In December 2016, the DEA published changes to the internal code system that would directly specify CBD or “Marijuana Extract” as “meaning an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant.” The DEA did propose this change in 2011; however, the case has just now been closed on the matter, bringing rise to more questions.
CBD is different from THC, the psychoactive property of cannabis, in that it has been found to aid in my medical conditions like epilepsy, glaucoma and more. Cannabinoids derived from hemp are used in CBD products, like CBD oils and CBD balms. CBD also in non-psychoactive, meaning users do not experience a “high” feeling as they do with THC.
If CBD was just included in marijuana classification as a Schedule 1 drug, then the DEA just changed the law. And that is what has many people in the marijuana industry talking.
According to Forbes, “Ultimately, the DEA can’t create new laws, they can only enforce existing laws created by Congress. However, by making an administrative change, like updating codes, they can then include a product that hadn’t been defined or included before.”
By applying CBD it’s own code, many people fear that the DEA has just directly specified CBD as a Schedule 1 drug. According the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), in order for CBD to directly make it onto the Schedule 1 list, it must be voted in by congress. “Producers of products made with CBD are fighting back,” Medical Marijuana, Inc. CEO Dr. Stuart Titus said, “The ninth circuit court of appeals has conclusively held that hemp products such as those marketed by the company which are derived from the part of the cannabis plant, which is exempt from the controlled substances act is legal for import from Europe.” The organization sites the court case HIA vs DEA from 2004.
Despite the clear research findings and established benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD), and the fact that it doesn’t get consumers high, the DEA will continue to list it as a Schedule I controlled substance. That’s what this administrative rule tells Americans. Schedule I is a category reserved for drugs with “a high potential for abuse” and “no currently accepted medical use.” This is all so illogical. This new rule is confusing for first time consumers of high-CBD cannabis and it’s confusing for experienced consumers and patients.”
Some organizations like Americans for Safe Access are event calling for the DEA to clarify the new code changes.
For now, it appears that the decision to continue to move towards tightening the restraints on CBD will move into the hands of the next administration. BOP Law will remain on-watch for developing information.