The World Health Organization (WHO) has initiated a study on the properties of cannabis to evaluate its “therapeutic use and side effects.” WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) began by evaluating and issuing a report on cannabidiol (CBD) which is known to be one of the therapeutic compounds in cannabis. Their findings suggest that the compound should not be scheduled as an illicit substance internationally and goes on to discuss the medicinal potential of the compound. CBD is often turned into an oil that is commonly used to treat and prevent seizures as well as work as a powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. Unlike THC, which is the psychoactive compound in cannabis, CBD does not make you high. While it can ease both anxiety and depression, it has no psychoactive properties.

CBD Oil Deemed Safe
WHO announced that “recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions. Current evidence also shows that cannabidiol is not likely to be abused or create dependence.” The ECDD conclude “that current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol and postponed a fuller review of cannabidiol preparations to May 2018, when the committee will undertake a comprehensive review of cannabis and cannabis related substances.”

What to Expect from the 2018 Review
According to The Cannabist, the May 2018 ECDD review will include a full evaluation of cannabis including the cannabis plant and cannabis resin, extracts and tinctures of cannabis, delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and isomers of THC. The results will allow the WHO to educate and advise the rest of the world how cannabis should be used and treated with regards to both medicine and the law. With legalization spreading across the country and the world, this advice could prove to be critical.

The Schedule I Classification
Cannabis is still regarded as a Schedule I drug in the U.S. placing it in the highest risk category. The Schedule I classification requires a substance to be at a high risk for addiction, unsafe to test on humans and have no medicinal benefits. This classification has already been proven to be incorrect, yet the law still stands unchanged despite the cost of charging and incarcerating citizens as well as the human price for not having access to safe and powerful medicine. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has not only openly supported prohibition and incarcerated citizens to the full extent possible for cannabis related charges, he has also launched a campaign to ask Congress to allow him to crack down on medical marijuana, ultimately harming the children, veterans and terminally ill who desperately rely on the plant for medical relief.

Currently, 29 states have legalized medical marijuana and 8 states have legalized it for recreational purposes. According to the most recent polls, 83 percent of U.S. citizens are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana and 67 percent are in favor of legalizing it for recreational use. Official reviews such as these ones will undoubtedly help governments around the world, including the U.S., to make the most informed choice for their citizens.

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