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As the Remarkable Healing Qualities of CBD—a Component of Marijuana—Are Documented, Anti-Pot Drug Warriors Respond With CBDisinformation

The healing qualities of cannabis undermine the propaganda claims of medical pot's public enemy #1.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Bad Man Production

Perhaps the most important discovery about the make up of cannabis is cannabidiol (CBD), a “nonpsychoactive” component of marijuana, that is causing great excitement among medical scientists and heath professionals. A growing number of physicians are recommending CBD-rich cannabis oil extracts for patients in states where medical marijuana is legal. CBD has been shown to  shrink malignant tumorsimprove insulin sensitivityquell anxiety, and ease chronic pain – without making people feel high. Extensive preclinical (and some clinical) research validates the experience of many patients, including children with catastrophic seizure disorders, who successfully medicate with CBD-rich products.
Despite the enormous promise and many examples of successful treatment there are detractors and enemies of cannabis reform and none is given more media exposure than an outfit misnamed Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). SAM's cofounder, Kevin Sabet, is an anti-marijuana ideologue who served as an advisor to the drug czar’s office under Obama and George W. Bush. Sabet takes pride in  Rolling Stone’s description of him as “Legalization Enemy #1." SAM recently produced a “fact sheet” titled,  Everything You Need to Know About CBD, which seeks to justify the continued prohibition of cannabis by misinforming the public about cannabidiol and THC.
Sabet  stated in a  letter to the Boston Globe:
“Medical marijuana is a big fat headache that serves no one but people who want to get high.”
But the clamor for non-psychoactive CBD-rich cannabis proves Sabet is wrong. Medical marijuana is not – and never was – just a front for stoners.  Not long after we formed Project CBD in 2010, we predicted that recalcitrant drug warriors would attempt to coopt the news about CBD to advance a prohibitionist agenda. As we note on  projectcbd.org:
“Marijuana prohibitionists will try to exploit the news about CBD to further stigmatize high-THC cannabis, casting The High Causer, THC, as the bad cannabinoid, whereas CBD is pegged as the good cannabinoid. Project CBD categorically rejects this dichotomy in defense of whole plant cannabis therapeutics.”

SAM’s anti cannabis  polemic essentially boils down to this:

  • Specific components of the marijuana plant, including CBD, have medical value, but the marijuana plant itself does not have medical value.
  • THC, marijuana’s psychoactive component, is a horrible, dangerous substance, and children should not be exposed to it under any circumstances.
  • Marijuana-derived products are against federal law and are not adequately tested for safety and efficacy, unlike FDA-approved corporate pharmaceuticals.
  • State governments should not legalize marijuana to facilitate access to CBD. Those who need CBD should wait patiently until the federal government decides what CBD-rich medicines we are allowed to consume.

True enough. CBD-rich products should be made from organically grown cannabis, lab-tested for potency, mold and pesticides, and labeled for content and dosage. Certain CBD-products meet these criteria; others do not. Measurable doses of high quality, CBD-rich oil extracts, initially introduced in California, are currently available in some medical marijuana states. But cannabis products, including CBD-rich varieties, can’t be tested by “FDA-registered labs” because of the prohibitionist policies that SAM supports. Marijuana’s illicit status makes it impossible for analytical labs to handle such products with the FDA’s blessing.

In the world according to SAM, a product can’t be a medicine unless the FDA approves it as safe and effective. The FDA, however, is not in the business of approving plants as medicines. And the FDA approval process ensures neither safety nor efficacy. There are numerous examples of the FDA approving lethal Big Pharma meds that cure no better than a placebo. Pharmaceutical companies routinely hide clinical trial data about adverse side effects, falsify studies to win approval, and then rely on bribery, fraud, and deception to market dangerous drugs to unsuspecting patients, including children – all with a wink and a nod from the FDA, which treats corporate criminals like royalty. Big Pharma pays the FDA to fast-track cursory reviews, and the FDA enables widespread corruption within the pharmaceutical industry by routinely accepting drug company claims at face value while ignoring pertinent safety data. FDA scientists and whistleblowers risk retaliation by FDA management when they challenge Big Pharma prerogatives.

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