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CBD oil has been shown in a number of studies to be effective for the management of some types of pain. Additional studies are needed to resolve inconsistencies in previous studies and a fragmented regulatory system for marijuana products continues to hamper studies and appropriate regulation, but the future does appear bright for this cannabinoid product in various treatments.
Marijuana is the buds and leaves of the cannabis sativa plant, which is both cultivated and also grows wild in warm and tropical climates globally. It is known by many names including pot, weed, cannabis, ganja and Mary Jane but recently the public has also heard of THC oil and CBD oil.
Marijuana has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries. There are more than 60 active agents in marijuana and five of these are called cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. These are the two most subject to scientific study at this time. THC is the active ingredient which makes users “high” or intoxicated.
The American Cancer Society recognizes that THC can help to relieve pain and nausea. It can also reduce inflammation. CBD also has antioxidant properties. CBD can help treat seizures, reduce anxiety as well as paranoia and can counteract THC. The ACS is also aware that different stains can affect people differently and that the active components in marijuana can have a different effect depending on how they are introduced. They also point out that smoked marijuana delivers other agents to the body along with THC and CBD, some of which are harmful.
The FDA has not approved crude marijuana for any medical use and the DEA lists marijuana and its cannabinoids as Schedule I controlled substances. These cannot be prescribed, possessed or sold under federal law. However some states have enacted laws allowing for marijuana use to treat certain medical conditions. Further the FDA has approved Dronabinol (a THC drug) and Nabilone (a cannabinoid drug) to treat some conditions.
CBD is one of five cannabinoids that are found in marijuana and in lesser concentrations in hemp. CBD oil is produced from the cannabis sativa plant with a focus on extracting the cannabidiol, though it may contain other cannabinoids and active agents from the plant along with chemicals introduced during growth and manufacturing.
Marijuana and Cancer
The American Cancer Society recognizes that small studies have shown that smoked marijuana can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. It can also improve food intake in HIV patients. Inhaled marijuana can be helpful in the treatment of neuropathic pain. There are no studies of the effects of marijuana oil on people, however they do acknowledge that studies have shown that people who took forms of marijuana extract in clinical trials needed less pain medication.
Recently, scientists report that THC and CBD slow the growth of and even kill some types of cancer cells in petri dishes. In animal studies, some cannabinoids might slow the growth and limit the spread of some types of cancer. However in humans, though studies have shown that cannabinoids are safe cancer treatment, so far they do not show that cannabinoids help control or kill the disease. They recommend that conventional treatment for cancer not be delayed to prevent the risk of serious health consequences.
Endorsements by the American Cancer Society
The ACS support the need for further research and the enactment of laws that allow that research to happen in a better way. They also state that decisions about pain management and symptom management should be made between doctor and patient keeping at the forefront a balanced, informed perspective that is respectful of the laws and regulations that apply. For the above reasons, the ACS CAN takes no position on legalization of marijuana for medical purposes.