As the Cannabidiol market matures, more and more consumers are getting attracted to the idea that a cannabis plant has essential properties that can treat a wide range of illnesses. A recent post shared by Cannabis Now got many wondering about the reliability in CBD itself. In particular, it asks its readers whether the way in which society defines CBD is accurate.
The piece dubbed, “The CBD Phenomenon” by Angela Bacca went back in time to expand on the discovery of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC along with commentary from health practitioners and it is surely leaves many with food for thought!
Brief History Of The Cannabis Plant
CBD was introduced in 1963 by a researcher named Raphael Mechoulam. He supposedly extracted CBD in an attempt to understand what the main ingredient is in cannabis. Within a year, Mechoulam also came across tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which he called “the active ingredient.”
As per the claims made, interest within CBD only sparked upon a TV show that revolved around its likes in 2013. In particular, the show was an endeavor of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s. Getting back to the discovery of THC, which was sold as a medicine called Marinol, Mechoulam as per Gupta studied “the entourage effect”.
The Entourage Effect
In short, the Entourage Effect looks at the use of the whole cannabis plant (i.e. what we call a full spectrum solution). This led many to question the effectiveness of Marinol and eventually Charlotte’s Web, a CBD-rich oil that will be revisited in this article. Full spectrum contains as many cannabinoids existing as possible along with terpenes, which are essential oils (flavors) of the cannabis plant. Many studies have since been conducted to conclude that CBD on its own is not as potent as a combination of cannabinoids and terpenes because of the several therapeutic properties found in the latter.
Cannabis As A Medicine
Cannabis is not considered as a prescription drug, but rather an allopathic medicine. Allopathic medicine is used to ease symptoms by fighting against the body’s natural defense mechanism. Unlike most drugs that are designed specifically to target a symptom, Sunil Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D notes that, “Cannabis has lots of medicines in it, not one [cannabinoid] is more medicinal than the other. That is silly.”
CBD Has Non-Psychoactive Properties, True Or False?
According to Dr. Aggarwal, the notion that one particular component of cannabis is less likely to get one high than another is simply a “social construct”. Several doctors have since proclaimed that it is false to believe that CBD does not have psychoactive properties.
Cannabis researcher, Jahan Marcu Ph.D shared the following:
“We have to be very careful with our [legal] definitions, if someone says we must legalize CBD because it is non-psychoactive,” adding that “what is wrong with this rationale is that CBD is psychoactive. ‘Psycho’ means ‘brain,’ and ‘active’ means active.’” He also noted that, just like THC, CBD also “goes into the brain,” and the entire journey is similar to THC’s, but via different paths.
Unfortunately, this inappropriate definition is problematic and affects sick children, as most of the demand for CBD comes from those seeking solutions to help treat epilepsies in children.
How THC And CBD Evolved
As the benefits of cannabis started to spread, Marinol, which was considered a “Schedule II controlled substance,” later was classified as “Schedule III controlled substance,” which implies doctors can now prescribe the supposed “non-additive” medication. As per the claims made, Marinol still exists in all 50 states. Dr. Aggarwal was quoted saying that Marinol had problems because, “it doesn’t get mediated by other whole plant cannabis compounds that synergize its effects.”
With THC on one side, CBD supposedly was rediscovered, this time by Steep Hill Lab, a research center devoted to medical cannabis. Eventually, researchers found that higher levels of CBD have positive health effects on Harborside’s patients – hence the reason why CBD levels are increased in extractions and eventually delivered in different mediums.
By 2013, Gupta got his CNN documentary called “Weed” going, which he started off by saying the following:
“I apologize because I didn’t look hard enough [into cannabis plants]. I didn’t review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research and I was too dismissive […] on cannabis.”
Here’s where Charlotte’s Web strain makes an entrance. The documentary spoke of a Colorado girl named Charlotte Figi, who suffered from epilepsy. Ever since she was given marijuana, her epilepsies episodes supposedly dropped. Charlotte’s Web strain contains less than 0.5% of THC with CBD levels ranging between 15 and 25%.
Laws Related To Medical Marijuana
A month after the CNN Documentary’s release, Salt Lake Tribune supposedly published an article called, “Mormon mom wants medical marijuana for her sick son,” which resulted in conferences, intervention of Francis Filoux, who serves as Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurology, and ultimately, the bill, HB 105 was introduced in the house, signed and came into effect by the summer of 2014.
HB 105 created “Hemp Extracts Registry,” namely allows consumers to have CBD oils (or Charlotte’s Web) given that they had a registry card. Other laws followed suit in different states such as Alabama’s SB 174 (CBD for research purposes), Florida’s HB 843 (specifying strains containing less than 0.5% THC and over 15% CBD), and Wisconsin’s AB 726. Such legalization took place in 2014, but did not last, as patients were not receiving the medications on time. According to Aggarwal, it was all political.
Here’s as per his claims:
“Every legislator wants to play doctor and wants to be part of the cannabis revolution. It’s politics, it’s what happens when politics and medicine collide.”
Both Aggarwal and Marcu argue that CBD on its own is not enough and classifying it as a non-psychoactive drug is deceiving.
Here’s what Marcu had to say:
“[…] We really have to understand what [we are] increasing about their [CBD and THC] efficacy and what adverse effects [we are] reducing. There is a lot of good research out there about combining THC and CBD and there is also a lot of information out there about THC.”