In this report, researchers reviewed 16 previously published studies testing the use of various cannabis-based medicines in the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain and found some evidence that cannabis-based medicines may help with pain relief and reduce pain intensity, sleep difficulties, and psychological distress. Side effects included sleepiness, dizziness, mental confusion. The authors concluded that the potential harm of such medicines may outweigh their possible benefit, however, it should be noted that the studies used a variety of cannabis-based medicines (e.g. inhaled cannabis and sprays and oral tablets containing THC and/or CBD from plant sources or made synthetically), some of which are more likely to result in these side effects than products without THC.
Now if you’re outside the United States, things get a little more tricky because not every country has explicitly stated the legalities on these types of oils. Now there is one country in particular and that’s Canada that has specifically stated that they consider CBD whether it comes from hemp or medical marijuana to be a Scheduled II Drug, Class Scheduled II Drug, which means that it has reported medicinal benefits but they would like to control the regulation and the selling of those products.
Perhaps the most prevalent use for CBD is for pain management. The reality is that pain will affect everyone at some point in his or her life, and it’s comforting to know that there is a natural remedy that can help. The use of a natural remedy is especially important for those suffering from neuropathic pain and chronic pain – or pain that lasts for more than a few months. Chronic pain affects more than 3 million people in the United States every year – and the worst part? It can’t be cured. However, it can be treated and the irony is that in the United States, the most common medical treatments are nerve blocks, steroids, and narcotics (opioids) – many of which carry significant risk of side effects and addiction. Even over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aspirin and ibuprofen are dangerous when used regularly – hospitalizing over 100,000 people each year and killing approximately 15,000. However, dangerous narcotics and NSAIDs are not your only option for pain relief! In addition to physical therapy and self-care, you can incorporate CBD into your treatment regimen for natural, plant-based pain relief. CBD is fundamentally different than most prescribed painkillers, as it’s not addictive, non-toxic, and has very minimal (if any) side effects.
In December 2012, the U.S. state of Washington became the first state to officially legalize cannabis in a state law (Washington Initiative 502) (but still illegal by federal law), with the state of Colorado following close behind (Colorado Amendment 64). On January 1, 2013, the first marijuana "club" for private marijuana smoking (no buying or selling, however) was allowed for the first time in Colorado. The California Supreme Court decided in May 2013 that local governments can ban medical marijuana dispensaries despite a state law in California that permits the use of cannabis for medical purposes. At least 180 cities across California have enacted bans in recent years.
In the past several years however, public interest in CBD has skyrocketed based on claims — largely unsubstantiated through good clinical research thus far — that it may be a kind of cure-all miracle drug, with therapeutic effects ranging from pain relief to eradicating cancer. In fact, while CBD research has been limited due to federal restrictions, preliminary evidence does suggest that it might help with psychiatric conditions like anxiety disorders (note that while many people claim that CBD is not “psychoactive,” it’s potential as an anxiolytic medication suggests otherwise) and recent randomized, controlled clinical trials suggest a possible role in the treatment of psychotic disorders.2,3 In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a form of CBD manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals, for the treatment of rare forms of pediatric epilepsy (see my blogpost "Cannabis for Kids: Can Marijuana Treat Childhood Seizures?").
The other 29 states that fully legalize the Medical use of all CBD products derived from either hemp or Marijuana are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. The territories of Guam and Puerto Rico also allow the use of CBD products on medical grounds.