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Legalization of CBD for Medicinal Products; Impacts, Health Benefits & More

Jan 3rd, 2019

Belonging to same plant species (Cannabis sativa), both Marijuana and Hemp contain CBD and THC. However, each plant in itself is a different strain of cannabis. Hemp for years was bred primarily for industrial use which is one of the reasons for the low amount of THC content in today's plants. THC is a psychoactive chemical that is responsible for marijuana's high. On the contrary, hemp plants are high in CBD or cannabidiol (used for numerous cannabis therapeutic effects).

Epidiolex Syrup has CBD as an active ingredient and is among the very 1st drugs made using from marijuana after the US government approved its medicinal usage. This drug is effective in treating two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Similarly, with the approval this summer, businesses producing CBD based products find it easy to come up with newer and better products. Also, Federally-insured banks for the very 1st time have also given the go-ahead to the industrial hemp producers. More importantly, farmers can now legally grow cannabis as per the Federal Laws to grow hemp.

Impact of Approval of the US Government to Use Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes

At the moment it is unclear if only hemp-derived CBD products are legal because CBD can be derived from both marijuana and hemp plants. Some years back the fate of both manufacturers and entrepreneurs from the CBD wellness industry was gloomy. This is because there was not a specific reference in the main drug law of DEA, i.e. the Controlled Substances Act with the word hemp. This was the reason why you could only spot the popular CBD lattes or CBD teas across stores in the country.

However, with hemp becoming legal, experts believe the trend will take off. With the farm bill being passed, the marketplace for hemp-based products is expected to grow phenomenally. Especially the hemp extracts will find more relevance. The comfort level of retailers as well as the consumers is set to increase. It will eventually lead to an increase in investments and an opportunity due to the anticipation of rapid expansion.

However, the other bench of experts particularly the scientists has expressed concerns over the bill being passed. Additionally, it is to be seen as how DEA responds to the entire scenario. Researchers as of now may not expect too many changes to their present work until and unless DEA agrees to change the status of CBD.

What can CBD do to your health?

Right now no conclusive evidence speaks about the direct health implications of CBD. The drug is believed to have at least one well-vetted therapeutic benefit, i.e. fighting the symptoms of two rare types of childhood epilepsy by intake of the recently approved drug named Epidiolex.

However, on the flip side, the other concerning issue is the fact that the products are poorly regulated. It means there is a large variation in terms of content, pricing, and safety. As per a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association in the year 2017, a total of 84 CBD products were tested by researchers. These products were purchased through 31 different online retailers. It was revealed that as many as 7 out of 10 items had different levels of CBD than what was mentioned on the label.

Surprisingly 50% of the items tested had a higher CBD percentage than what had been mentioned on their labels. Also, 19 of these samples were tested positive for THC despite not being mentioned on the label.

Some experts and observers have even claimed to have seen a lot of dirty CBD manufacturing units. Hence, it is really difficult to estimate what is being offered and how effective that product is. Although we may not see a drastic change regarding product safety after the farm bill is passed, the situation will certainly improve. It is believed that with the laws in place, the role of regulators is going to be much more that it had ever been. Hence, it will increase the need of companies to abide by the strict manufacturing conditions to remain at the top.

Some Likely Health Benefits of CBD

Pain Reliever

Among the most spoken benefits of CBD is the pain relieving qualities due to the analgesic effects. CBD interacts with receptors in the immune system and the brain to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. As per a study released in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, results showed CBD had significantly reduced inflammation in rats and mice. However, it doesn't mean only rodents can experience the effects. Another review in the year 2008 had suggested that CBD was highly effective in offering relief from pain without any severe side effects to the patients.

Anti-Seizure Characteristics

Any dramatic fluctuation in the electrical activity of the bran leads to seizures. In the last couple of years, some celebrated artists and well-known personalities have promoted CBD for its anti-seizure characteristics. It has now scientifically proved with The New England Journal of Medicine publishing research findings called the double-blind placebo-controlled trial that explores the impact of CBD as a medicine on Young adults suffering from Dravet Syndrome. It is a rare form of epilepsy accompanied with seizures and fever. Patients who were offered CBD reported a drop in frequency of seizures by a median of 38.9%.

Fights Anxiety

Although CBD is popular for treating physiological symptoms, some experts have recently concluded that it could be used to treat different kinds of mental health conditions which include anxiety. The results propose that CBD is capable of reducing anxiety in SADs (Social Anxiety Disorder) and effects the activities inside the limbic and paralimbic brain areas.

Cancer-fighting properties

Researches have also concluded that CBD can be useful to treat different forms of cancers. CBD along with other compounds present in cannabis contain antitumor properties. They can amplify destruction of the tumor cells in case of both leukemia and colon cancer. Some investigations have even shown that CBD may also be useful in stopping the spread of cancer cells mainly in the cervical cancer cells. However, it must be noted that most of these studies were pre-clinical (conducted on humans and other mammals) and its results cannot be treated as a conclusive

Can Prevent Diabetes

Another less popular potential of CBD is its capability of reducing the risks of getting diabetes. A study released by Neuropharmacology involved an experiment by researchers to explore the impact of CBD over non-obese diabetes-prone female mice. The results showed that only 32% of the mice receiving CBD were diagnosed with diabetes in comparison to 100% of those who were not treated.

Cure Multiple Sclerosis

It is a disease that affects the spinal cord and the brain. Its symptoms vary as per the type and severity which usually includes spasms, pain, balance issues, vision problems, tingling, etc. As per the research published by Multiple Sclerosis Journal, it was found that CBD based extracts had the capacity of significantly reducing pain and spasticity related to multiple sclerosis.

Heal Spinal Cord Injury & Diseases

Also referred to as motor skills, spinal cord injuries are caused due to trauma to the spine. It may eventually lead to complete functioning loss in different parts of the body. As per studies conducted by the Oxford Centre for Enablement, it was suggested that Cannabis medicinal extracts could improve neurogenic symptoms that were unresponsive to general treatments. It is also indicated that CBD can help in treating pain and muscle spasms that are mostly symptomatic.

On the other hand, spinal cord diseases are caused due to reasons apart from trauma. They include multiple sclerosis, syringomyelia, spinal stenosis, and spina bifida. Cannabis-based medicines offer therapeutic value and have the ability to alleviate spasticity as well as pain.

Treating AIDS/HIV

Over the last decade thanks to modern therapy, there have been some treatments that are available now to treat AIDS/HIV. However, each of these is costly and come with side effects that are often challenging to deal with. Medicinal cannabis as per numerous studies has shown that it has the capacity of reducing symptoms associated with the disease. They include weight loss, anorexia, nausea, etc. A study published in the Journal of Pain & Symptom Management reveals that 97% of HIV patients had reported an improvement in appetite after undergoing cannabis treatment. Also, 94% of these patients experienced reduced muscle pain while 93% showed improvement towards anxiety and nausea.


A term that refers to inflammation of the joint has 100 different types. Some common ones include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis. The symptoms are mainly redness and swelling around the joints coupled with constant pain, weakness, reduced range of motion and stiffness. A study was done to the efficacy of cannabis to be used to treat pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. It was found that a significant analgesic effect was created leading to suppression of the disease activity.


It is a neurological condition that affects over 140,000 Americans. It includes regular seizures ranging from mild to extreme loss of consciousness. CBD dominant or other CBD based medicines have been able to reduce the frequency as well as the severity of seizures associated with epilepsy. However, medical cannabis need only be used in treatment-resistant cases of seizures.

IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

A disorder that results in inflammation of the ulcerative colitis, Crohn's Disease, and the digestive tract is IBD. CBD extracts can reduce physical pain, social functioning, ability to work, general health perception, and depression.

Treating Insomnia

Both CBD and THC dominant cannabis medication offers effective therapy to a wide range of sleep disorders which includes insomnia. Cannabis supposedly reduces sleep latency, improves quality of sleep and induces drowsiness.

Concluding Remarks

Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound that doesn't give the users a feeling of being stoned or high. Instead, it has some medicinal qualities. Men are believed to be the predominant consumers of cannabis, but surprisingly 55% of the CBD users are women. Men, on the other hand, prefer THC-dominant products.

It is to be seen as how the legalization will shape up the market for CBD based products. It certainly offers an opportunity to the manufacturers and customers can expect better quality products. The above benefits (needing further evaluation) speak volumes about the potentials CBD has in comparison to traditional medicines. Moreover, in recent times, a large number of CBD users have stopped traditional medications such as Tylenol pain relievers or other prescription drugs like Vicodin after having switched to cannabis.

Author Name: Robert Mordini

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