The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that cannabidiol (CBD[1]) should not be scheduled as a drug by the United Nations. In November, the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) convened[2] in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss the potential dangers of 17 different drug substances, including cannabidiol.

The review of CBD[3] noted that evidence from animal and human studies shows that CBD could have medicinal value for treating epilepsy and has little potential for abuse or dependence. Therefore, the ECDD “concluded that current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol.”

The group will conduct a more comprehensive study of cannabis and cannabinoids in May 2018.

Raúl Elizalde, the president of medical marijuana company HempMeds Mexico, spoke at the convention[4] in November. He urged the committee not to schedule CBD[5] as a drug and to allow its use as a dietary supplement. Elizalde became a cannabis activist in order to procure MMJ treatments for his daughter Grace, who suffers from a severe form of epilepsy.

WHO Rules CBD Should Not Be a Scheduled Drug

Raúl Elizalde at the WHO conference in Geneva, November 2017 (Photo Courtesy of CMW Media.)

“We’re ecstatic that these international health leaders agree that CBD is a substance that should not be scheduled and has therapeutic value for a variety of medical conditions. We look forward to continuing our conversation about CBD’s many benefits in 2018,” said Elizalde after receiving word of the decision.

A ruling by the United Nations[6] that CBD should not be regulated could lead to its rescheduling under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States, where CBD continues to be listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic.


  1. ^ CBD (
  2. ^ convened (
  3. ^ review of CBD (
  4. ^ spoke at the convention (
  5. ^ CBD (
  6. ^ United Nations (

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