Since the dawn of man, we have been finding ways of curing our injuries and ailments and we are getting good at it. We’ve discovered ways to massage our aching feet and we progressed to making use of the surrounding plants to naturally derive herbal medicine that we still use today. Cannabis or marijuana as we know it today is called dama by the ancient Chinese which means, the great cannabis due to its healing potential.
Chinese botanist Hui-lin Li wrote that in China, “The use of Cannabis in medicine was probably a very early development. Since ancient humans used hemp seed as food, it was quite natural for them to also discover the medicinal properties of the plant.” Even as early as 100 AD, the Chinese know that the buds and flowers of marijuana have healing potential.
Early Chinese surgeon Hua Tuo use cannabis as an anesthetic by pulverizing it and mixing it with wine and administering it before conducting surgery. Not only was marijuana known in China as a medicine; Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, and Neolithic societies know this too.
THE BANE OF CANNABIS
Perhaps the bane of the use of cannabis happened 80 years ago when 35 US states adopted the Uniform Narcotic Drug Act in the mid-1930s which was immediately adopted by other nations around the world.
The US Drug Enforcement Agency also classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug with the likes of mind-altering drugs such as heroin, LSD, and Ecstasy which are all illegal. These substances are described as most likely to be abused and lack medicinal use. The US National Institute on Drug Abuse even consider marijuana as a gateway drug that will make you require higher doses of it, which means that the longer you use it, the more it leads to addiction and withdrawal syndromes once addiction the addiction is not satisfied. Because of these laws, cultivation, trafficking or possession of any part of the marijuana plant is a crime in most parts of the world that researchers must secure a special permit first from the government and drug enforcement agencies in order to work unhindered and beyond suspicion by the law.
The use of cannabis or weed also bears the social stigma for the users who use these even for recreational or medical purposes. The society looks at those who smoke or consume marijuana as rebellious, antisocial and more likely to commit a crime.
All these laws created a smokescreen that hid the reality that marijuana was never used for any diabolical reasons since the dawn of time. All these laws demonized marijuana and put to waste all of its healing potential in it being used or being studied to become the source of future medicines to ailments that burden humanity today.
Cannabidiol or CBD was discovered in the 1940s. Cannabidiol is not psychotropic or mind-altering like THC, another ingredient found in marijuana, but is rather known to have an anti-anxiety and antipsychotic effect.
Despite little research on the possible application of cannabidiol as a treatment for epilepsy, results of CBD drastically reducing symptoms have been documented. Regulated use or medical grade CBD together with conventional medications also show some promise in alleviating symptoms in spite of not totally eliminating the disease.
A CBD based drug, Epidiolex, an orally administered cannabidiol solution was approved by the US-FDA in 2018 as treatment of two of the rarest childhood epilepsy disorders, the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet syndrome. Continued research about cannabinoids might lead to more medications, dietary supplements, and others.
Possible future applications of CBD include treatment of other neurological disorders that affect the nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease, and others after clinical research and test have been done.
CBD is often administered in oil form but is also sold as an extract, vaporized liquid or oil-based capsule. One well-publicized case of a CBD product helping alleviate symptoms of seizure is the case of Charlotte Figi who suddenly became ill of a mysterious disease when she was only 3 months old but was saved by being administered medical marijuana.
Cannabidiol or CBD is being looked at for its medicinal value as it does not have the mind-altering effect similar to THC such as its effect on judgment and coordination. In high doses, Cannabidiol may also counter the effects of THC such as intoxication and sedation.
Marijuana addiction generally is something that is considered a myth nowadays as addiction symptoms are not observed in marijuana users, especially medical marijuana the same way addiction and withdrawal syndrome is observed with those addicted to other drugs such as crystal meth, heroin or even cigarettes.
Studies show that CBD is naturally well tolerated by the body but may cause tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite as adverse effects including Epidiolex whose labels mention sleepiness and fatigue as adverse effects.
INTERACTION WITH OTHER DRUGS
CBD is feared to interact with anticoagulants or blood thinners. Blood thinners are medicines that are used to prevent a blood clot from forming. These blot clots may enlarge and could block arteries and veins which inevitably lead to heart attacks and strokes.
CBD PRODUCT QUALITY ISSUES
A Recent study of 84 CBD products revealed that more than 25 percent of these products contain less CBD than labeled which does not really affect the healing potential of CBD but should be addressed nonetheless in order to protect consumers from any effects of product mislabeling.
ARE CBD PRODUCTS SAFE?
Absolutely, and if you are in any doubt you may even consult a doctor who is familiar with CBD based products in order for you to consult whether you need marijuana as medicine, and what specific type you need and in what doses or administration procedure should be followed.
Some critics may even say that the testimonies relating to the effects CBD, like Charlotte Figi’s story, are anecdotal at best and are never based on exact science. This statement may hold true in the realm of medical science but it does not affect the issue of CBD product safety.
CBD product safety is never in question as none of those who received treatment using CBD ever had adverse effects that are so severe or long term.
In many states, marijuana is legal and regulated just like any prescription or any over the counter medicine that you could buy in trusted dispensaries which are literally marijuana drugstores. These dispensaries are highly regulated and are run by licensed health professionals.