The Internet is buzzing about a new breed of marijuana that apparently causes no buzz of its own. Israeli researchers have bred cannabis plants that look, smell and taste like ordinary marijuana — but lack THC, the active ingredient responsible for the spacy, giddy and sometimes hallucinatory part of pot’s high.
What’s the point of weed that doesn’t get you high, you ask? The new product could potentially fight conditions ranging from schizophrenia to Alzheimer’s disease.
It's strange to think that FDA-approved prescription drugs kill over 100,000 people each year (JAMA). Most of which remain legal, on the market and prescribed by doctors. Name one person killed by cannabis consumption – this person doesn't exist. The “Reefer Madness” scare campaign and disparaging “stoner stereotype” has gone on long enough – it's time to take a more honest look at marijuana as a superb medicine and vegetable.
While marijuana that is smoked is said to be a depressant, cannabidiol (CBD) acts as an anti-depressant. CBD is a major non-psychoactive component, the one utilized most and studied for its health effects. By itself, it is not to be mistaken for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive form that happens when CBD is heated. This is not to downplay the role of THC, however, which is well recognized on its own for its anti-cancer properties.
Many people, terminally …
Until now, it hasn’t been possible to get CBD from smoking marijuana without the simultaneous and possibly counterproductive exposure to THC. The new plant could change that — and perhaps shift the medical marijuana debate as well. While THC will remain essential for some medical marijuana patients — to increase appetite, for example — the non-impairing version of marijuana with CBD could help many others, without inducing the pleasure-producing properties that cause so much unending controversy.
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