CBD Oil, Cannabis, and the Promising Future of Medical Marijuana Products
One of the world’s most highly-politicized plants has been stirring the medical community in recent years as CBD oil, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, has been shown to reduce anxiety, quell pain and insomnia, and to treat a myriad of other pain, inflammation, and mood issues.
Because of deeply-held assumptions about the role of medical marijuana in modern medicine, however, the controversial and often-divisive political perspective on the drug has never been more visible in the social sphere, especially as research suggests that the promise of CBD oil has been radically understated.
Let’s be clear— there are many properties found in the cannabis plant. We’ve seen evidence that smoking large amounts of high THC marijuana has a negative effect on the brain. But the growing trend of ingesting CBD oil is increasingly shown to have a positive impact on human health.
The Cannabis sativa plant has been cultivated since 2700 BC and has since earned popular recognition as a social drug (at least historically) that is often referred to as “grass”, “pot”, “reefer”, and “bud”– to name just a few slang terms. Originating in Central Asia, cannabis was first noted in the pharmacopoeia (a stock of medicinal drugs) of Shen Nung, China.
The plant then went on to be discussed in sacred texts and used by Roman Emperors and Vikings, before King Philip of Spain and Queen Elizabeth of England ordered it to be grown under monarchical sanction. (Throughout the course of history, there were many instances when marijuana was permitted at times when alcohol was not.) But the year 1150 marked a pivotal moment in cannabis’ botanical lineage, as this was the year it was used in Europe’s first paper mill.
Soon, pilgrims brought the plant to New England: our Declaration of Independence was crafted on none other than Cannabis paper. So why are we now voting for its legalization, you ask?
In 1911 the outlawing began— first in South Africa, next in California (1915) and in time marijuana was considered a dangerous drug nearly worldwide. This didn’t stop people from smoking it, however, and research in the clinical setting has continued as scientists are increasingly interested in studying the plant’s inherent health benefits. Due to the polarizing nature of the plant (and the bureaucracy surrounding it’s regulation), however, the funding for such research has been a hard sell.
We’ve seen evidence that smoking large amounts of high-THC marijuana has a negative effect on the brain. But the growing trend of ingesting CBD oil is increasingly shown to have a positive impact on human health.
American legislature continues to promote the legalization of cannabis, and in 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Wow-worthy scientific evidence of the plant’s medicinal capacities, meanwhile, keeps rolling in: new studies show CBD oil reverses neurological diseases, shrinks tumors, and lowers inflammation within the body (the culprit of all disease).
I recently met with Dr. Allan Frankel of Green Bridge Medical in Los Angeles, (who graduated second in his class from UCLA medical school) to discuss how CDB and small traces of THC can drastically improve the lives of those living with chronic pain. He put it simply: “In the ‘70s, if pot didn’t get you high, you thought something was wrong with it. Today we know that the plants that didn’t get you high likely have a larger concentration of CBD,” which is now a subject of medical interest. Below, Dr. Frankel talks about the importance of reliability and predictability in medical treatments derived from Cannibus, which according to his recommendations should be 1.) dosed, and 2.) standardized in order to ensure safety for the patient.
We also spoke with Sherrie Berry of Isodiol, a premiere hemp-based CBD company composed of a team that grows and harvests hemp before processing and extracting the cannabidiol (CBD). Berry shares with us the taboos of cannabis, the medical role she thinks it should serve in our lives, and the future of what CBD and cannabis could hold for the medical community.
GC: Why is cannabis a taboo?
SB: There are over 80 beneficial cannabinoids. The reason why cannabis is a schedule 1 ‘drug’ is because when ONE of those cannabinoids, namely THCA, is heated, it converts to THC. THC is the psychoactive compound that people consume either by smoking or ingesting to experience a ‘high’. To label cannabis a drug all these years is propaganda, considering that only one cannabinoid, when heated, gets you high. Again, there are over 80 that don’t [cause intoxication]. Scientists have confirmed that cannabinoids stimulate and mimic our own endocannabinoid system, which is partly responsible for our body maintaining a healthy immune and nervous system.
GC: What is the difference between CBD extracted from Cannabis and Hemp?
SB: Even though both industrial hemp and marijuana are considered ‘cannabis’, they are very different. Marijuana is specifically grown for its high THC content. Medically, THC helps patients of all sorts who are battling everything from the inability to eat to chronic pain.
“There are over 80 beneficial cannabinoids. The reason why cannabis is a schedule 1 ‘drug’ is because when ONE of those cannabinoids, THCA, is heated, it converts to THC– the psychoactive compound that people consume to experience a ‘high’.”
However, marijuana is primarily grown to experience a “high”. Industrial hemp has virtually no THC, at <0.03%. Industrial hemp is used for textiles, biofuels, bird seed, omega 3 supplements, milk and food products… It’s ironic that industrial hemp is illegal to grow in the U.S. because we continue to import hemp products from countries like China and Canada. This is legal. CBD is legal in the U.S. only if it is extracted from the stalks, stems, and roots (not the leaves and flowers) of industrial hemp plants that are grown overseas.
GC: Why did you break into this industry?
SB: I have found that most people in this industry began out of a desperate attempt to find a cure for themselves or their loved ones. This is true with me as well. In my attempts to find something that would relieve my mother’s pain, which was caused by Chiari Malformation in her elderly years.
“We are cannabinoid-starved, which is probably why we have so many immunological and neurological disorders, since these CB receptors are responsible for maintaining a healthy immune and nervous system.”
My son and I discovered that the government had already done several clinical trials on CBD and even patented it as a treatment for pain in the 1970’s. But this was kept very quiet. It was then that I became obsessed in finding a way to extract this compound from the hemp plant. Although I’m not in the business of extracting CBD, I believe my son (my business partner) and I were instrumental in motivating key people who could.
GC: How is growing hemp beneficial to our environment?
SB: Industrial hemp doesn’t require a lot of insecticide, and it’s very good for the environment. In some countries where hemp is grown legally, they allow “carbon credits” to the grower because hemp cleans the air naturally. It loves the sun and doesn’t require as much water as cotton or rice. If we were to replace all the cotton fields with hemp fields, we would preserve water, use less toxic chemicals, have a soft textile, plus healthy extracts like oils and seeds.
GC: How does CBD address anxiety, sleeping disorders, pain and disease?
SB: Scientists are still studying the reasons why cannabidiol (CBD) has proven to reverse the conditions you mention. We are cannabinoid-starved, which is probably why we have so many immunological and neurological disorders, since these CB receptors are responsible for maintaining a healthy immune and nervous system. When they are not maintained, disorders such as Hashimoto, Epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s arise. As for epilepsy, certain forms require a 10-to-1 ratio of CBD to THC to reduce seizures. Combining THC with CBD is therapeutic for several conditions, and there is no record of addiction to date.
We’re not doctors, but the science of CBD oil is promising. Stay tuned throughout the coming months as Garden Collage continues to report on the developing clinical research on medical marijuana and CBD oil. Curious parties in the state of California can inquire about alternative and complimentary therapies related to medical CBD by visiting the Patient Information Center’s website. As we are not licensed health care practitioners, we can’t claim any specific health benefits from CBD oil, but we do think this is important, relevant journalism. Our aim is to inform the reader about new developments in the alternative medical community. You are responsible for your own health.
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