Deconstructing medical marijuana: what is CBD oil?

This weekend, Green Flower Media hosted an amazing online event; the 1st Virtual Cannabis Health Summit which streamed live from the comfort and warmth of my computer...and it was free. Over 20 of the world's top doctors, scientist and leaders gave 22 minute Ted-style presentations about the science and information of cannabis use today for health and wellness. The purpose was to change the minds of those that are opposed to medical cannabis and empower and educate those that already support medical cannabis and want to learn more about it. Let me tell you that the cannabis that is being produced today is nothing like what we were smoking in the 1970s!

I watched 5 different presentations and they were all outstanding.

. Cancer and cannabis
. Cannabis for pets
. Better dosing strategies
. Overcoming addiction to opiates/alcohol using cannabis
. The truth about CBD oil

There was much, much more that I wasn't able to watch. It was also interactive in that participants were encouraged to ask questions and share their stories about their own cannabis usage. Recording are available if you missed it and I've piqued your interest enough to watch them.

My favorite segment was about CBD oil and was presented by Martin Lee of the Project CBD. There is a lot of confusion about CBD oil and I have not been clear about it either, so I was very interested to hear what Martin Lee had to say. For those of you who are not knowledgeable about the science of the cannabis plant but want to learn, here goes.

There are over 400 compounds in cannabis of which 85 are cannabinoids. The 2 major compounds in cannabis that give it its incredible medicinal value is THC which stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD which stands for Cannabidiol. Most people are familiar with THC since it has psychotropic effects...it gets you high or stoned...while CBD does not. However, these 2 compounds work together to produce the myriad of medicinal benefits. Please watch this very interesting video, K?

And if you want to learn about the "Father of Cannabis Research," check out Dr. Ralphael Mechoulam, a Hungarian born Israeli, who has been conducting cannabis research since the 1960s and who identified THC in 1964. Twenty years later, Mechoulam ascertained that THC interacts with the largest receptor system in the human body, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). He then found that the human brain produces its very own cannabis—a chemical that they named anandamide after the Sanskrit word ananda, “bliss.” Sorry, but I get soooo excited about all this that I tend to digress. Mea culpa. Back to CBD oil.

]So, what exactly is CBD oil? It is oil made from hemp which is rich in the CBD compound. But, as I grew to understand, there is CBD oil and there is CBD oil...meaning there is CBD oil made from single molecule CBD and CBD oil made from the full plant extract. The latter has many, many more powerful medicinal benefits because it also contains some THC...which is still federally illegal, but as long as it contains less than .3% is present, you can ship it across state lines. Are we all following this? I told you it was confusing.

Let's move away from the confusing stuff and turn to all the really good stuff that Full Extract Medical Cannabis Oil (FEMCO) can do for us humans.

It's an analgesic and is great for controlling chronic pain and peripheral neuropathy.

It's an anticonvulsive as we have seen in the successes of children and adults with epilepsy. Charlotte Figi was the first child who was given CBD oil for Dravet Syndrome produced by the Stanley Brothers out of Colorado. The strain is called Charlotte's Web and it has saved the lives of thousands of people.

It lowers the incidence of diabetes and it is anti-tumor, especially in breast cancers, and an anti-psychotic.

It normalizes the heartbeat and limits damage during a stroke.

It is an anti-oxidant and a neuroprotectant for those with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV.

It is an anti-bacterial and it cures MERS, so when antibiotics stop working because we have overused them to such an extent that antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria are killing most people, we cannabis users will be just fine, thank you very much.

If you ingest too much THC, CBD can neutralize the psychotropic effects.

If you should get Mad Cow disease, CBD can cure you of that, too!

You can make your own CBD-rich oil from buds

You can make your own CBD-rich oil from buds

There is something called the Entourage Effect which in medical marijuana means that many of the compounds in cannabis work together to produce a synergy of effects...the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, so to speak. Besides THC and CBD, we also have terpenes which add to the medicinal value and give different strains their different colors, fragrances and flavors. So, while many people who do not like the psychotropic effects...and I REALLY don't get that...it's like drinking non-alcoholic beer, but different strokes for different folks..choose CBD-rich products, the THC content adds to the medicinal benefits. The rule of thumb is to recommend CBD/THC products, staying within the THC comfort level of each individual patient.

Some misconceptions about CBD-rich products:
1. CBD is medical and THC is recreational
2. The psychotropic effects of THC are adverse side effects
3. CBD products are most effective without THC

We will more than likely be seeing big Pharma jumping on the CBD oil bandwagon, manufacturing CBD single molecule products. Those of you who have read this blog post will know better than to use them!

Okely dokely, that's it for now. As always, I love to here your thoughts about medical cannabis.

I've written a series of posts about medical marijuana. If you want to read more you can click on the "Medical Marijuana" tag at the top of my page.

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