CBD oils

David Balemala

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Cannabidol, also known as CBD, is a component extracted from the cannabis leaf, however it’s separate from tetrahydrocannabinol, THC. Oil is produced from CBD and is often infused into lotions for pain relief. However, these methods of pain relief have caused a lot of controversy. 

Some physicians are on board, too. Dr. Charlton Woodly, a podiatric surgeon in Texas who has no financial stake in CBD products, integrates CBD into patients’ recovery from surgery, breaks, and sprains. “I use it in my practice because, unlike pain medications, such as Tylenol, CBD does not cause kidney or liver issues while providing the same pain relief,” he says.

 Dr. Philip Blair, a family physician who serves as medical director of the CBD brand Elixinol, also says he’s used CBD with over 2,000 patients after the research and his experience convinced him the substance, in fact, wasn’t too good to be true. Within minutes of giving a patient CBD, he says, “I see relaxation of their facial muscles, they become more expressive and spontaneous, their eyes get bigger and their shoulders relax. I hear a deep sigh of relief.”

However, some researchers and clinicians caution against prematurely jumping on the CBD bandwagon, which is gaining members and momentum since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, legislation that fully legalized hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant. But even that enthusiasm is misguided, says Dr. Jordan Tishler, a Harvard physician and CEO of InhaleMD, a Boston-area practice specializing in cannabis therapeutics. The bill, he says, will help farmers and the economy since it will spur the development of new products like textiles. But, he adds, “that has nothing to do with medicine.” Here’s what else he and other health experts say consumers need to know: 

Until recently, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration considered all cannabinoids, including CBD, a schedule 1 drug, which means it was as illegal as heroin from the federal government’s perspective. And while CBD is no longer a schedule 1 drug, it remains illegal until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration releases new regulations and companies are in compliance, Tishler explains. The only form of CBD that’s legal in the federal government’s eyes is the prescription medicine Epidiolex, which the FDA approved in 2018 to treat seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy – and nothing else. (CBD may be legal, though, if acquired through a state medical cannabis program.) And even though hemp, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is legal so long as the THC content is negligible, people who want to make CBD by farming hemp need to have a license to do so through the federal government or, in some cases, their state, Tishler explains.

This method may become easier as laws on marijuana have recently been becoming more lenient. CBD Oil could be the way of the future in medicine and many new unexpected.