All of the things made from the Cannabis sativa plant are called “cannabis.” About 540 different chemicals can be found in the cannabis plant. The word “marijuana” refers to parts of the Cannabis sativa plant or products made from it that have a lot of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the main thing that changes the way a person thinks and feels when they use marijuana. Some cannabis plants don’t have much THC in them at all. According to U.S. law, these plants are “industrial hemp,” not “marijuana.” In the rest of this fact sheet, when we say “cannabis,” we mean the Cannabis sativa plant.
What do cannabinoids mean?
Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals that are found in the marijuana plant. THC and cannabidiol are the two main types of cannabinoids (CBD). More than 100 other cannabinoids have been found besides THC and CBD. The FDA has not approved any medical use of the cannabis plant. But the FDA has approved a number of drugs that have cannabinoids in them.
The FDA has approved Marinol, Syndros, and Cesamet, which all contain dronabinol, which is a synthetic version of THC. Cesamet also contains nabilone, which is another synthetic version of THC. Dronabinol and nabilone are used to make people who are getting chemotherapy for cancer feel better and stop feeling sick. Dronabinol is also used to treat HIV/AIDS symptoms like loss of appetite and weight loss.
Is it okay for THC or CBD to be in dietary supplements or foods?
The FDA has decided that dietary supplements that contain THC or CBD cannot be sold legally. Foods that have THC or CBD added to them can’t be sold legally across state lines. The laws and rules of each state determine whether or not they can be sold legally there. You can check out CBN FOR SALE here.
Can marijuana or cannabinoids help treat health problems?
Cannabinoids may help treat some rare types of epilepsy, the nausea and vomiting that come with chemotherapy for cancer, and the loss of appetite and weight loss that come with HIV/AIDS. Some evidence also shows that cannabis or cannabinoids may help a little with chronic pain and multiple sclerosis symptoms. Glaucoma isn’t helped by cannabis. Research on using cannabis or cannabinoids to treat other illnesses is just getting started.
Can CBD hurt you?
There are some signs that CBD could be bad for some people. Before the FDA approved Epidiolex, which is a purified form of CBD, as a drug, it was tested to see how well it worked and if it was safe. Some of the people who took part in these studies had side effects, mostly diarrhea or feeling sleepy, and some had abnormal liver function tests. Because of liver problems, some of the people in the study had to stop taking Epidiolex.
Patients taking Epidiolex can deal with problems like these because they are using CBD under the supervision of a doctor. People who use CBD on their own are not protected in this way. They might not even know how much CBD they’re taking.