Cannabidiol is still, yes still, a Schedule I drug. Epidiolex notwithstanding

Sep 27 2018 Published by under Cannabis, Drug Abuse Science

Yes, the DEA still continues to keep cannabidiol (CBD) on the list of Schedule I drugs. I took this up in December of 2016 and the issues continue.

The new-ish bit, I suppose, is that the FDA approved GW Pharma's cannabidiol product Epidiolex for Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, which involve uncontrollable seizures. This all flows from the "Charlotte's Web" phenomenon, which was desperate parents seeking help from a specific CBD-dominant strain of cannabis.

This meant that the DEA had to reschedule CBD as a compound with medical application. The reporting from CNBC says Schedule V:

Epidiolex will be classified as a schedule 5 controlled substance, the lowest level, defined as those with a proven medical use and low potential for abuse. Other drugs in this category include some cough medicines containing codeine.

But. However. Not so fast. Apparently the DEA has decided to re-schedule CBD ONLY in the context of FDA approved products. From the same report:

The rescheduling applies to CBD containing no more than 0.1 percent THC, in FDA-approved drug products. Though this allows GW Pharma to sell Epidiolex, it does not broadly apply to CBD.

emphasis added.

This is getting increasingly ridiculous. It is really, really, really clear that CBD does not have the fun recreational drug properties of good old delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It is hard to find much effect of this compound at all*, despite all the quack remedy type products that are illegally on sale in the country at the moment.

I don't understand how CBD got on the Schedule I list in the first place, nor why the DEA didn't take this convenient opportunity to re-schedule it altogether.

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*The anti-seizure properties seem solid.

N.b., As per my usual disclaimer, I may have held, hold, or be seeking to hold research funding involving CBD. Please read my comments with that in mind.

One response so far

  • bacillus says:

    Hi DM:
    If you think that's bad then you aint seen nothing yet. Canada is on the brink of fully legalizing cannabis use in all of its administrative forms. However, US border Service have already announced that anyone who only owns stocks in a legal cannabis producer will be denied entry into the USA. Presumably, they are being considered as the new Pablo Escobars!

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