04 Dec The Latest Controversy over CBD, THC, & Medical Marijuana
OK’d by the World Anti-Doping Agency but “illegal” per the U.S. Government? Equally confusing and fascinating: here is the latest science & opinion on CBD, THC and Medical Marijuana.
The History of CBD, THC, & Medical Marijuana
Did you know that Cannabis has been used to treat epilepsy since 1000 B.C.E.!? In the early 1900s, major U.S. drug companies made cannabis products. In 1937, the first legislation appeared in the U.S. that made it difficult to use and study the plant.
Despite the controversy, research from the 20th century showed us that much of Marijuana’s intrigue is due to chemical compounds known as “Cannabinoids.” Cannabidiol* (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most studied. This dynamic duo has been shown to impact pain, mood, appetite, nausea, inflammation and much more.
Did you know… Cannabinoids are found in plants other than Cannabis, made naturally by your body, and “fake” versions have been created in the lab since at least the 1980’s?
The 20th century brought many challenges to the legal use and study of marijuana. The biggest roadblock landed in 1970 when, along with heroin, Marijuana was classified as a Schedule I, Controlled Substance.
If you want to study CBD and THC, you have to jump through a ton of hoops. Based on all the research, scientists have been jumping through those hoops like Cirque Du Soleil performers! These controversial compounds do so much more than make you grow out your hair, protest your government and get you “high.” So sit back, sip some XOLOGY Grass-Fed Whey, and download facts to WOW your family and friends this holiday season.
The Benefits of CBD, THC, & Medical Marijuana
CBD for Treatment-Resistant Childhood Epilepsy
Numerous studies suggest CBD may decrease the number and severity of seizures in children with epilepsy. Clinical trials on the marijuana-derived CBD drug, “Epidiolex,” are underway in the U.S. to determine if the drug is safe and effective.
NICE MOVE, GOV.!: 400+ children suffering from untreatable seizures received Epidiolex through special approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Will CBD Resolve the Opioid Crisis?
Not only does it appear to be great at treating pain, but it may reverse addiction by blocking the reward response of opioids!
In June 2017, results of a 3000+ person survey of pain suffering cannabis and opioid users announced: Over 80% agreed that cannabis alone worked better than taking a cannabis and opioid combo. An even higher percentage preferred cannabis to manage their pain. The University of Colorado is currently comparing Cannabis vs. Oxycodone.
CBD for Athletes
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of banned substances no longer contains CBD! Look out athletes, you now have a way around the dangers of opioids and NSAIDs to manage pain, inflammation, and muscle spasm.
BUT THERE’S MORE: Your mom said “Break a leg!” at your next competition….and…uh…you actually did 🙁 … CBD to the rescue! A 2015 study from the University of Tel Aviv showed that CBD speeds healing of bone fissures.
THC WARNING: Make sure your CBD product is 0% THC. THC is banned by WADA. More on this below…
CBD: Stronger than Vitamins C and E
CBD’s antioxidant qualities protect neurons better than Vitamins C and E. Maybe we should supp with CBD this cold-season?
Unlike THC & Opioids CBD Doesn’t Get You “High”
Some may praise THC for its interesting side-effects, but many just want relief without the buzz.
CBD & THC Fight Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
A 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD has been bundled into a drug called “Sativex.” It has been approved for use in 30 countries so far to treat MS and chronic pain associated with cancer. The drug is undergoing clinical trials in the U.S.
THC for Cancer, HIV, & AIDS
The FDA has approved 3 man-made versions of THC that look just like the real thing. Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet are marketed to treat nausea, pain and stimulate appetite for cancer, HIV, and AIDS patients.
INTERESTINGLY: While the Cannabis plant and its extracts are being used to treat seizures, it’s interesting to note that use of Marinol and Syndros carry a potential INCREASED risk of having a seizure as a side-effect according to their websites.
THC Slows Cancer Growth
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study showing THC slowed the development of lung cancers, breast cancers, and a virus-induced leukemia in rodents.
JAW DROP: This study was published in 1975! Just 5 years after cannabis was classified as “Schedule I” which, by definition, has no “…currently accepted medical use!”
The Dangers of CBD, THC, & Medical Marijuana
Despite all the hype and years of debate, it’s still early days for scientifically-backed research. The medical community stresses that everyone reacts to substances differently. They also caution to keep CBD, THC and Medical Marijuana away from children and pets.
CBD Makes You Sleepy in High Doses
After sifting through dozens of studies, it looks like the medical community believes that CBD, by itself, is fairly safe. Its biggest known side-effect is higher doses can cause sleepiness.
Actual CBD Levels May Not Match What’s on Product Labels
The FDA has issued warning letters to a handful of companies for inaccurate labeling on CBD products. In most cases, they were found to contain less than the stated amount of CBD, however, some even contained greater amounts of the compound.THC may appear in your CBD product. People have tested positive for THC after consuming CBD.
If you are a professional athlete or if drug tests are in your future, make sure your CBD has zero THC! Contact the manufacturer directly if it isn’t otherwise clear.
Beware of High Doses of THC
THC may not be very toxic in and of itself, however, consuming too much has been tied to panic attacks, rapid heart-rate and hallucinations.The DEA’s drug fact sheet also lists the side-effects of happiness and “enhanced sensory perception” (Note: They are not saying you will become psychic…just that you may enjoy music a little more 😉 )
Marijuana & Mental Illness
We’ve found numerous medical opinions stating Marijuana should not be consumed (in any form) by individuals with Bipolar Disorder, Depression, or Schizophrenia. In fact, if you have a family history of these conditions, Marijuana use may trigger these conditions.
Keep Teens Away from Cannabis
Research implies that heavy pot use during the teenage years can lead to a permanent decrease in IQ. Heavy consumption beginning in adulthood was not been tied to a change in “mental muscle.” They think this may have something to do with the fact that the brain is still developing in adolescents.
Lastly, Everything We’re Talking About is Illegal! Well…sort of…
LET’S SEE HOW COMPLICATED WE CAN MAKE THIS! (Time to refill your shaker…)
On November 21, 2017, Indiana’s Attorney General (AG) issued an official opinion concluding that CBD products are illegal at the federal and state level:
“Since cannabidiol is extracted from the prohibited parts of the Cannabis plant – specifically, the buds, leaves, and resins extracted from non-sterile seeds – cannabidiol is a prohibited marijuana extract.”
“For purposes of the DEA classification system of illicit drugs, botany is the distinction. The issue is not whether cannabidiol, standing alone, creates a psychotropic effect in the user.”
OK…I think I get it: CBD doesn’t get you “high,” the only known possible side-effect is drowsiness, the FDA and DEA approved giving to sick children due to its “medical value,” and it is an illegal Schedule I substance…Hmmm…nevermind…
What’s that about “prohibited parts” of the plant?
Curiously, the stalks and sterilized seeds of Cannabis are not illegal. In fact, the DEA’s definition of “Marijuana” excludes these parts of the plant. One requirement to be considered “Schedule I” is that the substance has no “currently accepted medical use.” That’s odd…The FDA, with permission from the DEA, has allowed the use Cannabis-derived Epidiolex for childhood seizures. U.S. clinical trials have not even concluded for the drug. The FDA approved three synthetic-THC drugs (see above).
At least Hemp is clearly legal, right?
“Hemp” aka “Industrial Hemp” refers to a Cannabis strain that has no more than 0.3% THC. There is a lot of noise out there stating that Hemp is legal by virtue of the 2014 Farm Act. In reality, the Act only permits the cultivation Hemp for the purpose of research done by “institutions of higher education and State departments of agriculture.”What’s more, the DEA says any amount of THC is illegal. So, if your Hemp products contain any amount of THC, they seem to be illegal.
The Future of Medical Marijuana?
CBD company “Isodiol” just announced the launch of a hops-derived CBD product (yep, the same stuff in beer). Hops are not a type of Cannabis. Which makes us wonder, is there any way Hops-derived CBD could be construed as illegal? And more importantly, would a CBD-infused beer prevent hangovers?
No doubt about it: More research and clarity is needed. The rising tide of anecdotal and clinical research on CBD, THC and Medical Marijuana is mesmerizing. We eagerly await further study on this sticky topic and will keep you informed as the Medical Marijuana saga evolves.
We would LOVE to hear what you and your friends think of this post. Please share, discuss, and hit us up with your thoughts!
Get your Ph.D. in CBD and THC:
- The proper pronunciation of Cannabidiol: (“Cann-uh-bid-DYE-all”) 😉
- Read this fascinating survey of the politics and promise of this topic from Rolling Stone’s March 2017 “How Medical Marijuana Could Help End the Opioid Epidemic”.
- Watch this heart-wrenching TedX talk by a parent of seizure suffering twins benefitting from CBD oil.
- Hear out the National Institute for Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2017/researching-potential-medical-benefits-risks-marijuana
- The 2014 Farm Act
- American Friends of Tel Aviv University. “No bones about it: Cannabis may be used to treat fractures: Tel Aviv University researcher finds non-psychotropic compound in marijuana can help heal bone fissures.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150716124359.htm>.