A lot of people may not be aware of this, but the US government has a patent on the cannabis plant. Yep, it’s true. The US government, specifically the Department of Health and Human Services was given patent number 6630507 back in 2003. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) wanted to study the plant for medical benefits of treating certain types of degenerative diseases.
It’s Not Just the Patent, It’s What the Patent Says
The fact that the government has this patent is not the most important aspect. What is most important, is naturally what patent 6630507 actually says. What most people get wrong is that they think the government has a patent on the entire plant. This is actually not the case. The patent only covers the non-psychoactive components of cannabis, that is CBD. One can infer from this that the government does recognize the medicinal benefits of CBD, despite claiming that more research needs to be done before they can consider rescheduling cannabis.
Seems pretty telling, right? Wait, it gets better. The patent states what we already know: that cannabis, in particular CBD is not dangerous. The language states rather plainly, “No signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers, even in large acute doses.” So there you have it, the US government knows for a fact that cannabis is not dangerous, and they have even admitted it in writing.
So, if the government acknowledges that cannabis is not dangerous and can be useful for treating certain medical conditions, why is it still illegal? Why is cannabis use still demonized by people like Jeff Sessions? There are a number of answers to this question, which we will get back to at another time.
Note That This Does NOT Change the Legal Status of Cannabis
This patent does not in and of itself change the legal status of cannabis, simply by existing. It does however acknowledge that cannabis at the very least should not be a schedule I drug, by virtue of this admission that the government is interested in researching cannabis for medical use. There really doesn’t seem to be any reason for it to be there, does there? The patent expires next year, so one has to wonder if it will be renewed, or what will come of it?
You can read the patent here.
What do you know about the US government patent on cannabis? Tell us in the comments!