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"Medicinal Cannabis (CBD) Has No Abuse Potential": World Health Organisation

According to the report, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis does not exhibit any effects indicative of abuse or dependence.

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Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty Images

The World Health Organisation has announced its findings after a months-long study into cannabidio, or CBD, declaring the medicinal cannabis component to be well tolerated and an effective treatment for some forms of epilepsy. The WHO also recommended CBD not be a scheduled drug.

A scheduled drug refers a product that is regulated by the government.

According to the report, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis does not exhibit any effects indicative of abuse or dependence. Adverse side effects were put down to drug-drug interactions between CBD and a patient's existing medications.

"In general, clinical studies have reported that even high doses of oral CBD do not cause those effects that are characteristic for THC and for cannabis rich in THC," said the report.

"CBD has been found to have relatively low toxicity, although not all potential effects have been explored."

The WHO report also found there was preliminary evidence CBD could assist in the management of Alzheimer's, cancer, and Parkinson's.

The WHO's findings differ to the regulations put in place by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which published its medicinal cannabis guidelines in December.

The TGA declared there was only limited evidence about the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis and said there was not enough evidence to recommend the use of CBD in adults with epilepsy.

Australian medical practitioners and medicinal cannabis campaigners were quick to point out the difference between the findings of both reports.

It seems like the release of Australian Cannabis Guidances were timed to coincide and contradict WHO interim guidel… https://t.co/w02rsUrgaE

WHO “ CBD has been demonstrated as an effective treatment for at least some forms of epilepsy” @TGAgovau “ there… https://t.co/3pezqQeS2C

"Current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol", & declared that taking #MedicalCannabis will not… https://t.co/qOHUOmhuQ1

The WHO will run a broader review of cannabis next year.