U.S. and U.K. Science Say CBD Can Work Medical Magic; DEA Just Says No

Is government intransigence just uninformed? Or malicious.

For several years, there has been a growing body of evidence that authenticates the efficacy of cannabinoids for medical purposes. In fact, multiple current studies emanating from the U.K. and the U.S. indicate that the use of CBD oil for the treatment of cancer related pain and nausea should be more widespread. It appears as though the stigma associated with the psychoactive properties of one of the compounds in the marijuana plant, THC, is creating a negative association in which doctors are unwilling to prescribe CBD oil more regularly—or even to consider it as treatment.

Studies coming from both the U.S. and the U.K. agree that a growing body of evidence indicates that CBD oil is, indeed, effective and is not habit forming in the way opioids are. 

Hopes have been rising during the past few years that perhaps, with the correct support from the correct people in the correct high places, CBD oil will be better understood. Those hopes, in the United States at least, have been dimmed by a December 14, 2016, Drug Enforcement Administration ruling that lumps in CBD with any other form of “marihuana extract,” all of which are firmly classified as Schedule 1 substances. Schedule 1 substances, in the eyes of federal law-enforcement agencies, are deemed to have no medical value, a designation that imposes nearly insurmountable hurdles on any industry or government entity attempting to do clinical research on the substance.

The DEA ruling goes completely contrary to pro-CBD momentum that had been building within the highest levels at some federal agencies.

United States Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Petitions the U.S. Senate

On June 24, 2015, Nora D. Volkow—the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse—presented a written petition under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. Volkow called for better and more thorough testing on the benefits of cannabinoids for the treatment of diseases and conditions such as:

• Epilepsy
• Cancer
• Schizophrenia
• Pain
• Substance abuse disorders
• Anxiety disorders
• Inflammatory diseases

It is the hope of Nora Volkow that the therapeutic qualities of CBD should be further studied to assess their true efficacy. Similar studies are being conducted in the U.K. When taken in conjunction with the findings of the NIH on the therapeutic potential of CBD, Volkow believes these findings do warrant further research.

Volkow’s Petition Mirrored in the U.K.

As the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the United States, Nora Volkow’s words carry a great deal of weight. To date, more than 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized or decriminalized some aspect marijuana. However, the United States isn’t alone in seeking to substantiate that CBD oil can, and does, offer treatments that are less harmful than their chemical pharmaceutical counterparts. Experts in the U.K. have also postulated that CBD can offer relief to the above conditions without causing the patient to develop a state of euphoria. In other words, CBD oil does not make the patient high—presuming the patient's high is what's holding up official approval of further testing.

Clinical Trials for Medical Research within the U.K.'s National Health Service

On the U.K.'s National Health Service website, an entire section covers ongoing clinical trials and tests being conducted in regard to studies on the use of organic and synthetic cannabinoids for the treatment of the illnesses and conditions listed above. These are listed with the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, in which U.K. residents can register to be part of the clinical studies if certain conditions are met.

The latest studies coming from both the U.S. and the U.K. agree that a growing body of evidence indicates that CBD oil is, indeed, effective and is not habit forming in the way opioids are. Proponents in both countries are trying to prove that CBD is not psychoactive, and as such is safe to be taken as directed.

True-life anecdotal stories of CBD oil improving the lives of kids and adults alike are making the news daily on both sides of the Atlantic. As this stream of positive outcomes is published, it can only create further pressure to explore, understand, and develop CBD as the more-effective treatment of the future to control seizures, pain, and nausea.

"My hope is that the hemp industry will be successful, as it has been in the past, in challenging the validity of this action by the DEA," Leah Heise tells KINDLAND. Heise is the CEO of Women Grow, an organization that empowers women to take up leadership roles within the legal cannabis industry. "The implementation of this final rule has the potential to inflict substantial harm to a legitimate industry that has been operating legally worldwide for over a decade. Strong legal teams around the country are gearing up to fight this ruling."

The only thing standing in the way of developing CBD's healing potential, it seems, is interference from government enforcement agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration.