In the meantime, some physicians are forging ahead — and cashing in. Joe Cohen is a doctor at Holos Health, a medical marijuana clinic in Boulder. I asked him what CBD is good for, and he read me a long list of conditions: pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, intestinal cramping, anxiety, psychosis, muscle spasms, hyperactive immune systems, nervous system degeneration, elevated blood sugar and more. He also claimed that CBD has anti-cancer properties and can regenerate brain cells and reduce the brain’s levels of amyloid beta — a kind of protein that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. I asked for references, noting that most of these weren’t listed in the Academies report or a similar review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “I think you just have to Google search it,” he said. It’s true that a preliminary study found hints that cannabinoids might reduce beta amyloid proteins in human brain cells, but the study was done in cells grown in a lab, not in people. As for cancer, the FDA sent warning letters last year to four companies that were selling products that claimed to “prevent, diagnose, treat or cure” cancer.
To make matters more confusing, nine states (including California, Washington, and Colorado) let residents buy cannabis-based products with or without THC. Nearly two dozen other “medical marijuana states” allow the sale of cannabis, including capsules, tinctures, and other items containing CBD or THC, at licensed dispensaries to people whose doctors have certified that they have an approved condition (the list varies by state but includes chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, autism, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis). Sixteen more states legalized CBD for certain diseases. But because all these products are illegal according to the federal government, cannabis advocates are cautious. “By and large, the federal government is looking the other way,” says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the Washington, DC–based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), but until federal laws are changed, “this administration or a future one could crack down on people who produce, manufacture, or use CBD, and the law would be on its side.”
Jump up ^ El-Alfy, Abir T.; Ivey, Kelly; Robinson, Keisha; Ahmed, Safwat; Radwan, Mohamed; Slade, Desmond; Khan, Ikhlas; Elsohly, Mahmoud; Ross, Samir (2010). "Antidepressant-like effect of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L". Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 95 (4): 573–82. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2010.03.004. PMC 2866040. PMID 20332000.
Lisa Hamilton, a jeweler and doula in Brooklyn, NY, knows about the side effects. She recently tried CBD for the shoulder pain that plagued her five years after an accident. Her doctor certified that she was in chronic pain, which under New York State law allowed her to buy from a state dispensary. One Friday, she swallowed two 10-mg capsules, the amount recommended at the dispensary, then took another two on Saturday. “By Sunday, it felt like I’d gotten hit by a truck. Every muscle and joint ached,” Hamilton says. She cut back to one pill a day the following week, but still felt hungover. She stopped after that.
The effects of delta-9-THC and a synthetic agonist of the CB2 receptor were investigated in HCC. Both agents reduced the viability of HCC cells in vitro and demonstrated antitumor effects in HCC subcutaneous xenografts in nude mice. The investigations documented that the anti-HCC effects are mediated by way of the CB2 receptor. Similar to findings in glioma cells, the cannabinoids were shown to trigger cell death through stimulation of an endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway that activates autophagy and promotes apoptosis. Other investigations have confirmed that CB1 and CB2 receptors may be potential targets in non-small cell lung carcinoma  and breast cancer.
There are thousands of unique varieties of hemp. The cultivars used for CBD oil contain significantly higher concentrations of CBD than others. Using these uniquely potent plants, it is possible to extract cannabis oil that contains significant levels of cannabidiol, as well as essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
The Food and Drug Adminstration’s approval of Epidiolex, a medication derived from cannabis, could be life-changing for Americans suffering from certain types of epilepsy. — Jon Cooper, STAT, "New drug approval should force the DEA to rethink cannabis-derived medicines," 26 June 2018 Aside from cannabis, the state appears to have a fairly sunny budget picture. — Adam Ashton, sacbee, "California's marijuana tax collections lag below expectations | The Sacramento Bee," 9 May 2018 The researchers note, however, that abstaining from cannabis for just a few days would likely reverse any blockade. — Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Here are the types of marijuana best for stress and anxiety, according to users," 20 Apr. 2018 And the best way to do that is by lowering the price of cannabis. — Dan Adams, BostonGlobe.com, "The hidden, high-tech world of communications at Fenway Park," 10 July 2018 The British drugmaker studied the drug in more than 500 patients with hard-to-treat seizures, overcoming numerous legal hurdles to conducting research with cannabis. — Fox News, "Medical milestone: US OKs marijuana-based drug for seizures," 25 June 2018 The British drugmaker studied the drug in more than 500 patients with hard-to-treat seizures, overcoming numerous legal hurdles to conducting research with cannabis. — Matthew Perrone, The Seattle Times, "Medical milestone: US OKs marijuana-based drug for seizures," 25 June 2018 GW Pharmaceuticals says the solution, taken by mouth, is made from a proprietary strain of cannabis designed to maximize a therapeutic component while minimizing components that produce euphoria. — Peter Loftus, WSJ, "FDA Approves First Drug Derived From Marijuana Plant," 25 June 2018 Very often pharmacies with cannabis for sale see long queues forming at the door. — Tamra Santana, Houston Chronicle, "Home building boom continues for Spring, Klein, Tomball and Cypress communities," 14 May 2018
Selective breeding of cannabis plants has expanded and diversified as commercial and therapeutic markets develop. Some growers in the U.S. succeeded in lowering the proportion of CBD-to-THC to accommodate customers who preferred varietals that were more mind-altering due to the higher THC and lower CBD content. Hemp is classified as any part of the cannabis plant containing no more than 0.3% THC in dry weight form (not liquid or extracted form).
Edible cannabis, however, is quickly making up ground as a go-to method for consuming medical marijuana. Indeed, some states with legal medical marijuana laws still forbid smoking marijuana. Instead, medical forms of the drug are only available in pill or capsule form. Oils and tinctures, which are made from extracting cannabinoids from herbaceous material, are also commonly prescribed in the form of cannabis edibles.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there were 455,000 emergency room visits associated with cannabis use in 2011. These statistics include visits in which the patient was treated for a condition induced by or related to recent cannabis use. The drug use must be "implicated" in the emergency department visit, but does not need to be the direct cause of the visit. Most of the illicit drug emergency room visits involved multiple drugs. In 129,000 cases, cannabis was the only implicated drug.
According to DSM-V criteria, 9% of those who are exposed to cannabis develop cannabis use disorder, compared to 20% for cocaine, 23% for alcohol and 68% for nicotine. Cannabis abuse disorder in the DSM-V involves a combination of DSM-IV criteria for cannabis abuse and dependence, plus the addition of craving, minus the criterion related to legal troubles.
There are ways to strain dangerous contaminants out of raw hemp paste. And most companies stand behind their quality and safety procedures. “We continuously test all our products ... to ensure our consumers get the levels of natural constituents they expect from the quality hemp stalk oil they purchase,” HempMedsPx states on its web site. “Additionally, all our products are tested for safety, to ensure there are no solvents, heavy metals, or other potentially harmful materials in our oil. Because we take these steps, we are always confident in our products, and you can be too.”