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DEA Eases Requirements for Conducting Research on Drugs involving Cannabis Extract

Update Date: Dec 24, 2015 10:26 AM EST

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has eased up on some of the protocol restrictions that researchers, who are studying the medicinal effects of cannabidiol (CBD), face. CBD is an extract taken from the marijuana plant.

The DEA announced on Wednesday that the requirements imposed by the Controlled Substances Act in regards to the amount of CBD researchers can have for a study will be relaxed. Now, it would be easier for CBD clinical researchers to modify the amount of CBD that they need in their study.

"This is certainly a step in the right direction towards the development and proof of CBD as an empirically efficacious compound," said Seth Yakatan, CEO of Kalytera, reported by Forbes. "These modifications will streamline the research process regarding CBD's possible medicinal value and help to bolster existing scientific research and studies."

Kalytera is currently developing synthetic CBD compounds that could potentially be used to treat conditions such as osteoporosis and Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Under the current protocol, which is also backed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), all researchers who want to increase their possession of CBD must provide a written request for a modification. The FDA and DEA will then have to sanction the request before the study can continue. This process could end up delaying research significantly.

Under the new changes, researchers who are already registered as CBD clinical researchers would need to get a waiver to modify the amount of CBD that they need for their study. This process cuts down on the amount of waiting time for the researchers.

According to the DEA spokeswoman Barbara Carreno, there are 330 active studies involving cannabis with more than 70 of those including CBD that could benefit from the new protocol.

Although the change will speed up the process for CBD research, one particular group, the Coalition for Access Now, is not impressed.

"This is an insignificant development. It's another baby step that is detrimental and it's costing people's lives," Paige Figi, the founder of the Coalition, said reported by U.S. News and World Report. "It is not what we are asking whatsoever. If they were going to take a baby step they could not have taken a smaller baby step or a more ineffectual baby step than this."

Figi uses the compound to treat her nine-year-old daughter, who has epilepsy. She stressed that more children could benefit from these CBD research trials.

The DEA stated that the change to the protocol would go into effect immediately.

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