DEA eases restriction on research of marijuana compound CBD


Studying a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana will be slightly easier for researchers after the Drug Enforcement Administration announced a small regulatory change on Wednesday.

The change applies to a substance called cannabidiol, or CBD. The substance, which is derived from marijuana, gained renown in Colorado as a healing agent after hundreds of families moved to the state hoping it could cure their desperately sick children, many of whom suffer from seizure disorders.

But, the change announced Wednesday won’t have any impact on the dozens of CBD providers in Colorado, none of whom operate with the DEA’s sign-off. Instead, the change affects researchers who have already received approval from the DEA and the Food and Drug Administration to study CBD.

Those researchers used to have to re-apply to the DEA anytime they wanted to expand their research and obtain more CBD — which they mostly get through a federal supply program or from pharmaceutical companies developing CBD-based medicines. The change allows the researchers to apply for a waiver that would let them expand their research without additional approval.

A DEA spokeswoman said the change currently affects 76 researchers nationwide.

John Ingold: 303-954-1068, or @johningold

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