NIDA Director: CBD Is Safe
While individual groups of scientists have been finding positive results when experimenting with cannabis, official scientific bodies – especially those involved in government – have been very hesitant to give any aspect of cannabis the thumbs up. That is until now. Nora Volkow, Director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has publically announced that CBD is entirely safe for human consumption.
In a recent op-ed written by Volkow, published by Huffington Post, she described CBD as “a safe drug with no addictive effects”. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found within cannabis, often second in abundance behind THC.
What makes this all the more exciting is that Volkow also recognises the initial findings into the benefits of CBD consumption. She acknowledges that there is strong pre-clinical research to suggest CBD has anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and bone stimulating effects, as well as positive clinical research into anti-psychotic and anti-seizure activity.
It is a huge step for the push to investigate the medicinal effects of CBD further, which under current US law, remains a Schedule I substance along with cannabis as a whole – meaning it has a high potential for abuse, with no current accepted medical use.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR CBD
With the director of NIDA officially behind CBD and its further investigation, we can hope to see CBD based research skyrocket. Only recently, Volkow gave evidence in front of a Senate committee aimed at making research into CBD more viable. While having CBD recognised and reclassified (should it happen) may not directly affect Europe, the amount of research that will come as a result will have global consequence, and encourage governments around the world to adopt CBD within their own systems.
However, this doesn’t mean cannabis as a whole will be. Although positive effects have been found from using the whole cannabis plant, as opposed to individual cannabinoids, Volkow says there are too many compounds present within the plant to give it an OK anytime soon. If CBD is to be a medicine, it will be as an isolated compound. It will take years to fully research and assess the 100+ cannabinoid found within cannabis, making it unlikely that the entire plant will be federally approved (there are only 2 full herbal botanical medicines approved in the US). That isn’t to say this will be the situation here in Europe, though. Things are different over here, in both attitude and the way our governments work.
Of course, that isn’t to say that cannabis won’t be legalised on a federal level in the US either; there is already a lot of support, and many states have legalised the medical use of cannabis. Could NIDA really hold cannabis back for the sake of it, even when it is already legal in most of the US? It is an odd thing for NIDA to say, as the medical benefits of the cannabis plant as a whole are already being seen in these states, with no negative consequences. Unless there is a concrete reason NOT to legalise cannabis, politicians will eventually bow to the mounting weight. To not legalise, when there are obvious benefits, and no present downfalls, is foolishness.