Permanent control of a third generation of synthetic cannabinoids as Class B drugs under Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. This excludes those synthetic cannabinoids which are already controlled as Class B drugs, two other compounds which are already controlled as Class A drugs, and several other compounds that have legitimate medical uses; and
Permanent control of the anabolic steroid dienedione as a Class C drug under Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
The ACMD has reported that these “third generation” synthetic cannabinoids affect the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and produce psychoactive effects similar to those produced by cannabis. Following the identification of such materials in smoking products, the Government subjected them to two tranches of controls under the 1971 Act. The first, which came into force at the end of 2009, was based around materials then known to be available as new psychoactive substances (NPS) and included a number of named compounds together with generic controls covering groups of materials related to those known to be in circulation in order to try to avoid simple ‘designer’ variants. A further generic definition came into effect in early 2013 and expanded control to include a broader range of ‘second generation’ materials, which had appeared between 2009 and 2012.
A “third generation” of synthetic cannabinoids, which are outside the scope of the 2012 and 2009 controls, subsequently entered the market and became widely available. They are known under many of the same brand names as previous generations, such as ‘Spice’ and ‘Black Mamba’ etc. As such, the ACMD issued advice on an additional generic definition to classify this further range of synthetic cannabinoids as Class B drugs under the 1971 Act and Schedule 1 drugs to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001. In addition, these drugs will be ‘designated’ by order under section 7(4) of the 1971 Act and listed in Schedule 1 to the Misuse of Drugs (Designation) Order 2015.
Dienedione (estra-4,9-diene-3,17-dione) is also being permanently controlled as a Class C drug. Dienedione is an anabolic steroid. Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances which are related to the male sex hormones, particularly testosterone. These substances have a number of physiological effects, most notably anabolic effects (such as growth of skeletal muscle and bone) and androgenic effects (the differentiation, growth and maintenance of the reproductive system and sexual characteristics in males).
The ACMD considered the potential physical and social harms of dienedione and advised that these would be commensurate with other anabolic steroids. The ACMD has therefore recommended that dienedione be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in Class C and as a Schedule 4 (IV) Part 2 substance under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, so as not to preclude theoretical legitimate use on prescription.