In November 2018, the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) will meet for the 41st time, to discuss whether THC isomers should continue to be classified as a Schedule I substance.
Breaking the stigma of cannabis use has been the focal point of cannabis activism ever since the 1960’s, however, it’s not until today that we have the honor of witnessing some truly meaningful steps forward.
Pushed by the global pro-cannabis campaign that started spreading organically like a forest wildfire several years ago, the WHO announced in 2016 that they will be reviewing the health effects of cannabis once again, urging their drug committee to organize a series of critical reviews, finally recognizing that cannabis was never formally reviewed but was conveniently ever-so-formally scheduled as a substance with no accepted medical use.
This series of meetings, each dedicated to a particular compound found in cannabis, first resulted in CBD getting acknowledged as a safe compound with no adverse effects.
Soon after, one pure CBD product received marketing approval from the FDA, only to be blasted recently on social media for being ridiculously and unjustly priced.
— MME (@THEMMEXCHANGE) August 9, 2018
Then amazingly, earlier this year, CBD also got removed from the notorious World Anti Doping Organization’s banned substances list, allowing athletes around the world to use it for recovery. I’m sure Nate Diaz was especially happy about this.
Several months later (in June) ECDD reviewed CBD and recommended that pure CBD shouldn’t be scheduled within the International Drug Control Conventions.
But that was only the first part of the June gathering—when they came back from their lunch break, they decided to talk about THC, which is placed in both Schedule I and Schedule IV, depending on the product type.
Yeah, right alongside fentanyl analogues and heavy opioids.
After carefully reviewing the facts, the committee decided that cannabis plant and resin do not produce adverse effects like that of Schedule IV, and that this should be a discussion point in their next meeting. The same ECDD meeting also briefly touched upon THC isomers (molecules with the same number of elements but with a different layout), stating that they should be placed under a critical review in the next meeting to explore further relevance of their current scheduling.
Luckily for us, the work of ECDD will continue in November 2018, which is when they will be reviewing cannabis plant and resin, extracts and tinctures, Delta-9 THC and THC isomers, and a variety of psychedelic substances with reported medical benefits.
This means that, as of this November, we will be one step closer to getting cannabis internationally recognized as something healthier than fentanyl, which will pave the way for future research and medical use.
Additionally, it’s nice to know that long-term advocacy produces actual, real-world results and that the opinions of hundreds of thousands of people who have found relief with cannabis count, whether we acknowledge that connection or not. Cannabis research has made gigantic leaps since 1971 and it was about time to reconsider its classification.