“Some of these preparations are referred to as CBD oil or cannabis oil, which usually means it’s an oil extracted from the plant. But the cannabis plant is extremely complex, it has over 700 constituents in it, about 114 of these are cannabinoids.”
But he does have concerns about both the effectiveness of CBD as a treatment and how it is being marketed.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical constituent of the cannabis plant and products based on it can be legally sold in Ireland.
It is not a registered medicine here but it is widely on sale. How is that possible?
“We have to be very careful with the advice we give because we’re not doctors, we’re not pharmacists, it’s not sold as a medical product either, it’s basically sold as a food supplement. So it’s a supplement that will either help or assist someone’s normal day-today well-being.
In June, a CBD-based drug called Epidiolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as a treatment for childhood epilepsy.
There is also a lack of oversight on the products that are on sale leading to doubts about their reliability.
But while similar approval may take some time from the HPRA, CBD products will continue to be sold in Ireland, even if they are not being prescribed by doctors.
Most retail stores will sell either isolated CBD products or broad-spectrum CBD products. These products are suitable for people who are either very sensitive to THC or are professionals who are worried about THC showing up in a drug test (although admittedly this is very unlikely).
Medical claims can only be made for products which are licensed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).
CBD works synergistically with all the other compounds, flavonoids, cannabinoids and terpenes etc. We are marketed as customers that it is the CBD % that is most important but actually the other cannabinoids present and terpenoids are more important to understanding the best CBD product. This is called the entourage effect.
What are the licensed medicines available?
Another unfortunate consequence for consumers is that it is expected that many of the CBD companies will try to license broad and isolated CBD products ( which are not as effective as full spectrum ) as it will be easier to get a novel food license for products with zero THC.
However, there is another law, the Misuse Of Drugs Act, 1977 which outlines that any cannabis or hemp products containing any THC are illegal. This includes the trace (.3% in CBD) which is allowed in EU law.
OK here goes, let’s explain this really simply.
This is where a lot of the confusion lies between these contradictory laws and explains why everyone is so confused.
There was an attempt in 2016 to change the status of CBD oil in Ireland. The Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation bill was rejected by the Irish government. The lead to a substantial investigation into CBD’s beneficial properties. This resulted in a report that was published in 2017, the report demonstrated that there was significant evidence for the therapeutic and health benefits of CBD oil and medical cannabis.
CBD is being researched around the world and the initial evidence is extremely positive. CBD is known to help treat the symptoms of chronic pain such as inflammation, pain, anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Hemp Regulations in Ireland
It seems unescapable that cannabis products will grow in popularity and will eventually be accepted as a medicine by the medical community. So, it is probably worth educating people on the benefits of cannabis and on how to use cannabis derived products in a safe manner.
How much CBD you take should can also depend on your body shape, size and weight. If you are a large male, you will need to consume a greater amount of CBD to ensure it has the same impact as someone much smaller than you. It is wise to consider this if you are quite small, it could be worth starting on a lower dose to see how you get on before slowly increasing how much CBD you consume.
One of the major discoveries that has been made in regard to CBD oil is that the human body has an endocannabinoid system which is an integral system that enables the body to stay well balanced and healthy. The endocannabinoid system has receptors that interact on a cellular level with phytocannabinoids, which are the cannabinoids that are found in cannabis, marijuana and other plants. The endocannabinoid system interacts with natural cannabinoids that are released in the body. The endocannabinoid system also interacts with external cannabinoids that are found in cannabis and other plants such as CBD and THC. Typically, the phytocannabinoids are used by the endocannabinoid system to stimulate bodily functions such as respiration, digestion and sleeping.