On December 2, 2020, the 63rd United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs was held in Vienna. This commission voted in favour of removing cannabis from list of Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Drugs of 1961, a space reserved for substances without medical potential recognized… This undoubtedly implies the recognition of the medicinal properties of Cannabis and its possible use in tests and drugs.
The decision taken by the UN responds without a doubt to the recommendations made by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019. They urged the removal of cannabis from this list, as it is not a “particularly harmful” substance.
The WHO gave six recommendations related to cannabis and its removal from the UN drug control lists. This same year, a first vote was held in which many of the countries requested more time to study possible support for the initiative. In these recommendations, the WHO clarified that some of its derivatives, such as cannabidiol (CBD), should not be subject to international control by assuming a prominent role in so-called wellness therapies.
At the recent convention, after two years of delay, almost all European Union member states were in favour. Of this list, except for Hungary and numerous countries in America have in favour of removing cannabis from the list of Schedule IV. A total of 27 countries out of the 53 states of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs were in favour of it.
What implications does it have?
This way, cannabis becomes exclusively part of the list of Schedule I of the aforementioned Convention. In this list the narcotic drugs that require high control due to their addictive potential, but are accessible for medical activities are stated. With this, the medicinal properties of cannabis are recognized by the UN, which is something very important in its evolution as a therapy.
Until now, the inclusion of cannabis in the List of Schedule IV has hindered the development of medical research. This was possible in a limited way, since being considered a dangerous substance it was subject to strict controls in security, transportation and handling.
All this represents an advance in the therapeutic possibility of cannabis, which has proven its effectiveness in different situations. Among others, we can highlight when it acts as an inhibitor of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer patients, for spasticity in multiple sclerosis or to increase appetite.
This recognition, in turn, is an opportunity for the development of new studies and tests on cannabis.
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