Since the early 1990s, several countries around the globe have rediscovered hemp as a versatile renewable raw material and an ideally viable commercial crop. Most individuals throughout the world have a tendency to identify hemp as a crop that produces fiber, clothing, seed foodstuffs and fuel oil, but have you ever considered the prospective medicinal usages that this miraculous plant has to offer?
In the United States, the perceived drug potential of industrial hemp is one of the hindrances to its re-legalization as a commercial crop. As most of us in the cannabis community know, the THC content of industrial hemp that is farmed commercially is as low as 0.2 percent.
When comparing that particularly low percentage to the high-THC levels of cannabis that is currently cultivated for medicinal purposes it makes one question the medical benefits of hemp.
The answer lies in the extremely high levels of Cannabidiol or CBD that low-THC industrial hemp contains, with some varieties testing at ranges between 2 and 17 percent overall CBD.
Up until just a few years ago, there has been essentially no published investigational research on the drug potential of industrial hemp due to the fact that our federal government chose to unjustly categorize it as a controlled substance.
According to reports to the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine, several persons in recent years have attempted to produce pharmacological effects for medicinal and recreational purposes by ingesting or smoking fiber hemp.
However, these individuals didn’t experience any of the analgesic or cannabinoid effects caused by the ingestion of drug type cannabis or from the Food and Drug Administration approved dronabinol (THC) that can be legally prescribed by physicians.
In fact, studies have shown that cannabis with higher levels of CBD can actually antagonize the effects that THC has on the brain’s cannabinoid receptor. In other words, the higher the CBD levels compared to THC can have an adverse result on the psychotropic effects one normally experiences with low-CBD/high-THC cannabis.
CBD on its own doesn’t exert any psychotropic effects, but several other clinically pertinent properties have been discovered in past and recent studies. Among them are anticonvulsant effects in epileptic patients and antidystonic effects in movement disorders. It has also been shown to retain sleep-inducing, anxiety relieving and anti-psychotic effects.
High doses of THC can induce anxiety, panic reactions and functional psychotic states among certain individuals, but a research group found significant anxiety reduction occurred in a model of speech simulation after administering 300 mg of CBD, comparable to that caused by 10 mg of the pharmaceutical sedative diazepam.
The very same research group treated a young schizophrenic man who was admitted to a medical care facility for aggressive behavior, self-injury, incoherent thoughts and hallucinations. Over a period of four weeks the young man in question received daily doses of up to 1,500 mg CBD and all of his symptoms improved extraordinarily.
Scientists at Temple University conducted a research study on lab mice to attempt to prevent the neuropathic pain that can result from the use of the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel via the use of a Cannabidiol extract.
Among the study mice that were administered the chemotherapy drug; those that also received Cannabidiol displayed a significant reduction in their sensitivity to pain compared to the subject’s that were given paclitaxel by itself.
“From what we’ve seen so far, it’s almost a complete prevention of the onset of the neuropathic pain,” explained Sara Jane Ward, research assistant professor at Temple’s School of Pharmacy and the study’s lead author.
Another study conducted by two scientists at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute showed that the use of Cannabidiol has the ability to “turn off” the activity of a gene responsible for metastasis in breast and other types of cancers.
“The preclinical trial data is very strong, and there’s no toxicity. There’s really a lot of research to move ahead with and to get people excited,” proclaimed Sean McAllister, who along with his colleague Pierre Desprez, have comprehensively studied cannabinoids and refer to them as potent inhibitors of metastatic disease.
According to Dr. William Courtney, a medical cannabis expert and founder of Cannabis International, the molecule Cannabidiol bridges the gap of neurotransmission in the central nervous system, including in the brain, by providing a two-way system of communication that completes a positive “feedback loop.”
As opposed to a one-way transmission, which can stimulate chronic inflammation of healthy tissue, the unique two-way transmission system engaged by CBDs imitates the body’s own natural two-way communications system.
This means that individuals whose systems are compromised by autoimmune disorders, cellular dysfunction, chronic inflammation, cancer cells, and various other illnesses can derive a wide range of health-promoting benefits simply by consuming CBDs.
Dr. Ethan Russo, Seattle, Washington area physician and senior advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals, a British drug company that is utilizing CBDs in their product Sativex, explains the reason why the use of Cannabidiol might be effective for overall wellness in human beings.
“There’s a tendency to discount claims when something appears to be good for everything, but there’s a reason this is the case,” Dr. Russo declared. ”The endogenous cannabinoid system acts as a modulator in fine-tuning a lot of these systems, and if something is deranged biochemically in a person’s body, it may well be that a cannabinoid system can bring things back into balance.”
It seems that the beneficial properties of industrial hemp are almost limitless, especially when considering the fact that it has the ability to produce high levels of the potentially life-saving molecule CBD without producing a sufficient psychotropic level of THC, which is the reason the federal government uses when attempting to rationalize the fact that industrial hemp remains illegal to cultivate. It’s time for the politicians in Washington to come up with a new line of bureaucratic-bull chips because that particular argument is about as effective as a lead filled balloon.
We can only hope that further studies will continue to reveal the truth regarding the hemp plant and all of its phenomenal uses which would also be effective in helping pro-hemp advocates prove that the prohibition of hemp cultivation is beyond unjust and inhumane.