Highlights from the World Health Organization’s findings on Cannabidiol

Highlights from the World Health Organization’s findings on Cannabidiol

Last month, a World Health Organization research team released its report on cannabidiol, or CBD, to a UN commission on international drug regulations.

You can learn more about the effects this WHO reports may have on the United Nations drug scheduling on the Nothing But Hemp blog, but this post will be mostly concerned with the workings of the report itself, as well as some of its highlights. [1] [2]

1. One main take away from the WHO report was the recommendation the report made to remove cannabidiol from the international schedule system for prohibited substances.

2. Another important aspect were the findings that led to this recommendation. From the report: “Cannabidiol is found in cannabis and cannabis resin but does not have psychoactive properties and has no potential for abuse and no potential to produce dependence. It does not have significant ill-effects. Cannabidiol has been shown to be effective in the management of certain treatment-resistant, childhood-onset epilepsy disorders.”

3. The U.S. removed restrictions on CBD in December 2018, and the European Union is also considering liberalizing CBD prohibition and restrictions.

Still, the January report to the United Nations isn’t the only example where the WHO has weighed in on the attributes and values of CBD and its products. [3]

Much of the report to the UN was likely built from previous investigations by the WHO, notably those published in March of 2018. You can read that report, which is 27 pages, and much more expansive that January’s eight page report, by following the link below. [4]

From that study: “CBD does not produce the effects that are typically seen with cannabinoids such as THC. It also failed to produce significant effects in a human study of abuse potential discussed below. Across a number of controlled and open label trials CBD of the potential therapeutic effects of CBD it is generally well tolerated, with a good safety profile.”

The 2018 report goes on to document that cannabidiol has shown no signs of habit-forming side-effects, and the report calls for more research and understanding of the substance’s possible therapeutic and treatment capabilities.

While the report is careful to qualify the preliminary nature of existing research, it does list the diseases and ailments CBD has potential to ameliorate or soothe, according to the report: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, hypoxia-ischemia injuries, pain, psychosis, anxiety, depression, cancer, nausea, inflammatory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, infection, inflammatory bowel and Crohn’s disease, cardiovascular diseases and complications from diabetes.

Readers should keep in mind that these findings are preliminary, and that CBD’s effects would offer varying degrees of help for the many and multifaceted conditions listed above. Still, the World Health Organization’s trailblazing research shows much promise for those interested in CBD science.


[1] https://www.nothingbuthemp.net/blog/world-health-organization-brings-marijuana-rescheduling-recommendations-cbd-clarity-for-un

[2] https://mjbizdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Annex-1-41-ECDD-recommendations-cannabis-22Jan19.pdf

[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/janetwburns/2018/03/18/who-report-finds-no-public-health-risks-abuse-potential-for-cbd/#1d990f102347

[4] https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf