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what is cannabis oil and how do you use it

Are cannabis-based medications available for other conditions?

It depends on the THC content. Some types of Cannabis sativa plant, known as hemp, contain very little THC. The extracts from these plants contain mainly cannabidiol, so will not get anyone stoned.

However, the tide may turn in favour of cannabidiol after a recent World Health Organisation review. This concluded that cannabidiol “exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential” but “has been demonstrated as an effective treatment of epilepsy … and may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions.”

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Not yet. In April the US Food and Drug Administration recommended the approval of a drug called Epidiolex for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Its active ingredient is cannabidiol, and final approval is due at the end of this month.

However, it is possible the drug is not as effective as cannabis oil containing THC, says Nutt. For example, the cannabis oil used to treat Billy Caldwell, the boy at the centre of the recent cannabis oil confiscation furore, contained cannabidiol and a low dose of THC, because cannabidiol alone did not stop all his seizures.

Are there any cannabis-based epilepsy drugs on the market?

The situation is less clear when it comes to the use of commercial cannabis oils to control seizures, where the evidence is mainly anecdotal, and the oils can contain differing concentrations of cannabidiol and THC.

Clinical research has shown that CBD oil can trigger side effects. Severity and type can vary from one person to the next.

CBD oil contains CBD mixed with an inert carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. The bottled oil, called a tincture, is sold in various concentrations. There are also CBD capsules, CBD gummies, and under-the-tongue CBD sprays.

CBD oil should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding. A 2018 study from the American Academy of Pediatrics warned women to avoid marijuana during pregnancy due to the potential risks to a baby’s development. Although it is unclear how CBD contributes, CBD is known to pass through the placental barrier.

Possible Side Effects

Meredith Bull, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Los Angeles. She helped co-author the first integrative geriatrics textbook, "Integrative Geriatric Medicine."

CBD oil can interact with certain medications, including some drugs used to treat epilepsy. CBD inhibits an enzyme called cytochrome P450 (CYP450), which metabolizes certain drugs. By interfering with CYP450, CBD may either increase the toxicity or decrease the effectiveness of these drugs.

There is some evidence that CBD interacts with seizure medications such as Onfi (clobazam) and boosts their concentration in the blood. Further research is needed.

Many of these interactions are mild and require no adjustment to treatment. Others may require a drug substitution or the separation of doses by several hours.