Government Has A Patent On Pot, Even Though Officials Say It Holds No Medical Value

Shutterstock/ Rena Schild

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Craig Boudreau Vice Reporter
Font Size:

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) ruled August 11 it will not reschedule marijuana because it “has no medical use,” even though The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a patent on cannabinoids, saying it has some medicinal benefits.

The DEA stated earlier in August there is no “currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States” for weed, and refused to reschedule the substance. The HHS, however, has a patent stating marijuana has “has antioxidant properties.”

Patent number 6630507, declares,”Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties … The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”

The HHS findings run directly counter to the DEA’s notion that marijuana has no medical value.

“How can the government deny the benefits of medical marijuana even as it holds a patent for those very same benefits,” CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, wrote in a 2014 article noting the disparity.

The DEA currently lumps marijuana alongside highly potent and often deadly drugs like heroin, LSD and peyote under Schedule I classification.

The DEA defends this, saying, “criteria for inclusion in Schedule I is not relative danger. It is best not to think of drug scheduling as an escalating ‘danger’ scale – rather, specific statutory criteria (based on medical and scientific evidence) determine into which schedule a substance is placed.”

The HHS patent does not cover THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and instead covers CBD (cannabidiol), a non-psychoactive ingredient. CBD is reportedly effective in treating those with seizure disorders, among other things, according to reports.

The journal Epilepsia notes “CBD is anticonvulsant in many acute animal models.” But these “new” revelations of marijuana’s effectiveness as an anti-convulsant belie the history of it.

“In Cannabis, the medical profession has gained an anti-convulsive remedy of the greatest value,” Dr. William B. O’Shaughnessy stated in the 1841 book, “New Remedies: Pharmaceutically and Therapeutically Considered.”

There is even already a pill that was synthesized from THC, not CBD, called Marinol, which gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 1985.

Marinol was initially used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment, and has since been expanded to other uses, like appetite stimulation for HIV/AIDS patients. Marinol, unlike the THC it is synthesized from, is actually classified as a Schedule III drug by the DEA, alongside Tylenol with Codeine.

Follow Craig Boudreau on Twitter.

Send tips to

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact