February 16, 2024

Department of Health and Human Services Reveals Cannabis Rescheduling Findings

In August of 2023, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended that the DEA reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III. While this development made headlines, the specific details of the HHS’ recommendation were kept from the public until an attorney sued for the publication of this documentation under the Freedom of Information Act.

Now, the HHS has presented 252 pages of documents which state that marijuana has a currently accepted medical use and a potential for abuse less than other substances in Schedules I and II. Included within the now publicly available documentation are clinical findings from HHS.

HHS review found that over 30,000 healthcare professionals across 43 jurisdictions are authorized to recommend marijuana for over 6 million registered patients for at least 15 conditions.

Regarding clinical efficacy, the HHS documentation found the largest evidence base for the treatment of pain, particularly neuropathic pain.

The FDA was included in this review and stated that available data indicates some credible scientific support to substantiate the use of marijuana in the treatment of pain, anorexia related to certain medical conditions, nausea, and vomiting.

The review went on to note that none of the evidence from systematic review identified any safety concerns that would preclude the use of marijuana in the indications for which there exists some credible scientific support.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) was also in alignment with other federal agencies in support of the documentation and proposed rescheduling.

Ultimately, the DEA has asserted is “final authority” to implement any scheduling changes.


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