CBD a pain-relieving anti-inflammatory substance is so closely linked to marijuana, its medicinal use has been stifled.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 active cannabinoids in marijuana and hemp that affect the physiology of the human body.
“CBD has no psychoactive properties at all,” Dr. Jeff Popp said, “So it can be a great way to control pain and inflammation without altering the mind”
But THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid, also is present in hemp and marijuana.
“The one with the most press is THC because it’s psychoactive, which means it can alter your brain and cause hallucinations,” he said.
So if CBD isn’t psychoactive but great for pain and inflammation, what’s the problem?
Its strong association with marijuana and long-illegal THC, that’s what.
The federal government classifies cannabis as a Class 1 drug, the same as heroin, cocaine and others. That also means the FDA feels it has no value or use to humans. As a result, Dr. Popp said not enough research has been done on cannabis or CBD for medical uses.
He said there’s debate about how to balance the medicinal use of CBD and the recreational use of marijuana and THC.
“CBD enhances the immune system and reduces pain. Unfortunately, it’s going down with the ship because of its association with THC,” he said.
He notes CBD derived from hemp sources contains less than 1 percent THC, which makes it legal for medicinal use in all 50 states. And CBD’s benefits are numerous.
The number of bad side effects in patients who use CBD are far fewer than for those who use prescription medicines, he said. Studies show patients can’t overdose on the medicine.
“We use CBD for some of our patients. I use hemp-grown CBD for pain management, which is completely legal,” he said. “Actually, you’ve been able to buy hemp oil for years almost anywhere.”
He said Colorado growers hope to breed hybrid hemp plants with high CBD levels but no THC. The resulting medicine is legally shipped throughout the country.
Have a question for Dr. Popp? Call his office at 402-391-4558.