Apparently while I wasn’t looking the state of Indiana legalized the sale of cannabidiol a.k.a. CBD oil. Near as I can tell, this is not legal on the Federal level.
For those few of you who may not know, this is an oil derived from the hemp plant. Allegedly, it doesn’t get you high, but it’s proponents claim mild psychoactive effects.
What, if any, solid science is there on CBD oil’s benefits and side effects? (Getting high may be either a feature or a bug, depending on user.) Or is it an area without a lot of study?
I guess my other concern is that since this is not a commercially produced pharmaceutical (even if it is a commercially produced oil) and touted as a “natural” product is that dosages and efficacy will vary, as it tends to with natural/herbal/supplement products.
Not necessarily. That’s a concern with every “transformative industry”, that is, every industry which transforms a natural product into something else, ranging from food to oil refineries, metallurgy, the first stages of chemical production… Depending on the product, what ranges are acceptable for different specifications will vary, but whether specs are tight or wide isn’t really a function of your raw materials as much as of your market.
I’ve had a couple of clients who thought theirs was the only company in the world which had to deal with an irregular raw material. Apparently I’m developing a poker face in my old age: I managed to avoid rolling on the floor laughing till my sides hurt.
I think you are missing the point. Anything sold as ‘medication’ is manufactured to a specific dosage/strength. Any variations in the raw material have to be resolved before the drug is sold and the whole process is strictly regulated.
Unregulated ‘drugs’ like CBD and most homeopathic treatments are not regulated and variations in the quality/strength of the raw material can cause variations in the finished product. If the product is effectively a harmless placebo, it doesn’t matter much, but with CBD, individual users might have serious adverse reactions if the active ingredients are too concentrated.
CBD is legal because it comes from hemp (unless you live in a legal state?). The various canabinoids do have effects, getting high isn’t one of them. My husband vapes CBD for his pain from scoliosis. He says it only hurts when he walks now instead of always.
Yes, for some items and purposes there is considerable tolerance in regards to purity and dosage, for others the active ingredients have to be very tightly controlled.
That is, at heart, the reason we have the profession of pharmacy/apothecary and the people engaged in it have to undergo training, as well as all the rules and tests needed to produce pharmaceuticals from OTC preparations to custom-compounded rare drugs.
That doesn’t make herbal preparations and supplements inherently bad, but it does mean that some cautions is required.
The FDA approved a specific drug based on CBD oil, not the generic substance (which as noted, could vary widely in purity and concentration in the supplement market).
Jackmannii’s Law* states that the more conditions a supplement or drug is claimed to treat, the less likely it is to be really effective against any of them.
This is one of the worst arguments ever for legalizing or promoting a health product, or for attacking ones already in use. Another example: “don’t trust vaccines, because doctors used to say smoking was OK!!”.
*This Law has not been evaluated by the FDA, and is not intended to prevent, treat, cure, mitigate or worsen any conceivable medical condition, for which you should consult a licensed practitioner or at least someone with a banner ad in your local newspaper or on the Internet. All rights reserved. Show me the money.
FWIW - a couple of listings of development projects for CBD. The more extensive one is two years old, and I don’t know how complete it is - obviously, Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut have since been authorised.
There’s a coffee shop around the corner from me that sells CBD laced coffee — and lemonade and gummies and baked goods …pretty much everything CBD. And then you have the Weed World trucks that sell CBD candy and brownies.
So the standards for “authorization” must be pretty lax. This is in NYC.
The CBD website which I buy my CBD oil from has two general types: “Full Spectrum” and “Pure”. The former still has minute traces of THC and the latter none. I buy the Full Spectrum and experience a mild buzz on ingestion… I use it before bed and is good for getting to sleep. I know others who use it this way as well. Whether it has other beneficial effects somehow through the endocannabinoid system I leave to the experts… lots of anecdotal evidence out there if you look… remember that “Big Pharma” generally writes the rules and controls investigations, so the jury may be out for a long time on this
*"The global market for these products was $82 billion as of 2013, with the U.S. accounting for more than a quarter of that. Sales increased by $6 billion between 2007 and 2012. According to a document by McKinsey titled “Cashing in on the Booming Market for Dietary Supplements,” growth “is expected to remain strong through 2017, between five and six percent a year.”
Much of this growth is attributed to the fact that these products can go to market without any safety, purity, or quality testing by the FDA."*
Just legalization by itself won’t do that, though. Witness all of the many “herbal medicines” which are legal, but which still nobody knows whether they do anything (or often, even whether there’s any of the actual herb in the product at all), because there’s no regulation at all on them, and without regulation, there’s no incentive for anyone to test them.
““Increasingly, Big Pharma and Big Herba are indistinguishable,” claims (Lynn Parramore, in a Salon article). “The very same mega-companies with gigantic chemical labs that make drugs are cooking up vitamin and herbal supplements labeled with sunny terms like ‘natural’ and ‘wholesome.’ Pfizer, Unilever, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and other big pharmaceutical firms make or sell supplements.” While she does acknowledge there are a few small companies still in the mix, Parramore says they represent a tiny amount of the total sales in the $23 billion-a-year supplement business.”
Here’s a listing of companies already in the CBD oil business. While their market share compared to the big players is relatively small, expect them to be bought out or heavily competed with in the future by the giants.