The Drug Enforcement Administration issued a new ruling, Dec. 14, by which cannabidiol (CBD) hemp oil was declared a substance part of the Schedule I Controlled Substances Act. Following this decision, CBD oil will be in the same category as LSD, MDMA, psilocybin and other drugs.
The CBD oil is made from hemp plants not containing a large quantity of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive component of cannabis.
CBD – Schedule I Drug
According to the ruling, the extracts containing CBD will also contain other cannabinoids in small amounts. Currently, the drug is used in treating a wide range of diseases, from PTSD to epilepsy or anxiety, being a very powerful anti-inflammatory medicine. Another use of the drug is helping to manage pain in patients who suffer from different chronic conditions.
The Schedule I drugs refer to substances or chemicals whose potential for abuse is so high that their use is illegal. Following this statement, the CBD has also joined the list.
"The abuse rate is a determinate factor in the scheduling of the drug; for example, Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence," according to the DEA website.
However, the decision did not pass unnoticed by marijuana activists, who believe that the institution is not given the authority to make such decisions.
"The DEA can only carry out the law, they cannot create it. Here they're purporting to create an entirely new category called 'marijuana extracts,' and by doing so wrest control over all cannabinoids. They want to call all cannabinoids illegal. But they don't have the authority to do that," noted Robert Hoban, a Colorado cannabis attorney who is also an adjunct professor of law at the University of Denver.
The new ruling is in opposed to the view of another federal agency, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, whose director, Nora Volkow, believes, that CBD should by no means be restricted under the portmanteau of having no medical value.
"There is reason to believe (CBD) may have a range of uses in medicine, including in the treatment of seizures and other neurological disorders," Volkow mentioned in 2015.
DEA – An Authority To Enforce Substance Laws
While this decision is widely debated, the institution's mission is to enforce substance laws and regulations.
"The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United State," states their website.