You know that the use of marijuana as a medicine and its derivative cannabidiol (CBD) is close to being widely accepted as a useful natural product when articles about its pain-relieving properties appear in Consumer Reports. Yes, I’m referring to the nonprofit magazine that provides unbiased ratings on products from cars to washing machines. I was pleasantly surprised when having received the October 2018 issue of the magazine, I found an article in it about CBD titled, “New Hope for Pain Relief?”. The comprehensive piece examined the legality of the substance and its effectiveness as a treatment for pain.
The article focused solely on the legal CBD variations; there were no ratings for medical marijuana strains or various CBD brands. It listed oils, pills, balms, and food products infused with CBD. It advised that consumers should look for products that specifically list “CBD” in the ingredients and not just “cannabinoids,” which can include other byproducts of the hemp plant.
There is a lack of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of CBD for pain relief, but studies have found it to be a low-risk treatment. Scientists blame the dearth of research on CBD and cannabinoids in general on its illegal status under federal law, according to the article. It also cites some studies that found that cannabis is beneficial for pain, nausea due to chemotherapy, and multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity.
I also found another useful article on the Consumer Reports website, “How to Shop for CBD.”
Recently I traveled to San Francisco and a friend helped me to find a marijuana dispensary. I had hoped to find special pain relief for a family friend, a young woman fighting end-stage cancer. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was surprised at the level of professionalism and security at the store. They don’t let just anyone inside — you have to produce a state-issued identification, such as a driver’s license, to prove your identity. Underage sales are prohibited unless the person has a medical marijuana prescription.
I made my first legal cannabinoid purchase. The clerk didn’t rush me, although there was a line of customers. The salesperson carefully listened to me describe what I was looking for, then made recommendations. My purchases added up to over $200. I wasn’t buying much: a package of 10 gummy edibles, a dozen cookies laced with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC (the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana), and a vial of high-potency tincture. I had no reference point to know if the items were fairly priced. But I wondered how anyone who uses these products regularly could afford them. But then again people who don’t have adequate health insurance to help with prescription medication costs also face the same affordability dilemma.
Questions about access to medical marijuana and the appropriate cannabinoid products to use for our symptoms is a frequent discussion topic in MS online communities. The high prices I witnessed while shopping in San Francisco drove home the importance of knowing the quality of what you are buying.
Meanwhile, the trend toward acceptance of CBD continues to strengthen. I read in a recent news report that Martha Stewart is involved with rapper Snoop Dogg in a CBD product range for pets through a Canadian company. If this influential businesswoman helps to bring more awareness to CBD, it might be a good thing.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.