By Kristy Podruchny

Modern medicine is retrieving cannabis from the depths of stigma. If we fix a few laws, CBD (cannabidiol) will continue taking brain health to exciting new places.

The World Health Organization has deemed CBD as safe to use–there are no known adverse side effects unless it’s used with certain medications, like statins.

CBD oil comes from hemp flowers and can be made using different techniques depending on the desired end product. Hemp is harvested and cured before the flower is removed, then it’s ground up and placed in a solvent, like alcohol. The solution is evaporated, leaving raw CBD oil behind!

Many CBD products are made into edibles, like chocolate or gummies. It’s also available in sublingual tinctures, vape pens, cigarettes and transdermal patches.

Most consumers take CBD to treat chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety. Studies proving the effectiveness of using CBD to treat these ailments in humans are slim to none. Studies on animals show promise, but human trials are often prevented by drug laws.

The most conclusive research on CBD is related to seizures–specifically childhood illnesses like Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. CBD reduces or completely eliminates seizures where ant-seizure medications have failed.

The Endocannabinoid System

CBD interacts with our bodies in a unique way. If we think of our body as a radio, the endocannabinoid system (ES) is the knob that brings us out of the static and back to a clear station for our brain, immune and endocrine systems. This system helps the body maintain homeostasis with the help of endocannabinoids produced by neurons. Both THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) and CBD produce phytocannabinoids which mimic the endocannabinoids we make. This could explain its reported effectiveness with pain management and memory.

Legal or Not?

Stigma associated with cannabis is to blame for the delay in medical research. Lack of research makes it hard to reclassify cannabis to encourage federal legalization, but its drug class limits medical studies. Cannabis research is trapped in legal muck.

CBD sales have been legalized in Louisiana. With the passage of House Bill 491, the Louisiana Legislature legalized the sale of hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol products.  The bill only authorizes the sale of hemp-derived CBD products with a THC concentration of less than 0.3%.

Upon approval of Louisiana’s state plan by USDA, only LDAF approved licensed growers will be allowed to grow industrial hemp in Louisiana.

Retailers have to follow specific rules if they want to sell CBD products. They will have to be permitted through Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and won’t be allowed to sell any CBD product that can be inhaled or comes in an edible form. Products cannot be labeled as dietary supplements. 

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