All the Benefits, None of the High

We are just beginning to unlock proven and safe uses of marijuana for sustained treatment purposes. Many people currently use legal marijuana for its anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and anti-spasm effects. The trouble is that much of the positive effects of marijuana come with an unwanted high.

Science and the medical marijuana industry are starting to make headway into finding ways for patients to benefit from the good qualities of marijuana without the negative ones. This is especially important when you look at helping people cope with daily lives like holding down a job and still utilizing medical marijuana. It is also important when treating young children.

In 2012, Tzahi Klein of the Israeli company Tikkun Olam and his colleagues created a strain of marijuana that lacks THC but is high in cannabidoil or CBD, which is the second most common active compound found in cannabis. CBD is believed to be responsible for many of the health benefits derived from medical marijuana. Cannabidiol — CBD— is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.

Klein was quoted by Maariy, an Israeli newspaper as saying, “It has the same scent, shape and taste as the original plant — it’s all the same — but the numbing sensation that users are accustomed to has disappeared.”

Scientific and clinical studies underscore CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions. Time magazine online reported that a preliminary trial of CBD for the treatment of people with schizophrenia found CBD was as effective as a standard antipsychotic drug — with none of the movement disorders, mood issues or weight gain linked to that class of medications.

Additionally, CBD seems to have anxiety-reducing effects and may be useful as an anti-anxiety medication or antidepressant with the added benefit of not carrying the risks associates with current drugs like Xanax.

Research is just beginning to prove the claims of medical marijuana proponents in Colorado Springs and beyond. Much more study is needed to uncover all the possible benefits and side effects.