Cannabis oil (also called hemp oil, or cannabidiol, or CBD) is made from an extract of the cannabis plant, and is a natural anti-inflammatory. Hemp oil is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including:
- Cancer (this is a little more complicated than just cancer. It’s also used to treat heart disease, nausea, and weight loss, and a host of other things that can cause inflammation),
- Depression (see depression: a legal supplement, the causes of depression, and how to treat it),
- Epilepsy (this is a little more complicated than just epilepsy. It’s also used to treat seizures in children and anti-nausea and anti-spasms, and anti-aero inflammation.
- Insomnia (for conditions that can cause trouble sleeping), it’s used to relieve the symptoms of insomnia.
This list is far from complete, but it should give you an excellent idea of what hemp oil can do.
Why is using hemp oil a good idea?
This helps to explain why it is used to treat non-cancerous tumors, why it is used to treat cancer patients, and why it’s used to help prevent the symptoms of depression and insomnia (it can be used alongside other types of drugs for more serious situations, though).
The second reason is because it’s a great alternative to pharmaceuticals. Many prescription painkillers are addictive and harmful (as many prescription stimulants are). Marijuana is far more free of these side effects. Marijuana also contains some analgesic effects, and mood enhancers, which might be useful to someone suffering from mental health issues.
Are there any conditions which marijuana can’t treat?
Medical Marijuana laws vary across the world, but the laws tend to follow a pretty standard pattern. You’ll need to contact your local government before you can make use of this treatment. As of the date of this writing, the state of Illinois has passed a law allowing people to use marijuana for any condition, but there are still plenty of states left where this is illegal.
Are there any side effects that I should be aware of?
It’s probably best to discuss this with a healthcare professional before consuming marijuana. Depending on your current medications, THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) might cause slight adverse effects (especially if you haven’t yet been diagnosed with a serious medical condition). The side effects you experience may be mild or severe, but you should try to understand if you are experiencing mild side effects (and if you have already been diagnosed with a serious medical condition, that it’s best to stop using cannabis) before trying out a treatment that might cause serious adverse effects.
Here’s a little guide to talking about the potential side effects of marijuana with your doctor.
I read that consuming marijuana can help in severe pain. Will that be any different if I take THC or not?
In general, whether or not a person should take THC is a personal decision. For people who suffer from very severe pain, whether or not they should use medical marijuana is a different question. The treatment might be helpful in some cases, but you should discuss this with a healthcare professional before using it.
It sounds like THC might be more addictive than CBD. What are the side effects of taking it?
Some people may experience some craving and withdrawal symptoms after using it for the first time. These symptoms usually subside after the person has a few days without using the drug.
What kind of recreational uses are there? Is it even legal to use it recreationally?
The federal government has been reluctant to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, as they see it, which is why it’s often sold through a dispensary. If you have access to legal weed, most recreational activities are the same as if you were smoking cannabis in the privacy of your own home.
Unfortunately, legalizing marijuana in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, which all have recreational marijuana laws on the books, has triggered new levels of money laundering, and possibly organized crime. Therefore, it’s important to look for medical marijuana dispensaries when ordering marijuana, and not buy from individuals who claim they are in the “medical marijuana” business but actually are selling other high-risk products.
Do CBD oil and other hemp-derived medicines have any other medicinal applications besides pain relief?
They have many uses besides pain relief. Some people are experimenting with CBD to help with epilepsy, and anecdotal evidence suggests CBD can help with acne, psoriasis, and other autoimmune diseases. There are many strains of hemp derived medicines (flowers, oils, salves) that are capable of relieving chronic pain, nausea, and inflammation.
There are many companies that make supplements that claim to cure illnesses like cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Autism, but these products are also created from hemp, which means they also have all the same potential health risks as THC itself. (5)
The Hemp Medical Research Institute also provides a short list of over 100 different medical uses for hemp, but even these are not necessarily true. In fact, some of the sites that discuss medical uses for hemp are funded by chemical, pharmaceutical, or hemp industry companies that are using misinformation to claim that hemp medicines can cure or treat serious conditions. For example, a site called “Cannabis Health” claims that hemp can kill cancer cells. However, it’s just a propaganda site, funded by a pharmaceutical company, and the CBD in the hemp is pure petroleum-based toxin that is likely causing cancer in the animals used to test its effectiveness. (6)
What makes hemp so attractive is that it can be cultivated for any purpose. For example, hemp seeds are one of the foods with a high cannabinoid content that can be converted into energy and sold as a source of dietary fat, protein, and fiber. According to some experts, hemp can be an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, such as iron.
It’s hard to imagine how a crop such as hemp could ever hurt an entire industry. Yet some industries are so negatively affected by the legalization of hemp, it’s hard to keep track. For example, hemp farmers are going after farmers, and farmers are going after grocery stores, firemen, and educators.
For example, a patent fight has erupted in the past few years between the hemp industry and a utility company called Eversource. It seems that hemp fertilizers are less than perfect, and that some of them are full of chlorine.
Fortunately, EPA and USDA are starting to enforce the federal law and have threatened to revoke these companies’ patents for lax processes. I can’t predict how this will play out in the end, but it’s exciting to see hemp successfully able to compete on even playing fields in the 21st Century economy.
The commercial development of hemp is very damaging to the environment. Take the amount of energy needed to grow hemp; its production uses as much energy as farming corn. Only 10% of a hemp plant is actually utilized by the plant. Even if that 10% was utilized, it would still not equal out to the amount of energy it takes to grow a single corn kernel, let alone all the food crops that would have been grown in a dense hemp fields. So, if it’s such a good deal for the environment, why does it need to be cultivated?