EIHA and FAAAT contribution to pre-review of Cannabidiol for ECDD’s 39th meeting,
World Health Organization, Geneva (Switzerland), November 6th, 2017
Honourable members of the 39th ECDD, ladies and gentlemen,
I am very thankful for having been given this opportunity: to address the world’s leading drug dependence experts today! My name is Boris Baňas, and I am speaking on behalf of the European Industrial Hemp Association, which represents 140 members from 42 countries worldwide comprising of leading hemp processors for fibre, plastic composites, construction, food and nutraceutical applicaitons.
In the following minutes, I will elaborate on the three main reasons why Cannabidiol should not be included in the lists of substances under international control and then I will be ready to answer your questions.
Our main three arguments all making a Critical review of Cannabidiol irrelevant are:
One: CBD is not intoxicating, non-similar to any scheduled drugs, and
has no abuse or dependence potential.
Two: Its isolation or synthesis is viable legally, technically and commercially.
Three: CBD actually promotes individual and public health and welfare and therefore supports World Health Organization’s primary mission and raison d’etre.
Our first argument is that there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to consider CBD based
on its assumed psychotropic or narcotic-like properties.
In stark contrast to Tetrahydrocannabinols, CBD has no euphoriant action. Even more so, a plethora of publications in renowned papers such as Nature, Science and Cell, show that CBD does not generate abuse patterns. This has also been recognized by several national health agencies, and reaffirmed in the 38th ECDD meeting documentation, as well as in this year´s pre-review and peer-review documents of CBD.
These findings are the basis of employing CBD as a widespread prescribed active pharmaceutical ingredient to treat several pathologies and in particular, to treat forms of infant epilepsy such as Dravet Syndrome.
In some treatments, CBD is approved for administration to very young children
at very high doses without intoxicating effects.
Acknowledging that, it is hard to scientifically justify any scheduling
of CBD as a controlled substance!
Concerning our second argument:
Without prejudice to legal requirements of its manufacture, gaining CBD is possible either via chemical synthesis or by isolation. This usually happens from certified cultivars of the genus Cannabis. The latter is also called industrial or fibre-hemp, and there are 64 such cultivars approved in EU,
46 in Canada, 26 in Russia and several more in China.
Well-established chemical processes of CBD manufacture from the hemp plant guarantee that practically no THC can be found in the isolated product.
Some cannabinoids have also been found in trace amounts in genus Echinacea and specifically Cannabidiol in other plant species such as flax, genus Linum and hops, genus Humulus.
There is simply no logic to schedule CBD on the grounds that it is
found in and can be manufactured from cannabis!.
Last but not least, our third approach shows that CBD actually promotes individual as well as public health and welfare.
On the one hand, similarly with other substances with physiological effect, Cannabidiol’s action depends on a daily intake. Low and medium doses maintain, support and optimize the homeostasis, while higher doses may restore, correct and modify the human physiological functions.
On the other hand, CBD’s versatility is already proven by its presence
in various products that are on the market right now. Just to mention a few:
it can be found as an active ingredient in medicinal products and ex-tempore medicines, we can see several medical devices with CBD, cosmetic products, food supplements, electronic vape liquids and veterinary preparations.
Did you know: that European Commission actually considers CBD as a potential new food ingredient? Did you know that it is already listed in the INCI list
of cosmetic ingredients? And did you know that the World Anti Doping Agency has recently removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances?A stricter international control of CBD would severely impair the world’s flourishing hemp industry just having experienced a rebirth, after almost
a century of open or hidden oppression. Jobs will be destroyed and therefore public health and welfare will indirectly decline. Even European automotive industry may directly suffer from this action.
To conclude: CBD is not intoxicating, promotes public health on the individual and global level and already exists in numerous innovative and health-promoting products. Cannabidiol, just as the World Health Organization, brings added value to public health and welfare.
Undertaking a critical review of Cannabidiol would go against the principles and goals that the World Health Organization stands for!
Many thanks for your time and attention and for considering arguments
of the European Industrial Hemp Association and the thousands of European citizens that demand policies that supports public health and enhance product safety and quality, not policies that restrict access and research.
I invite you to consult the extended paper version of our statement, that has been distributed to you via Secretariat.
Member of the Board of Directors
European Industrial Hemp Association