FDA: CBD shouldn’t be a controlled substance, but treaties require it

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted that cannabidiol shouldn’t be a controlled substance, but international treaties require the United States to treat it as one.

That revelation from the federal agency appeared in a 27-page memo written after it approved the first drug made with CBD earlier this year.

“CBD has negligible potential for abuse,” wrote Dr. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health in the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, the FDA’s parent agency.

Giroir noted that CBD doesn’t meet the description of even the least-restrictive class of controlled substances, Schedule 5, but that international drug treaties require the nation to control the cannabis extract.

If those treaties were to change, he added, “the above recommendation … would need to be revised promptly.”

The letter was written to advise the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration about how to classify CBD. Before then, the DEA considered cannabis extracts to be in the most restrictive class of drugs, Schedule 1.

The letter was dated May 16 but became public Friday, after the DEA announced that FDA-approved cannabis drugs with no more than 0.1% THC could be classified as Schedule 5. Currently, that definition only applies to Epidiolex.

The DEA said that cannabis extracts with more than 0.1% THC will remain on Schedule 1.

Epidiolex is manufactured and sold by London-based GW Pharmaceuticals, which derives the extract from marijuana and trades on the Nasdaq as GWPH.

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3 comments on “FDA: CBD shouldn’t be a controlled substance, but treaties require it
  1. jim Boynton on

    To all of the nay-sayers that this administration would do all in it’s power to eradicate all forms of cannabis: For cryin outloud, have a little faith will ya?! The man is nothing if not pragmatic and this is clearly good for business and for American freedom.
    Dude, coming from a fear space will wreck your day; negativity will only create more in kind.

  2. Allan J. Richman RPh on

    The international treaties are not explained so do they help and hinder that such an archaic law is still in effect


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