Biden Administration’s Potential Move to Facilitate Cannabis-Based Medicine Development

There have been recent developments regarding the potential reclassification of cannabis by the U.S. Department of Drug Enforcement and Administration (DEA). This decision could have important consequences for medical research and the well-being of patients.

This potential shift comes after years of dedicated activism advocating for the recognition of marijuana’s therapeutic potential.

Currently, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin and LSD. The DEA claims that it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

Nevertheless, the Biden administration has indicated a plan to reassess this classification, suggesting a potential downgrade to Schedule III. This change would imply a lower likelihood of both physical and psychological dependence.

The proposed reclassification aims to support research into the potential health benefits of cannabis, which could lead to the development of medicinal products based on cannabis. These products have the potential to provide relief for a range of conditions, such as advanced HIV, seizures, anxiety, anorexia, and chronic pain.

The reclassification process, once approved by the Office of Management and Budget and after a public comment period, offers potential benefits such as the reduction of criminal penalties linked to cannabis and the easing of financial and legal constraints on businesses involved in cannabis.

Biden Administration's Potential Move to Facilitate Cannabis-Based Medicine Development (1)

In addition, it has the potential to increase accessibility to cannabis-based treatments, subject to approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Despite the current Schedule I classification hindering research efforts, medical marijuana has been legalised in 38 states, allowing for the availability of a range of cannabis-based products to treat medical conditions.

These products, which include edibles and liquid extracts, currently lack the same level of regulation as prescription medications. As a result, there may be some untested claims regarding their benefits.

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Scientists posit that the therapeutic effects of cannabis are attributed to its chemical compounds, such as terpenes, THC, and CBD. Ongoing research is focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the potential medical applications of these compounds, as they have been found to impact the drug’s aroma, taste, and physiological effects.

The criminalization of cannabis can be traced back to the 1930s, when it was influenced by anti-immigrant sentiments and subsequent conservative anti-drug movements.

During the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s, LGBTQ+ activists pushed for cannabis legalisation as a means to alleviate the suffering of individuals with advanced HIV.

Today, there has been a shift in the movement for cannabis legalisation, as activists now advocate for descheduling instead of rescheduling. Descheduling would result in the decriminalisation of cannabis and bring it under government regulation, similar to alcohol.

Ultimately, the Biden administration’s potential reclassification of cannabis is a notable move that acknowledges its medicinal value and aims to broaden the availability of cannabis-based treatments.

Although the process may require some time and face certain political challenges, it brings hope to patients across the country who are searching for alternative treatments for different medical conditions.

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