What Does the DEA's Move to Lower CBD to Schedule 3 Mean?

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently made a move to lower cannabidiol (CBD) drugs with a lower THC content due to the FDA's approval of Epidolex, a drug intended to be used for rare forms of epilepsy. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) published its Notice of Interim Decisions to Amend (or Not Amend) the current Toxicology Standard, and members of the medical cannabis industry were eagerly awaiting decisions related to low doses of CBD. This permission requirement applies to a drug containing CBD extracted from the cannabis plant because, as stated above, that product is a Schedule I drug under the Single Convention. The decision to lower CBD to Schedule 3 is still a good one, as it demonstrates a general improvement in the industry in favor of patients.

Stakeholders in the medical cannabis industry were thrilled to learn that cannabidiol, or CBD, both synthetic and natural, will go from being a Schedule 4 drug (prescription only) to a Schedule 3 drug (for pharmacists only). However, there won't be much change to begin with, and CBD users will need to continue to receive prescriptions for their medications. The Acting Administrator of the Anti-Drug Administration issued a final order that includes certain drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that contain cannabidiol (CBD) in Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Specifically, this order includes FDA-approved drugs containing cannabis-derived CBD and no more than 0.1 percent tetrahydrocannabinols in Schedule V.

To be considered for Schedule 3, CBD must meet certain packaging requirements, including child-proof closures. Companies have claimed that several CBD products could be used to treat or cure serious illnesses, such as cancer, without scientific evidence to support such claims.

Cédric Yoho
Cédric Yoho

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