In 2014, Mississippi passed HB 1231, which creates an affirmative defense for the possession and use of CBD oil in very limited circumstances. Known as “Harper Grace's Law,” the bill only provides legal protection to patients diagnosed with a debilitating epileptic condition, and only if the CBD oil was either obtained from or tested by the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi and dispensed by the Department of Pharmacy Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Edible cannabis, however, is quickly making up ground as a go-to method for consuming medical marijuana. Indeed, some states with legal medical marijuana laws still forbid smoking marijuana. Instead, medical forms of the drug are only available in pill or capsule form. Oils and tinctures, which are made from extracting cannabinoids from herbaceous material, are also commonly prescribed in the form of cannabis edibles.
^ Fusar-Poli, Paolo; Crippa, José A.; Bhattacharyya, Sagnik; Borgwardt, Stefan J.; Allen, Paul; Martin-Santos, Rocio; Seal, Marc; Surguladze, Simon A.; O'Carrol, Colin; Atakan, Zerrin; Zuardi, Antonio W.; McGuire, Philip K. (2009). "Distinct Effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol on Neural Activation During Emotional Processing". Archives of General Psychiatry. 66 (1): 95–105. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2008.519. PMID 19124693.
Although CBD oils aren’t regulated by the FDA, purchasing products stateside from one of the nine states where recreational and medical cannabis use is legal will likely result in a higher-quality product than buying one made with hemp-derived CBD oil imported from abroad, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a nonprofit that promotes medical research into CBD.
Other potential side effects include low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness, but these have typically only occurred in patients who have exceeded doses of 1,500 mg daily for a period of 4 weeks or more; far more than the average person will need take on a daily basis for chronic pain symptoms. (In fact, the majority of CBD users claim they find an effective dose to be anywhere between 10 and 40 mg daily).
As people age, they normally lose nerve cells in a region of the brain that is important for remembering events. Chronic exposure to THC may hasten the age-related loss of these nerve cells. In one study, researchers found that rats exposed to THC every day for eight months (about one-third of their life span) showed a loss of brain cells comparable to rats that were twice their age. It is not known whether a similar effect occurs in humans. Researchers are still learning about the many ways that marijuana could affect the brain.
It is often claimed by growers and breeders of herbal cannabis that advances in breeding and cultivation techniques have increased the potency of cannabis since the late 1960s and early '70s when THC was first discovered and understood. However, potent seedless cannabis such as "Thai sticks" were already available at that time. Sinsemilla (Spanish for "without seed") is the dried, seedless inflorescences of female cannabis plants. Because THC production drops off once pollination occurs, the male plants (which produce little THC themselves) are eliminated before they shed pollen to prevent pollination. Advanced cultivation techniques such as hydroponics, cloning, high-intensity artificial lighting, and the sea of green method are frequently employed as a response (in part) to prohibition enforcement efforts that make outdoor cultivation more risky. It is often cited that the average levels of THC in cannabis sold in the United States rose dramatically between the 1970s and 2000, but such statements are likely skewed because undue weight is given to much more expensive and potent, but less prevalent samples.
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