Stakeholders advocating for cannabidiol (CBD) have crossed a second important hurdle as a preliminary evaluation of the substance by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Vienna last week produced positive findings.
CBD has been under pre-review by WHO as a potential psychotropic substance, with the risk WHO could propose controls similar to those for THC. WHO’s evaluations eventually go to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND).
“This round has ended up favorably, but the critical review of CBD will happen in May,” said Boris Baňas (The Hemp Cooperative, Slovakia), board member at the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA). The Association joined the Foundation for Alternative Approaches to Addiction (FAAAT) in drafting a joint statement of guidance ahead of the most recent WHO evaluation.
The next review is expected at WHO’s 40th Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) meeting in May or June, 2018.
CBD had previously been given a green light at the 39th meeting of the ECDD in Geneva in early November.
EIHA lauded the work of independent WHO experts, who found:
- No case reports of abuse or dependence relating to the use of CBD.
- No public health problems (e.g. impaired driving) should be associated with the use of CBD
- No evidence that CBD as a substance is liable to similar abuse and similar ill-effects as substances in the 1961 or 1971 Conventions (including cannabis and THC).
- CBD is being actively explored for a range of therapeutic applications and has demonstrated effectiveness in treating some forms of epilepsy.
In addition to Baňas, EIHA was represented by associate member Hana Gabrielová, Hempoint, Czech Republic. FAAAT was represented by Kenzi Riboulet Zemouli, Farid Ghehiouèche and Amy Case King. Other CBD proponents present were Michael Krawitz (Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, USA), Raul Hector Elizalde Garza (Por Grace, Mexico), Dusan Nolimal and Tanja Bagar (International Institute for Cannabinoids, Slovenia) and Marie Nougier (International Drug Policy Consortium).
The following companies supported a campaign backing the EIHA-FAAT effort before WHO: Bluebird Botanicals, Buddingtech, CannaWell, CBD life UK, CBD oils UK, CBDepot.eu, Deep Nature Project, Greenindustries.shop, Hemp and humanity, HempConsult GmbH, Hempflax, Hempire Ltd., Hempoint.cz, Hempura, MCU Botanicals, MeetHarmony, MH medical hemp GmbH.