The Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) held its annual meeting at the WHO between the 6th and 10th of November 2017 to pre-review or critically review a series of substances, in order to provide a scientific recommendation to the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). Tramadol and CBD (cannabidiol) were among the substances reviews. Several civil society organizations represented CBD patients; and a group of distinguished researchers presented their findings in relation to tramadol. There were also observers representing pharmaceutical companies. IDPC gave a statement, highlighting the critical role that tramadol plays in various countries for alleviating pain – and noting that it is recognised in the list of essential medicines of 38 countries. IDPC called on the ECDD not to request the scheduling of tramadol in the international drug control treaties to ensure tramadol’s continued availability to treat moderate to severe pain. With regard to cannabidiol, IDPC requested that, in May 2018, the ECDD consider a re-definition of the broad category of ‘cannabis extracts and tinctures’ to explicitly exclude CBD, in order to end the current ambiguity over the substance’s status. Finally, the 40th ECDD meeting will be held in May 2018 and cannabis and cannabis-related substances will be the focus of the pre-reviews at that stage.