Compound in Marijuana Appears Safe and Nonaddictive, WHO Says

A compound in marijuana appears to be relatively safe and nonaddictive,
according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO).

In an initial review of existing research, the WHO found that the
compound, called cannabidiol or CBD, is “generally well-tolerated with a
good safety profile,” according to the November report. In addition, the compound appears to have “no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential,” the report found.

Still, the report added that although “CBD has been found to have
relatively low toxicity … not all potential effects have been explored.”
A more extensive review of the compound will be carried out in 2018, according to a WHO statement from Dec. 13. 

The report, which was conducted by the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug
Dependence (ECDD), is not an endorsement of CBD. Representatives of WHO
told Newsweek that the report “does not say WHO recommends the use of cannabidiol.”

Rather, the review was carried out in response to interest from “Member
States,” or countries who are a part of the WHO. (The WHO is the United
Nations’ health agency.)

“Responding to that interest and increase in use, WHO has in recent
years gathered more robust scientific evidence on therapeutic use and
side effects of cannabis and cannabis components,” the WHO statement
said.

The ECDD concluded that the current information available on CBD does
not justify scheduling the compound as a controlled substance.

Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is another compound found in marijuana, CBD does not have “psychoactive” effects. In other words, CBD won’t get you high.

CBD has been studied for potential therapeutic benefits. The report
found that CBD “could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy
and related conditions,” according to the WHO. And there is preliminary
evidence that it “may be a useful treatment for a number of other
medical conditions,” though the evidence is less robust, the report
said.

The WHO report noted that there is “unsanctioned medical use” of
products containing CBD, including oils, supplements and
high-concentration extracts that are available online. However, a study from November,
published in the journal JAMA, found that these extracts are often
mislabeled and can contain higher or lower doses of CBD than what’s
listed on the label.

sources: Live Science.

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