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.
SPECIAL REPORT: CBD in Colorado. Learn about the cannabis plant compound cannabidiol, which has drawn hundreds of desperate families to Colorado, in This Denver Post series that was a 2015 Pulitzer finalist
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or @johningold