Cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive ingredient in cannabis, has been legalized as a medicine in the United Kingdom.
The U.K.’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced today that it has reclassified CBD so that it can be legally used for medical purposes. Up until this point CBD was as illegal as the plant it’s derived from; cannabis.
“The change really came about with us offering an opinion that CBD is, in fact, a medicine, and that opinion was based on the fact that we noted that people were making some quite stark claims about serious diseases that could be treated with CBD,” Gerald Heddel, director of inspection and enforcement at MHRA, told Sky News. “It was clear that people are using this product with the understandable belief that it will actually help”.
As part of the change, the MHRA will allow the production and licensed distribution of CBD medicines.
The move is in stark contrast to what’s happening on the federal level in the U.S.; recently the Drug Enforcement Administration clarified that CBD is a schedule 1 drug alongside actually dangerous substances such as heroin.