Working to Influence Global Policy on Cannabidiol (CBD)

World Health LogoThis week, we submitted comments relating to the efficacy and medical usefulness of cannabidiol as a medical treatment. In August, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice in the federal register asking for public comments on cannabidiol (CBD) and 16 other substances prior to a meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) that will take place in Geneva, Switzerland from November 6-November 10. The FDA will consider the comments on these substances in creating a response to WHO which will determine what, if any, international restrictions will be placed on the listed substances.

Our comments called for the FDA to go through its traditional rulemaking process and ultimately deschedule CBD, allowing consumers to obtain cannabis based products without a prescription. ASA’s comments also highlighted the staggering social and economic costs associated with treating ailments and conditions with long-term use of opioids and Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). CBD, and a wider range of cannabis therapies, have been shown to be effective in treating many of the conditions that are normally treated with opioids and NSAIDs.

Cannabidiol was the only substance mentioned in the federal notice that is derived from a natural product. The other substances listed are synthetically produced. Over 6,500 comments were submitted and while the content of the comments varied, they all shared a theme: that CBD is medically useful. While CBD is only one of many beneficial compounds of the cannabis plant, engaging policy makers on an international scale is nonetheless a significant step in removing stigma and barriers that prevent access to this important medicine.

As ASA’s comments proceed through the regulation process, you can track them at with the tracking number 1k1-8yrw-wp4v.