CBD Oil: Medicinal Uses, Health Benefits, and Risks

At the end of XIX century, the most powerful woman in the world, Queen Victoria took Cannabis for reducing the pain during her menses. It was used as a natural painkiller.At  that time, it was already recognized by millennia of use. As far as 4000 years ago, Chinese emperors of the old drank Marijuana tea as a medicine.

Until the first quarter of XX  century in Europe and in US Cannabis was used and even prescribed by doctors for medical use. Only after it took hold the idea of analogy between cannabis and opium, probably  spread by Egyptians Sunni integrationists governments that were waging a campaign to eradicate Sufism and other forms of unorthodox religious forms, in which made was common practice the use of cannabis, very common in the country. Bans came in western countries very quickly and in 1928 the state of Victoria was the first Australian state to prohibit use of Marijuana.

From then, recognizing the therapeutic uses of Cannabis has been a long journey through prejudices, political positions and other forms of preconceived notions. Today most countries are permitting some use of medical cannabis and some other permit even a recreational use. Between them an increasing number of US states are lifting prohibition laws. In Australia medicinal use of Cannabis is permitted from 2016 and from 2020 in Australia Capital Territory will be possible to use cannabis for recreational purposes.

Cannabis is a plant rich in chemicals which interact with neurotransmitters in our brain. Between these “cannabinoids”, there are over 100, the most studied are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol): the first one being the responsible of psychoactive effects of cannabis, while the latter the most used for its therapeutic benefits.

Cannabidiol was isolated for the first time in the Illinois University in the forties. It was clear since then that CBD hasn’t the same psychoactive effects of THC. Scientific research has been slowed especially after the seventies by war on drugs and only recently it was possible to conduct systematic studies on the medicinal properties of Cannabis. Research on cannabidiol and other cannabinoids have recently gained ground all around the world. Let us be clear: WHO itself has stated that cannabidiol is safe: “There are is evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD”. This fact have made easier medical research and have made it hard for prejudicial ideas in politics and religion to enforce prohibition of the use of this natural compound as a medicine.

Relative safety of CBD use and positive effects on health have made it suddenly very popular. It’s available in many preparations: capsules, oil, gums, creams. However in Australia CBD products are only available via doctor’s prescription. As with other medicines limited by prescription many people source their needs directly online. This trick allows to effectively bypass australian laws but exposes customers to low quality and potentially harmful products when buyed from low reputation suppliers, so extreme caution must be exercised before taking the decision to buy these (as for all other) products from the web.

CBD Oil is extracted from Cannabis sativa with low THC content, then is diluted in a vegetable carrier oil  before its consumption or external use. It must not be confused with Hemp seed oil, extracted directly from the seeds of Cannabis and well known for its nutritional value due to its content in omegas-3 and omegas-6 fats and antioxidants. Hemps seed oil does not contain cannabinoids and it’s legal to buy in Australia. CBD oil, instead, is extracted from flower and leaves, rich in active principles, and used mainly with therapeutic objectives.

Research on pharmaceutical importance of CBD oil are still ongoing and increasingly, in number of published papers, every year. At this time we have scientific evidences in its effectiveness in many medical conditions. It’s widely recognized as a useful treatment for anxiety related disorders and insomnia. Research has shown that CBD is very effective for treatment of epilepsy and is of exceptional value for treatment of Lennox Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome which are usually very difficult to treat with anti seizure medications. It’s also well documented its effectiveness as a chronic pain treatment. Some evidences, although preliminary, suggests that CBD oil can be useful for cancer patients in mildewing the effects of nausea and vomit after a chemotherapy session, and even  in treatment of multiple sclerosis.
External uses of CBD oil comprises topic treatment of psoriasis and inflammatory episodes of the skin, acne and dandruff.

Side effects

Minor side effects of CBD oil consumption include dryness of mouth and light drop in blood pressure. Scientific community have many topics to focus on in research of cannabidiol aftereffects and interactions with other medicines. For now we can rely on WHO reassurances about its overall safety and the increasing evidences of the medicinal properties of CBD oil in treatment of some health conditions. It’s desirable that Australia lift the doctor’s prescription policy to allow the whole population to access quality products while today many persons are forced to search on the web for products that, sometimes, will not met the minimum criteria of safety, quality and reliability that is required for a medicine or supplement.

Dr. John Hanson, MD

Trauma surgeon at Sydney Medical Centre
Dr. John Hanson, MD Dr. John Hanson, MD has been a resident of the Sydney area since the 1980's when he immigrated with his parents from South Africa after they were caught between the violence of two warlords. Dr. Hanson attended Sidney High School where he graduated at the top of his class. He went on to attend ANU Medical School where he studied for several years. Dr. Hanson graduated from ANU Medical School with a 4.0-grade point average and became an intern at Sydney Children's Hospital. Dr. Hanson was always trying to spend time outdoors where he would collect small animals and large insects to study. He would frequently come home with a tarantula in a box or a pet snake. One time Dr. Hanson discovered a baby Koala who was all alone after its parents were killed in a wildfire. Dr. Hanson nursed the baby Koala back to health and he continued to raise it since it had no hope of being reintroduced to the wild. Dr. Hanson became known for his pet Koala and he would even bring the Koala which he named Reginald to the hospital to visit sick children. Dr. Hanson quickly became a legendary name at the children's hospital where he worked as an intern thanks to his buddy Reginald. Upon concluding his internship, Dr. Hanson went on to become a resident Doctor at Sydney Medical Centre where he treated burn victims, car accident victims, and other traumatic injuries. The ability to operate with a steady hand and remain focused despite the grievous injuries in front of him earned him a reputation for being the best at the hospital. Sydney Children's Hospital offered Dr. Hanson a position on the board in 2014 and in 2017 Dr. Hanson became the President of the Sydney Children's Hospital but still maintained his role at Sydney Medical Centre as a trauma surgeon. The ability to work calmly under pressure is the trait of a good doctor and Dr. Hanson is no exception. He has a cunning business sense and a heart filled with passion for helping others and is known as an asset to the community of Sydney.
Dr. John Hanson, MD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *