CBD, or cannabidiol, is quickly changing the debate surrounding the use of cannabis as a medicine.
Most people have heard of a chemical called THC, which is the ingredient in cannabis that gets users high. But recently, attention has shifted to another cannabis compound called CBD. And for good reason.
Because, while doctors can’t seem to look past certain side effects of THC, CBD doesn’t seem to present that problem. On the other hand, evidence of CBD’s vast medical potential is mounting.
Here are five facts that you need to know about this unique compound:
1. CBD is a key ingredient in cannabis
CBD is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these compounds, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations, and are therefore the most recognized and studied.
CBD and THC levels tend to vary between different strains and varieties of cannabis. For example, by using selective breeding techniques, cannabis breeders have managed to create varieties with high levels of CBD and next to zero levels of THC.
2. CBD is non-psychoactive
Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high. While this makes CBD a poor choice for recreational users, it gives the chemical a significant advantage as a medicine, since health professionals prefer treatments with minimal side effects.
The reason why CBD is non-psychoactive is due to its lack of affinity for CB1 receptors. CB1 receptors are found in high concentrations in the brain, and are the pathways responsible for the psychoactive effects of THC.
3. CBD has a wide range of medical benefits
Despite a different pathway of action, CBD seems to possess many of the same benefits of THC. According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have found CBD to possess the following medical properties:
|Medical Properties of CBD||Effects|
|Antiemetic||Combats nausea and vomiting|
|Anticonvulsant||Combats seizure activity|
|Antipsychotic||Combats psychosis disorders|
|Anti-inflammatory||Combats inflammatory disorders|
|Anti-oxidant||Combats neurodegenerative disorders|
|Anti-tumoral/Anti-cancer||Combats tumor and cancer cells|
|Anxiolytic/Anti-depressant||Combats anxiety and depression disorders|
See that? Antipsychotic properties. We have been fed lies about this so called harm from cannabis by governments for years.
Most of this evidence comes from animal studies, as very few clinical trials have been conducted using the chemical. The only reason for this is that governments have made it very difficult, if not impossible, to conduct clinical trials on humans due to their restrictive laws and making cannabis an illegal drug. I will touch on the reason for this in due course but, to keep you out of your misery, briefly it’s because governments have sold out to corporate profits and their own greedy self-interest in doing so.
4. CBD reduces the negative effects of THC
CBD seems to offer natural protection against the cannabis high. Numerous studies suggest CBD acts to counter the intoxicating effects of THC, including memory impairment and paranoia. There are many thousands of different strains of the cannabis plant which have ratios of CBD:THC. Some strains have a very low THC content and produce no high whatsoever. Furthermore, with the strains that do have a high enough ratio of THC to get you high, this happens only when the cannabis plant is smoked since, in its natural state, THC is actually THCA and provides no high at all if eaten – which is what many nutritionists recommend, and even say is necessary, as a supplement for our endocannabinoid system which requires cannabinoids for its efficient functioning. The only known plant to provide humans with cannabinoids is cannabis. This fact appears to be ignored entirely by politicians and government bureaucrats, in particular, ironically, the Ministry of Health in NZ who have turned down every application for a licence to grow this plant by the very sick and suffering people who have done their homework and know that their body is deficient of cannabinoids.
5. CBD is still illegal
Even though CBD shows much promise as a medicine, it remains illegal in many parts of the world. CBD is classified as a Schedule I drug in the U.S. and a Schedule II drug in Canada.
Although, since 2011, both CBD and THC became listed as a prescription medicine under Part 1, Schedule 1 of the Medicines Regulations in New Zealand, cannabis (the only plant in which CBD is found) is classified as a prohibited Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 in New Zealand and there is no lawful supply of CBD in this country due to the combination of our government’s laws prohibiting NZers to grow this plant without a licence and their policy to refuse any issue of such a licence to individuals applying for it. So we are forced to import it and, even for a doctor to do this, requires the consent of the Minister or Associate Minister of Health – Peter Dunne – a man who I am told used to run a pub! and has no relevant education or expertise to speak of in any shape or form. Our doctors treatment of us in prescribing cannabis is subject to the consent of such a man – does this sound like intelligent practice to you?
This is, of course, a breach of our human rights of liberty, life and security of person as set out in the UN Declaration of Human Rights to which NZ is a treaty member. This fact is ignored by government in NZ also and who counter this allegation by claiming they are adhering to another UN Treaty, the Narcotics Convention 1961 – a treaty concerned with the trafficking of cannabis and which excludes medicinal and industrial use of the plant. So, not only is the Narcotics Convention irrelevant to medicinal use but it certainly does not supercede the UN Declaration of Human Rights – a singularly superior treaty.
The reason NZ governments ignore the facts and the truth, it is alleged, is because if cannabis were to be made legal and easily accessible to individuals, the current profits falling from a cornucopia to the alcohol, pharmaceutical and oil industries would fall over and die.
Recently, in the U.S., due to States ignoring the federal law, the FDA recently approved a pharmaceutical version of CBD, marketed as Epidiolex, for clinical trials in pediatric epilepsy. The trials began earlier this year.
A patent awarded to the U.S. Health and Human Services in 2003 (US6630507) also covers the use of CBD as a treatment for a variety of neurodegenerative and inflammatory disorders.
When will NZ and its half-witted, corporate-driven government wake up to the interests of its citizens and do the decent thing?