There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that Cannabidiol (CBD) oil – a concentrated oily extract made from cannabis – can help treat many different ailments. It’s thought to assist with anything from epileptic seizures to opioid addiction, PTSD to arthritis. But despite CBD oil’s high profile status, there’s still a lot of confusion about what it actually is, and what it’s made from. Some types of CBD oil are already legally available throughout the uk – like those made from hemp – whereas other types are incredibly much illegal in the united kingdom – though are offered to buy in other countries
CBD oil extracted from hemp is usually marketed as being a food supplement to market well-being – similar to other herbals like Echinacea – and boost the immune system. Although Hemp CBD oil is legal, it is not a medicine and should not be wrongly identified as the current confiscation of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell’s CBD oil at Heathrow airport.
Billy had flown together with his mother to Canada to buy the CBD oil – which will help to maintain his daily epileptic seizures at bay. But his oil was confiscated since it was developed from cannabis flowers and leaves, and so was classed as illegal throughout the uk, pushing childhood epilepsy and CBD oil in to the spotlight. Up to now, so confusing, but element of the problem is that terms like cannabis and hemp tend to be used interchangeably – which masks the nuances and complexities of the cannabis plant.
Cannabis sativa L, the scientific name from the full spectrum cannabidiol, is cultivated to produce two distinctive products – industrial hemp, and cannabis. The primary difference between hemp and cannabis is based on two criteria. First, the levels of cannabinoids – children of chemical compounds, the cannabis plant naturally produces – and 2nd, the final use. Based on current UK drug laws, cannabis is considered an illegal drug because of the psychoactive properties of THC, the component inside it that can cause the “high”. And under UK law, cannabis is deemed to possess a high prospect of abuse – with no accepted medical properties.
Hemp vs cannabis – But this is when it gets a lot more confusing because cannabis could be bred to generate different strains. Cannabis consumed for recreational purposes is selectively bred to optimise high THC content strains – to maximise the “high” feeling. But cannabis also contains CBD, which is actually a non-psychoactive component. Hemp, on the other hand, is harnessed as seed, oil and fibre to generate a wide range of products. It really is cultivated to make a low power of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC – as well as higher levels of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD.
Cannabis is considered hemp if it has a maximum amount of .2% THC. Billy’s CBD oil, confiscated at Heathrow, was made from cannabis having a higher level than .2% of THC – so it was classed as cannabis, which is why it was confiscated.
Medical marijuana – A recently available survey conducted by Sky News found that 82% of their poll subjects agreed that medical cannabis needs to be legalised. Professor Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, who was appointed to analyze the current scientific and medical evidence, concerning the therapeutic properties of cannabis-based products, also believes this. She recently stated that “doctors will be able to prescribe” cannabis.
Davies has recommended the removal of cannabis from schedule one classification – which covers a team of drugs considered to do not have medical purpose, that should not be legally possessed or prescribed. In Billy Caldwell’s case, the home secretary, Sajid Javid, made the decision to grant Billy use of imported CBD oil. This fresh strategy to reconsider the classification of cannabis has been seminal, and mirrors wider sentiment in other countries. In the united states, for instance, medical cannabis programmes have been cmatpg in 30 states. Hence, medical tourism to Canada – where cannabis is legal for medicinal purposes – as well as the US to get into CBD oil.
In the united kingdom, however, Sajid Javid will never reclassify cannabis till the Advisory Council on the Misuse of medicine provides recommendations regarding the public health implications – which will include the abuse potential of cannabis-based CBD. Even though it seems very likely that the home secretary continue to go towards a patient focused resolution. For patients like Billy then, what this means is that cannabis-based CBD oil could soon be prescribed in the united kingdom under controlled conditions, by registered practitioners, and then for medical benefit.