The renewed interest in medical cannabis oil over the past decade is a major milestone in medicine.
Although still not legal in many countries, there has been a growing band of advocates who are demanding its decriminalisation after its miracle-like effects on the most debilitating of illnesses.
Currently, laboratories all over the world are researching the drug, and its use in modern medicine is being reviewed.
How can cannabis oil be used medically?
Cannabis has been used medically for thousands of years. Its use for medicinal purposes was widespread in the Middle East and eastern Asia, and was also a common feature in treating people in Europe for at least two millennia. During the twentieth century it saw a decline, mainly due to poor preparation of the plant and no standardisation of dosage which led to unreliable results. As the pharmaceutical industry grew in the West, cannabis was overtaken by other synthetic drugs.
Post-second world war, the West saw a rise in the use of cannabis as an intoxicant. Cannabis became the drug of the hippie movement and over the next few decades it was abused as an intoxicant for the first time in its known history. Medical cannabis was prohibited in the UK in 1973, and cannabis was classified as an illegal drug.
Despite media representation of the plant as the “gateway drug”, there has been a renewed interest in cannabis for its properties in treating a range of illnesses. With its current legal status in most of Europe and America, people are choosing to self-medicate with cannabis oil. Online, communities have been formed with people sharing stories, publishing techniques on producing medical cannabis oil from the plant and joining forces to pressurise various governments to review their stance on the plant.
These advocates are instrumental in how marijuana is being slowly accepted by medics and the pharmaceutical industry. With their experiences of survival and healing, they are allowing scientists to research just how effective medical cannabis oil is on the human body.
Where medical cannabis oil has had success
A notable area of success for medical cannabis oil is its use in the treatment of Dravet Syndrome. Draftee Syndrome is a very rare type of epilepsy which had previously been treated with a range of drugs with low success rates. It is an unmanageable form of epilepsy which usually appears in infancy. It usually takes the form of incessant periods of seizures and fitting. With high-profile cases being treated with medical cannabis oil, it has sparked a lot of interest over recent years.
In 2013, an orally-administered liquid containing CBD oil received orphan drug status in the US, for use as a treatment for Dravet syndrome. It is branded under the name Epidiolex.
Slowly and gradually, states and countries are reviewing the scientific and medical evidence for the application of cannabis oil in medicine. The pressure to relax the restrictions that surround the drug is growing as more and more people are beginning to witness the full extent of medical cannabis on the human body.