Hemp and cannabis are botanically the same plant, Cannabis Sativa.
Hemp that is grown for industrial use contains less than 0.3 percent THC, and is used to make a variety of commercial and industrial products including rope, clothes, food, paper, textiles, plastics, insulation, biofuel and many more.
Cannabis, as we usually think of it, is mostly grown for recreational use (getting “high”) and contains between 45 percent THC (back in the ’60’s), to 2530 percent THC in some strains today.
The difference depends on how it is cultivated and it appears that the higher the THC content, the higher the monetary value and the more it is sought after.
Both plants produce both chemicals but in vastly different quantities
So where does that leave us on the Medicinal Marijuana thing?
Well, to start with, CBD will not get you high, as it typically only contains between 0.1 – 0.3 percent of THC, so you would need to drink gallons of the stuff to feel even a tiny buzz!
A bit like drinking alcohol-free beer to get drunk. Not exactly practical or effective!
So, if CBD doesn’t get you high, then what is it good for?
Imagine a Cannabis oil extract that helps you feel relaxed, focused, calm and pain free yet does not cause the short term memory loss, impaired motor function, paranoia, the ‘munchies’ or any of the other less than desirable effects of ingesting the magic weed.
Well, that is CBD.
One of the huge benefits, especially when used for children, is that CBD does NOT cause disorientation, as THC can do. (I imagine getting high could be quite scary for a child, even if it does mean they get relief from seizures, help overcome the effects of autism or even survive the Big C.)
CBD has been used successfully in treating cases of seizures, both clinically and anecdotally.**
What I’d really like to know is, why is this very useful substance still not available without a prescription in Bermuda?
We allow the unrestricted importation of edible hemp seeds and oil. (You can find them in your local grocery and health food store). So why not CBD? It doesn’t get you high, so where is the problem?
Go on line and you will find you can buy and use CBD in most of the United States without a prescription. It’s even legal in the UK!
So why isn’t it freely available here in Bermuda?
THC, on the other hand, is a highly psychoactive substance. It has many similar uses and benefits to CBD, but in my opinion, when it is used in a pure, isolated form, it should be administered by a medical professional, as dosage and effect need to be closely monitored.
I would like to think that there are Doctors in Bermuda who will help people use this substance very effectively for relieving many ailments.
I will leave the subject of whether or not Cannabis per se should be legalized for another time, for that is outside the scope and purpose of this discussion.
Please understand that I am not claiming any cures or treatment of any disease in this article because that would be illegal.
I am simply reporting some of the benefits of the humble hemp plant.
*According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have found CBD to possess the following medical properties:
** Go to: https://www.facebook.com/CollectiveEvolutionPage/videos/10153346639493908/ for a very poignant example of this.
By Lynda Hartley
Lynda Hartley is a Certified Health Coach at the Raw Food Edge, an entity which specializes in Individual Coaching, Group Workshops and Motivational Speaking for Healthy Living. She and her husband also own and operate Bermuda Green, a local business providing fresh salad sprouts to Supermarkets, Delis and Restaurants throughout the Island. For more information or comments email email@example.com or telephone 2343535 or 3352981.