The cannabinoids found in both CBD and THC oil mimic the endocannabinoids that our bodies naturally produce. Endocannabinoids are compounds that regulate vital functions such as internal stability, homeostasis, pain regulation, and immune system functioning. Whether they’re produced by the body or obtained from the cannabis plant, cannabinoids facilitate communication on a cellular level between cells to trigger various bodily processes. Therefore, a deficiency of cannabinoids can result in a system thrown out of balance, manifesting in unwanted symptoms and other health complications.
Prescription medicine (Schedule 4) for therapeutic use containing 2 per cent (2.0%) or less of other cannabinoids commonly found in cannabis (such as ∆9-THC). A schedule 4 drug under the SUSMP is Prescription Only Medicine, or Prescription Animal Remedy – Substances, the use or supply of which should be by or on the order of persons permitted by State or Territory legislation to prescribe and should be available from a pharmacist on prescription.
But all was not well. Harper has continued to experience health issues related to her condition. And seven months after starting to use CBD oil, Harper’s seizures returned— although not as frequently as before. Penny uses eleven iPhone reminders to keep track of Harper’s daily regimen of medications and food, and she records all of Harper’s seizures in a thickly bound black book. But as her parents continue to closely monitor Harper’s health and adjust her medications accordingly, her doctors are tightly limited in the advice they can offer when it comes to CBD oil. “There’s no research on this product, so they don’t say it’s good or bad. They just say, ‘Don’t stop giving it,’” Penny told me.
A geneticist, Kane studies cannabis from a unique perspective—he probes its DNA. He’s an affable, outdoorsy guy with a bright face and eyes that wander and dart inquisitively when he talks. He has studied chocolate and for many years the sunflower, eventually mapping its genome, a sequence of more than three and a half billion nucleotides. Now he’s moved on to marijuana. Though its sequence is much shorter, roughly 800 million nucleotides, he considers it a far more intriguing plant.
Although delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (known as THC) is the primary psychoactive ingredient, other known compounds with biologic activity are cannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabichromene, cannabigerol, tetrahydrocannabivarin and delta-8-THC. Cannabidiol (CBD) is thought to have significant pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory activity without the psychoactive effect of delta-9-THC. (2)
"We still don't fully understand all of the mechanisms involved in CBD's actions," says Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D, who studies CBD and its effects, primarily on PTSD. "We know some pieces but definitely not the whole story at this point. A lot of our understanding of the many potential benefits of CBD is rooted in work either on the cellular level or in preclinical models with rodents."
Pharmaceutical companies producing oils are subject to a pharmaceutical production licence for controlled drugs, issued by government regulators. Currently there are no pharmaceutical companies producing cannabis oil as a medicine. This might change in the future when a standardised, GMP-certified production method becomes available, setting the standards for the production of cannabis oil as a pharmaceutical product.
Epidiolex is a type of medical cannabis that has been developed and trialled under licence in the US and UK. The cannabidiol (CBD) therapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of refractory epilepsy for some with Dravet and Lennox Gastaut syndromes, tuberous sclerosis and infantile spasms. The drug is also being evaluated as an add-on therapy for adults with poorly controlled focal seizures. This cannabidiol product contains virtually no THC.
A review published in 2017 in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology described how CBD may work to protect the hippocampus — the part of the brain responsible for several important functions, such as learning, memory and navigation — during times of stress, and may also help prevent brain-cell destruction that results from schizophrenia. Another 2017 review published in the journal Annals of Palliative Medicine summarized a handful of studies that suggest cannabis oils containing THC or CBD, or both, may help with chronic pain management, but the mechanism is unclear.
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