A Schedule Change for MarijuanaPosted by On

Marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug –with “high abuse potential with no accepted medical use,” like heroin or LSD. The FDA recommends that it be a Schedule III drug – one with a recognized medical use and “intermediate abuse potential,” less than an opioid, more than diazepam (Valium). These recommendations and those of other agencies are provided to the Drug Enforcement Agency, which makes the final decision. The entire 250-page report of the findings of the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services can be found here. [1]

Alcohol is not controlled under the CSA, which typically precludes its use as a “comparator drug” in scheduling placement. The FDA considered it due to its extensive availability, use, and misuse.

What are marijuana’s pharmacologic effects?

Marijuana’s primary psychoactive compound, ∆9-THC, acts as an agonist at the CB1 cannabinoid receptor, producing rewarding effects like euphoria and relaxation. Animal studies indicate its reinforcing properties through self-administration and place preference. It can also cause sedation, reduce anxiety, and temporarily impair cognitive functions. Physiological changes include increased heart rate, dry mouth, red eyes, and increased appetite. Chronic use can lead to physical and psychological dependence, resulting in withdrawal symptoms upon cessation.

Does THC have a valid approved medical role?

THC, the main psychoactive component of marijuana, is the active component of two…

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