Is Hemp Considered a Drug?

Hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act but is still classified as a Schedule I drug by DEA & FDA. Learn more about hemp edible products & their potential health benefits.

Is Hemp Considered a Drug?

Hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act, but the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still classify CBD as a Schedule I drug. The hemp industry, often referred to as “Big Weed”, is working to make CBD more than just a potential drug and is developing it in the US market as a widely used dietary supplement. With respect to products labeled to contain hemp that may also contain THC or CBD, it is prohibited under section 301 (II) of the FD&C Act to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any animal feed to which THC or CBD has been added. This bill is significant and alarming in its attempt to prohibit FDA action to control products containing industrial hemp.

The passing of this decision can speed up the process for researchers to study cannabis and its derivatives, including CBD, that fall within the definition of hemp, which could accelerate the development of new drugs. The FDA knows that several states have passed laws that remove state restrictions on the medical use of cannabis and its derivatives or are considering doing so. Following this decision, the European Commission has indicated in a recent press conference that cannabidiol should not be considered a drug within the meaning of the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and that cannabidiol can be classified as a food, provided that the other conditions of the EU Food safety regulations. This law that protects hemp edible products is of particular importance in light of the prescribing information provided for Epidiolex (essentially pure CBD) that warns of potential liver damage and developmental toxicity and other adverse effects that a physician should monitor. An eight-week intervention with hemp oil improves the fatty acid composition of erythrocyte phospholipids and the omega-3 index, but does not affect the lipid profile in children and adolescents with primary hyperlipidemia.

Such products will not be considered a food or drug for the purposes of the “Colorado Food and Drug Act.” Marinol and Syndros include the active ingredient dronabinol, a synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is considered the psychoactive component of cannabis. The FDA considers a substance to be authorized for research as a new drug if it is the subject of an investigational new drug (IND) request that has gone into effect. HEMP (Cannabis sativa with a THC concentration of less than 0.3%), which has been excluded from medical marijuana regulations, has been handed over to the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) for management and regulation. In conclusion, hemp is no longer considered a controlled substance under federal law, but it is still classified as a Schedule I drug by both DEA and FDA. Hemp extract has been found to improve markers of well-being, stress resistance, recovery and clinical safety biomarkers in overweight but otherwise healthy subjects.

Taking hemp seeds together with medications that also lower blood clotting may increase the risk of bruising and bleeding. Hemp edible products are protected by law from FDA action to control them due to their potential health benefits.

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