What is non-euphoric, CBD rich oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant; delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive component. Non-euphoric, CBD rich oil is derived from a cannabis plant that is CBD rich and low in THC, therefore resulting in no “high” to the user. The use of CBD is showing promising results as a therapeutic treatment for patients with intractable epilepsy.
A well-known example of non-euphoric CBD rich oil is the Charlotte’s WebTM hybrid strain developed and cultivated for a young epilepsy patient named Charlotte Figi in Colorado. Growers have been able to breed plants that have better than a 30:1 ratio of CBD to THC. In other words, hybrid plants are available that have all of the therapeutic benefits of CBD with virtually no psychoactive ingredient. Called the “hippie’s disappointment,” CBD rich oil has no street value and cannot produce a “high” of any kind.
Are you advocating for a medical marijuana program?
Absolutely not. C.A.F.E Texas is focused on advocating for legal and limited access to physician-directed use CBD oil that is low in delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
How is non-euphoric, CBD rich oil administered?
Using a technologically advanced process, it is extracted from the hybrid plant, processed into an oil, tincture, or capsule, and then sent to an independent lab for testing before being administered. The oil is taken orally, and is not smoked.
Is there evidence that non-euphoric, CBD rich oil is safe and effective?
There is much research to support that CBD has significant therapeutic benefits, while causing few known side effects - particularly compared to the side effects of traditional anti-seizure medications. Use of non-euphoric, CBD rich oil has shown effectiveness in animal studies and pharmaceutical-led investigational studies. Individuals with intractable epilepsy in states where CBD is legal are reporting a reduction in the number and severity of seizures.
What are the statistics pertaining to success in controlling seizures using non-euphoric, CBD rich oil?
At this point the only data are anecdotal. The Realm of Caring Foundation, which is affiliated with the organization that developed Charlotte’s WebTM oil, has reported that 85 percent of the initial cohort of children experienced a reduction in seizures of 50 percent or more. Margaret Gedde, MD, who has seen in her clinical practice many of the children taking Charlotte’s WebTM oil, estimates that overall one-quarter of children with epilepsy have had dramatic improvement after taking Charlotte’s WebTM oil and about another 50 percent have had some improvement . However, no rigorous clinical trials have been conducted at this time, and the earliest are set to begin in 2015, with any FDA approval to occur years after these trials have been concluded.
Are there side effects when using non-euphoric, CBD rich oil?
There are no known significant side effects. In fact, the most commonly reported side effects were better sleep, increased alertness and better mood.
But isn’t a CBD drug being made by a pharmaceutical company?
Yes, we know of two pharmaceutical companies that are working on the development of a CBD drug – GW Pharmaceuticals and Insys Therapeutics. However, at best, it is estimated it will be 3-5 years before a CBD therapy is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is available on the market. When our loved ones are having seizures multiple times every day, three years is a dangerous and miserable eternity. Uncontrolled seizures can lead to disability, injury, and even death.
Why do we need legislation in Texas?
A legislative bill legalizing non-euphoric, CBD rich oil is the best chance for Texans with epilepsy that are living with uncontrolled seizures to gain access to this promising treatment option quickly.
Do you have the support of the medical community?
Yes, C.A.F.E. Texas has supporters who are board certified physicians with numerous major Texas children’s hospitals. We also have letters of support from physicians in other states where there have been movements to legalize CBD. The general professional consensus is that early evidence suggests CBD provides efficacy for intractable epilepsy treatment in some patients with favorable adverse effect profiles, but the research gaps for fully understanding CBD’s efficacy for epilepsy must be acknowledged and addressed.
Where are CBD treatments legal?
CBD specific treatments are currently legal in 11 states (Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin). All of these states have recently passed these CBD bills, so they must now work to implement their programs and help the epilepsy community gain access to this treatment option. Desperate Texans seeking help for their children have already left their homes, jobs, families and support systems to seek medical refuge in Colorado and other states where CBD is legal.
Federal bills are currently proposed before Congress. Why do we need to take action on the state level?
There is no guarantee that the federal bills will pass. The two federal bills that would re-schedule cannabis on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) schedule of drugs would improve access for research, but don't address the issues necessary to ensure safe and legal access to CBD as a therapeutic treatment. The 2014 Republican-led legislation H.R. 5226 (the Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act) seeks to exclude hemp (defined as a product containing 0.3 percent or less THC) from the Controlled Substances Act. While this may change the way states view non-euphoric, CBD rich oil, states would still need to amend their Controlled Substance Act and may still restrict hemp or make it illegal. States therefore still play a vital role in overseeing safe and legal growing, processing, and dispensing of hemp and CBD products.
Can’t I just bring or import CBD oil from a state where it is legal?
Families would have to travel out of state to obtain CBD oil, and break federal laws by bringing it across multiple state lines back into Texas. Although 34 states have passed some form of medical cannabis legislation, none except Oregon allow out of state residents to legally access CBD oil, and even in Oregon the patient must obtain a registration card and a recommendation from a physician licensed in Oregon.