Can Opioids Be Replaced By CBD Oil?

Perhaps one of the more compelling arguments for legalizing medical cannabis is the fact that evidence heavily suggests that it is able to provide most of the benefits of widely-used opioids without the potentially lethal side effects that come from misuse.

Opioids are currently the most-abused type of prescription drug in the United States. In 2017, 47,000 Americans died as the result of opioid abuse, from drugs sourced from both legal and illegal sources. However, it’s difficult for many American medical professionals to avoid prescribing opioids due to the effectiveness of these drugs at managing pain.

This is exacerbated by the fact that pharmaceutical companies have been found complicit in lobbying for the wider use of these classes of drugs, which has led to unnecessary prescriptions and an increased potential for abuse. A number of cities have even sued the pharmaceutical industry for causing the crisis.

However, we already have a powerful equivalent to opioids for pain management that carries fewer side effects and reduced potential for abuse in medical cannabis – specifically cannabidiol, better known as CBD oil.

While medical cannabis, in general, has been found to have uses for the type of pain management normally treated by opioids, adoption has been slow thanks to fears and misconceptions about the psychoactive effects of cannabis, specifically its active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC.

In the course of decades of medical cannabis research, it has been found that CBD has most of the benefits of THC, without the strong psychoactive effects that normally come with it. The potential for abuse is also much reduced from regular cannabis with THC, which in itself is already lower than the abusive potential of most opioids used for pain treatment.

CBD Oil and FibromyalgiaReasons CBD Oil hasn’t replaced opioids

So why hasn’t CBD oil been more widely adopted? Ultimately it has to do with the incredibly complicated nature of cannabis. Cannabis plants contain more than 500 chemical compounds. Isolating these compounds can be difficult and expensive, and it’s hard to recreate findings of previous studies create controls for studies involving cannabis due to the sheer complexity of the plant. Different strains of cannabis and varying levels of different chemicals in each strain can also affect different people in different ways.

There are also new discoveries made about cannabis that may dissuade its more widespread use. For instance, it was found that even relatively small doses can irreversibly alter the brains of teens, which may mean that in the near future, doctors may not prescribe cannabis for teens and young adults.

Conclusion

Even with these setbacks, however, it’s safe to say that CBD oil will likely have a role to play in helping solve the opioid crisis, though not by itself. The crisis is multifaceted, with economic and social angles to consider, which make it unlikely that any single solution will be workable.

Instead what is more likely to work might be a multi-pronged solution that involved weaning opioid abuse victims off drugs with different types of therapy as well as preventing the potential for abuse by substituting opioids with CBD when possible for pain management.

 

 

Oregon’s Hot Hash Oil Market Drives Demand For Marijuana ‘Trim’

OREGON:  Cameron Yee opened a gallon-sized plastic bag of dried leaves from a popular strain of cannabis called Lemon Haze. He thrust his hand into the bag and gave the leaves a vigorous stir.

As recently as a few years ago, the small leaves snipped from harvested cannabis flowers ended up in the trash. After all, when it comes to marijuana, the flower is the star.

But when Yee’s fingers emerged coated in greenish dust, he was delighted.

“That is fantastic,” he said, eyeing the THC-rich crystals that will end up in one of his company’s concentrates.

 

First Legal ‘Charlotte’s Web’ Cannabis Oil To Go On Sale In The UK

GREAT BRITAIN:  Cannabis oil has become increasingly sought after as an alternative treatment for a range of conditions including severe epilepsy, but legislators have been unwilling to legalise it due to its association with marijuana.

Thanks to the work of advocates including CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta – who famously reversed his stance on medical marijuana to become a staunch supporter – and documentaries such as The Culture High, the wider public and legislators have come to see CBD oil’s medical value.

UK CBD are the first British company to sell ‘Charlotte’s Web’ cannabis oil since it was made legal on 31 July. Charlotte’s Web products are derived from low THC – the major psychoactive component in marijuana – high CBD – which is not psychoactive – cannabis strains. In other words they do not induce the ‘high’ associated with recreational marijuana. These varieties of cannabis are commonly referred to as hemp.

 

Medical Marijuana, Now Legal, Still Not Easy To Get For Some

MINNESOTA:  It’s a 400-mile, seven-hour, $100 or more journey from Maria Botker’s home in tiny Clinton to the nearest clinic where she can buy medical marijuana – the only drug that does the trick for her daughter’s rare and aggressive seizure disorder.

In addition to the medicine’s high cost, the short list of qualifying conditions and the difficulty in getting a doctor’s approval to sign up, there’s one more thing making the program difficult for Minnesota patients. Some have to come an awfully long way to get it, with only two of eight dispensaries opening since the July 1 launch.

The law doesn’t require all eight to be open until July 2016. A third location is slated to open Thursday in Rochester. A Bemidji clinic for the northeast corner of the state likely won’t be running until sometime next year.

And even after all eight facilities open, Botker and others from southwestern Minnesota will still face five-hour trips or longer.


Legal Pot Competes With Dangerous Hash-Oil Black Market

OREGON:  Amy Zimmerman’s left calf was covered in second-degree burns after a Memorial Day campfire accident. To help heal the burns, she applied a medicinal salve made with hash oil.

The results were better than she had expected.

“My doctor was impressed, saying, ‘What did you use?'” She flashed her calf, its new skin pink and glistening. Just a little bit of oil goes a long way, she said, “but it’s an extract from a plant. That’s all it is.”

Hash oil is an extract of the marijuana plant, and it’s highly concentrated. Just like marijuana itself, hash oil can be smoked or ingested, or as Zimmerman’s wound demonstrated, rubbed into the skin.

 

7 Answers About Health Canada’s New Med-Pot Rules

CANADA:  1) I heard Health Canada just legalized cannabis cooking oil. What’s going on?

As a result of a recent Supreme Court decision, Health Canada has just announced that they will be allowing licensed medical marijuana producers (LPs) to also apply for a license to sell fresh, uncured cannabis buds, and cannabis-infused oils. However, LPs cannot sell extracts like hash, resin oil or shatter, or infused food products.

2) Why fresh cannabis buds? Won’t those just go moldy during shipping to patients?

I believe this provision is there so that an LP can sell their fresh buds to another LP for processing. Some LPs might find it easier to outsource this work, or be unable to secure their own processing license. However, it doesn’t make sense to me that any LPs would start putting fresh buds on their retail menus for patients. They’re just too hard to ship and there’s no demand for uncured buds, except maybe fresh cannabis leaves for home juicing.

3) What are patients supposed to do with this cannabis oil?

Patients will either consume it directly, or make their own food products out of it. Some LPs could sell the oil in capsule or dropper form, making it easy for patients to ingest a fixed dosage. If the base oil is smokable, then perhaps patients could smoke the extract.

Cannabis Oil, Fresh Marijuana Now Available In Wake Of Top Court Decision

CANADA:  Medical marijuana users can legally consume other forms of the drug beyond the traditional dried version under new Health Canada rules that follow a recent ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The department says licensed medicinal marijuana producers can now produce and sell cannabis oil and fresh marijuana buds and leaves as well as the dried form.

But they’ll have to comply with the same terms and conditions on dried marijuana including making sure the product is shipped in child-resistant packaging as well limiting the amount of the active ingredient in the drug.

Health Canada says while the courts require reasonable access to a legal source of medical marijuana, the government’s position is that it must be done in a controlled fashion to protect public health and safety.

Texas Just Approved A Limited Medical Marijuana Bill

TEXAS: Medical marijuana could be legal in Texas, sort of.  The Texas House of Representatives voted 96 to 34 to approve the second reading of a Senate bill that would allow limited use of Cannabidiol oils, a marijuana derivative, Progress Texas said in a press release.

And the proposals authors are Republican! Crazy.

Maybe the times are a changin’? 

Progress Texas Executive Deputy Ed Espinoza said the approval is historic.

He is right.

“Marijuana policy reform has made history in Texas! More than 20,000 people engaged in a serious conversation this year, and we are pleased to see strong support from a bipartisan majority,” Espinoza said in a press release.

Texas Marijuana Legalization 2015: Cannabidoil Oil To Be Allowed For Epilepsy Treatment, Gov. Abbott Says

TEXAS:  Texas is expected Monday to loosen restrictions on a marijuana-related product for the first time in state hostory. Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday that he will sign a bill that would legalize cannabis oil as a treatment for epilepsy, reported the San Antonio Express-News. The announcement came in the evening with a signing ceremony planned for Monday afternoon.

The legalization will have a very narrow scope. The legislation, Senate Bill 339, does not legalize marijuana for recreation or medical use — but rather specifies the single use of cannabis oil. Sponsored by Rep. Sen. Kevin Eltife and Rep. Stephanie Klick, the bill previously passed through both legislative chambers last month after emotional testimony from the parents of children with epilepsy.

The marijuana-derived cannabis oil has very little tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in pot. The dosage of THC is so low it does not produce the “high” associated with marijuana, reported KSAT in San Antonio. The product would be allowed for those who suffer from persistent and chronic seizures. Fourteen other states already have some sort of low-dose cannabis oil laws, reported KSAT. Support from marijuana advocates had previously been lackluster because of its wording — which could perhaps cause limitations in actually prescribing the oil — but it had also been hailed as a first step in in a long legalization process.

Senate Gives High Sign To Limited Medical Marijuana

TEXAS:  Epilepsy patients in Texas would have access to medicinal oils containing a therapeutic component found in marijuana under legislation the state Senate passed Thursday.

Senators voted 26-5 to pass Senate Bill 339, by Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, which would legalize oils containing cannabidiol (CBD), a component found in marijuana known to treat epilepsy and other chronic medical conditions. If the measure passes the House, by 2018, the state would be able to regulate and distribute the oils to patients whose symptoms have not responded to federally approved medication.

“While the bill is not the full-scale medical marijuana bill that many advocate for, we recognize that change takes time and this is certainly a step in the right direction,” Phillip Martin, deputy director of the liberal group Progress Texas, said in a statement. “These bills are an important step and we are eager to see them set promptly on the calendars so they can be considered by the full Texas Legislature.”