Is there really a way to use medical cannabis without getting zonked? There certainly is! Let’s take a close look at CBD medical marijuana to see how it works.
The cannabis plant contains more than 80 cannabinoids. Scientists don’t all agree on this number. Some say there could be a 100 or more. This is because research has been very limited on cannabis, a Schedule 1 substance “officially” considered to be without medicinal value.
The Washington Post looked into the power of the mild and subtle CBD. The cannabinoid that is most famous, or perhaps infamous, is THC or Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known for the high or euphoric effect it has. It’s the reason why people use cannabis as a recreational drug. But THC is only one of the many cannabinoids. Not all of them share its psychoactive properties.
CBD not as famous as THC
CBD or cannabidiol is the second best known of the 80 cannabinoids. In the past, people believed that it was biologically inactive in the human body. Clinical trials and many medical studies have now concluded that it may be the most promising medical cannabinoid.
Evidence shows that it can treat epilepsy very successfully. Scientists are currently investigating a host of other possible uses. Here we should consider any illnesses caused by inflammation such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
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CBD counters THC
THC is used to treat pain, loss of appetite, or wasting in cancer and HIV patients, nausea and many other conditions. Generally, breeders find that cannabis plants, or hybrids of the plant, contain inverse amounts of these two compounds.
In other words, strains high in CBD will be low in THC, and strains high in THC will be low in CBD. What’s more, CBD naturally counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. Therefore, if you breed a plant for the recreational “high” experience, you want as little CBD in the mix as possible, because that will “bring you down.”
Now, researchers like Prof. Mechoulam, pioneer of cannabis research, say the compounds found in cannabis work synergistically. They work together in what he calls the “entourage effect.” This theory means that just extracting one cannabinoid won’t work as well as using something that includes all the compounds found in the plant.
CBD medical marijuana doesn’t make you high
CBD on its own has become a very appealing compound, as it doesn’t make users high. Many patients want to avoid the euphoric experience of THC. The fact that CBD is not psychoactive has allowed it to avoid some of the stigma, politics and legal issues surrounding marijuana.
CBD for children with epilepsy
The Washington Post also spoke to Orrin Devinsky, a New York University neurologist who studies CBD for severe epilepsy in children.
He tells the story of a patient who experienced the life-changing effects of CBD. Jackson Leyden was a normal healthy boy till he turned eight. He then started having seizures. As time went on, they increased in severity, landing him in hospital for most of two years.
More than 20 doctors and multiple ineffective medicines later, he took his first dose of CBD. His parents were amazed when his seizures dropped to one mild episode about once a month. Before, he would have had 200 severe seizures every month. Now, he has a normal life again, riding his bike and going for hikes with his family.