The DEA just made its second major ruling on cannabis extracts in one week. The most recent one, announced Thursday, officially designates CBD cannabidiol hemp oil as a Schedule I drug, just like psychoactive cannabis (also just like heroin and ecstasy). This new change came just a day after another change in the way the DEA will treat extracts: extracts were given their own separate drug code on Wednesday.
It’s still unclear what the motivation for the ruling on CBD hemp oil was and what its effects on medical marijuana patients and producers will be. Until last Thursday, some forms of hemp-derived CBD oil were still not considered illegal by the federal government, but this new regulation will change that.
The DEA explained in its ruling that their goal was to make their marijuana laws more consistent with international drug conventions, which comes off as a bit of an empty gesture now that over half the states in the union have legalized at least some form of medical marijuana.
“For practical purposes, all extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids,” the DEA said. “However, if it were possible to produce from the cannabis plant an extract that contained only CBD and no other cannabinoids, such an extract would fall within the new drug code.”
CBD oil is used pretty much exclusively for medical purposes and is seen by many as a miracle drug for the treatment of childhood epilepsy. It has no confirmed negative side effects. According to one scientific study that looked at comprehensive research on the cannabinoid, “Several studies suggest that CBD is non-toxic in non-transformed cells and does not induce changes on food intake, does not induce catalepsy, does not affect physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature), does not affect gastrointestinal transit and does not alter psychomotor or psychological functions. Also, chronic use and high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans.” However, it notes that some studies indicate that CBD could cause a few negative side effects, including, “inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism, alterations of in vitro cell viability, decreased fertilization capacity, and decreased activities of p-glycoprotein and other drug transporters.”