There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that Cannabidiol (CBD) oil – a concentrated oily extract produced from cannabis – can help treat many different ailments. It’s believed to help with everything from epileptic seizures to opioid addiction, PTSD to arthritis. But despite CBD oil’s high profile status, there’s still plenty of confusion as to what it actually is, and what it’s made from. Certain kinds of CBD oil are already legally available in the UK – including those created from hemp – whereas other types are extremely much illegal in the UK – though are for sale to buy in other countries
CBD oil obtained from hemp is frequently marketed being a food supplement to promote well-being – much like other herbals like Echinacea – and increase the immune system. Although Hemp CBD oil is legal, it is far from a medicine and really should not be confused with the current confiscation of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell’s CBD oil at Heathrow airport.
To date, so confusing, but a part of the problem is that terms like cannabis and hemp are often used interchangeably – which masks the nuances and complexities from the cannabis plant. Cannabis sativa L, the scientific name from the cannabis plant, is cultivated to produce two distinctive products – industrial hemp, and cannabis. The real difference between hemp and cannabis is dependant on two criteria. First, the levels of cannabinoids – a family of chemical compounds, the cannabis plant naturally produces – and 2nd, the final use.
Hemp vs cannabis – But this is when it gets even more confusing because cannabis could be bred to generate different strains. Cannabis consumed for recreational purposes is selectively bred to optimise high THC content strains – to maximise the “high” feeling. But cannabis also includes CBD, which is actually a non-psychoactive component. Hemp, on the other hand, is harnessed as seed, oil and fibre to create a variety of products. It really is cultivated to produce a low power of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC – in addition to higher amounts of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD. Cannabis is classified as hemp if it possesses a maximum degree of .2% THC. Billy’s CBD oil, confiscated at Heathrow, was created from cannabis having a higher-level than .2% of THC – so that it was classed as cannabis, which is the reason it was confiscated.
Medical marijuana – A recent survey conducted by Sky News found that 82% with their poll subjects agreed that medical cannabis ought to be legalised. Professor Dame Sally Davies, the main medical officer for England, who was appointed to analyze the present scientific and medical evidence, concerning the therapeutic properties of cannabis-based products, also believes this. She recently said that “doctors must be able to prescribe” cannabis. Davies has recommended removing cannabis from schedule azudqw classification – which covers a small group of drugs thought to have zero medical purpose, that cannot be legally possessed or prescribed.
In Billy Caldwell’s case, the house secretary, Sajid Javid, decided to grant Billy access to imported CBD oil. This fresh strategy to reconsider the classification of cannabis has been seminal, and mirrors wider sentiment in other countries. In the US, for example, medical cannabis programmes have been initiated in 30 states. Hence, medical tourism to Canada – where cannabis is legal for medicinal purposes – and also the US to gain access to CBD oil.