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CBD is it safe? Is it Legal? Can it really make me feel better?

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IS CBD Marijuana?

No. “One of the biggest misconceptions about CBD oils and products are that they come exclusively form Marijuana. Both Hemp and Marijuana come from the same plant species—Cannabis sativa,” rvdcbd.com. Hemp and Marijuana vary in THC composition. Marijuana contains much higher concentrations of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol—the infamous “high” producing component). CBD and THC are not the same. Cannabis according to the FDA regulations “contains more than eighty biologically active chemical compounds. The most commonly known compounds are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).” While THC is the compound, guilty of psychedelic induced highs and addictive, CBD is neither addictive nor “high” inducing. Both forms contain “miracle” medical properties, and both have FDA approved products. 

Cannabis Health Insider

Is CBD Illegal?

FDA regulations state, “Parts of the Cannabis sativa plant have been controlled under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) since 1970 under the drug class “Marihuana” (commonly referred to as “marijuana”) [21 U.S.C. 802(16)].” The FDA explains, Marijuana, ” is listed in Schedule I of the CSA due to its high potential for abuse, which is attributable in large part to the psychoactive effects of THC, and the absence of a currently accepted medical use of the plant in the United States.” However, in 2014, The Federal Farm Bill gave states the legal right to research and grow cannabis state-regulated agricultural pilot programs. As a result of their research, in 2018 the new Farm Bill redefined hemp. “[Hemp is] the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.” In other words, hemp was removed from the Controlled Substance Act (CSA). IT IS LEGAL! As long as the plant and/or its derivatives contain no more than 0.3 percent THC, it is completely legal.” 

FDA CBD Stance 

Even thought the FDA has approved three drugs, the FDA has not officially approved CBD oils, tinctures, and topical ointments. However, the FDA does not discount their potential. “FDA recognizes the potential therapeutic opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds could offer and acknowledges the significant interest in these possibilities.” So why don’t they back them? Simply put, they don’t have enough data yet; therefore, it is currently a safety precaution. “Products that have not been subject to FDA review as part of the drug approval process have not been evaluated as to whether they work, what the proper dosage may be… how they may interact with other drugs, or whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns.”

The Truth

Before anything is safe, scientists need more information, not common people testimonials. The government has strict policies. Approval requires multiple tests by multiple specialists. The FDA has not closed the book on the CBD and THC potential. “The FDA continue[s] to facilitate the work of companies interested in appropriately bringing safe, effective, and quality products to market, including scientifically-based research concerning the medicinal uses of cannabis.” Cannabis, like any drug, needs safety regulations for producers, guidance for the public consumption, a general knowledge of how other drugs interact with it, and a gambit of side effects from low risk to high. While “informed Consent” precautions are labor intensive and take time, the government has opened it up to companies to submit data and product for verification and approval to speed up the process. There is no doubt in my mind Cannabis will break free from the ugly, slanderous, misinformation propagated about it.  

CBD Users are not just “Pot Heads” 

For years, Hemp and Marijuana users were labeled as drug abusers, pot heads, and stoners. The truth is plain and simple though—the masses have found relief. Both THC (the high giving compound) and CBD help alleviate a wide range of symptoms ranging from muscle issues, to anywhere pain, digestion, neurological, to mental health. For years professional athletes like WWE World Champion Rob Van Dam have turned to the all-natural organic substance for relief of multiple symptoms.  

Athletes who use for symptom relief: 

  • Rugby professionals: James Haskell, George Kruis, Ben Franks
  • Women’s Football, aka, soccer legend Megan Rapinoe
  • NFL: Rob Gronkowski and Eugene Monroe
  • WBA, WBC Heavyweight Boxers: Mike Tyson
  • UFC Ultimate Fighting Champion Nate Diaz
  • British Mixed Martial Arts (BMMA) Alex Montagnani
  • Body Builders Kieran Kevan, Tomas Wolfe, and 2017 World’s strongest man Eddie Hall 
  • NBA Paul Pierce
  • PGA tour player Charley Hoffman
  • Pro surfer Albee Layer
  • Olympian Snowboarder: Ross Rebagliati
  • CrossFitter Brook Ence

What do they all have in common? They are not only extreme athletes, and advocates of CBD, they are warriors that take a massive beating physically. “Amateurs quit when they are tired. Champions quit only when they have won.” Matshona Dhliwayo 

The Man Who Took One For Cannabis—RVD

In 2006, the WWE stripped Rob Van Dam—a.k.a RVD—of his titles. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time with CBD ( RVDCBD.com). Two weeks after winning his titles, the police pulled him over in Ohio. He had THC and CBD in his possession (a substance legal in CA at the time, but not other states). BUT, the man, the wrestler, the athlete, the champion became a legend because he never settled for second best even when the world told him CBD was bad. “I stand behind what I say and what I do.” It’s plain to see professional wrestling (for that matter, any of the sports listed above) even with professional wrestling theatrics dishes out a buffet-triple-filled-plate, heaping portion of pain and injury. How did Rob’s career last so long? Was it luck? It certainly was NOT caution.

“I was told my style was supposed to give me a short career.”

So why did the man punished for his use, punished for his style, and punished for his possession end up a legend inducted into the hall of fame? It’s simple—he is a believer of CBD. In season 1, episode 1, WWE Icons (a CNN documentary viewed via Peacock) Ryan Pappolla asked Van Dam (RVD) why he continued to advocate when CBD cost him everything? Rob said, “I’m sick of seeing [wrestling and other] friends die…to depression and opioid overdoses used to treat [wrestling’s draw back] multiple concussions.”  In a follow up question, Ryan asked point blank, “Did CBD save YOUR life?” Rob emphatically and without hesitation replied a resounding “YES!”  CBD saved RVD’s life. 

Nitty Gritty Bottom Line

CBD is legal, but not FDA approved—YET. CBD does help people, and the FDA knows it, but due to the lack of scientific data, they cannot back it up—yet. Will it help you? It could, BUT YOU MUST CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR first (especially if you are on other medications). The FDA only wants to help you. An FDA stamp of approval can be trusted. It means they have massive amounts of data. FDA data (like any drugs data) has pros and cons. Those pros and cons must be weighed against an individual human’s biochemistry. Every person who uses it must weigh their desire for relief against unknown risks. CBD products, like women’s clothes, are not one-size fits all because no two bodies are the same. So, is it safe? Do your research and council with your pharmacist and doctor first—but possibly. There just isn’t enough data to say a government approved, “YES.” But if you’re desperate, you can now make an informed decision and take the plunge if you so choose. 

For more information go to: leafly.com, fda.gov, or rvd.cbd.com.

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