannabis and cannabis components, particularly their various therapeutic uses and side effects. To this end, the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence did an initial review of CBD.
CBD has therapeutic value
Citing recent evidence and human studies, the WHO states that CBD has therapeutic value for seizures associated with epilepsy and other related conditions. In fact, the ECDD wrote that the clinical application of CBD is most advanced and effective in the treatment of some forms of epilepsy.
The ECDD also found there was preliminary evidence that CBD can treat or help manage certain forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, and Parkinson’s Disease.
CBD is safe and has no abuse potential
Moreover, the report stated that current evidence shows that CBD is not likely to be abused by users or to create dependence, unlike THC and other cannabinoids. While it admitted that the number of studies is limited, the report took note of evidence from well-controlled human experiments indicating that CBD isn’t associated with any potential for abuse.
The ECDD’s report also pointed out that there no evidence to date of any recreational use of CBD or of any public health-related issues that are associated with using pure CBD. CBD, the report noted, is well-tolerated with a good safety profile, and that any reported adverse effect can be attributed to drug-drug interactions, where CBD interacts with other medications being taken by the patient.
Furthermore, the ECDD report said clinical studies have generally showed that even a high dose of oral CBD doesn’t cause the same effects that are characteristic for THC. CBD, it said, was found to possess relatively low toxicity, although not all of its potential effects have already been explored.
WHO says scheduling CBD is not justified
Additionally, the WHO officially recommended for CBD not to be scheduled as a controlled drug. A scheduled drug or substance refers to one that is regulated by the government.
In the United States, for instance, CBD is categorized as a Schedule I substance under its Controlled Substances Act. This means that the American government considers cannabis and all its derivatives, including CBD, as having no approved therapeutic value and having a high potential for abuse, and therefore prohibited substances.
Meanwhile, in Canada, CBD is a controlled substance under Schedule II of its Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. But when its Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations came into effect in 2016, the law provided for an improved access to cannabis – including CBD – used for medical purposes.
The ECDD postponed a fuller review of CBD preparations to May 2018, when it will conduct a comprehensive review of cannabis and cannabis-related substances.
You can check out the ECDD report here.