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, the federal agency said 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, 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 Agency 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 made 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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16 comments on “FDA: CBD shouldn’t be a controlled substance, but treaties require it
  1. Lawrence Goodwin on

    Great little report, MJ Business Daily. Thank you!

    While I appreciate Dr. Brett Giroir’s candid comments from his particular federal agency, the same “negligible potential for abuse” that he described applies to basically all of the “cannabinoids” found in cannabis plants. That’s why they were very commonly prescribed by doctors as medicine in the United States—right along with the truly miraculous delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol—for almost a century (1850s-1940s). Yet Dr. Giroir seems to miss the larger point: I say federal, state and local lawmakers/bureaucrats have NO business dictating to us which cannabinoids are “legal” and which are not. Their only reasonable jobs are to ensure that all businesses are licensed and properly regulated, plus seeing to it that cannabis products are safe for public consumption. That’s it!

    People MUST start waking up to see the absolutely insidious, corporate-driven tyranny (follow the political campaign bribe $) that prolongs this merciless federal “marihuana” prohibition and continues smothering our most vibrant cannabis markets. There is no good reason whatsoever that the slang word “marihuana” should still appear in any of our domestic laws.

    The “international treaties” argument is rooted in just another giant fraud. The 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotics language (the basis of most such treaties) was strongly influenced by none other than the first U.S. ‘drug czar,’ cannabis-hater-in-chief Harry Anslinger. It was that man, and that ruthless man alone, who imposed the “marihuana” fraud on our whole country, supported by little else than his own hysterical testimony early in 1937 before a committee of the U.S. Congress.

    Every passing day that our Congress fails to repeal Anslinger’s twisted vision—referred to since 1970 as federal Schedule I “marihuana” law—equals solid proof that our republic no longer exists.

      • Lawrence Goodwin on

        ‘Twas my pleasure, Ms. Calabrese and Mr. Hoffman. The good writers at MJ Business Daily keep cranking out the best articles, which always provoke a few thoughts. Thank you both for reading my rant, even though it’s similar to many others I’ve posted here for quite a while now—all because nothing really matters until our Congress fully repeals the Schedule I “marihuana” sham (the law’s actual spelling).

    • Victoria Khan on

      and the continued use of the term “marihuana” is a gross miscarriage of “Justice” and just goes to show you that the folks in charge NO NOTHING or the use of the word would have been changed to reflect the correct scientific name Cannabis a long time ago… this is one of those things that has been in and on my mind since day one… stop using the slang term marihuana, set up a new piece of legislation to correct the old and reflect the correct … isn’t it a pity a piece of legislation is needed to do what’s right, truthful & logical… and isn’t it a pity no one has forced this change up to now… no excuses… just do it!

  2. John fracassini on

    Agreed. This is just a disingenuous excuse to keep marijuana classified as a Schedule 1 substance. The government will continue its unremitting hostility towards marijuana until and unless Congress changes the law.

  3. Mary Bell on

    Bypass treaty wording by dropping the misleading imported slang word ‘marajuana’.
    Return to original words that were well known to the English speaking USA population and courts: cannabis, hemp, rope.

  4. RicketyRack on

    I agree wholeheartedly with all the comments, and would point out that it’s also completely disingenuous for the FDA and DEA to pretend that we can’t immediately do whatever is in our best interest as a country, period, including simply ignoring said treaty and finally making our Substance Schedules coherent. Seriously, what would happen? Yeah. Nothing, except we would finally have a way more rational Schedule. Not that the Government should ever have the power to ban any botanical or fungi…just sayin’…

  5. Mike L. Wallace Jr. on

    The National Cancer Institute confessed to THC killing cancer cells by Apoptosis. After it was proven by Molecular Biologist Dr. Christina Sanchez at Compultense University in Madrid, Spain. Even though it was proven by the Nixon Administration at The Medical College of Virginia in 1974. Little over a year ago the DEA had a federal judge make CBD a Schedule 1 Drug. More recently the DEA had a synthetic version of CBD made a Schedule 5 Drug. Afterwards the FDA immediately approved the synthetic CBD (Epidiolex) for Medicinal Use. MEANING : The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has been willing to allow Adults & Children with Epilepsy to Suffer & Die until they could Profit from the Sale of Synthetic Cannabinoids. Just as in the same way they are willing to allow Adults & Children with Cancers to Suffer & Die until they can Profit from the Sale of Synthetic THC. Most of the Horrible illnesses we face today are caused by Cannabinoid Deficiencies. That was brought about by Marijuana Prohibition. That was created by Lies for Profits & Oppression. Regularly ingesting (not smoking) recreational decarboxylated marijuana prevents cancer cell growth from developing & quite possibly prevents other illnesses. But the bottom line is : Our Government isn’t about HEALTH, RIGHTS or FREEDOM. It’s about PROFITS.

  6. Dr. Mitchell Earleywine on

    Anslinger arranged all this back in the 1930s. Sign an international treaty so you can alter federal law and then state law. The dominoes fall…

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