The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Cannabidiols (CBD) have been used as prescription drugs to treat a wide variety of illnesses. However, its sell over the counter (OTC) is prohibited. It can only be purchased by those who have a prescription in states where recreational use is prohibited. In most cases, the benefits outweigh any effects. How would the medical world change if CBD was available as an over-the-counter medication?
The marijuana or hemp plants are mainly known for making people high. It is illegal to use it for this purpose in most countries. What many people do not know is that this plant contains various components and only one of those is responsible for its psychotic effects. These products are known as cannabinoids and the two main ones are cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is responsible for the psychological effects of cannabis including euphoria, mild hallucinations, and that ‘high’ feeling.
The cannabidiol part of hemp and marijuana is the useful part that is believed to have healing properties. This chemical has been used for a long time as a natural remedy to issues like anxiety and chronic pain. CBD is the chemical you will find in cannabis prescription drugs.
The use of CBD in the medical field remained controversial for a very long time. After a lot of research, a prescription form of CBD was approved for treating epilepsy in 2018. The drug, called Epidiolex was approved for treating severe forms of epilepsy caused by Dravet syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Cannabis derivatives have also been used to treat vomiting and nausea associated with chemotherapy.
Chronic pain has been shown to be alleviated by the use of CBD-containing medication. Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis can be made less severe by the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol.
CBD may be used to treat mental disorders like anxiety and insomnia. It may also help with improving mood and memory.
Cannabidiols are available in several formulations. The variety of options would be really good if this drug was to be accepted as an over-the-counter medication. People would be able to choose what works best for them and their conditions.
Oral tablets – these are taken by mouth with a cup of water.
Oils and tinctures – A few drops are placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve into the body.
Suppositories – These are inserted into the rectum where they are absorbed into the bloodstream.
Topical applications – Though rare, creams and lotions containing cannabidiol can be applied directly on the skin.
Inhalable formulations – Cannabidiol is available in powders and oils that can be inhaled. This is usually done through vaping e-cigarettes.
Cannabidiol oil is by far the most common formulation. This may be extracted from hemp or marijuana plants. The cannabidiol part of the plant is extracted and mixed with an oil base such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil. CBD oil is sold in small brown bottles and the dosage is usually in drops. If you have a prescription or recreational license in some areas, you can buy full extract cannabis oil from an online retailer. This oil contains many terpenes and cannabinoids that can help with several medical issues.
Like all medications, cannabidiol is likely to cause some side effects when used. Some side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
In order to reduce the chances of experiencing side effects, cannabidiol must be taken in the right dosages. Oral intake should not exceed 200mg per day and should not be used for more than 13 weeks.
CBD oil extracted from hemp is better than that extracted from marijuana. The latter is likely to contain high levels of THC which may worsen side effects like drowsiness. Hemp contains only 0.3% THC and therefore the chances of this THC ending up in cannabidiol products are low.
People who are pregnant, breastfeeding, under the age of 18, or suffer from liver disease should not take CBD. Those using other medications should consult their doctors before taking CBD so as to avoid adverse interactions.
Over-the-counter CBD products would make sure that all people can benefit from the healing effects of this product. People could easily access this medication when they need it. Whether for treating pain, anxiety, seizures, or any other conditions, CBD would help many people get relief. However, proper monitoring of CBD use would still be needed to ensure those using it are safe.