However, there is so much more to both CBD and THC than just THC’s psychoactive properties that it is a shame not to explore their applications and learn the truth about them, especially since they are both being used nowadays to better the lives of countless people on a daily basis. Science is an evolving process and it pays to stay up to date, especially on new industries like CBD.
Collin, C., Ehler, E., Waberzinek, G., Alsindi, Z., Davies, P., Powell, K., Notcutt, W., O'Leary, C., Ratcliffe, S., Novakova, I., Zapletalova, O., Pikova, J., and Ambler, Z. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of Sativex, in subjects with symptoms of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. Neurol.Res. 2010;32(5):451-459. View abstract.
There have been multiple clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of nabiximols on central and peripheral neuropathic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer pain.xxiii In addition, nabiximols is currently approved in Canada for the treatment of central neuropathic pain in MS and cancer pain unresponsive to opioid therapy. However, the current evidence suggests that the analgesia is mediated by THC and it is unclear whether CBD contributes to the therapeutic effects.xxiv THC alone has been shown to reduce pain;xxv,xxvi we are unaware of clinical studies that have explored the efficacy of CBD alone on pain. However, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD (discussed above) could be predicted to play a role in the analgesic effects of nabiximols. Recent research has also suggested that cannabinoids and opioids have different mechanisms for reducing pain and that their effects may be additive, which suggests that combination therapies may be developed that may have reduced risks compared to current opioid therapies. However, this work is very preliminary.xxvii
And now, onto the thorny issue of legality. The simple answer to the question is yes — if it is extracted from hemp. The 2014 Farm Bill established guidelines for growing hemp in the U.S. legally. This so-called “industrial hemp” refers to both hemp and hemp products which come from cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent THC and are grown by a state-licensed farmer.
Unlike THC, CBD will not make you high. That said, this doesn’t mean CBD is not at all psychoactive, as many assert, says Jahan Marcu, PhD, director of experimental pharmacology and behavior at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health in New York City: “CBD does change cognition. It affects mood, which is why people take it for anxiety. And some find that it makes them more alert.”