In Utah, you can get high CBD, low THC oil from cannabis legally, but many feel that this is not enough the Desert News reports. What medical marijuana advocates want is for THC to be downgraded from a Schedule 1 substance to a Schedule 2.
CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid officially shares the same status, but since it doesn’t produce any form of high, it has been accepted as a possible treatment under Utah’s current laws. But many feel that this is hindering medical cannabis research.
TRUCE says the playing field needs to be opened up for research
A spokesperson for the organization TRUCE (Together for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education) says that cannabis research – including research into THC, should be opened up. She says that the re-scheduling of cannabinoids should be a priority and that the state should be advocating federal level changes that would make researchers’ tasks easier.
She acknowledges that research may be productive of both negative and positive findings for and against THC, but says that if harmful impacts are found, this can also be seen as progress.
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Utah’s congressional delegation is open minded, but cautious
TRUCE says that the attitude of Utah’s delegating is “encouraging”, and the senator has said that the issue of medical marijuana legislation will be a priority. But federal opposition, despite the current reprieve for businesses in states where medical marijuana is legal, remains an obstacle.
State legislators would prefer to be cautious. For instance, what would happen to Colorado if the Fed suddenly withdraws is amnesty from prosecution and cracks down? But if marijuana could be reclassified, its status would be much more secure. Even high CBD, low THC oil faces a similar threat, despite its lack of psychoactive properties and its legal status in Utah.
Is a cannabidiol substitute really necessary?
Low THC cannabidiol is allowed in Utah, and early research results show that the cannabinoid may be just as effective over a similar spectrum of disorders as that claimed for THC – even if no recreational high comes from its use. But knowing whether psychoactive THC really does have applications where it is superior to CBD will require research – and that’s hindered by a Schedule 1 status on both cannabinoids.
Research holds the key
Large scale clinical trials – an element that is currently lacking in our knowledge of cannabinoids – would provide the answers. So ultimately, what Utah wants is re-scheduling. Schedule 1 drugs including both CBD and THC are classed as having no real medical application, and with that stigma to deal with, researchers struggle to get legal and ethical approval for trials that would answer these questions.
DEA decision overdue
Earlier this year, the DEA said it would make its decision on the re-scheduling of cannabinoids “in the first half of 2016”. In that case, the due date is now, and no real news has been forthcoming. Meanwhile, medical cannabis activists in Utah and elsewhere are hoping for a decision that will help scientists to gain a better understanding of high CBD, low THC oil as well as high THC products.