The use of marijuana to treat medical conditions used to be controversial. But the evidence is growing every day that cannabis products can be extraordinarily beneficial. Many other powerful treatment options come from nature, and I don't think we should discount this one just because people can abuse it. People with a variety of health ailments have discovered that cannabis products can provide relief even when other drugs fail. And many will go to great lengths to obtain them – for good reason.
In Australia, it seems that a number of people are turning to cannabis to help them manage epilepsy. According to a national survey, about 14% of the epileptic population has tried cannabis to deal with the condition – 15% of adults and 13% of children (managed by their parents or guardians, of course). The majority turned to cannabis use because their antiepileptic drugs were ineffective or because the side effects of the drugs were becoming intolerable. The more drugs a patient had tried, the more likely he or she was to give medicinal cannabis a try.
So did it work? You bet. In fact, the University of Sydney did an online survey of nearly 1,000 people. They found that 71% of the parents of epileptic children and a whopping 90% of epileptic adults reported that cannabis helped them manage their seizures.
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One of the study's authors is the CEO of Epilepsy Action Australia and will also be participating in the Australian Government's Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis. I think Australia is wise to have such a council. Clearly, cannabis is offering relief to many Australians, and I'm intrigued about what the council will discover — and what recommendations it will make to the Australian government — as it investigates this plant further. In the meanwhile, none of my readers have to forego many of the benefits of cannabis. Here's why.
There are two active principles in cannabis: THC (tetra-hydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the substance that can make people high or drugged. But CBD has none of these effects. And, in fact, in many cases, CBD is the active substance in cannabis that gets the wonderful medical effects. In many medical cases, you don't need THC. And here's why that's important.
CBD is not only in the marijuana plant, it's also in the hemp plant. And the hemp plant does not contain THC. That means that hemp extracts won't get you high. Even so, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced in December a new code for marijuana extract. The announcement affectively said all compounds, whether they get you high or not, are considered Schedule I drugs. This effectively renders them illegal in the United States. This ruling is absurd! However, the DEA isn't enforcing this rule, so you can still buy CBD. And many states have legalized it for medical purposes.
CBD can be safely used to treat a wide variety of symptoms, including pain, anxiety, cancer, seizures, epilepsy, migraines, and nausea. You can get the CBD that I use in the clinic and have good success with at www.fullspectrumhemp.com or by calling 800-778-1178. It's called CBD Gel with Turmeric. Start with 1 ml of the gel taken orally three times daily. Within a week, you should feel the effects. At that point, adjust the dose accordingly.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD