A publication produced by the Mayo Clinic, U.S., aims to inform doctors about the potential of CBD for medical use.
Public demand for the use of medical products derived from the plant Cannabis sativa is increasing yet, until now, there has been a paucity of information available to medical doctors regarding its use. Many different conditions ranging from chronic pain, anxiety, depression, epileptic seizures, and nausea are described to benefit from treatment with medical marijuana or hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) oils. The use of CBD oils is popular because patients describe medical benefits without the ‘high’ of marijuana.
Many doctors, however, have concerns about whether CBD oils for medical use are legal, safe, and effective. Furthermore, they are largely unfamiliar with the products available. The Mayo Clinic in the U.S. has published a review for clinicians that summarizes the research conducted so far on these products, the legalities of recommending them, and how to choose a reliable product. The article was published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
The only product that has undergone extensive testing in clinical trials has been Epidiolex, a CBD drug that is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use. Doctors prescribe it for epileptic syndromes that cannot be otherwise controlled. Many other products are available however, doctors cannot issue a prescription for these products because they are not approved by the FDA or other regulatory bodies in the U.S.
Doctors are then left in the position of ‘recommending’ CBD oils, or other derivatives from the Cannabis sativa plant, for certain conditions. Most products are imported from Europe and then processed and distributed in the U.S. Patients, however, would not need a recommendation or certification for its purchase as these products do not contain intoxicating amounts of the active ingredient derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. It would be illegal to order the products online, though this would technically involve introducing a supplement or food containing CBD into interstate commerce, which is not allowed.
Some research has been undertaken regarding conditions other than epilepsy but these studies have been typically small, with insufficient numbers to allow clear clinical recommendations. The article encourages doctors to keep an open mind regarding CBD oil for medical use, and the other products available from the Cannabis sativa plant, as more research is undertaken.
Written by Nicola Cribb, MA VetMB DVSc DipACVS
Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils. VanDolah HJ, Bauer BA, Mauck K. Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
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