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March 04, 2019
A name that is gaining popularity these days in the world of marijuana addiction is cannabidiol (CBD). A part of the cannabis plant, it is different from both cannabinoid and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient of cannabis. This popularity is noteworthy especially in the wake of more and more states across the U.S. legalizing medical or recreational marijuana and CBD making an appearance in a lot of products like cosmetics, beverages, and even pet food.
To put it simply in the words of Dr. Jeff Chen, director, Cannabis Research Initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), CBD is simply a part of the regular cannabis plant. He further added that CBD should not be confused with cannabinoid, as the latter is a family of compounds that are unique to the cannabis plant. Additionally, THC the agent that is responsible for the psychoactivity of cannabis, is classified as a cannabinoid. Basically both CBD and THC fall under the cannabinoid family.
What is CBD used for?
On June 25, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an oral solution of CBD to be used for the treatment of epilepsy. However, it was recommended to be used for a specific kind of epilepsy in children.
Other than the FDA, other governments across the world have also approved the usage of CBD, but only when combined with THC. The said combination is used in a drug called Sativex, prescribed for muscle spasms and pain experienced by patients of multiple sclerosis.
How is the commercial industry selling CBD if marijuana is illegal?
Considering the fact that marijuana is illegal, the commercial industry is playing smart by not acquiring CBD from marijuana, but by extracting it from hemp. Basically, marijuana, cannabis, and hemp, all refer to the different species of the same plant. Such arbitrary terms have come into use depending on the level of the THC present.
When a very low percentage of THC (0.3 percent) is present, the federal government defines it as hemp. In fact, hemp is no longer considered to be a controlled substance, as a new legislation has classified it as an agricultural product. The commercial industry has taken advantage of this classification by extracting CBD from hemp, as it is an agricultural product now and not an illegal narcotic.
According to Dr. Chen, consuming CBD does not lead to any immediate psychoactivity. He added that according to some surveys, people use CBD specifically for insomnia, pain, and anxiety. Also, for these aforementioned conditions, very few reliable human studies have been carried out on the usage of CBD.
While CBD seems to have a pretty favorable safety profile, one of the biggest concerns according to Dr. Chen is that there is a high probability of it interacting with other drugs that an individual may be taking. Some the common drugs it may interact with include benzodiazepines and antidepressants. Since marijuana addiction is a relatively new type of addiction, there is not much data available for its impact on the general population, at an epidemiological level.
The prevailing dilemma around CBD regulation
Currently, there is a lot of conflict between federal and state agencies, leading to a dilemma around CBD regulation. The recently passed 2018 Farm Bill, explicitly removed hemp and any of its derivatives, like CBD, from the Controlled Substances Act. It is now legal to produce, regulate, and do business related to industrial hemp at the federal level. However, the authority of allowing hemp-based products in the area under their jurisdiction still rests with the states. Further, according to the Farm Bill, CBD is neither a legal dietary supplement nor food ingredient.
Since the passage of the bill, the FDA views CBD as a pharmaceutical drug and not a narcotic. Since a pharmaceutical company has carried out its research on CBD and acquired the FDA approval, commercially, companies can now sell products with CBD in it, which is an irony in itself.
Seeking help for marijuana addiction
Despite the FDA approval, we cannot deny the fact that CBD, an extract from hemp, is indirectly contributing towards addiction. Fortunately, an addiction can be controlled and treated with timely intervention. Initially, it might be tough for chronic marijuana users to follow the treatment protocols. But once the benefits of marijuana addiction treatment become evident, the journey can be smoother.
If you or a loved one is suffering from marijuana addiction and is looking for a marijuana addiction treatment center, get in touch with the Invictus Health Group. Our state-of-the-art centers across California offer holistic treatment interventions that focus on both the physical and psychological effects of cannabis abuse or addiction. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-548-0190 or chat online to know more about our comprehensive evidence-based treatment plans suitable for marijuana addiction.