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Hemp CBD oil - Is it really what it is? - (7/10/2018)

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro 

When Joey came into the pharmacy, the pharmacist thought this patient found yet another doctor who was willing to write him a prescription for a benzo, like Xanax®, or an opioid. Joey is likely a pill popper – but he plays by the rules. No requests for early refills. No lame excuses that his medicine accidentally got flushed down the toilet. The prescriptions do not appear forged or altered in any way. His reasons for getting these drugs were vague: nervousness, pain, insomnia. So when Joey saddled up to the pharmacist and motioned for him to come closer, he was curious as to what Joey wanted. 

“Hey, Doc,” Joey said. “I heard that hemp oil was legal and you do not need a prescription for it. Does it really work? Heh, heh.” “Depends on what you want it to do,” replied the pharmacist. Now, the pharmacist knew that Joey heard the word “hemp” and assumed it was liquid marijuana. So, the pharmacist wanted to set Joey straight on this topic so that Joey would not be disappointed.  

First, there is hemp oil and hemp CBD oil. They are two different products and neither of them is “medical marijuana”. Hemp oil is made from industrial grade hempseed and is manufactured from varieties of Cannabis sativa that do not contain significant amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element present in the cannabis or marijuana plant. It is used as a food supplement and can replace other edible oils that are higher in saturated fats. Hemp oil also has omega-3 and omega-6, which, theoretically, can lower cholesterol levels. Cannabidiol (CBD) is also a natural component of industrial cannabis or hemp. It is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of hemp and not from its seeds like hemp oil. While hemp oil is a food, hemp CBD oil has medicinal properties. While it might not get Joey high, CBD-rich products have the potential to treat a wide range of conditions— pain, cancer, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, heart disease, anxiety, seizures, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and autism. Unlike medical marijuana, no prescription is needed to buy hemp CBD oil.

The tricky part of about manufacturing CBD oil is that you need a certain amount of THC to make it work medically. This is a balancing act: too much THC can make the patient psychotic, paranoid, and anxious. Also, if the ratio between THC and CBD is high, then the beneficial effects of the CBD are lessened. With a 1:2 CBD:THC ratio, you will still feel the high from the THC but due to the presence of CBD, this will result in a much more relaxed feeling with minimal side effects from the THC. A higher CBD content, such as 2:1, completely gets rid of the commonly associated effects of THC – the good (euphoria) and the bad (paranoia). This kind of ratio is ideal for sensitive patients, or those who prefer not to get high. Of all the cannabinoid ratios, patients seem to find that a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio provides the most effective medicinal properties for a vast range of medical conditions. Using a cannabis strain or product with this ratio delivers a relaxing effect with a minimal high. Patients describe feelings of mild euphoria, calmness, and tranquility, with very few side effects. 

If you buy hemp CBD oil, get it from a reliable source, and not from a company that promises it will cure everything that ails you. Check the CBD:THC ratio to find the concentration that suits you. The pharmacist could not help but notice that Joey was disappointed with this information. After all, he was expecting something entirely different. Heh, heh. 

Ron Gasbarro, PharmD, is a registered pharmacist, medical writer, and principal at Rx-Press.com. Read more at www.rx-press.com



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