The Home Office has recently launched a review into the medical uses of cannabis-based products. Doctors may soon be able to prescribe cannabis-based products for epilepsy and other medical conditions legally. While cannabis itself is not considered medicine and is illegal, cannabidiol (CBD) is legally sold and may be considered as medicine if advertised as such.
In 2016, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued guidelines stating that products containing CBD that are used for medicinal purposes are medicine and can only be sold or produced by licenced companies. Selling organic CBD oil in the UK as food supplements allow retailers and manufacturers to remain within the law.
Growing Popularity of Using CBD for Pain Relief
CBD oil and products containing it are legal as long as its tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content remains less than 0.2%. THC is the compound that gives users a “high.” CBD oil, especially in pure form and when derived from industrial hemp, has little to no THC. As a result, it has no psychoactive effect and can be safely ingested by nearly any patient, even children with health problems, to help manage their condition.
In fact, patients with chronic pain and other chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis have turned to CBD oil for better pain relief. The Cannabis Trades Association UK shares that the number of CBD oil users has doubled since last year; it now reaches 250,000.
Unlike narcotic painkillers, CBD oil provides relief from chronic pain without any adverse effects. It can be taken in several forms as well; CBD oil can be ingested, inhaled or applied topically through creams or gels to provide optimum pain relief. Patients are able to use CBD oil regularly without getting addicted or dependent on the product. Moreover, there has yet to be any reported case of CBD overdose.
The Endocannabinoid System
CBD oil and other cannabis-derived products work by replicating a natural process in the human body. The endocannabinoid system (ECS ) refers to a set of cell receptors in the body that helps regulate day-to-day bodily functions like mood, sleep and motor control. The primary receptors of the ECS, often referred to as cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2), are found throughout the body, although the nervous and immune systems have a higher concentration of CB1 and CB2, respectively.
Anandamide, a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the body, has a similar effect to cannabis-derived compounds, such as THC and CBD. It binds and stimulates the cannabinoid cell receptors to maintain optimal balance or homeostasis in the body. Anandamide causes several physiological effects, including altering blood pressure and pain response, to return the body’s internal balance to normal levels. CBD reduces the breaking down of anandamide, which helps improve the body’s response to health problems.
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