Stakeholders urge wide berth for CBD

World Health Organization

Europe-based cannabidiol (CBD) stakeholders have launched an information-gathering effort to bolster their arguments aimed at keeping CBD off international drug schedules.

The initiative is in anticipation of a World Health Organization (WHO) expert committee meeting in November that is to review CBD and 15 other psycho-active substances.

Stakeholders are strategizing to foster a “hands-off” approach to CBD, and are hoping the eventual outcome will follow that of ketamine, an anesthesia and pain relief medication. WHO has repeatedly recommended ketamine not be under international control based on its potential in developing countries where alternative medicines are hard to come by. Ketamine is currently on the WHO Essential Medicines List and has been described as ‘”for sedation of both children and adults … perhaps the most widely used agent in the world.”

A CBD committee of the European Industrial Hemp Association  (EIHA) and the Paris-based Foundation for Alternative Approaches to Addiction (FAAAT) are out front on the issue, working in concert to develop briefs they hope will sway the WHO committee to treat CBD in the same fashion. The groups say their arguments will be ready by September ahead of WHO’s November meeting, set for Geneva.

Some stakeholders told HempToday they believe the WHO committee is positioning itself to treat CBD the same as Ketamine, which would at least give CBD a public relations boost as individual countries grapple independently with a myriad of confusing laws and regulations – in Europe and all over the world.

WHO itself is circulating a survey as it gathers stakeholder input around Europe. EIHA has reached out to its CBD stakeholder members to encourage them to participate in the survey, and is gathering supporting material.