At age five, Charlotte suffered 300 grand mal seizures a week, and was constantly on the brink of a medical emergency. Through online research, Charlotte’s desperate parents heard of treating Dravet with CBD. It was controversial to pursue medical marijuana for such a young patient, but when they gave Charlotte oil extracted from high-CBD cannabis, her seizures stopped almost completely. In honor of her progress, high-CBD cannabis is sometimes known as Charlotte’s Web.
The ruling was contrary to existing evidence, which suggests the chemical is safe and could have multiple important uses as medicine. Many cannabis advocates consider it a miracle medicine, capable of relieving conditions as disparate as depression, arthritis and diabetes.
Epidiolex was developed by the London-based GW Pharmaceuticals, which grows cannabis on tightly controlled farms in the UK. It embarked on the Epidiolex project in 2013, as anecdotes of CBD’s value as an epilepsy drug began emerging from the US.
CBD first came to public attention in a 2013 CNN documentary called Weed. The piece, reported by Dr Sanjay Gupta, featured a little girl in Colorado named Charlotte, who had a rare life-threatening form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome.
Despite the government ruling, CBD is widely available over the counter in dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal.
The perception of its widespread medical benefits have made the chemical a rallying cry for legalization advocates.
In late June, the US Food and Drug Administration could approve the Epidiolex, a pharmaceuticalized form of CBD for several severe pediatric seizure disorders. According to data recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the drug can reduce seizures by more than 40%. If Epidiolex wins approval it would be the first time the agency approves a drug derived from the marijuana plant. (The FDA has approved synthetic THC to treat chemotherapy-related nausea.)
So, if hemp oil doesn’t get you high, what does it do, exactly? Research shows that it can provide relief from everyday stress and anxiousness, promote feelings of calm, support healthy immune function, and help with sleep, for starters.* It’s also becoming a popular ingredient across the cosmetic industry as it’s said to help promote healthy skin, hair, and nails.*
Happy 4/20! These days, cannabis is in high demand (pun only slightly intended). But it’s important to note that there are many types of products that come from the cannabis plant, and only some contain enough tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in marijuana, to get you high. Hemp oil is not one of them.
Full-spectrum hemp oils are comprised of the whole hemp plant, meaning they’re high in cannabinoids, like CBD, and phytocannabinoids, which, renowned integrative physician Robert Rountree, M.D., tells mbg, “affect the [human body’s] endocannabinoid system, the body’s master regulatory system.*” Together, all these working parts of the plant produce what’s called the “entourage effect,” magnifying the product’s effects on the body.*
Why you won’t feel “high” after taking hemp extracts.
Hemp extract does contain terpenes and flavonoids, organic compounds present in all plants, fruits, and vegetables that give off specific aromas and tastes. These elicit particular responses in the body and often act synergistically with cannabinoids to boost their effects. So while the supplement can make your body feel good and relax your mind, hemp oil won’t make you feel high—even when taken in large doses.
On that note, the number of benefits you’re able to reap from a hemp product ultimately depends on how much of the hemp plant is incorporated into the formula.
Hemp extract is rich in beneficial plant compounds called cannabinoids including CBD, but it’s very low in THC—the psychoactive compound that causes you to feel “high” when smoking weed. “There is very little THC in hemp products, less than 0.3% verses up to 30% in marijuana,” explains functional medicine doctor Amy Shah, M.D. (In order to be a legal product, hemp extracts must contain less than 0.3% THC, which the USDA considers a ‘trace amount.’)
There are a slew of benefits that hemp oil could potentially offer someone when properly implemented into their daily routine (with the correct dosage), but among the many things the cannabis substance can do for your body, hemp oil won’t make you feel high.*