It was either Voltaire or Ben Parker, who said, “with great power, comes great responsibility.” In this case, the great responsibility is making decisions that can drastically affect an entire population, if you’re the greatly powerful FDA.

In June of 2018, the FDA urged another branch of our ever-so-nimble government, the DEA, to deschedule Cannabidiol, better known as CBD. A decision that makes an unprecedented amount of sense, as a seemingly endless list of clinical and medical applications of the wondrous extract, now recognized as a pharmaceutical, are being discovered as better than previously prescribed standards of care.

The DEA responded by citing a treaty from another time, the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which outlines that extracts of Cannabis must remain controlled.

The DEA did, however, place CBD on Schedule V, which it defines as “drugs, substances or chemicals […] with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV, and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics.” A step in the right direction, and access to a drug that can treat seizures for those who suffer from them.

This writer has seen the stark difference in quality of life that CBD can provide an individual suffering from seizures than the commonly prescribed Keppra.

An individual close to me was prescribed this drug to treat their seizures. I watched as Keppra fixed one problem, but not all the way, and caused several more, that CBD just by itself, to this day, has fixed. Of course this N of 1 is anecdotal, however with a branded, cannabidiol based drug readily available to patients that may benefit from it, the CBD stands alone.

We are amidst an incredible time in the world of legal weed, as three more states legalized medical or recreational cannabis this year, on top Canada’s nationwide recreational legalization back in June.

Of the three states, Michigan became the 10th state to let loose the goose as far as recreational cannabis goes, with Missouri and Utah allowing for medical use. With only 17 states not allowing for any type of legal use, be it med or rec, the loading bar on nationwide legalization inches forward, but the beach ball keeps spinning.

As CBD continues on its meteoric rise into clinical stardom, we will continue to advocate for its eventual and complete de-scheduling.