The UK has been way ahead of the US on a lot of things in the two countries’ history: ruling the world, the abolishment of slavery, The Beatles, The Office, tea. And now we can add one more notch to their belt: federally acknowledging the medicinal benefit of cannabis.

Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), a loose equivalent to the FDA in the states, has released its findings on the medical effects of CBD, as reported by The Independent. The agency said  that the cannabinoid meets the requirements of a “‘medicinal product’ because it may be used by or administered to human beings either with a view to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis.’”

This 420-friendly statement comes in direct contradiction to a finding made last year by the British government when it responded to an uber-popular petition from citizens to make cannabis legal in the United Kingdom. At the time, last summer, the government issued a statement saying that the Advisory Council on the Misuse had found that “the use of cannabis is a significant public health issue,” further elaborating that it “can unquestionably cause harm to individuals and society.”

The new findings from the MHRA doesn’t nullify those statements or speak to legalization of recreational use, but it does concede that CBD products can be prescribed to patients suffering from illness and injury without “unquestionably caus[ing] harm to individuals and society.”

The UK, like its ex-colony the USA, has hazy regulations governing medical marijuana. Cannabis can be prescribed across the pond in the form of a handful of medications such as Sativex which some claim are too costly and unwieldy to be practical for use.

The new statement on CBD came after the government authorities spoke with the vaporizer manufacturers MediPen, which is pushing for greater public understanding of the medicinal effects of marijuana. “Since our inception we’ve worked hard to obtain our goal of breaking down the negative connotations surrounding Cannabis to lead to a reform in the law for medicinal use,” Jordan Owen of MediPen told The Independent, “now this is finally becoming a reality, which will provide ground-breaking results.”

Photo via Flickr user jeep