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posted by martyb on Sunday December 17 2017, @12:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the WHO? dept.

The Schedule I status of cannabis and component compounds like cannabidiol (CBD) is being undermined yet again:

The US Drug Enforcement Administration has long held that the non-psychoactive component of marijuana, cannabidiol, is a schedule I drug. That is, a drug that has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. But according to a preliminary report embraced by the World Health Organization this week, the DEA's long held stance is tripping.

In a preliminary report last month, the WHO's Expert Committee on Drug Dependence concluded—and WHO agreed—that clinical and pre-clinical studies of CBD show no evidence of a potential for users to abuse the drug or suffer any harms. Moreover, the experts found plenty of inklings that CBD has medical benefits, particularly for treating epilepsy. In its conclusion, the ECDD declared that the current data "does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol."

The ECDD's report is just a first glance, however. The committee, which is generally tasked with assessing which drugs should be internationally controlled (scheduled) and how, will take a more extensive look in May of 2018. Then, it will review cannabis overall, as well as other cannabis compounds.

CBD has shown promise in a trial as a treatment for psychosis:

An ingredient in cannabis called cannabidiol or CBD has shown promise in a clinical trial as a potential new treatment for psychosis, scientists said on Friday. Scientists conducted a small trial of people with psychosis and found patients treated with CBD had lower levels of psychotic symptoms than those who received a placebo. Psychosis is characterized by paranoia and hallucinations.

[...] In the trial, 88 patients with psychosis received either CBD or placebo for six weeks, alongside their existing antipsychotic medication. Beforehand and afterwards, the scientists assessed symptoms, functioning and cognitive performance, and the patients' psychiatrists rated their overall condition overall. "The study indicated that CBD may be effective in psychosis: patients treated with CBD showed a significant reduction in symptoms, and their treating psychiatrists rated them as having improved overall," said Philip McGuire, who co-led the trial.

Also at The Conversation.

Cannabidiol (CBD) as an Adjunctive Therapy in Schizophrenia: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial (DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17030325) (DX)


Original Submission

Related Stories

FDA Approves Cannabidiol (CBD) as a Drug, DEA Reclassification Expected Soon 24 comments

FDA approves country's first medicine made from marijuana

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the country's first drug derived from marijuana, a medication that treats two rare and devastating forms of epilepsy.

The drug, GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex, is made of cannabidiol, or CBD, a component of marijuana that does not give users a high. It is given as an oil, and in clinical trials, it was shown to reduce the number of seizures by about 40 percent in patients with Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.

"This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. "And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development."

The FDA's decision was expected. FDA officials had indicated they supported approving Epidiolex, and an advisory panel had unanimously recommended it get the green light. There was some concern about the drug's effects on the liver, but experts have said this risk could be addressed by doctors as they monitor their patients during treatment.

Before GW can market Epidiolex, though, the Drug Enforcement Administration will have to reclassify CBD, which in this case, because it comes from marijuana, is considered a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medical value and a high risk of abuse. The agency is expected to do so within 90 days.

Cannabidiol (CBD).

Also at TechCrunch.

Related: FDA Cracking Down on Unsubstantiated Cannabidiol Health Claims
World Health Organization Clashes With DEA on CBD; CBD May be an Effective Treatment for Psychosis
UC San Diego to Treat Autism Using Cannabidiol


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

Study Links Daily High-THC Cannabis Use to Higher Rates of Psychosis 62 comments

Daily Marijuana Use And Highly Potent Weed Linked To Psychosis

Weed use is taking off as more states move to legalize it. And with all the buzz over medical marijuana, it's starting to gain an aura of healthfulness. But there are some serious health risks associated with frequent use. One of the more troubling ones is the risk of having a psychotic episode.

Several past studies have found that more frequent use of pot is associated with a higher risk of psychosis, that is, when someone loses touch with reality. Now a new study published Tuesday [open, DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30048-3] [DX] in the The Lancet Psychiatry shows that consuming pot on a daily basis and especially using high potency cannabis increases the odds of having a psychotic episode later.

[...] The study also shows that three European cities — London, Paris and Amsterdam — where high potency weed is most commonly available actually have higher rates of new cases of psychosis than the other cities in the study. [...] The researchers identified 901 people aged 18 to 64 who were diagnosed with their first episode of psychosis between May 2010 and April 2015, at a mental health facility anywhere in 11 cities, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, other cities across Europe, and one site in Brazil.

The researchers then asked these individuals and a control group of 1,200-plus other healthy people about their habits, including their use of weed. "We asked people if they used cannabis, when did they start using it and what kind of cannabis," explains study author Marta Di Forti, a psychiatrist and clinician scientist at King's College London. People reported the names of weed strains they used, like skunk in the U.K., or the Dutch Nederwiet, which allowed the researchers to identify the THC content in each product through data gathered by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction and national data from the different countries.

The study found that those who used pot daily were three times more likely to have a psychotic episode compared to someone who never used the drug.

Related: Media Leaps to Questionable Conclusions from Study on the Effects of Marijuana on the Brain
Marijuana - Both Sides of the Story
Study Finds That Legalized Medical Cannabis Led to a Decline in Medicare Prescriptions
New Attorney General Claims Legal Weed Drives Violent Crime; Statistics be Damned
World Health Organization Clashes With DEA on CBD; CBD May be an Effective Treatment for Psychosis


Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @12:51AM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @12:51AM (#610816)

    I used to smoke weed and my first hand anecdotal experiences amongst a large peer group is that THC at least enhances psychosis.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:07AM (7 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:07AM (#610818) Journal

      The main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. It can induce paranoia and anxiety and hallucinations and has been found in studies to increase the risk psychotic illness in people who regularly use potent forms of cannabis such as skunk.

      But its second major constituent, CBD, has the opposite effects to THC - leading scientists to think it might one day be useful as a treatment in mental health.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:28AM (2 children)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:28AM (#610833) Homepage

        " people who regularly use potent forms of cannabis such as skunk. "

        "Potent skunk?" That sounds like something that one uncool uncle would say trying to jive with the lingo.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:40AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:40AM (#610836)

          "Potent skunk?" That sounds like something that one uncool uncle would say trying to jive with the lingo.

          Also true though. I know a few people (including myself) who basically checked out for a couple of years after 6 months smoking a concentrated form of that crap. The solution wasn't depressants (it lead to us all drinking), the solution was just time away from drugs.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:29AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:29AM (#610856)

            That's odd. My experience after a year is losing over 40 lbs (getting very close to my ideal weight now), having a cleaner house, having a lot more money in the bank instead of wasting it on alcohol, other cosmetic improvements, and being a lot calmer and happier in general. I'm on better terms with my roommate and will be helping a family member through college next semester.

            I suppose it doesn't have the same effect on everybody.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:30AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:30AM (#610834)

        You think I read TFA? Not new to this or the green site are you?

        How much weed do you have to smoke to realise it's having two opposite effects or that people who smoke it heavily do so to offset the long term effects of the drug itself? I don't think cannabinoids are the answer, they are simply a depressant like alcohol. Neither effect is desirable I'll still take a joint in a social setting but never a bong and I've still been caught out. IMHO people don't need medication, they need to come to terms with the behaviours and characters of themselves and others.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:59AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:59AM (#610865)

          How much weed do you have to smoke to realise it's having two opposite effects

          If we're getting technical, there's no such thing as one drug called “weed;” there is no psychoactive molecule called “weed.” There's THC, CBD, CBN, and more. Those are the psychoactive molecules. “Weed” is a natural cocktail of helpful cannabinoid molecules that can supplement the ones the body naturally produces.

          Also make sure your grower is not cutting the flowering cycle short. Harvesting too soon can result in a cocktail that has a qualitatively different effect than later in the flowering cycle.

          or that people who smoke it heavily do so to offset the long term effects of the drug itself?

          Where does it demonstrate that the psychoses treated here were solely caused by cannabis flower?

      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:48PM (1 child)

        by hemocyanin (186) on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:48PM (#611013) Journal

        Except the article is about CBD, not THC -- you can buy pot that is almost exclusively CBD with only a trace of THC and if it was processed, the THC could probably be removed completely.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:25AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:25AM (#610822)

      I use it as a preventative treatment.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:49AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:49AM (#610837)

        I use it as a preventative treatment.

        Against what? The only people I know who provable benefited from it were individuals with Parkinson's. Which isn't surprising. [businessinsider.com]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:32AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @04:32AM (#610857)

          lol! How much are you being paid?

          Is your link supposed to support a Narrative you're trying to get across?

          Thanks for correcting the record!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Snotnose on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:02AM (4 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:02AM (#610817)

    You have an organization that doesn't have any skin in the game. You have another that gets a large part of it's funding, let alone it's entire reason to exist, not to mention the bonus bux due to "asset confiscation". WHO says "um, this is probably not a problem". DEA sez "NO, PROBLEM! NOTHING TO SEE HERE CITIZEN, MOVE ALONG!"

    --
    Why is tamales pronounced tamales but females is pronounced females instead of females?
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:18AM (#610819)

      its confiscated stash so they can get high off the smoke.

      Sort of like the police gangbanging a prostitute after arresting them for prostitution.

      It's only illegal when the CITIZEN/PERP does it.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:35PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:35PM (#610971)

      The sad part - not that it's news here - is that the great majority of drug-related crime, loss of life, and property damage occurs specifically because the drugs are illegal.

      There is never a good reason to use heroin or cocaine or most forms of amphetamines, and most of the time for most people it's a bad idea to use pot too.

      But there's never a good reason to use alcohol or nicotine or get more than a relatively small fraction of your total calories from processed sugar, too. We don't ban those things. And look what happened: all those beer companies having gun battles in the street, and selling booze to kids in school yards, and massive cigarette cartels in Central America and South America that corrupt entire governments so they can smuggle Camel cigarettes across national borders. People dying because they bought sugar that was accidentally cut with poisons. And zero tax revenue for local and national governments based on those products. ....oh wait, no, none of it.

      Legalize all of the currently illegal drugs for people eighteen or older on a prescription basis, and make it clear to the doctors that it's better for a patient to get something that will kill them slowly from a doc than something that will kill them quickly on the street. Outlaw advertising. Tax all of them, and use the revenue to fund free inpatient rehab clinics for anyone and even more anti-drug campaigns. While you're at it, legalize, regulate, and tax prostitution and gambling too for the same reasons. How are organized criminals and gangs going to make money? Where does the business model of the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels go? The last big leg of criminal operations is weapon trading, but they only do that to protect their drugs, prostitution, and gambling.

      Whether they realize it or not, the DEA and organized criminal groups that sell drugs are currently partners. Their reasons for existence and source of funding is the illegality of drugs. In the 1930s FDR and the Democrats invented work for millions of people with the Public Works Administration, Works Progress Administration, and Civilian Conservation Corps. That kind of social program is no longer palatable to American voters, so we have the War on Drugs as modern alternative to give millions of Americans a way to pass the time: the DEA, the criminals they pursue, and a massive prison system.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @05:47PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 18 2017, @05:47PM (#611492)

        Here's a plenty good reason to do any of those things: It feels good and I want to. Fuck off with that holier than thou bs

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 19 2017, @01:05AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 19 2017, @01:05AM (#611658)

          Agreed.

          But to get them legalized, you're going to need a different argument than that to get past the Puritans. "It's none of your damn business" doesn't carry any weight with them. "It costs less, reduces other forms of crime, and ruins fewer lives" might.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:21AM (2 children)

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Sunday December 17 2017, @02:21AM (#610830) Journal

    Drug Enforcement Agency, yeah? Enforcement of which drug[ law]s, why, and for whose benefit? Always try and think like you're a soulless, sneaky, underhanded, amoral bastard who takes pleasure in stomping on other peoples' skulls for its own sake; then you'll start to understand how these people work. It's Lawful Evil alignment all the way down.

    --
    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PinkyGigglebrain on Sunday December 17 2017, @05:44AM (2 children)

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Sunday December 17 2017, @05:44AM (#610872)

    THC and the other compounds found in Cannabis are naturally occurring and can not be patented.

    Now ask yourself who stands to profit from keeping Cannabis a schedule 1 drug. Hint: they make lots of money from patented drugs.

    --
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @01:09PM (#610970)

      The Sched I tag makes more money.
      It creates an artificial shortage which raises the price.
      It also permits a drug enforcement and prison industry.

      As bad a all that is, the worst part of the story is what it does to the rule of law.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 19 2017, @01:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 19 2017, @01:09AM (#611661)

      I would bet the alcohol companies and nicotine companies oppose legalizing cannabis more than the pharmaceutical companies. They compete directly.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @07:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17 2017, @07:12PM (#611046)

    let's not act like the degenerate scum at the DEA and any pig who enforces the unconstitutional drug war don't already know they are nothing but slave traders. they know. they don't care. many have serious mental health problems from war or from figuring out that their whole career is nothing but sedition. that just makes them more dangerous. the whole while, politicians and bootlickers act like they're fighting the good fight because the drug war/modern slave trade is big business.

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