But what exactly is CBD oil, and can it really make a difference to our health?
Here’s everything you need to know. When did cannabis become a medicine?Cannabis has been used as a medicine for thousands of years all over the world, including China, India and the Middle East. It was a common form of medication in the UK and like written above, it was even administered to Queen Victoria to relieve her period pain.
Cannabis legalisation in the UK
Cannabis was made illegal in the UK in 1928 following an international drug conference in Geneva when an Egyptian delegate convinced everybody that it was a threat to society and as dangerous as opium. The 1968 Wootton Report was a Home Office investigation into the effects of cannabis that concluded: “There is no evidence that this activity is causing violent crime or aggression, anti-social behaviour, or is producing in otherwise normal people conditions of dependence or psychosis requiring medical treatment.”
Fifty years later, despite cannabis still being illegal in the UK as a recreational drug, there’s been a huge spike in interest towards CBD oil and hemp-infused products.
CBD can relieve cancer pain, treat childhood epilepsy and support mental health.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of 104 chemical compounds found in the marijuana plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive substance found in cannabis. Unlike cannabis oil, which often contains high levels of THC, CBD contains less than 0.2% of the psychoactive substance. CBD is thought to have significant therapeutic properties – but researchers are still working hard to understand the specifics.
What is CBD used to treat? Can it alleviate pain?
Last year, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) classed CBD as medicine, providing it meets a strict set of “safety, quality and efficiency standards”. Roger G Pertwee, a professor at the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Aberdeen, said CBD is present in two medicines available in the UK – Sativex and Epidiolex. He said: “Sativex is used to relieve cancer pain and treat multiple sclerosis, whilst Epidiolex is used to treat childhood epilepsy.”
Can CBD treat mental health problems or insomnia?
Professor Philip McGuire, Head of Department of Psychosis Studies at King’s College London, claims CBD has the potential to treat mental health problems. He said: “CBD may be useful as a treatment for patients with psychotic symptoms like paranoia and anxiety, as well as depression. “The effectiveness of CBD in this area is currently being evaluated in clinical trials at King’s College London.”
Can CBD cure cancer?
According to Professor Pertwee: “There is some published evidence that CBD has anti-cancer effects. “Together with collaborators, we have also obtained preclinical evidence that CBD would reduce cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.”
Will CBD oil get you high?
No – CBD oil is missing a crucial component that gives cannabis its psychotic effects, THC. Professor McGuire says: “Unless it contains significant amounts of THC, CBD won’t get you high.”