Two bills have been introduced to protect consumer access to cannabidiol (CBD). They need our support. Action Alert!
We have a growing opioid painkiller epidemic in this country—one that has followed the scandal of so many heart-health-destroying or cancer-causing pain relievers being approved by the FDA. There is a natural alternative, and of course the government is intent on banning it for no reason at all—other than to clear the way for a blockbuster new drug.
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) has introduced two bills, the Legitimate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (HR 714) and the Compassionate Access Act (HR 715), both aimed at removing federal obstacles that prevent patient access to CBD, a medicinal extract of the marijuana plant.
These bills follow a recent move by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that classified marijuana and all its extracts as Schedule I controlled substances—a category that includes heroin, LSD, mescaline, and MDMA. Note that none of the CBD extracts contains significant amounts of the psychoactive chemical in marijuana—only the non-psychoactive painkilling chemicals.
Although “CBD” or “cannibinoids” are not mentioned in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)—the legislation that the DEA must follow in creating rules related to controlled substances—the agency nonetheless lumps CBD and all other constituents of the plant into the definition of “marijuana.”
The Compassionate Access Act instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to recommend that the DEA reschedule marijuana. The bill also amends the CSA’s definition of marijuana to explicitly exclude CBD, and prevents federal officials from interfering with states that have allowed CBD for medical use.
The Legitimate Use of Medical Marijuana Act does many of the same things but specifically reschedules marijuana to Schedule II.
As we reported previously, Schedule I substances are not recognized as having ANY medicinal benefit. Yet there are thousands of published scientific studies on CBD and its beneficial health effects on pain, inflammation, seizures, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. Adding to the hypocrisy, the US government holds a patent on CBD that covers the use of CBD to protect the brain from degeneration—specifically, the patent says that “cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants,” limiting neurological damage following ischemic attacks such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV dementia.
Why is this happening? The DEA claims that its recent action was merely a housekeeping matter—it assigned marijuana extracts a code for the purpose of tracking scientific studies of those compounds separately from marijuana. In the DEA’s view, CBD was always a Schedule I substance, and nothing has changed.
But there have already been consequences. A hemp beer was reportedly approved by the feds, but the decision was reversed when CBD was assigned a DEA drug code. Family businesses that have marketed natural products made from CBD oil for years must contemplate shuttering their operations, lest they be confused by the government for heroin or LSD dealers.
The feds are likely clearing the market of natural CBD in preparation for a CBD drug currently in Phase III trials. If so, those who rely on CBD to control pain or seizures will likely see the price of CBD skyrocket if the drug gets FDA approval.
We’ve seen this happen before. The FDA attacked brain health supplements like vinpocetine as a major Alzheimer’s drug from Eli Lilly was in Phase III trials—only to fail spectacularly, as have other Alzheimer’s drugs in recent months. A similar playbook was used against the amino acid tryptophan before the first SSRI antidepressant drug came on the market. We cannot let it happen to CBD.
Action Alert! Write to your representative and urge him or her to support HR 714 and HR 715, and ensure consumer access to CBD! Please send your message immediately.
Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health: