Cannabidiol: The jury’s still out

hemp in france

Ever since CNN News interviewed Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the benefits of cannabidiol—better known as hemp oil or at least a product of the hemp oil industry, people have been curious about its effects. Is it dope, or isn’t it?

Those who want legalized marijuana are on one side of the issue, and those who worry about raising a whole generation of pot heads are on the other side.

The study of the cannabis plants which include both hemp and marijuana is confusing. Marijuana, it seems, contains significant amounts of a cannabinoid known as THC. That’s the highly-addictive, psychoactive compound that lets users get “high.” Hemp, on the other hand (industrial hemp) reportedly has little THC, and is the source of hemp fibers used in fabrics, and often mixed with linen and cotton in clothing.

Other parts of hemp are used to make rope, and hemp seeds are used for protein and oil and are used nutritionally for animals and humans. Now researchers are looking into the CBD oil in hemp. It’s kind of a buzz word in the industry and the U.S. government holds a patent on CBD oil through the Department of Health and Human Services.

Whole Foods Magazine, not affiliated with Whole Foods stores, is considered a bible in the organic food industry and reports that a tremendous amount of research has been done in this area. A recent article stated that a search on for cannabidiol shows more than 1300 studies. And when Dr. Gupta’s interview was broadcast, those with serious epileptic seizures, or those having family members with the often-scary, chronic disorder, perked up immediately. Could the lowly hemp plant actually be an answer to prayer?

stuart tomc6

Whole Foods Magazine contains a podcast narrated by Stuart Tomc, formerly an educator for Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Fish Oil, and now a vice president of Human Nutrition for Cannavest, which produces 90% of the world’s CBD oil.

Tomc was a frequent guest of GreenAcres Market for many years when he worked for Nordic Naturals. He a great friend of our owners and we continue to regard him highly.

But GreenAcres doesn’t carry cannabidiol, mainly because, as our blog headline says, “The jury is still out.” For now, we leave it perking on the back burner until we are satisfied with the research at hand.

We offer this link from WF magazine so you can tune in and hear for yourself what Mr. Tomc has to say.

An article in a couple of years ago, reported that ever since the 1970s, medical scientists have been aware of the beneficial effects of cannabinoid compounds over cancerous cells. Yet cannabis is still not endorsed by pharmaceutical companies as a cancer cure, and therefore not challenged by the populace at large as an alternative to chemo and radiation.

Remember those who first traveled to Mexico in the ‘70s to get Laetrile treatments from vitamin B-17 extracted from apricot seeds with only iffy reported effects for many? Too many conflicting reports so the government never sanctioned it.

But with the present protocol using disfiguring and debilitating drugs becoming less and less popular as the years go on, there exists the consternation that after billions of dollars of research, there is still not a cure for at least some cancers. There have been great strides in managing cancer, but cure still alludes us.

The National Cancer Institute, one of the federal National Institutes of Health, reports that Washington funded $4.8 billion in cancer research in 2013, and funding averaged $4.9 billion over the past six years before.

“Stand Up to Cancer,” established in 2008 by film and media leaders initiated a new collaborative model of cancer research though the use of telethons. More than $261 million has been pledged to fund 12 teams of researchers, two transnational research teams and 26 young scientists. And this is but a few of the efforts fighting cancer around the world today.
It’s time. We’re due. There needs to be a cure in this decade.

That brings us back to cannabinoids. The article in reported:

“Laboratory tests conducted in 2008 by a team of scientists formed as a joint research effort between Spain, France and Italy, and published in The Journal Of Clinical Investigation, showed that the active ingredient in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, can function as a cure for brain cancer by inducing human glioma cell death through stimulation of autophagy.

“The study concluded that via the same biochemical process THC could terminate multiple types of cancers, affecting various cells in the body. Other studies have shown that cannabinoids may work by various mechanisms, including inhibiting cell growth, inducing cell death, and inhibiting tumor metastasis.

“Further evidence to support the effects of cannabis extract on malignant cells comes from the real life experience of individuals who have successfully overcome cancer by using cannabis oil. Examples include a patient, who managed to completely cure his skin cancer by simply applying cannabis oil onto the affected areas of the skin, as well as another, who recovered from a severe head injury with the aid of hemp oil.

“One of the cannabinoids that has displayed amazing medical properties is cannabidiol, or CBD – a non-psychoactive compound that is regarded by some as the medical discovery of the 21st century, and with good reason. Research indicates that CBD can relieve convulsions, reduce inflammation, lower anxiety and suppress nausea, while also inhibiting cancer development. In addition, CBD has exhibited neuroprotective properties, relieving symptoms of dystonia and proving just as effective as regular antipsychotics in the treatment of schizophrenia.”

So there you have it. Research continues, and as always, we at GreenAcres will be reading, visiting with our supplement founders and medical staffs in alternative medicine to find out more as the months and years go on.

Sometimes the cure is right in front of us, although we do not discern its coming. Keep the faith. The time may be near. But for now, the jury is still out.