When Meagan’s in-laws suggested they look into medical marijuana, she recoiled. “This is a federally illegal drug we are talking about,” she recalls thinking. But she did her own research. A good deal of anecdotal evidence shows that high-CBD strains of cannabis can have a strong antiseizure effect. The medical literature, though scant, goes back surprisingly far. In 1843 a British doctor named William O’Shaughnessy published an article detailing how cannabis oil had arrested an infant’s relentless convulsions.
In 31 states and the District of Columbia cannabis is legal for some medical uses, and a majority of Americans favor legalization for recreational use. Other countries are rethinking their relationship to pot too. In Uruguay and Canada the drug is legal. Portugal has decriminalized it. Israel and the Netherlands have medical marijuana programs, and in recent years numerous countries have liberalized possession laws.
It’s also one of the strongest and most concentrated CBD products on the market today. With a grain-of-rice-sized recommended serving taken orally twice a day, its potent punch acts quickly—in just ten to fifteen minutes—to provide powerful relief. Furthermore, it offers terrific value for your money, boasting more CBD per dollar than many other CBD products.
Cannabinoids can be used along with opioid medications, and a number of studies have demonstrated that they can reduce the amount of opioids needed, lessen the buildup of tolerance, and reduce the severity of withdrawal. At least ten randomized, controlled trials on over one thousand patients have demonstrated efficacy of cannabinoids for neuropathic pain of various origins.
But now, as more and more people are turning to the drug to treat ailments, the science of cannabis is experiencing a rebirth. We’re finding surprises, and possibly miracles, concealed inside this once forbidden plant. Although marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general, recently expressed interest in what science will learn about marijuana, noting that preliminary data show that “for certain medical conditions and symptoms” it can be “helpful.”
The 44,000-square-foot building hulks across from a police station in an industrial part of Denver, along a gritty stretch of converted warehouses that’s come to be known as the Green Mile. There’s nothing to indicate the nature of the enterprise. The door buzzes open, and I’m met by the chief horticulturist of Mindful, one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. A druidlike 38-year-old with keen blue eyes, Phillip Hague wears fatigues, hiking boots, and the incredulous grin of someone who—through a confluence of events he never imagined possible—has found his exact life’s calling.
For kids with severe forms of epilepsy, changes in medication levels can be extremely dangerous. “If their levels go low, they’re at increased risk of seizures, which could lead to an emergency room visit or an ICU stay,” Knupp said. “On the other hand, if their levels go high, their side effects can increase dramatically.” Side effects from epilepsy medications can range anywhere from drowsiness to vomiting to heart arrhythmia, Knupp noted. “For some people that could mean a minor inconvenience, but for some patients it could be life-threatening.”
Hemp oil has never been as popular as other marijuana products. With little to no THC, CBD-rich strains of cannabis don’t deliver the pleasant buzz recreational users seek out in marijuana. In the 1970s, however, scientists found that cannabidiol was effective in reducing seizures. The brain’s endocannabinoid system contains receptors that respond to CBD, producing anticonvulsant effects. Being plant-derived and native to the brain’s own chemistry, CBD is therefore one of the most natural options for seizure treatment available today. Still, not many people took interest in CBD until 2013, when a CNN documentary special, Weed, hosted by the network’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, highlighted CBD’s effectiveness in combating seizures. Since then, demand for hemp oil products has exploded.
Concerned about Mykayla’s stomach cramps, Krenzler, who lives in Portland, Oregon, sent a sample of the oil off to Going Green Labs in Albany, Oregon. Like most labs catering to the cannabis industry, Going Green mainly performs THC potency tests. According to Krenzler, when the lab tested his sample, it found that the Real Scientific Hemp Oil contained much more THC than HempMedsPx had claimed—3.8 percent, instead of roughly 1 percent. Krenzler said he was “disturbed” by the finding, and also by the implications it had for other parents of sick children. Medical marijuana is legal in Oregon, but Krenzler noted that in other states that have not legalized pot, anyone purchasing a product with more than a trace amount of THC could find themselves in legal jeopardy. “I feel that HempMeds had misrepresented their product,” Krenzler said.
“CBD coupled with stretching, icing, and foam rolling is a common treatment plan for tendonitis injuries about the knee, such as iliotibial band syndrome,” says Charles Bush-Joseph, M.D., a professor of orthopedics at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “Many patients like the fact that CBD is a natural substance. While specific research on the use of CBD in this instance is lacking, many believe that it helps prevent muscle and collagen breakdown.”
When extracting THC from the cannabis plant, it’s not easy to separate the THC from the mixture. This requires skill, expertise, and technology. Some shady brands create DIY CBD oils by using dangerous solvents, and then try to sell their products online. They sell them at extremely low prices, looking to make a quick buck. Before purchasing, always make sure that the CBD oil you are looking at has no psychoactive effects, and makes sure that it has been extracted with CO2 techniques as this ensures that no dangerous chemical solvents were used. And remember that THC is illegal in most states, so you don’t want to get on the wrong side of the law.
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