Home / Be The Change / Flex Your rights / UK Reclassifies CBD Oil as Medicine Just as America Puts It in Class With Heroin

UK Reclassifies CBD Oil as Medicine Just as America Puts It in Class With Heroin

After the DEA moved to further constrain Americans’ access to medically miraculous CBD oil by classifying it alongside heroin and cocaine, Britain chose compassion and common sense — and just classified cannabidiol (CBD) as a medicine.

On Monday, Britain’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) decided CBD — which can treat illnesses and conditions from severe childhood epilepsy to autism to cancer — warranted the classification as a medicine based on credible evidence of its efficacy.

Thus, unlike in the U.S. — where the substance is now considered devoid of medical benefit by the DEA — CBD meeting quality and regulatory standards may be legally obtained by any British citizens who need it, reports High Times.

“We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) used for medical purposes are a medicine,” an MHRA spokesperson said in a statement on the agency’s website.

“Our primary concern is patient safety and we wish to reiterate that individuals using cannabidiol (CBD) products to treat or manage the symptoms of medical conditions should discuss their treatment with their doctor.

“MHRA will now work with individual companies and trade bodies in relation to making sure products containing CBD, used for a medical purpose, which can be classified as medicines, satisfy the legal requirements of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.”

This rational approach stands in sharp and tragic contrast to draconian drug laws in the U.S., where, as of January 13, CBD oil — which does not contain the psychoactive chemical THC, which gives people a high — and all cannabinoids will be considered dangerous substances.

Healthcare and cannabis rights advocates have excoriated the DEA’s brash and baseless move, noting lives will now be in jeopardy.

“The whole policy around this plant is just so illogical,” Robert J. Capecchi, director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, told Vice. “Even when you look at the criteria you’re supposed to be looking at under the law, they’re just not following it. It’s just a stupid policy for lack of a better term.”

THC-containing cannabis — also medically beneficial for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, among many other conditions — still remains as a Schedule I substance in the U.S., and is not considered medicine in Britain.

But the latter has taken steps in the right direction with the new classification for CBD — a complete reversal of cease and desist orders sent by MHRA to vendors only months ago, as High Times notes, ordering it to be “removed from sale in the UK.”

“The change really came about with us offering an opinion that CBD is in fact a medicine,” Gerald Heddel, director of inspection and enforcement at the agency, explained to Sky News, “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.”

Decades of government propaganda about the putative dangers of ‘marijuana’ — amplified exponentially by President Nixon’s administration’s agenda to, in essence, criminalize black people and the anti-war left — still linger in the stigmatization of all the cannabis plant’s myriad derivatives.

Despite the DEA’s war on cannabis and its users, onerous prohibition has been voted out in an increasing number of states — forcing those who need it to uproot their lives and move, in order not to face arrest over their medicine. Medical research into cannabis and cannabinoids continues to evince the miraculous assets the plant offers. In just one example, as High Times explains,

“In early December, researchers from the University of Alabama found that CBD oil reduces both the frequency and severity of seizures in children and adults with with severe, intractable epilepsy. In two-thirds of the 81 participants, the severity was reduced by at least 50 percent.”

In classifying CBD as medicine, MHRA recognizes such benefits — and the improved health of British citizens — eclipse the value in blindly continuing dangerous and inaccurate propaganda.

Sadly, the highly profitable war on drugs and influence of pharmaceutical corporations have the DEA feigning ignorance about cannabis and CBD — at the expense of people’s lives.

  • Di

    In the US it is about greed nothing else.

    • christine.goldberg

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    The D.E.A. and F.D.A. both stand in defiance of Congress and also the Senate as well as the majorty of citizens. Because of the misuse and abuse of responsibility and credibility as well as incompetence and refusal to reform the enforcement power of the D.E.A. should be removed and placed back into the hands of the state. A semi-secret elite police force within what is already a police state is way over the top. America does not need this throwback to the cold war era. These Federal offices have become a haven of renegade Authoritarian despots and tyrants commandeering and miss-directing hundreds of millions even billions into their drug war against American citizens and likewise funding state police regimes both within the U.S. and worldwide.It is these federal agency’s that have created the drug problem solely to commandeer funding and as their power base. Well in excess of sixty percent of F.D.A. employees are lured into going to work for the pharmaceutical industry. The D.E.A. is no more than an arm of the pharmaceutical industry. These renegade authoritarians as well as the pro drug war Authoritarians in the F.B.I. need to be controlled or removed

    • Guy

      Oh, Stuff It ! You prattle on about the DEA this and Big Pharma that, while throwing in a few Police States, as good measure !

      In 10 words or less, What Are You Going To Do About It !?

      • TOPDOG1

        I’m sticking with ‘PRO REFORM’

        • Guy

          What’s that ? A political statement is your solution ? How in the hell, is that, going to do a nickels worth of any good, for anybody ?

  • Guy

    Simply Amazing, that a Country like England, who is about 800 years in thought as well as history, beyond us, can be enlightened enough to come to a common sence conclusion, that this is a form of medicine, without the side benifet of getting “High!”

    Whereas, us here in America, use the more practical approach of hitting it with a hammer, brought to you both by, the DEA, Big Pharma Corporations and Congress.

    I always knew that the English were smart people, now, they have proven themselves to be friggin genius as compared to us, while we still are cave painting on rock walls ! Richard, (The Dick) Nikon, must be dancing a jig, about now !


      Though most of what you wrote is not debatable we would just like to let you that this article, however, is not based on facts. As a small business in the Hemp CBD world, we have been entrenched in this for weeks and we can assure you the DEA has not scheduled CBD Oil along with Cocaine and Heroin… They simply assigned marijuana extracts a number for in house administrative purposes but did not do anything to restrict CBD Oil any more than it is. Hemp CBD is 100% legal and marijuana derived CBD is and always has been illegal, federally. That is tragic, yes, and needs to be changed but the DEA has not done anything to further restrict people from getting CBD.

      • Guy

        Yes ! But you are getting close, and that is what is important ! Had this been 10-20 years ago, I would have said, that you would stand a chance, no more than a snowball in hell would. So now, there is at least movement and investigation into the possibilities of it ! Left to the DEA, ice cream would be in a schedual 1 category and understand you can’t fix stupid, no matter how hard you try !

        Science and research will prove you right in the long run, maybe not right away, but some day soon, and hopefully the DEA will come to the table, as players and not the village idiots, related to Richard (The Dick) Nixon and his previous clone Johnson was !

        • mangomuffin2

          I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your comment. 😉

          • Guy

            Thank’s we try. It’s stuff like this, that makes me want to go up to some of these idiots in Congress, and just shake the living snot out of em ! Meanwhile, we got perennial smiling for the voters, like N.Pelosi and Boxer, asking people and the media, “If they would mind if there Grandmother lived with em ?” Which makes me and even a firmer believer in term limits, because we just can’t seem ever get rid of em ! Hope Trump “Drains The Swamp SOON along with some of these rat’s that keep showing up, for the media fest on MSNBC.

          • mangomuffin2

            Hope springs eternal, no? With the DEA, it’s probably less about idiocy and more about pharmaceutical profits. I don’t see how they can justify what they’re doing when compared with the UK. It’s embarrassing for Americans who remember a government in years gone by that was at least somewhat reasonable and usually behaved as a LEADER in the world. So much for that.

  • doucyet

    There’s a lot of work to be done to beat the big pharma corps on the issue. Write your representatives constantly.

  • Sam B

    Have just ordered shipment of CBD gel tablets from legal source here in the UK. It works for my arthritic neck and back..


    Okay, please bare with me… This article is one in a long line of articles spreading falsehoods. The very first sentence “After the DEA moved to further constrain Americans’ access to medically miraculous CBD oil by classifying it alongside heroin and cocaine…” is absolutely false!! The DEA recently issued a ‘Final Rule’ which didn’t do anything to restrict access to CBD Oil for Americans. To clarify the issue AND clean up the mess that lazy journalist, such as this one, have left for consumers to wallow in, we have issued our Official Statement on the issue here: http://www.acadiahemp.com/single-post/2016/12/27/CBD-Oil-The-DEAs-Final-Rule-Offers-A-Reality-Check

  • Laura L

    Can someone tell me why a state legalizes Medical Marijuana, but federally it is illegal?

    I have read many countless stories regarding how Medical M. has been proven to help patients with seizures, and that doctors are prescribing this more. One of my best friends lives in Colorado and had one of his first seizures in his early 40’s while driving and had caused a 9 car accident. No one was hurt, and because he had a MMJ card, they assume that you are high driving and that was the cause of the accident, not a seizure. A few years ago while at work, he was found in a ditch because he had a seizure, His coworker found him and took him to the hospital, and he did not even know his name. The news papers who covered the story said he faked a seizure, but it was clear that he had one and that he even flatlined in the hospital as he was leaving. They did not say anything about that though. This case was dismisses as he clearly had a seizure. And now 6 months ago, he had another car accident leaving work during rush hour. Again, he had a seizure, and they found the MMJ card on him, he had a very low level of THC on him. MMJ card has been used against him, and now he is fighting the Colorado court systems since it is legal for him to have it, but Federally its against the law which doesn’t make sense. He may go to jail because of his seizures, because they are trying to blame MMJ to be a cause of his accidents. I want to bring awareness to his case, since the law is trying to make an example of an innocent man. Plus I am seeing more parents giving it to children as a desperation to prevent seizures, meanwhile when they grow up as adults, this can be used against them.

    • Edo Edo

      I am sorry for your friend for the condition he faces, both physical and legal…

      The “nice” answer to your question is that different regions in the US are more progressive or libertarian than others. Places like Colorado and Alaska are traditional red states but value the ideas of freedom of choice and small government over the social conservatism seen in other red states. Places like Washington, Oregon, California, and Massachusetts are much more open to “counter-cultural” views and are more tolerant of adjusting laws accordingly. These philosophies allow change to happen much more quickly than the more oppressive areas of the South and Midwest.

      The more truthful answer to your question is that it is much easier for big pharma, the private prison industry, police unions, the alcohol industry, and trial lawyer groups to lobby (bribe) one federal government as opposed to lobbying (bribing) officials in 50 state governments to act against the will of the people.

  • Tim Hardy

    Glad the UK have allowed CBD, It is a start end the war on drugs.

  • fernan