DEA Reaffirms Stance That CBD Meets Schedule I Criteria — Reality Says Otherwise

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 10, 2017

    oil_bottlesThe US Drug Enforcement Administration has publicly reiterated its position that cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, is properly categorized under federal law as a schedule I controlled substance — meaning that, by definition, it possesses “a high potential for abuse,” “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and lacks “accepted safety … under medical supervision.”

    The agency has long contended that CBD, along with all organic cannabinoids, is — by default — a schedule I controlled substance because it is a naturally occurring component of the cannabis plant. (This position is similarly held by both the NIDA and the FDA.) Nonetheless, a growing body of science undermines the notion that CBD meets any of the criteria necessary for such classification.

    Specifically, clinical trial data finds that CBD is “safe,” “non-toxic,” and “well tolerated” in human volunteers. Even the director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse acknowledges that CBD is “not mind-altering” and that it “appears to be a safe drug with no addictive effects.”

    Recently conducted controlled studies also acknowledge its therapeutic efficacy, particularly the ability of CBD dosing to mitigate treatment-resistant seizures, hypertension, and psychotic symptoms in humans. Other peer-reviewed data shows that CBD therapy holds promise for the treatment of “Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral ischemia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, other inflammatory diseases, nausea and cancer.”

    That is why in addition to the thirty states that presently recognize medical cannabis, an additional 16 states also explicitly recognize the use of CBD as a viable medical treatment.

    Nonetheless, it remains unlikely that the DEA is going to amend its position any time soon. Further, police in recent months have begun initiating raids of CBD retailers, such as those reported here, here, and here. That is why it is critical that members of Congress move forward with legislation to remove the cannabis plant from the Controlled Substances Act.

    Presently, several pieces of federal legislation are pending to amend the federal classification of CBD as a schedule I substance. These include:

    HR 2020: Passage of this act would exclude CBD from the federal definition of ‘marihuana.’

    S. 1374/HR 2920: Passage of these Acts would exempt from federal prosecution those who are engaged in state-sanctioned medical cannabis activities; it would also remove CBD from the federal definition of ‘marihuana.’

    HR 2273/S. 1008: Passage of these Acts would exclude CBD and CBD-rich cannabis plants from the federal definition of ‘marihuana.’

    You can contact your members of Congress in support of these bills and other pending legislation by visiting NORML’s Take Action Center here.

    32 responses to “DEA Reaffirms Stance That CBD Meets Schedule I Criteria — Reality Says Otherwise”

    1. Steven Hurley says:

      This new tightening of enforcement by this administration further demonstrates that they are not cutting health care souly for the money but the willful desire to make the common man suffer.

    2. ned says:

      Created in 1970 during worst paranoid years of the Nixon Administration, the CSA and particularly Schedule One are not scientifically based.They are politically driven. Every substance has a use. Something humans can if used properly, benefit from. Schedule One emerged from the fracturing of American culture that happened in the 1960s. The Joe Fridays of America, Nixon’s “Silent Majority” wanted a way to suppress and oppress the scary nonconformists who weren’t playing along with the way the WWII generation wanted America to be. The DEA (and Jeff Sessions) are the current upholders of that tradition.

      • Julian says:

        More specifically, Nixon was suppressing the votes of minorities and Democratically leaning marijuana consumers who questioned authority.
        Essentially he needed to get reelected. He did so by bowing to beurocratic fascists who wanted to turn the DOJ into a blank check for perpetual war.

    3. Douglax says:

      We all know the truth. They will not stop till they won. I have herd of talk declaring war on the D.E.A. Count me out on that. I Love liveing.Seen way to much blood shed. But I understand why a group of reformer would start killing.

    4. Denny Strausser Jr says:

      CBD Schedule 1? It doesn’t even make a person high. Do they even know what they are talking about anymore? All of this over a plant, which is safer then any other plant. They help to market tobacco, yet it has been proved that it is a dangerous thing to be smoking. 7,000 chemicals do be exact, and most of them can cause cancer. 600 chemicals in Pot, nearly none to none cause cancer.

      If one would look at it completely honestly, tobacco has pretty much no medical value at all. In fact, it fits the criteria of a schedule 1 drug more than Pot does. YET
      They keep claiming Pot is worse, when studies have proved that it actually kills cancer cells, not creates them.

      It is time for a better approach on all drugs, not just cannabis. End prohibition on all drugs, and then treat certain addiction as a public health problem. Offer help and programs, not jail time. Pay for programs using tax money from drugs. Put only violent offenders in jail. That is the correct way to go.

      I do not need jail time for cannabis, as it is less as dangerous as alcohol. They want a good way to deal with the opioid crisis, that is a way to deal with it. Encourage them with a help program, not jail time. Allow them to use Cannabis to help suppress the want for heroin.
      It helps, but they must pull the rest of the way. Sometimes almost on their own. But in any-case, offer something instead of just jail time. Most get out, and then use again. The system solved nothing by locking them up.

      What would it solve by locking me up for a little cannabis? Same with all who read who also partake in some cannabis from time to time. We don’t need locked up for something like that, as we are hurting no one. We are not even hurting ourselves, more like helping ourselves from getting sick down the road.

    5. Denny Strausser Jr says:


      Cannabis should just be a Right, not against the law. Let me grow a few plants, and leave me alone, and I’ll not complain.

      They are pushing to try to walk backward, while the rest of the world wants to move forward. It is time to legalize the weed.

      Thank You Very Much For Reading.

    6. Eric S says:

      I would just like to know which official made this decision, & who he/she is in the pockets of

    7. Eric S says:

      btw, I’m a cripple with MS & pot is the only thing that makes me feel relatively normal

    8. Mitchel says:

      My husband is 80 years and has been suffering from PD for the past 15 years. Lately he started hallucinating and I didn’t know how to handle the situation. He cannot sleep and tried to find and catch the imaginary people who he thinks are real. he was taken Entacapone with Levodopa, Carbidopa, and Pramipexole and started physical therapy to strengthen muscles. nothing was really working to help his condition.I took him off the Siferol (with the doctor’s knowledge) and started him on parkinson’s herbal formula i ordered from Health Herbal Clinic, his symptoms totally declined over a 5 weeks use of the Parkinsons disease natural herbal formula.i read reviews from other previous patients who used the herbal formula, my husband is now active, he can now go about daily exercise!! his symptoms so much reduced that now I hardly notice them.

    9. Pudentain says:

      DEA… a bunch of taxpayer funded thieves. They are now trying to protect their income stream.

    10. Victor says:

      Ridiculous. Their stance is absolutely ridiculous in light of the growing body of evidence that says otherwise. I frankly don’t understand how the director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse can acknowledge that it does not meet the criteria while another federal agency’s official stance is the exact opposite. The science is sound, where is the logic? Easy to see where one could quickly jump to conspiracies in an attempt to explain the hypocrisy here.

      Anyways. So long as there are those who benefit from CBD when there is no superior alternative, there must be those who continue to demand that its legitimacy be recognized – at least for their sake.

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