U.S. Surgeon General Takes No Position on CBD Oil


INDIANAPOLIS–News channel WTHR 13 on Monday reported that U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told them that neither Health and Human Services or the Food and Drug Administration currently has a position on nationwide CBD legalization, but that “components” of it are being studied.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many compounds derived from hemp and whole plant cannabis. Unlike THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD does not have a psychoactive affect, but is used widely for its reported beneficial properties.

CBD oil is increasingly used as an alternative medicinal therapy for patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, and other serious medical conditions.

“We want to make sure folks understand the benefits and the dangers of any medication that is out there,” Dr. Adams told WTHR. “Used properly, some of these substances can be helpful, but misuse can lead us down the path of addiction. That’s what we want folks to remember.”

Dr. Adams was speaking to the news channel regarding recent legalization of CBD oil in Indiana, and also to promote a new ad campaign addressing the opioid crisis. Dr. Adams on Thursday issued a statement regarding the ‘Truth on Opioids’ campaign:

“Opioid addiction can happen to anyone. It can happen all too quickly and lead you down a dark path once thought unimaginable. We are hopeful that these hard-hitting ads will prevent young people from a fate that is all too familiar in our country today,” he stated.

“Perhaps if there was a campaign like this when my brother was growing up, he might have avoided his powerful addiction and been spared its consequences. While the ‘Truth on Opioids’ ads may be shocking, so are the almost countless stories of addiction and overdose in our communities–especially among our youth.

“Our partnership with the Truth Initiative and the Ad Council–entities with a proven track record of connecting with youth–can help us turn addiction and despair into hope and recovery. We need Americans to understand that there truly is a crisis next door, and that awareness of the dangers of opioids must be part of the solution. These ads are an important part of the Administration’s comprehensive response.”

Numerous media reports and studies have showed that CBD products or cannabis-derived medications may be a promising alternative for those with intractable pain, as well as recent research that showed states with access to legal cannabis had lowered rates of opioid use.

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Not Feeling the Magic of CBD? It Could Be Because of This

You’ve read numerous stories about how CBD has changed people’s lives. You’ve heard it referred to as “nature’s Xanax.” You’ve done your due diligence and devoured articles about how CBD can help relieve anxiety, reduce inflammation, and even help your workouts. So you decided to try it and experience the magic for yourself. And then . . . nothing happened. If you’ve tried CBD and it didn’t work for you, several factors could be at play. POPSUGAR spoke to experts to find out common reasons CBD doesn’t work for people.

A quick refresher: CBD (cannabidiol) is an active compound found in hemp, but it’s nonpsychoactive. Read: it doesn’t get you high. In addition to its antianxiety and anti-inflammation benefits, there’s evidence that it can treat issues like IBD and epilepsy.

You’re Not Taking the Right Dose

“There is plenty of science behind CBD oil,” said Dr. Elaine Burns, founder of the Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation Centers in Phoenix and CEO of DrBurns’ ReLeaf products. “If it isn’t working for someone, it is either low-quality or the dosing is incorrect. Usually it’s a combination of both.” She went on to explain that since everyone has the same chemical receptors, if someone isn’t responding to CBD, that typically leads her to believe either the product is inferior or the dosage is off.

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Finding the correct dosage of CBD is complicated. “CBD at the tiny doses that people are taking (10 to 40 milligrams) is simply not effective,” said Jordan Tishler, MD, a Harvard physician, cannabis therapeutics specialist, and the CEO/CMO at InhaleMD. He pointed out studies on CBD that show that doses need to be much, much higher — think 600 to 1,200 mg.

However, Dr. Burns told POPSUGAR that “there is no magic number because every condition is different. Dosing depends on the severity and chronic nature of a condition. There’s an art and science to all of this, so there is no blanket one-answer-fits-all dosage.” She starts her patients at a low dose and gradually increases the dosage. (POPSUGAR spoke to several doctors about how to find the right CBD dose here.)

Another factor: “It depends on what they are trying to treat and the bioavailability of the product,” said Jordan Dorn, the cofounder of LionCura, a wholesale CBD supplier to restaurants and health markets in Los Angeles. Bioavailability is how easily your body can absorb the product, he explained.

Your Product Isn’t High-Quality

Todd Mitchem, managing partner and cannabis expert at DacorumStrategies.com, told POPSUGAR that one of the biggest issues is the lack of regulation in mail-order and over-the-counter CBD products. “If the consumer lives in a state with legal cannabis, we always recommend they go there first since the regulated products are far safer and of better quality.”

If you don’t live in a state with legal cannabis, you’re not totally out of luck — you just need to do your research on the products you’re buying. “Unfortunately, some products could have a very low concentration or even no CBD at all,” said Joel Stanley, cofounder and chairman of CW Hemp. “Sadly, when the FDA tested CBD products and released the results to the public, many of the products contained fractional to no CBD. It’s important to look for a trusted brand and reputable manufacturer.” He said to find out if it controls the manufacturing process “from seed to shelf,” to ask where its raw materials are sourced from, and to see if it does the CBD extraction itself. “A consumer should be able to request batch testing that shows purity and potency,” he added.

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You May Need a Blend of Cannabinoids

“If a person purchases a high-quality CBD product, the key is that they know what CBD does and does not do,” said Mitchem. “CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. You may in fact need a more complex cannabinoid profile in the plant for it to be effective,” he explained. High-quality CBD can help with ailments like depression, and highly concentrated topical CBD can also be very effective for pain, he explained. If you want to use CBD to treat chronic ailments like Crohn’s disease, he said you would benefit more from a blend of CBD and another cannabinoid, like THC. But THC is a psychoactive compound, so these formulations would only be available in states where marijuana is legal.

You can find full spectrum vetted brand here @cbdfx

You Haven’t Been Using It Long Enough

“The longer-term effects of CBD, such as the anti-inflammatory properties, require daily use, and the benefits can be felt after two to four weeks,” said Dorn. “CBD over time interacts with the cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system and the immune system to trigger a response from your cells, thus creating the painkilling and anti-inflammatory effects.” In regular-person speak, this means that it takes a bit of time for it to start working.

“Even though some consumers have quick success, this is a dietary supplement,” Stanley said. “It takes time for some of us to experience something as simple as balance in our body. Balance can appear in very different ways for different people. Also, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label.”

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Marijuana and the components derived from it are already known to treat a myriad of medical conditions, but researchers now think that it might also help smokers drop the habit.

Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis also known as CBD, has already shown promise in treating anxiety and even seizures, but researchers believe that it can help people cut down on smoking, according to a study from the Addiction journal. An earlier study showed that CBD users reduced smoking by 40 percent after a week compared to people who were given a placebo.

Researchers at the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit of University College London wanted to investigate if CBD might be a better alternative to smoking cessation drugs, easing the nasty symptoms of withdrawal that often make it very difficult to quit.

“I wanted to investigate if a component of cannabis, cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid could be used in a positive way, to treat withdrawal,” author Chandni Hindocha told website PsyPost.

The team of researchers looked at smokers who had stopped taking in any nicotine overnight. Some of the participants took one 800-milligram dose of CBD while the others were given a placebo. Researchers then observed that those who were given the placebo had a stronger response to photos related to smoking than those who were given CBD. This meant that people who use CBD have fewer intrusive thoughts about smoking, and therefore have a better chance of kicking the habit.

Still, researchers found that the single dose of CBD did not help with withdrawal symptoms and nicotine cravings, which are often what keep people hooked.

However, Hindocha said that it’s possible that if patients continued to use CBD over a longer period of time, or perhaps at a higher dose, they could start seeing more improvements. It’s clear that there are benefits to using CBD as a tool to quit smoking, but there are still many questions about its effectiveness in comparison to smoking cessation drugs, Hindocha told the PsyPost.

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Cannabis extract CBD now legal in Kansas — with one big caveat

The CBD products are back at Into the Mystic, Eddie Smith’s shop in downtown Mission. And this time it looks like they’re back to stay.

It was just about a year ago that local police came into Smith’s shop and confiscated everything that contained CBD, or cannabidiol, a marijuana extract that people who are into alternative medicine use for a variety of maladies.

At the time, Smith said he thought the law on CBD was unclear. Now, thanks to lobbying by Smith’s customers and others like them, it is clear: anyone can possess, use or sell CBD in the state, as long as it contains no tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the ingredient in marijuana that gets people high.

“It has been a roller coaster,” Smith said.

The Kansas Legislature voted at the end of April to exclude CBD with no THC from the the state’s definition of marijuana, effectively making it an unrestricted substance.

The state’s decision to dip its toe into the shallowest end of the medical marijuana pool came with surprisingly little resistance. Only three House members voted against it. No senators did.

The raid on Smith’s shop was one of the catalysts for change.

Smith was one of several Kansas City area merchants selling CBD products made with trace amounts of THC. They believed it was legal under a federal farm bill that allows for the cultivation of “industrial hemp,” which is a form of cannabis bred with 0.3 percent THC or less.

After Smith’s stock was confiscated, his CBD supplier, Kansas City-based American Shaman, set him up with a lawyer in case he got charged with possessing or selling marijuana.

That didn’t happen.

But Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe and Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay wrote to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt asking him to clarify CBD’s legality under state law.

Schmidt issued a formal A.G. opinion in January, during the opening weeks of the legislative session. It was unequivocal: any form of marijuana is against the law in Kansas, even if it can’t get you high.

Clint Blaes, a spokesman for Schmidt, said at the time that Schmidt anticipated some blowback.

“We are aware of the social and policy debates on this subject, and those who disagree with current law are, of course, free to ask the legislature to change it,” Blaes said.

They did so.

Kansas Rep. Dan Hawkins, the chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee, said after Schmidt’s opinion came out, legislators felt pressured to act.

By then, he and others on his committee were already familiar with CBD because of past hearings that included families desperate to try CBD for treating their children’s persistent seizures.

“Ultimately it gained wide support in the House (of Representatives) because of the attention that had been given to CBD oil for several years,” Hawkins said. “It wasn’t new to the House.”

There’s scant data on whether CBD is any good for most medical conditions, because of federal limitations on marijuana research. But a growing body of evidence suggests it helps ease the symptoms of hard-to-treat seizure disorders in some cases.

One well-known example is a product called Charlotte’s Web, that was developed in Colorado and featured in a CNN report by physician-journalist Sanjay Gupta.

Smith said that will remain illegal, because it contains small amounts of THC. But he predicted efforts to legalize it and other forms of medical marijuana will only grow as legal CBD becomes normal in Kansas.

Thirty states allow medical marijuana but the Kansas House voted it down 54-69 this year.

“We’re going to get there,” Smith said. “Recreational (marijuana legalization)? That’s down the road and Missouri will get it before Kansas. But everything is one step further.”

Smith said he never got back the CBD stock that was taken last year, which he estimated had a wholesale value of about $4,000.

But he said the weeks that followed were still some of the best he’s had, business-wise, because people who disagreed with the police crackdown kept coming in to his shop and buying novelty items just to support him.

“I never felt alone,” Smith said. “I never felt that I’m in this by myself.”

Eddie Smith is selling cannabidiol, or CBD, products again at his shop in Mission after the Kansas Legislature voted to legalize the marijuana extract. Mission police seized Smith's CBD stock last year, saying it was prohibited under Kansas law.

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