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Main Ingredient In Medical Marijuana Not Toxic Or Addicting: WHO Report

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The World Health Organization (WHO) released a new report describing medical marijuana's main component as non-toxic and not addictive. The report also states medical marijuana's merits in treating epilepsy among other conditions.

Non-Toxic And Non-Addictive

With so many studies revealing contradictory results as to the detrimental effects and health benefits of medical marijuana, it's easy to get confused and perhaps even torn whether to give medical marijuana a shot. Now, United Nations agency WHO released a report declaring cannabidiol (CBD) as a non-toxic and non-addictive ingredient.

After months of research on CBD, the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) found no evidence linking CBD to any public health related problems. They also did not see any evidence that could point to CBD as a potentially addictive ingredient or as an ingredient that is prone to abuse or dependence. In addition, the report also states CBD's possible merits in treating conditions such as epilepsy and its other types including Dravet syndrome, which is a childhood epilepsy related to drug-resistant seizures.

The report describes CBD as generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile, and states that reported adverse effects may be the result of drug interactions with other medications the user may have been taking. On its own, CBD alone was found to have no psychoactive and cardiovascular effects on its users.

International Recommendation

The report on CBD was actually released in November but only got the public's attention after WHO released its recommendations for stricter international control of the opioid carfentanil on Dec. 13, a statement which happened to include recommendations for cannabis given the results of the recent report. In it, they stated their findings on CBD as a non-toxic and non-addictive compound compared to Tetra Hydro Cannabinol (THC), and recommended a delay in scheduling CBD for international control.

"The ECDD therefore concluded that current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol and postponed a fuller review of cannabidiol preparations to May 2018, when the committee will undertake a comprehensive review of cannabis and cannabis related substances," states the recommendation, also pointing out the increase in interest in medical cannabis use among its Member States.

That said, the report and recommendations do not mean that WHO is recommending the use of CBD. What it simply means is that given the current evidence, perhaps CBD need not be controlled on an international level and should be better left up to the national governments to legalize or not.

As it stands, a full review on CBD is expected to be made in May of 2018 when more specific recommendations will be made.

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