Medical Marijuana (Cannabis Sativa)

CBD Oil…May 2016

With new laws in many states legalizing medical marijuana, people are confusing CBD oil from industrial hemp with CBD oil from marijuana. CBD oil from industrial hemp is legal to sell in most states including California. You do not need a physicians recommendation or a medical marijuana card to purchase it. I will explain the difference between the two, the research behind CBD oil, what it is used for, & what you need to know to purchase it safely.

From a previous article I wrote about Cannabis Sativa under Topics:

Here is a brief history of cannabis from WebMD : “ In 1937, the U.S. Treasury began taxing Cannabis under the Marijuana Tax Act at one dollar per ounce for medicinal use and one hundred dollars per ounce for recreational use. The American Medical Association (AMA) opposed this regulation of Cannabis and did not want studies of its potential medicinal benefits to be limited. In 1942, Cannabis was removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia because of continuing concerns about its safety. In 1951, Congress passed the Boggs Act, which included Cannabis with narcotic drugs for the first time. Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana was classified as a Schedule I drug. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, mescaline, methaqualone, and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB).”  The Boggs Act included industrial hemp, because it is also Cannabis Sativa, making it illegal to grow. In July of this year, the DEA may remove all Cannabis from Schedule 1. Not only will this decriminalize its use but it will open up research studies. 

Definitions you should know:

THC: Tetrahydrocannabidinol: the active ingredient in cannabis, giving it its narcotic and psychoactive effects. Collins EnglishDictionary 

CBD: Cannabidiol is a compound in cannabis that has medical effects but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counter the psychoactive effects of THC.  Project CBD website projectcbd.org 

Medical Marijuana: Cannabis Sativa that has been hybridized into many new plants to increase the psychotropic effects. It has a THC content of between 5-20%. New strains can have as much as 25-30% THC.

Industrial hemp: Cannabis Sativa that historically was hybridized to maximize the fiber, seed and oil content. It has a THC content of between 0.05 & 1%. “CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of hemp. Its properties are more beneficial for treatment and prevention of illnesses and ailments. All of these benefits come with no psychoactive response in the system.” from HoneyColony.

Industrial  Hemp is illegal to grow in the United States because it is lumped in with Cannabis Sativa, on Schedule 1; even though it is low in THC. It is legal to import hemp products into the United States because it is low in THC 🙂 More than 30 countries worldwide grow industrial hemp, including Canada. Marijuana is illegal in most of these countries because the two plants have been separated by their THC content as well as by the genetic differences between the plants.

Interesting to note: Excerpt from the Canna Law Blog… The Precarious Legal Status of CBD:  Though the DEA has no enforcement power over hemp products, it does control hemp cultivation. In order to grow hemp in the U.S., you have to have a permit from the DEA which the DEA typically never issues. Therefore, cultivating hemp without a permit to do so from the DEA remains a federal crime. The only exception is the 2014 federal Farm Bill which allows state departments of agriculture, universities, and colleges to cultivate hemp without a permit from the DEA for educational and research purposes. Because of the prohibition on hemp cultivation without a DEA permit, the hemp products we see in the U.S. typically come from hemp imported from overseas. This means that companies and individuals may freely sell CBD derived from processed hemp (not from marijuana), imported from outside the U.S.

Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has inserted itself into the CBD market. Generally, when a company makes a medical claim about a product, that product is classified as a drug. Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), new drugs are not allowed to enter the market without first being tested by the FDA, unless they meet the definition of a dietary supplement (which doesn’t require such testing). When these types of claims are made without the requisite testing, the FDA takes action under the FDCA.

The FDA does not consider CBD to be a dietary supplement; it considers CBD to be a new drug. As a result, earlier this year, the FDA issued warning letters to companies making medical claims about their CBD products. Ultimately, among other identified violations of the FDCA, the FDA accused these companies of making unfounded medical and therapeutic claims about their CBD products by, for instance, stating that CBD is effective for treating certain kinds of cancer. The FDA gave these companies 15 days to demonstrate how they were curing violations of the FDCA or face legal action by the FDA.

Anyone undertaking the sale of hemp-derived CBD should make very clear to regulators and to its customers that its products come from imported hemp and not from marijuana. Moreover, anyone selling or making hemp-derived CBD should take great care to avoid making any medical claims about those products or else they risk facing the consequences under the FDCA.” It is still legal to sell in California & other states. The health claims have been toned down. 

Research:

The NIH shared a speech from June 24, 2015 presented by Nora D. Volkow, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse to the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control: The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol “Rigorous clinical studies are still needed to evaluate the clinical potential of CBD for specific conditions.i However, pre-clinical research (including both cell culture and animal models) has shown CBD to have a range of effects that may be therapeutically useful, including anti-seizure, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety properties.” Very good article about CBD & its potential as well as its biology. I recommend that you read the entire article.

10 Ways CBD Can Change Lives “According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have found CBD to possess the following medical properties:

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This article is from the Honey ColonyClick on the link to see more articles about research & uses of CBD oil. This is an interesting website with excellent information. 

 A New Era in Medical Marijuana Research?  Research on the medical uses of cannabis is difficult in the US due to its being on schedule 1. Special permission is needed & can take so long that the “mice die” before permission is granted. As I stated in the beginning, this may change in July when cannabis is taken off schedule 1. “For neuroscientist Chuanhai Cao, the problem with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug can be summed up in two words: dead mice.

Cao, a researcher at the University of South Florida’s Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, uses transgenic mice to study the effect of the marijuana component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on amyloid beta, the protein that forms the plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Timing is critical in his work—the mice, which are difficult to breed, have to be a specific age at the time of an experiment. One Cao project, designed for 12-month-old mice, was delayed three months while the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) processed the complicated paperwork that all marijuana researchers must submit under the current system. Some of the mice died while Cao waited for the approvals he needed to acquire the THC for the experiment; he ended up with too few animals that were all too old to generate useful data. “It was a disaster,” he says.” Good article.

I can’t finish the research information without giving out the link to the UCSD site: Center for Medical Cannabis Research: CMCR at UCSD, has clinical trials and ongoing research into medical uses of cannabis.

How to purchase hemp derived CBD oil. 

The website that I found with the best guidance: Everything You Need to Know About Buying CBD Oil Online I chose this website because it has the following information: buying criteria, types of CBD products, top CBD brands, & recommended products. You don’t have to buy it online, but you can use this information to guide you when you decide you want to purchase it. “Typically, if you want to buy Cannabidiol (CBD) products you have to dig pretty deep to find accurate information. That’s because while CBD is becoming more popular, the information is typically scattered all across the web. To compound this problem, CBD is also one of the most misunderstood dietary substances. Many people confuse it with THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Contrary to these misconceptions, CBD is legal worldwide and is completely safe. It contains no psychoactive elements, so there is no chance of “getting high.” For more details see CBD vs THC.

Once you are ready to look at products, there are still many other factors to consider including; brand, CBD concentration, type of product, and above all, your very own needs.

At HealthyHempOil.com, we strongly believe that an informed customer is a happy customer. Our goal here is to empower you to make the best decisions possible when it comes to CBD supplements and feel 100% comfortable with your choices. We also aim to cut through the bulk of misinformation that surrounds CBD, so this guide was written with scientific integrity from start to finish. You can also download a PDF file of the same information on this site.

Hemp derived CBD oil has such potential for medicinal use. When you decide to buy it here are a few of my own tips:

  • Do your homework first. 
  • Hempseed oil in the grocery store for cooking is not the same thing!
  • Buy for quality not for a lower price.
  • Products that claim to CURE everything…don’t. 
  • EU certified hemp growers is a real thing & a good idea.
  • Make sure it has been tested for pesticides, heavy metals & fungus: check out this website BlueBird Botanicals Hemp Derived CBD oil 

Medical, hemp derived, CBD oil is becoming big business. This means there are a lot of fraudulent claims & “snake oil” salesmen out there. I sincerely hope this post gives you the information you need to purchase a safe medicinal oil. I also sincerely hope that it does not dissuade you from trying it. It is important that you share with your physician, no matter what he/she thinks of its use, that you are using CBD hemp oil & if you are using medical marijuana products. It can make a difference in the medications you are perscribed……..Mary

 Resources:

Update: April 15, 2016

A New Era in Medical Marijuana Research?“For neuroscientist Chuanhai Cao, the problem with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug can be summed up in two words: dead mice. This article pinpoints the problems with Cannabis research; cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug. This may change in July. “The sting of that calamity, and of similar DEA-related snafus in labs around the country, could be soothed somewhat this summer if the agency decides in July to remove marijuana from its Schedule I list of controlled substances, which includes heroin, and reclassify it. Removing cannabis from this list will also decriminalize it. It would be a huge step towards the FDA legalizing its use. 

This is a great article:  10 Ways CBD Can Change Lives CBD, or cannabidiol, is finally being recognized as a revolutionary natural healer, offering a host of medicinal uses. CBD is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belongs to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these compounds, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations. Most people are familiar with THC as the prominent compound in the marijuana that is smoked and eaten, but CBD research has been growing to show various health benefits, without the high. It’s completely legal to distribute and purchase, and is easily the most exciting active cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant.” Check it out!


 Update: July 6, 2015

According to a study about 1/5th of the medical marijuana users prefer baked goods & other edibles laced with cannabis. The reason for this is to avoid smoking it. Evidently there is a problem with the amount of cannabis & the THC to CBD ratio in the product depending on where it is purchased. This study showed that this can vary greatly from what is on the product label. Click on the title below to read the entire article.

Wide Variability In Potency Plagues Medical Marijuana Edibles, JAMA Study “A study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania shows that the active chemicals in edible cannabis products can vary from 1% to 155% the amount listed on the product label. And of the 75 products analyzed, only 17% contained the labeled amount of THC (allowing for minor statistical variations). Another 23% contained more than what was listed on the label while 60% had less THC than labeled.”


Update: June 16, 2015  Synthetic Marijuana

There has been an increase in the use of synthetic marijuana & the problem of poisonings. Please read these articles so you are not tempted to try this “natural spice” that is being sold in convenience stores & gas stations. It is not marijuana, it is made in a lab & it is dangerous. The manufacturers have been changing it’s name to keep one step ahead of the FDA. Click on titles for entire articles.

Synthetic marijuana triggers spike in suspected poisonings “Synthetic marijuana or cannabis does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in naturally growing marijuana leaf, so it isn’t considered an illegal substance. Instead, synthetic marijuana contains chemicals made in a lab that mimic THC’s effect on the brain. These chemicals get sprayed onto a plant, which then gets packaged for sale. Some gas stations and convenience stores sell synthetic marijuana products under street names such as “crazy town” or “Keisha Kole. If you have these products you should throw them away,” said Royal Law of the CDC. “They are marketed as safe, but they are certainly not safe.” 

Officials Warn of Rise in Use of Synthetic Marijuana “In the recent US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the agency remarks on the increase in reports of poisoning from synthetic marijuana.

Mary


April 28, 2015

Cannabis/Marijuana/Hemp has always been a controversial subject. I have been an advocate of the “Legalize Medical Marijuana” camp since I became a Registered Nurse in 1968. I have worked with many cancer patients who chose to use medical marijuana to help with their treatment side effects. I have seen it work every time for nausea, pain & weight loss.

My goal for this page is not to insert my opinion but to keep you updated as to the scientific research being done regarding the medical use of cannabis. I will do this by providing links to current articles & websites. At the end of this page is a Resource section. You will find a link there to the most current laws by State.

Let us start with a bit of history & definitions that will clarify the fight for Medical Cannabis today.

Here is a brief history of cannabis from WebMD :  In 1937, the U.S. Treasury began taxing Cannabis under the Marijuana Tax Act at one dollar per ounce for medicinal use and one hundred dollars per ounce for recreational use. The American Medical Association (AMA) opposed this regulation of Cannabis and did not want studies of its potential medicinal benefits to be limited. In 1942, Cannabis was removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia because of continuing concerns about its safety. In 1951, Congress passed the Boggs Act, which included Cannabis with narcotic drugs for the first time.

Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana was classified as a Schedule I drug. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, mescaline, methaqualone, and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB).”

You can find a more comprehensive history in The Pot Book edited by Julie Holland, M.D. The link to the book is in the resources at the end of this page. It is very interesting.

Because Cannabis is listed on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of dangerous drugs on Schedule 1, there has been a long standing fight between the Federal Government & the States law enforcement & the legalization of medical cannabis use.

Here is the Schedule I definition from the drug scheduling information on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)  website“Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.”

Cannabis sativa is the scientific name for industrial hemp and marijuana. This plant has been used as a food, fiber, religious sacrament and medicinally for a recorded 5,000 years. It has been hybridized to emphasize its distinctive uses. According to my research on the subject, there are more than 480 natural components found in Cannabis and 66 of them are known as cannabinoids. All of these plant components work together, synergistically.

Definitions you should know:

THC: Tetrahydrocannabidinol: the active ingredient in cannabis, giving it its narcotic and psychoactive effects. Collins EnglishDictionary

CBD: Cannabidiol is a compound in cannabis that has medical effects but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counter the psychoactive effects of THC.  Project CBD website projectcbd.org

Marijuana: Cannabis Sativa that has been hybridized into many new plants to increase the psychotropic effects. It has a THC content of between 3-20%.

Industrial hemp: Historically hybridized to maximize the fiber, seed and oil content. It has a THC content of between 0.05 & 1%. Hemp was grown commercially in the U.S. until the 1950’s. It was lumped in with Marijuana as Cannabis Sativa and became part of the Schedule 1 conflict. For more information regarding Industrial Hemp the full Hemp Fact Sheet can be found here: North American Industrial Hemp Council, Inc.

CNN & their correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta have made three excellent documentaries about medical marijuana. “Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the multiple Emmy®-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN. Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, plays an integral role in CNN’s reporting.”

Weed 3 was shown on CNN on April 13, 2015. Even though it is about medical marijuana research on PTSD, Alzheimers & anxiety it is also about the hurdles researches must overcome. I recommend that you watch Weed 3 to see how our government has hindered research but is now ready to change regulations to aid in research. Weed 2 talks about CBD oil and follows a child with Epilepsy. Weed is the first documentary about CBD oil. It explains CBD vs THC uses as medical marijuana. It also compares recreational use to medical marijuana use. I recommend you watch this one as well. Here are the links to all 3 documentaries:

Click here to watch Weed 3  (2015) Click here for Weed 2  (2014) Click here for Weed (2013)

GW Parmaceuticals in England, produces the drug Sativex: “Our vision… is to be the global leaders in prescription cannabinoid medicines, through the rapid cost-effective development of pharmaceutical products which address clear unmet needs…”  This is the company mentioned in  Weed 2.

On March 03, 2015, the public radio station in San Diego, KPBS, did a show: San Diego Scientist: Every Medical Pot Study Showed A Benefit To The Patient.   Click on the title to read the article and see the video with UC San Diego psychiatrist Igor Grant. In the video Dr. Grant mentions being the director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, (CMCR) at UCSD. This site is one of the best I have encountered. It covers just about every question you might have regarding medical cannabis. 

This is just one of the articles that is on the CMCR site: How Effective Is Medical Marijuana? Here’s A Closer Look At 14 Different Uses  This article covers 14 reasons patients request Medical Marijuana. It sites recent research on the effectiveness of its use. It is a must read for those of you who want to use it for a specific reason. The article starts with two very important points for you to remember: “Two things to keep in mind as you’re reading: Most of the research involves marijuana or its individual psychoactive compounds administered in carefully measured doses—a far cry from the variability in strains being sold on the street or even in dispensaries. “That’s the equivalent of buying penicillin at a flea market,” contends Igor Grant, MD, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. And there’s just not a lot of research yet, period.”

More recently on April 14, 2015 this article appeared: Feds Quietly Admit Pot Helps Cancer  Interesting reading. Here is the website they are referring to: The National Institute on Drug Abuse/ Drug Facts: Is Marijuana Medicine? 

It is illegal to cross state lines with Marijuana products. This applies even between states that have both legalized it’s use. Here is a link to State Marijuana Laws as of April 2015. This also means it is illegal to buy it online from another state. During my research, I came across several websites for medical marijuana users. They all offered the same advice. There are a lot of scams on line. They take your money but don’t deliver. You should also remember that it is still possible to be arrested for purchasing marijuana due to existing federal laws. You need to make sure you know your state laws, have the proper licensing to purchase the marijuana and research where the “store” is located to make sure it is in your state. The quality of the cannabis you purchase is directly linked to its effectiveness.

Marijuana, cannabis Sativa, is an herb and can interact with other medications you may be taking. Look below, under resources, for links that will help you determine if you need to be cautious. The best line of defense is to discuss the use of Medical Marijuana with your Oncologist/Health care team so everyone is aware & will take that into consideration when prescribing medications.

Resources