In a lengthy and comprehensive document published late in 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) agrees that medical cannabis does not have dangerous side effects. This is a huge milestone in the cannabis world as the WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. It was on 14 December 2017, to be precise, that the WHO agreed that the cannabis cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) be removed from controlled substances registers worldwide.
According to the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD), pure organic CBD does not seem to promote addiction of have harmful side effects. CBD on its own is not scheduled as opposed to cannabis per se. But when CBD is transformed into an extract to be used as a medical therapy, it is incorporated into the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. So, while the WHO agrees that medical cannabis does not have dangerous side effects, it also promotes more research into the use of cannabis oil as a therapy.
Some countries have legalised medical cannabis, removing it from schedules but still subjecting it to strict regulations in that region. CBD often has less strict controls on it than other cannabinoids, thanks to its innate healing properties and lack of side effects such as psychosis or other physiological disorders. The WHO is taking seriously studies done using cannabis oil (CBD) which show that it can treat epileptic seizures and inflammation.
The history of cannabis as a medical treatment goes back thousands of years when ancient tribes used the plant to cure many ailments successfully. During modernisation, cannabis was increasingly used as a recreational escape and people became addicted to what is now called a drug. The abuse of cannabis forced authorities to ban cannabis in many countries. Now, medical cannabis is being hailed as an alternative therapy and studies are proving its benefits for many diseases of mind and body.
CBD has enormous potential to interact with the body’s innate endocannabinoid system, clinging to CB1 and CB2 receptors, without any psychoactive side effects. The phytocannabinoids seem to have the same effect as endocannabinoids, ensuring the balance remains in the immune system, related to moods, energy levels, reproductivity and more. Researchers, doctors and the general public continue to debate the wonders of cannabis oil to cure common and complex diseases – from insomnia and anxiety to cancer and arthritis.
In a world where addiction to opiates is becoming an epidemic, the search for alternative, more natural, medications is vital and medical cannabis is one of these therapies. Prescribed pharmaceutical drugs often cause more problems with their terrible side effects (such as chemotherapy and pain killers), while organic therapies like cannabis are powerful healing substances without the secondary damage.
The WHO has undertaken to review all literature and studies related to cannabis and to ensure that the use of medical cannabis is still regulated to avoid abuse or addiction. They cannot ignore fascinating findings that endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors have a huge role to play in terms of the management of pleasure, pain, memory, appetite, brain development, sensory perception and physical ability.
The use of CBD is safe when it comes to cerebral therapy but when using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) care must be taken to avoid any psychotic or other mentally negative side effects. THC is psychoactive so needs to be used responsibly and doctors need to assess whether its healing potential is stronger than its potential to be abused or to lead to addiction. Positive news is that when THC is blended with CBD, the CBD mitigates the psychoactive properties of the THC, allowing it to heal without any side effects.
Every patient who turns to medical cannabis will react differently to the therapy and will require different dosages in terms of what they are treating. The intake methods also vary and will suit different people in unique ways. Take your CBD oil as a tincture, capsule, suppository, vape e-juice or edible. Smoking cannabis definitely does affect more people in negative ways. The WHO agrees that medical cannabis does not have dangerous side effects and this year, 2018, the organisation plans to review all cannabis-related substances to make a decision regarding its legality globally. Soon doctors could be prescribing medical cannabis as a natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs!