The relaxant property of cannabis used in medical marijuana should not be a scheduled drug, according to a preliminary report on cannabidiol (CBD) by the World Health Organization (WHO).
As part of the report, published today, authors claimed that CBD is 'not associated with abuse potential' and does not lead to physical dependence. The report also states that 'CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile', adding that it is a useful treatment for epilepsy and palliative care.
"There is increased interest from Member States in the use of cannabis for medical indications including for palliative care," the report said.
"Responding to that interest and increase in use, WHO has in recent years gathered more robust scientific evidence on therapeutic use and side effects of cannabis and cannabis components."
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In conclusion, the report's authors wrote: "Recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions."
They added that 'current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol', and said that taking medical marijuana will not lead to addiction to THC, the psychoactive property of cannabis.
However, the WHO has also recommended imposing stronger restrictions on fentanyl, a synthetic opioid believed to have killed thousands of people in the US drug addiction epidemic.
The organisation will complete a fuller review of cannabis next year, assessing all cannabis-related substances, physicians and the cannabis industry.
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The report comes after widespread declassification of cannabis in North America and Europe. Back in July, Greece went ahead and legalised cannabis for medical purposes, joining the Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, making it the sixth EU member state to legalise it.
Cannabis has been linked to helping those suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, Crohn's, anxiety, depression, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, ME, PTSD, epilepsy, and both chronic and neuropathic pain.
"From now on, the country is turning its page, as Greece is now included in countries where the delivery of medical cannabis to patients in need is legal." Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said at a press conference, as reported by the Government Gazette.