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There’s lots of anecdotal evidence that Cannabidiol (CBD) oil – a concentrated oily extract produced from cannabis – will help treat many different ailments. It’s thought to assist with anything from epileptic seizures to opioid addiction, PTSD to arthritis. But despite CBD oil’s high profile status, there’s still plenty of confusion about what it really is, and what it’s produced from. Some types of CBD oil are already legally available throughout the uk – such as those made from hemp – whereas other types are incredibly much illegal throughout the uk – though are offered to buy in other countries

CBD oil taken from hemp is frequently marketed being a food supplement to advertise well-being – similar to other herbals like Echinacea – and increase the immunity mechanism. Although Hemp CBD oil is legal, it is really not a medicine and should not be wrongly identified as the recent confiscation of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell’s CBD oil at Heathrow airport.

Billy had flown together with his mother to Canada to purchase the CBD oil – which will help to keep his daily epileptic seizures at bay. But his oil was confiscated as it was created from cannabis flowers leaving, therefore was classed as illegal in the united kingdom, pushing childhood epilepsy and CBD oil to the spotlight. Up to now, so confusing, but 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 in the what are cannabidiol, is cultivated to produce two distinctive products – industrial hemp, and cannabis. The main difference between hemp and cannabis is founded on two criteria. First, the amount of cannabinoids – a family of chemicals, the cannabis plant naturally produces – and 2nd, the end use. Based on current UK drug laws, cannabis is considered an illegal drug due to the psychoactive properties of THC, the component inside it that produces the “high”. And under UK law, cannabis is deemed to have a high potential for abuse – with no accepted medical properties.

Hemp vs cannabis – But this is when it gets even more confusing because cannabis can be bred to produce different strains. Cannabis consumed for recreational purposes is selectively bred to optimise high THC content strains – to maximise the “high” feeling. But cannabis also contains CBD, that is a non-psychoactive component. Hemp, on the other hand, is harnessed as seed, oil and fibre to create a variety of products. It is actually cultivated to make a low concentration of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC – as well as higher levels of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD.

Cannabis is classified as hemp if it has a maximum level of .2% THC. Billy’s CBD oil, confiscated at Heathrow, was developed from cannabis with a higher level than .2% of THC – so it was classed as cannabis, which is why it had been confiscated.

Medical marijuana – A newly released survey conducted by Sky News learned that 82% of 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 research the existing scientific and medical evidence, regarding the therapeutic properties of cannabis-based products, also believes this. She recently claimed that “doctors must be able to prescribe” cannabis.

Davies has recommended the removal of cannabis from schedule one classification – which covers a small group of drugs shown to have zero medical purpose, that should not 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 become seminal, and mirrors wider sentiment in other countries. In the US, as an example, medical cannabis programmes have been cmatpg in 30 states. Hence, medical tourism to Canada – where cannabis is legal for medicinal purposes – as well as the US to gain access to CBD oil.

In the UK, however, Sajid Javid is not going to reclassify cannabis up until the Advisory Council on the Misuse of medication provides recommendations about the public health implications – that will are the abuse potential of cannabis-based CBD. Although it seems most likely that the home secretary continue to maneuver towards the patient focused resolution. For patients like Billy then, this means that cannabis-based CBD oil could soon be prescribed in the UK under controlled conditions, by registered practitioners, and then for medical benefit.

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