A report in Times of India suggested that cannabidiol (CBD oil) helps in relieving health problems if taken in the prescribed amount. It also helps in anxiety, depression, joint pains, insomnia, and some heart-related issues. The daily reported that only CBD products extracted from hemp are legal to buy and use in our country. However, any of these products with the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content higher than 0.3 per cent will fall in the category of cannabis and will turn illegal under the NDPS act. The major issue with many products that are being sold online is that they don’t mention the content description and there’s no way of finding out if the product carries THC content higher or lower than 0.3 per cent.
Will you be jailed for buying CBD oil?
Answering the same query, advocate Ayaz Khan told the daily, “I got a lot of queries from various clients, friends because of the media frenzy. My team found that this oil may not be covered as an offence under the NDPS Act.”
CBD Oil is available online and people who have bought it are freaking out thinking if they have done something illegal. Read on to know if one is allowed to buy cannabidiol in our country or not.
The mention of CBD oil in the WhatsApp chats retrieved by the NCB has sent the common men in a tizzy. The CBD oil is easily available online and many people can buy it without presenting any prescription by the doctor. With more people from the film industry coming under NCB’s radar, here are a few things that a common man needs to know about buying or procuring CBD oil or whether you can be landed in legal trouble because of it. Also Read – Nearly 6 Crore People in India Are Addicted to Alcohol, Cannabis: Report
CBD Oil has medicinal properties and is used for its pain-relieving effects, reducing anxiety and depression. As per Harvard research, CBD is a component of Marijuana and it does not cause high. CBD oil is a 40% extract of the Cannabis plant. In fact, CBD oil is legal in India and other countries too. According to reports, India is one of the biggest consumers of CBD oil.
“A 2019 study on substance abuse by the Ministry of Social Justice estimated that 2.8 percent of Indians consume cannabis. That comes to around 3 crore Indians. Delhi and Mumbai are among the highest cannabis consuming cities in the world,” reported the Print. Further, cannabis in India was legal until the year 1985 and was banned under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. However, a few contents extracted from cannabis are still legal and come with certain guidelines of usage. Also Read – Brucellosis Outbreak in China Affects Over 3000 People: Know All About This Highly Contagious Disease
If you are watching television or reading news, you must have come across the word Cannabidiol, better known as CBD oil. For the averse, in a Whatsapp chat between actor Rhea Chakraborty (prime accused in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case) and Jaya Saha (SSR’s former manager), there was a mention of CBD oil, that later became a talking point. Also Read – Brucellosis Outbreak: Read Why India Needs to Take Precautions Right Away
Although contaminants come in various shapes and forms, most are relatively easy to detect, because many professional analytical labs exist that routinely screen for such contaminants in, for example, food crops, imported medicinal plants, or edible oils. The standard lab methods, as described in Pharmacopoeia monographs (e.g., USP, EP) or food regulations, could simply be applied to CBD oils, after some minor validation studies. For example, the detection of heavy metals or pesticides present in CBD oil does not significantly differ from the same analysis in, say, a shipment of olive oil. The only analysis that is not yet standard procedure in most analytical labs is the quantification of cannabinoids. Because cannabinoids are only found (with few exceptions ) in the cannabis plant, specific analytical methodology must be developed to properly determine the cannabinoid composition of the many CBD products available.
It is well known that cannabis plants obtained from uncontrolled sources may be contaminated with various harmful substances , sometimes leading to severe health issues or hospitalization . Contaminants include chemicals that were intentionally added in order to increase yield, weight, or potency (e.g., pesticides, metal particles , synthetic cannabinoids ) but also agents that entered the plant unintentionally (e.g., heavy metals, molds and bacteria , aflatoxins). For example, pesticides are frequently present in cannabis sold by Dutch coffee shops , but were also found in cannabis offered under state law in California  as well as medicinal cannabis from licensed producers in Canada . If any of these contaminants were present in hemp used for CBD extraction, they would likely end up in a concentrated form in the final oil. One contaminant specifically relevant to cannabis (CBD or THC) oils is the residual presence of toxic solvents used during the extraction procedure .
Increasingly, CBD oil is also being promoted as a prophylactic treatment in order to prevent certain diseases from developing at all. The argument used is that the human endocannabinoid system is involved in basic life functions such as appetite, immune response, reproduction, and pain management . Because CBD functions as an indirect antagonist to human CB1 and CB2 receptors , it is reasoned that the presence of CBD prevents them from being overly activated, thereby protecting the nervous and immune systems from everyday stress. Furthermore, CBD is known to be a reasonably potent antioxidant, which further helps to protect against stressful influences . Although this clearly increases the market for CBD products, it also further erodes the scientific basis for the therapeutic use of CBD. After all, it is hard to prove scientifically that a disease was prevented by the use of a health-promoting product.
What Studies Tell Us
Almost overnight, CBD oils have become an interesting combination of popular holistic medicine, miracle cure, and a natural answer to the synthetic drugs dominating modern medicine. With CBD, patients receive the promise of being in control of their own ailments, and no longer feeling at the mercy of their treating physicians. This has turned out to be a particularly powerful message. Many patients use CBD oils freely for ailments both confirmed and self-diagnosed, and the rapid innovations with CBD products have actually been quite impressive. But while new CBD products keep entering the market virtually unchecked, effective regulatory control of these products has stayed far behind. As a result, unknown risks about long-term effects remain unaddressed, especially in vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, and the chronically or terminally ill. It should be noted that this discussion goes well beyond CBD only, as new products containing additional cannabinoids like CBG, THCV, and acidic cannabinoids are following closely behind. We know even less about these compounds than about CBD, and very limited human safety data are available.
Additionally, as many as 26/46 samples (57%) had a THC content > 1%, with one sample peaking at 57.5%. In 18/46 samples (39%) the oil contained virtually only THC (with CBD < 0.1%). Although many of the samples analyzed were purposely made to contain a high THC content, it is unclear whether oil consumers are always aware they are consuming THC, and thereby exposing themselves to the adverse effects of this psychotropic compound, such as intoxication, panic attacks, or disorientation. It should be noted that although the exact legal status of CBD may be debatable, THC-rich extracts are strictly prohibited in virtually all countries.
Today, CBD is used for the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions. This started with the somewhat serendipitous discovery (by parents experimenting with self-medication for their children) that CBD had a therapeutic effect on a serious form of epilepsy in children, called Dravet syndrome . This effect is now under clinical investigation with the pharmaceutical CBD product Epidiolex®, which is currently in phase 3 trials with encouraging results [9, 10]. The media attention generated by its effect on severely ill children gave CBD the push needed to become a much desired medicine almost overnight . Other medical indications that may be treated with CBD, and are supported to some extent by clinical proof, include Parkinson’s disease , schizophrenia , and anxiety disorder . However, although research into the therapeutic effects of CBD is rapidly increasing, most current uses of CBD are not (yet) supported by clinical data. The popular use of these products means that physicians may be confronted with the effects of CBD oil even when they do not prescribe it themselves.
If CBD oil was used mainly by adult, well-informed, and reasonably healthy consumers, the impact of its widespread use would perhaps be quite acceptable and limited. However, this is not the case, as CBD is actively marketed for use by children (e.g., for Dravet syndrome, ADHD, autism), elderly people (Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease), patients suffering from complex diseases (cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain), and even pets (anxiety, appetite, sleep). Indiscriminate use of CBD may lead to various issues among these consumers. For example, CBD shows an exciting potential for treating epilepsy in children, but the long-term effects of high-dose CBD on these children’s brain functions remain unclear, while there are strong clues that the endocannabinoid system is central in the proper neuronal development of the adolescent brain . In order to halt the unchecked advertising of CBD products, health authorities in various countries have begun sending official warning letters to stop producers and sellers from making unfounded health claims [24, 25].