World Health Organization recommends rescheduling cannabis as least harmful

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The status of cannabis, so far ranked at the highest level of international treaties, could be revised, as recommended by the World Health Organization.

For fifty-eight years, marijuana has been classified in Category IV – the most restrictive. But the Organization wants it to be moved to Category I.

Thus, in 2016, for the first time since the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs signed by all countries, WHO had launched a process to review the status of cannabis, bringing together its Committee of Experts on Addiction.

Cannabis packaged for medical use

In detail, the WHO recommends that the plant and its resin, according to their content of tetrahydrocannabinol (the active ingredient, also called THC), are now placed in the least dangerous category. Cannabis extracts and tinctures, currently in Step I, would be considered as THC-containing pharmaceutical preparations, and would become Category III.

Concerning the molecules present in cannabis, or derived from it, the Organization advises to modify the echelons of Dronabinol (a drug based on synthetic cannabinoids) and THC, in order to facilitate their medical use.

These recommendations must first be approved by the 53 member countries of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which are expected to meet in March 2019. If cannabis was indeed reclassified in international treaties, this amendment could give a boost to global reforms on this issue.

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