In August of 2016, the entire cannabis industry held their breath awaiting the decision by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on whether or not to reschedule cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act. Despite the progressive lobbying by cannabis advocates, the DEA decided to side with both the FDA and the Department of Health & Human Services to keep cannabis slated as a Schedule I drug. What does that mean? In order to classify as a Schedule I drug, the substance must have a high probability of abuse and no recognized medical benefit. Upon the DEA’s decision to stay the course, several proponents of cannabis legalization had had enough and took to social media to sound off. One of the most popular trends that cannabis advocates were using was the # 6630507 campaign referring to the U.S. Patent # 6630507. In this symbolic gesture of descent, the social media effort brought Patent #507 back into focus.
What Is Patent # 6630507?
First granted to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2003, Patent #507 was the result of a five-year attempt to obtain a patent co-authored by Nobel Laureate Julius Axelrod and a group of NIH scientist. Titled “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants,” patent #507 acknowledges the medicinal value of cannabinoids (particularly CBD) for a wide variety of conditions.
In the patent, Axelrod describes CBD as a non-toxic, potent antioxidant with neuroprotective properties that may protect the brain and nervous system from serious damage. In addition, Axelrod notes that patients using CBD have zero chance of overdosing as there was no demonstrated damage while taking “large, acute doses of 700mg CBD/day”.
Why Is The Relevant?
Patent #507 flies directly in the face of the Schedule I status of cannabis. If the DEA, FDA and the Department of Health & Human Services all agree that there is no medicinal benefit to cannabis how can they reconcile the same government owning a patent that says the exact opposite? According to Sam Mendez, the executive director at the University of Washington’s Cannabis law & Policy Project, “The government is allowed to file and obtain patents, and that has no bearing on the Controlled Substances Act.”
This is because there have been no large-scale clinical trials conducted in the US that provide unequivocal proof that cannabis does indeed have therapeutic benefits. Until then the US government is unlikely to change their policy.
So what can cannabis advocates do to help push the US government in a new direction?
It all comes down to scientific research and results. In fact, the NIH does offer a licensing option on Patent #507 to research and develop cannabidiol-based drugs for a range of treatments. One of the most promising results comes for one company that was able to obtain a license to develop a cannabinoid-based drug to treat patients with hepatic encephalopathy.
As more and more companies, like us here at BioCBD+™, begin to invest in the research and development of cannabinoid-based supplements, cannabis advocates are hopeful the results will help change the minds of government officials and change the status of cannabis from a Schedule I drug to another classification that will allow for easier access to patients.
Please Note: While marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug, Hemp Derived Products from BioCBD+™ are federally legal and can be shipped to your door. In our other article, “Why Is Hemp CBD Legal And “Not” Illegal?” we cover the legal aspects of Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Products.
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