The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced on Wednesday that it would ease restrictions on research into cannabidiol ( CBD), a non-psychoactive compound present in marijuana.
The DEA’s actions makes research and development involving CBD –a non-intoxicating component of marijuana that could aid in alleviating seizures and epilepsy– quicker and easier to approve.
The DEA’s actions were met with praise from some policy analysts.
“Given the potential benefit of CBD, waiving onerous research requirements is the right thing to do, and DEA should be commended,” said former White House drug policy advisor and current marijuana advocate Dr. Kevin Sabet. “It shows that we do not have to legalize marijuana –either in name or de facto via state ‘medical’ programs– to provide for access to promising components of marijuana.”
However, other advocates decried the DEA’s actions, saying that they would be ineffective in realizing CBD’s true medicinal properties.
“This is an insignificant development. It’s another baby step that is detrimental and it’s costing people’s lives,” said Paige Figi, founder of the reform advocacy group Coalition for Access Now. Farther-reaching DEA action, she said, would be able to involve far more children in clinical studies of the compound’s life-saving elements.