WHO declares that medical marijuana has no public health risks
Having raged for decades now, the debate on whether to legalize marijuana shows no signs of reaching a consensus anytime soon. While some progress has been made, especially in the United States, where THC was legalized in the state of Arizona for medical usage back in 2010, other countries have categorically refused to entertain the possibility of legalization.
However, it is difficult to contest some of the benefits of marijuana. Advocates for the legalization of THC claim that not only is it a healthier alternative to alcohol but that it can provide those who live in chronic pain or suffer from mental illness with some relief.
And now, after months of deliberation, The World Health Organisation has concluded that cannabidiol (CBD) - the relaxant property of cannabis that is used in medical marijuana - does not carry any risk of addiction and should not be scheduled drug.
Asserting that CBD is a helpful treatment for those who suffer from epilepsy, WHO stated in a report published yesterday that, "there is increased interest from Member States in the use of cannabis for medical indications, including for palliative care". The report continued, "responding to that interest and increase in use, WHO has in recent years gathered more robust scientific evidence on therapeutic use and side effects of cannabis and cannabis components."
The WHO concluded that "recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions." And the authors added that "current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol", on account of the fact that taking medical marijuana does not lead to addiction to THC, the psychoactive property of cannabis that induces a "high".
Raul Elizalde, who has campaigned tirelessly to get his epileptic daughter, Grace, CBD treatment, was overjoyed by the report.
Speaking to the Mail Online, he asserted:
"I’m ecstatic that these international health leaders agree that CBD is a substance that should not be scheduled and has therapeutic value for a variety of medical conditions.
I never thought I would be doing this, that cannabis would be part of our life. But Grace changed everything. Now I know that just taking CBD is like taking a health supplement. It is not a replacement for her treatment, but it has changed her life."
Elizalde, who is the founder and president of HempMeds Mexico, spoke on behalf of his organization when he added, "We look forward to continuing our conversation about its many benefits in 2018."
The World Health Organisation is now planning to launch a more extensive review in May to delve into how medical marijuana and other cannabis-related properties can help those who suffer from cancer and Alzheimer's, as well as epilepsy.