These CBD-only laws also attempt to impose some regulation on CBD oils, such as establishing how much CBD and THC such products must contain. For example, on June 1, the day I sat down with Hernandez in Fort Worth, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott signed the state’s Compassionate Use Act into law in Austin. The law requires that all CBD products contain no more than 0.5 percent THC and at least 10 percent CBD. However, the bill does not specify how the state plans to enforce this requirement. The law contains no language outlining how laboratories can test CBD products, what kinds of standards they would use, or who would regulate them.
“For those patients who have tried and failed with prescription anti-anxiety medications or want another option for other reasons, CBD is a potential alternative with a good safety profile that offers fewer negative side effects and fewer contraindications with other substances,” Pearson said. “While it won’t work for everyone, it offers a gentler alternative that I have seen work for many people.”
Additionally, CBD oil can benefit people with other medical conditions. CBD oil may be prescribed for patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome, two rare forms of severe epilepsy; the medication Epidolex, a CBD oil oral solution, is typically prescribed in these instances. Many people with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health disorders have also found that CBD oil has a calming, therapeutic effect when they experience symptoms. Most medical experts agree that marijuana is not particularly beneficial for these individuals, as the THC can increase the symptoms of these disorders, making CBD oil a good alternative option.
A survey led by the McGill University Health Centre in Canada revealed that cannabis use results in an improvement in non-cancer pain, sleep, and the mood patterns. In the same survey, it also revealed that ‘high’ and dry mouth were the most commonly reported side effects. People who suffer from cancer also turn to cannabis-related options, including therapeutic grade CBD oil, when the pain of chemotherapy or the disease itself becomes unbearable.
Blake Pearson, founder of GreenlyMed and a practicing doctor in Ontario, Canada, specializes in cannabinoid medicine and said he has personally seen patients who have lowered their intake of prescription medications or reduced the negative side effects of taking other medications. However, Pearson would like to see more robust research, including random controlled trials.
Hemp oil has never been as popular as other marijuana products. With little to no THC, CBD-rich strains of cannabis don’t deliver the pleasant buzz recreational users seek out in marijuana. In the 1970s, however, scientists found that cannabidiol was effective in reducing seizures. The brain’s endocannabinoid system contains receptors that respond to CBD, producing anticonvulsant effects. Being plant-derived and native to the brain’s own chemistry, CBD is therefore one of the most natural options for seizure treatment available today. Still, not many people took interest in CBD until 2013, when a CNN documentary special, Weed, hosted by the network’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, highlighted CBD’s effectiveness in combating seizures. Since then, demand for hemp oil products has exploded.
The following instruments were used: (a) Visual Analog Mood Scale – VAMS (Norris, 1971); (b) State-Trait Anxiety Inventory – STAI (Spielberger et al., 1970), translated and adapted to Brazilian Portuguese by Gorenstein and Andrade (1996); (c) Epworth Sleepiness Scale – ESS (Johns, 1991); (d) Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index – PSQI (Buysse et al., 1989); (e) digit symbol substitution and symbol copying tests of the Wechsler (1955) Adult Intelligence Scale – WAIS; and (f) Psychomotor Vigilance Test – PVT (Graw et al., 2004; as made available by the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research).
And then I woke up on the concrete, a worried crowd gathered around me. “You had a seizure,” my friend said gently as I blinked my eyes, trying to process this new information. I remember it was warm that night because I was wearing a sundress, and when I finally regained consciousness my first worry was that my dress flew up and everyone could see my underwear.
Kimberly is the reference editor for Live Science and Space.com. She has a bachelor's degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in biology from Southeastern Louisiana University and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her favorite stories include animals and obscurities. A Texas native, Kim now lives in a California redwood forest. You can follow her on Twitter @kimdhickok.
CBD products that don't contain THC fall outside the scope of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) Controlled Substances Act, which means CBD products are legal to sell and consume as long as they don't have THC. That's likely one of the reasons why CBD products, including CBD oil, are becoming more socially acceptable and increasingly popular. In 2016, Forbes reported that CBD products are expected to be a $2.2 billion industry by 2020.
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