The World Health Organization (WHO) is pretty much the undisputed authority when it comes to advising planet earth – and all of its wonderful citizens – on any and all things health related. Their simple mission statement is to “build a better, healthier future for people all over the world,” and they work alongside governments in more than 150 countries to “ensure the highest attainable level of health for all people.” Basically, when they have something to say about a health-related topic, the world stops and listens.
With that in mind, one of WHO’s key topics of discussion this past fall (November 2017) at the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence in Geneva was in regard to the natural cannabis compound cannabidiol, or CBD.
For those who are familiar with this wonderfully therapeutic cannabinoid, the statements made by the organization will likely not being anything of revelatory concern. For other folks, though, (i.e. lawmakers who are still under the impression that CBD should be inherently illegal becomes it comes from the marijuana plant), the statements are definitely something to pay serious attention to; if you’re on the fence about whether or not CBD is really as safe as everyone says it is, then this article is for you.
First Things First: What is CBD?
Before we get right into talking about WHO’s monumental statements at the Geneva Drug Abuse convention, let’s do a little bit of a briefing on what exactly CBD is, for those who are totally in the dark about the compound.
Basically, CBD is an active chemical compound that’s found naturally in the marijuana plant – its “claim to fame,” so to speak, is that it doesn’t get you high (that distinction of course belongs to THC, which is another similar, albeit functionally distinct, marijuana compound).
CBD has been wildly increasing in popularity over the last 2-3 years due to the seemingly endless range of therapeutic benefits that it has on the human body; among other things, it has been scientifically noted to treat epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, psychosis, and a number of other serious medical conditions and ailments. And like we just said, the best part is that it produces no high at all – it is totally non-intoxicating.
Of course, some people believe this is too good to be true — WAY too good to be true, in fact. They believe that because CBD comes from the marijuana plant, it is a “drug” – and an illegal one at that. (The U.S. Federal government currently adopts this mindset, as it is still classifying CBD as a Schedule I Controlled Substance).
If you look at it from that perspective, then yes, CBD is of course a “drug.” But so is Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, and any number of other over-the-counter medications. What skeptics need to realize about CBD is that it is functionally isolated from the high-producing THC compound; just because it comes from the marijuana plant, does NOT mean that it causes the famous marijuana high. Fortunately, the World Health Organization understands this, and they are trying to get governments around the world to understand it too so that they can fulfill their mission of building a better, healthier future for all the world’s people.
The World Health Organization Deems CBD Safe and Claims it has no Adverse Effects on Public Health
Like we said earlier, when WHO puts money and resources into researching something, and then makes definitive statements about that something at a massive worldwide convention (like the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence), they’re not doing it for shits and giggles – they’re doing it to aid governments in coming up with safe and reliable health policies for their citizens.
At the convention, the organization claimed once and for all that the 100% natural plant compound is “safe, well tolerated, and not associated with any significant adverse public health effects.”
For all of the doubters and skeptics out there, you cannot get a more definitive statement than that.
Moreover, they went on to say that CBD is “not associated with abuse potential, it does not induce physical dependence, [and it is] is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” Of course, this is ludicrous when considering that the U.S. Federal government still maintains CBD under the same scheduled classification (Schedule I) as heroin, LSD, MDMA, and ecstasy – all drugs that are defined as possessing a “high potential for abuse”.
Someday, hopefully not too far off into the future, we will look back at this absurd fact and literally wonder what the hell we were ever thinking. It is fair enough that whole-plant marijuana is still federally illegal (given its ability to produce intoxicating highs), but CBD — no way. It should be about as illegal as apples or oranges.
In addition to the monumental statements that it made on CBD’s safety profile, WHO also recognized in their international disclosure the many therapeutic benefits that the compound has: “[CBD has] been demonstrated as an effective treatment for epilepsy … [and there exists] preliminary evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions…”
How any worldwide government could continue to classify CBD as an illegal substance after these definitive statements is beyond us. Like we said, hopefully this convention will have been a wake-up call for the world’s leading health-related policy makers, and we can all look back on this in a year or so’s time (or hopefully less) and laugh.
I Heard CBD Was Legal to Buy?
Of course, even though CBD “technically” is listed as a Schedule I substance, companies across the U.S. are selling and shipping it (legally) to customers in all 50 states.
How are they doing this? Well, one of the “loopholes” in cannabis policy, so to speak, is that hemp – which is a species of the cannabis plant – is legal as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC by weight. While hemp does not contain nearly enough THC to get anyone high, it does in most circumstances contain a fair amount of CBD.
In fact, the majority of the best CBD oils and CBD-infused products are made from 100% legal industrial hemp – customers can go online, shop around for CBD products, and have it shipped directly to their doorstep.
Naturally, though, given the currently unregulated state of the drug (it is not yet recognized by the FDA), there are TONS of super sketchy companies out there that are currently selling bogus CBD products – oils, balms, creams, etc. They are marketing and selling them as “pure CBD,” when in fact they contain hardly any of the compound at all. While we highly recommend trying CBD out for a number of different ailments, we advise you to be super wary when shopping around or buying online – make sure you do a lot of research, and only buy from a reputable brand that has a lot of valid customer reviews and quality feedback.
Final Thoughts on the Safety of CBD
He at WayofLeaf, if we made some sort of a statement like “CBD is totally safe!” or, “CBD is awesome and doesn’t get you high at all!” it wouldn’t exactly carry that much weight among the general population.
However, when an organization like WHO comes out and makes pretty much those exact comments, it would be wise of you (and more importantly governments worldwide) to stop and listen. The fact of the matter is that CBD is safe, reliable, and effective, and the sooner everyone understands this, the healthier we will all be.