Updated: Oct 29, 2018
As of July 1st,2018, CBD is legal in Indiana. But federal law still states that it is illegal, classifying it as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance with no accepted medical use and a high risk of dependence.
Anecdotal reports are not science. “I feel great”, “It solves my pain problem”, “I couldn’t live without it.” We’ve been hearing the same types of testimonial for thousands of years.
I have reviewed numerous books and scientific articles, as well as records of the marijuana legalization experiments in Colorado, California, Washington State, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, DC. I can clearly see, along with most of the informed people I speak to, we are on the road to full marijuana legalization.
What no one is talking about though is that there is solid scientific evidence that CBD, as it is currently available to the public in oils, chewables, and candies, can be harmful and potentially deadly.
Here I will share the science with you.
1. The testing of the chemical contents of CBD products is only around 25% reliable.
2. The entourage effect (the interaction of CBD with other chemicals) is unpredictable.
3. CBD deactivates Cytochrome P450, which is the body’s main detoxifier of supplements and pharmaceuticals.
4. Heating CBD can convert it into THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. The method is readily available online. Clearly, people are already doing that. And the numbers will only continue to increase as the information gets around. The site I looked at already had over 1 million hits. (See www.convertCBDtoTHC.com.)
5. Smoking and vaping CBD automatically results in the conversion of some CBD to THC while at the same time leading to the familiar bad health effects of inhaling smoke, including chronic pulmonary disease and potentially even cancer.
6. Sellers of CBD products have the option to place age restrictions or warnings about the Cytochrome P450 effect, but many choose not to.
7. Zero tolerance: Periodic workplace surprise blood testing for opioids and cannabinoids may cost you your job.
8. CBD products often contain contaminants and adulterants, unknown to you, and potentially dangerous to your health.
1a. State law requires the product to be labeled with the name of the manufacturer and the name of the testing company that manufacturer picked. It has been shown that some testing companies are a lot more reliable than others. The public buying the product can’t know how reliable the tests are, and so can’t know what’s really in the product they’re buying. Their lives may be at stake. Remember this is not an FDA-approved product they are buying
2a. CBD oil results in an entourage effect. This is a mechanism by which compounds present in the product modulate other potentially psychoactive compounds in the plant. “I feel great,” people say after using CBD products. That could be the THC at work.
3a. Clearly, the biggest danger to the public is partial inactivation of the Cytochrome P450 enzyme. If the person using CBD is on supplements or pharmaceuticals of any kind, those chemicals will not be deactivated. This can greatly increase or decrease their effects, potentially resulting in great harm or even death. Take a blood thinner for example, or diabetes medication, or seizure meds—their effects could be boosted or diminished. The possibilities are infinite. I personally once took four 200mg Advil pills after eating a grapefruit for lunch, and I was urinating blood by the next day. This was owing to the deactivation of the P450 enzyme by the grapefruit. CBD oil does the same thing on a regular basis. I could have had a heart attack or stroke from eating grapefruit. CBD products can do the same thing.
4a. There is potentially great danger to our children or our pets from ingesting or breathing in CBD products. Because of the conversion to THC, addiction to marijuana will play a role. At this time, about 9% of adults and 17% of children who smoke marijuana are addicted.
5a. In some states, kids can buy the products, go online to learn how to convert them to THC, and off we go down the road to marijuana.
6a. The undeveloped state of a child’s brain means that damaged tissue may never repair itself. That has been shown on functional MRI scans I’ve examined myself. Marijuana can take an average child and make him or her retarded, take a brilliant child and make him or her average.
7a. Opioids and alcohol are metabolized in a matter of hours. Metabolism of cannabinoids
like CBD can take days or weeks because of the P450 effect. I know of a nurse who lost her job and eventually her RN license because of a positive drug test. The CEO at Steel Dynamics told me that a positive drug test means you’re gone. If you work with dangerous machinery, this is understandable.
8a. The most frequent natural contaminants consist of degradation products, microbes, fungi, bacteria, and heavy metals. These contaminants are usually introduced during cultivation and storage. Growth enhancers and pest-control chemicals are the most common risk to both the producer and the consumer. Cannabis products can also be adulterated for marketing purposes, with psychotropic substances, tobacco, etc., maybe added to low quality cannabis to alleviate its side effects. Additionally, some extraction and installation methods used for certain dosing formulations can result in substantial pesticide and solvent contamination.
We are physicians. That means we also have a responsibility to be teachers, hopefully leading the way to good health. We cannot depend on the government to lead the way. We must all step up to bat, and resolve to promote wellness, not illness and addiction.
Understanding Marijuanaby Mitch Earleywine
CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabisby Leonard Leinow and Juliana Birnbaum
CBD: What You Need to Knowby Gregory L Smith, MD
Fort Wayne Medicine Quarterly, Fall 2018, Volume 16, Issue 3
Indiana State Department of ToxicologyPowerPoint Presentation by Sheila A. Arnold, PHD
“The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids,” 2017 Report by The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
Going to Potby William J Bennett
Medical Cannabisby Gregory L Smith, MD
“CBD Drug Interactions: Role of Cytochrome P450,” by Adrian Devitt-Lee, on Project CBD: https://www.projectcbd.org/science/cannabis-pharmacology/cbd-drug-interactions-role-cytochrome-p450
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