In today’s day and age, when people discuss “medical marijuana”, our society often dismisses the topic immediately referring to it as something only conducted by your typical stoner – young hippies that simply want to gain legal access to the plant to get high. While that may be true for some, the medical benefits of marijuana, however, have been known for decades, and recent research is showing that the cannabinoids, found in the plant could help to treat a wide range of medical conditions.
While cannabis is still illegal in the UK under the Misuse of Drugs Act, there are fundamental differences between the components of the marijuana plant as some of its cannabinoids are used for recreational purposes while other parts are now being extracted and used for everything from treatment of glaucoma to treating epilepsy and even reversing the carcinogenic effects associated with smoking tobacco. In most cases, in order to avoid the effects of THC, the cannabinoid that creates that euphoric high, companies extract from the marijuana plant various medicinal cannabinoids such as CBD, and create various oil extracts.
Processing of Cannabinoids
There are a variety of ways to extract the goodness of the plant from the marijuana plant, but most companies that sell these oils use a CO2 extraction process, which allows them to create full-spectrum oils. These oils contain a variety of nutrition and minerals allowing these oils to treat conditions quickly and effectively.
Status of CBD Oil in the UK
While there is still some debate in regards to the effectiveness of these oils, in the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) officially recognizes and regulates the use of Cannabidiol for certain health issues. This has sparked a lot of interest among UK cannabis enthusiasts over the last couple of years as many of them often seek alternative medicine than to that prescribed by their primary doctors.
Most doctors now understand the benefits of CBD oil but due to a lack of regulation and legalities that are often extremely difficult to understand, they refrain from recommending CBD as a form of treatment. In most cases, they simply choose to avoid the controversy altogether and sit on the sidelines. The main culprit behind this confusion is the current U.S laws around Cannabis. As CBD is derived from Cannabis and the plant is classed as a schedule 1 drug, CBD is illegal on a Federal level. But, individual states have taken the law into their own hands and 29 of those states have legalized it on a state level. Furthermore, the FDA has taken a hands-off approach and do not wish to be associated with the plant. This has caused a lot of confusion in the U.S and in the U.K who try to fall in line with U.S legalities regarding the plant.
Attitude towards CBD Oil
Even though current laws restrict most people from obtaining CBD oil, the overall attitude towards marijuana-based products is slowly changing. In April of 2017, a major landmark case in the UK opened the doors for CBD oil and other medicinal products containing Cannabidiol, allowing these products to become more mainstream.
Billy, an 11-year-old boy, became a national hero when he was finally permitted to receive CBD oil in the U.K, helping to treat his severe epilepsy. It had been a long battle, following numerous trips to the U.S to receive treatment. After endless requests and constant rejections, Billie was permitted to receive CBD oil in the UK. Today, products containing cannabidiol are considered legal in the UK, though they must be officially licensed.
Future of CBD Oil
Today it is understood that CBD oil can be used to treat much more than epilepsy. Studies have found that it is one of the strongest natural pain relievers and may be an innovation in how doctors can treat patients suffering from chronic pain relief.
Additionally, CBD oil can be used to treat neuropathic pain suffered by people with multiple sclerosis. It also reduces anxiety, can be used to treat certain types of cancer through inhibiting cancer cell migration, while also lowering the overall incidence of diabetes. As the legal uncertainties associated with cannabis are gradually clearing, medical research should continue to discover more potential benefits associated with Cannabidiol.