Although people across the country are already using hemp medicine oil and it is legal in a growing number of states, it is not FDA approved, and the DEA still has the power to decide how it should be scheduled as a drug. Currently, its status as a Schedule 1 substance implies that the official stance is that cannabis oil and other forms of hemp have no medicinal value and a high risk of abuse.
Cannabis does not fit the Schedule 1 definition
In the light of research evidence, this is clearly not the case. Cannabinoids do have proven medical uses and several others are being researched with promising results. In addition, CBD, a cannabinoid found in high concentrations in certain strains of hemp has no potential for abuse. Strains such as this are often given names like “hippy’s disappointment” since they can’t make people high.
It’s not just pot activists who want to see cannabis rescheduled. Researchers also hope that the DEA will take the potential medical uses of cannabis into account before making its decision, since its current status makes cannabis a difficult substance to obtain research approval for. Even rescheduling to Schedule 2 will make research progress easier, and will see cannabis classed with drugs such as cocaine and meth.
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DEA decision on hemp medicine oil expected shortly
The DEA previously committed to making its decision known in “in the first half of 2016.” Meanwhile the FDA has given the DEA its opinion on the potential medicinal value of cannabis, but what this might be has not been disclosed to the public. And even if the FDA has asserted that cannabis had medicinal potential, the DEA doesn’t have to follow any recommendations the FDA makes.
And FDA spokesperson says there is a great deal of public interest in the documents sent to the DEA, and would normally release information that provoked so many enquiries, but that it will not release its recommendation while a DEA decision is still pending.
Nobody knows when the DEA will finally release its decision on cannabis, and there are even rumors that this may not happen before August. A DEA spokesperson told journalists that the organization has “no timeline” for the decision.
Until now, the DEA has followed the FDA line – but it doesn’t have to
A DEA official said that the FDA’s opinions on drugs usually swayed DEA decisions, but that it is under no obligation to follow the same line. This said, the official noted that to date, there have been no instances in which the DEA has gone against an FDA recommendation.
Unfortunately, we have no way to know for sure what the FDA said about hemp medicine oil and other forms of cannabis medicine, however, it seems likely that the FDA cannot deny the potential of cannabinoids as medicines since it has approved the use of pharmaceuticals that use cannabinoids as active ingredients.