The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced this week that cannabidiol (CBD) is now legal medicine. The U.K. agency said it came to “the opinion that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) used for medical purposes are a medicine,” and the government will soon set up regulations for its distribution and public consumption.
An agency spokesperson noted, “MHRA will now work with individual companies and trade bodies in relation to making sure products containing CBD, used for medical purpose, which can be classified as medicines, satisfy the legal requirements of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.”
This contrasts the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that officially reaffirmed CBD’s status as a Schedule I substance in late December. In other words, what the U.K. calls medicine the DEA classifies as a drug more dangerous than coke, meth and OxyContin and lacking any medical value.
While the DEA historically limits medical studies on cannabis, England is making headway with companies like GW Pharmaceuticals, whose CBD-based epilepsy drug Epidiolex experienced more positive test results late last year. The British company may seek Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the drug later this year for U.S. distribution.