Government report says cannabis does have medicinal qualities
The Government agency responsible for deciding whether medicines work and are safe for use has found evidence that may bring the UK one step closer to legalising cannabis.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has a "restoring, correcting or modifying" effect on "physiological functions", the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said.
The review of CBD came about after discussions with CBD vaporiser company Medipen - who've been operating in the UK for over a year - and testing of CBD products by the NHS.
But despite growing evidence of cannabis' medicinal value from across the world, and a cross-party parliamentary group arguing for the legalisation of cannabis for medical use earlier this year, cannabis is still listed as a Schedule 1 drug by the Government - or as a drug with "no medicinal use", something that may now have to change.
CBD is a cannabinoid making up 40% of the plant's extract, but doesn't contain the psychoactive compound THC. CBD has even been shown to counter some of the negative effects of THC, such as memory loss, in a study by the Beckley Foundation.
There had previously been no regulatory status in the UK for CBD, but following the review stockists will soon need to apply for a licence to sell the product.
The drug has been shown to have positive effects on people using it to combat depression, anxiety, arthritis and fibromyalgia, while a separate study will soon be taking place to determine the effects of CBD on people trying to quit smoking, which follows a small study on the same subject that had positive results.