One of the most experienced practitioners in this field is Los Angeles physician Bonni Goldstein, who has used the compound to treat dozens of children with intractable epilepsy. She says about half of these patients have seen a significant drop in the number of seizures. “Used in the right way, with the right patient, CBD is extremely powerful,” she says.
We’re standing in a laboratory greenhouse on the campus of the University of Colorado Boulder looking at ten hemp plants that Kane recently procured for research purposes. They’re spindly, stalky little things, like gangling teenagers, a far cry from the lascivious crop that Hague had shown me. These plants, like nearly all hemp varieties, carry extremely low levels of THC.
A research conducted by Ethan B Russo, GW Pharmaceuticals, WA, USA, suggests that CBD oil interacts with the protein cells in the body and sends chemical signals to your brain and immune system through a number of stimuli. This helps the cells positively respond to chronic pain. This oil is regularly suggested for people with inflammation and back pain because of its painkilling quality.
Further testing found what the world now knows: This compound is the plant’s principal active ingredient, its mind-altering essence—the stuff that makes you high. Mechoulam, along with a colleague, had discovered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). He and his team also elucidated the chemical structure of cannabidiol (CBD), another key ingredient in marijuana, one that has many potential medical uses but no psychoactive effect on humans.
And the products on the shelf aren't all the same, Ward said. "There can be many, many different varieties, and if you're thinking about doing this for medical reasons, you want to find a trusted source and do your research," she said. "Where does that oil come from, and how confident can you be that you know the exact percentages of the different cannabinoids in the product?"
Research shows that cannabis oil helps to naturally treat macular degeneration and glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that can result in vision loss and blindness. It’s caused by a buildup of fluid in the eye that puts pressure on the optic nerve, retina and lens. The pressure can permanently damage the eye if not treated. Although many factors contribute to the optic nerve damage in glaucoma patients, it has been established that the level of intraocular pressure (known as IOP) definitively is related.
Pharmaceutical companies producing oils are subject to a pharmaceutical production licence for controlled drugs, issued by government regulators. Currently there are no pharmaceutical companies producing cannabis oil as a medicine. This might change in the future when a standardised, GMP-certified production method becomes available, setting the standards for the production of cannabis oil as a pharmaceutical product.
Scientific studies have established that synthetic, single-molecule hemp-oils have a very narrow window of efficacy and requires great precision to achieve that efficacy, whereas lower concentration, whole-plant, full-spectrum, phyto-nutrient rich nutritional supplement regimens are already showing efficacy for many. Full-spectrum compounds interact collectively and enhance their therapeutic benefits. Scientists call this the “entourage effect.” Numerous hemp compounds have medicinal attributes, but the therapeutic impact of whole plant hemp is greater than the sum of its parts.
About 49% of the weight of hempseed is an edible oil that contains 76% as essential fatty acids; i.e., linoleic acid, omega-6 (LA, 54%), alpha-linolenic acid, omega-3 (ALA, 17%), in addition to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, 3%), monounsaturated fat (5% to 11%), and stearidonic acid (2%). Hemp seed oil contains 5% to 7% saturated fat. In common with other oils, hempseed oil provides 9 kcal/g. Compared with other culinary oils it is low in saturated fatty acids.
Preliminary research indicates that cannabidiol may reduce adverse effects of THC, particularly those causing intoxication and sedation, but only at high doses. Safety studies of cannabidiol showed it is well-tolerated, but may cause tiredness, diarrhea, or changes in appetite as common adverse effects. Epidiolex documentation lists sleepiness, insomnia and poor quality sleep, decreased appetite, diarrhea, and fatigue.
The side effects and risks involved with consuming marijuana-based products aren't clear, either, Bonn-Miller said. It's important to "determine cannabinoids that are useful therapeutically while understanding and using cannabinoids that are associated with less risk," he said. At least with CBD, he said, it doesn't appear to have the potential for addiction. That's different from THC, which has been associated with addiction, he said, and negative side effects, including acute anxiety.
The list includes marijuana (undifferentiated by strain) and heroin. (While the federal government oversees marijuana research, marijuana use is regulated, in part, by state laws.) As a result, scientists who study the compound must follow a host of restrictive rules. Last year, responding to a request from several governors to change marijuana’s designation, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that all cannabis would remain a Schedule 1 drug.
By 1942, cannabis was removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia because of persistent concerns about its potential to cause harm. In 1951, Congress passed the Boggs Act, which included cannabis with narcotic drugs for the first time. In 1970, with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis was classified as a Schedule I drug, giving it no accepted medicinal use.
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Everything you need to know about marijuana (cannabis) Marijuana, or cannabis, is the most commonly used illicit drug in the world. It alters the mood and affects nearly every organ in the body. With at least 120 active compounds, marijuana may have health benefits as well as risks. We describe these, addiction, and withdrawal. Learn more about cannabis here. Read now
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