What is cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is one of the active ingredients in Cannabis sativa , the scientific name for marijuana. It makes up up to 40% of plant extracts and can be used as a medicine for several diseases, ranging from severe epilepsy to fibromyalgia . It is a cannabinoid substance (which acts on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain).
Seen with suspicion for being made from an illegal plant and with psychoactive effects, CBD gained space in the media from 2014, when a mother won, in court, the right to import the substance for the treatment of her daughter who had CDKL5 syndrome, which causes severe epilepsy.
The child suffered from up to 80 attacks per week and the drugs did not have the desired effect. However, cannabidiol practically cleared the girl’s seizures.
In 2015, ANVISA removed the CBD from the list of illegal substances, moving to the list of controlled substances, requiring a prescription and medical report for the import.
Some methods can be used to ingest the medicine. It can be consumed in spray, in oil or smoked, but there is no consensus on which is more effective. CBD oil is the most widely used method for administering the drug.
Some NGOs are authorized to produce the drug in Brazil.
Conducting research on the substance has been illegal for decades, as well as with other compounds in the plant. There are still legal obstacles to researching cannabis, but little by little they are overcome because of their positive effects on medicine.
In medicine, cannabidiol can be used as an anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic and anti-tumor. Understand:
Effective in reducing seizures caused by epilepsy, CBD gained space in the media for this reason.
Neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects
Protective properties of brain cells and bone marrow have been observed in cell cultures and in animal models. This can have a positive effect on the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, neurodegeneration caused by the excessive use of alcohol, as well as multiple sclerosis (which is an inflammatory disease), among others.
In countries where cannabis is medically legalized, cannabinoids are already used for treatments for pain, nausea and increased appetite in cancer patients and undergoing chemotherapy, but studies have shown that CBD has tumor-reducing effects, decreased tumor growth and inhibition of metastasis in animals and cell cultures.
However, there have been no studies of these effects in humans.
No, cannabidiol is not “cheap” . The effect known by that name, which results from the consumption of fresh marijuana , is derived from the cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC.
This substance also has medicinal properties, but cannabidiol is preferable precisely because of the lack of psychoactive effects related to marijuana. Cannabidiol is one of the substances in the herb, but it does not cause the side effects of THC.
In the brain, there are specific receptors for several endogenous substances, that is, what the body itself produces. Many drugs act on these receptors, helping them to pick up these substances or blocking them so that they do not pick up substances that can cause problems.
One of the types of receptors are cannabinoid receptors. They are known as CB1 and CB2. THC is one of the substances that has an affinity for these receptors and activates them. The “cheap” effect happens because of the activation of CB1 by THC.
Unlike THC, CBD has little affinity for the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, but is an antagonist of them. This means that when it binds to these receptors, it occupies the space without activating them, preventing them from being activated by substances with affinity.
Because of this, one of the effects of CBD is a reduction in the effect of THC. However, the difference is small, since, when occupying CB2 receptors, the concentration of THC in CB1 receptors is higher.
It can also bind to other receptors, such as 5-HT1A – a serotonin receptor -, which influences mood and is strongly related to depression . This connection may be related to the antidepressant, anxiolytic and neuroprotective effects of CBD.
The side effects of CBD are one of its positive points, as they are few and considered mild. Are they:
High doses of CBD may slightly lower blood pressure a few minutes after taking the drug. This side effect is probably the cause of the dizziness .
This is one of the main effects of CBD. Dizziness is temporary and can be resolved with a cup of coffee or tea. It is associated with a drop in blood pressure caused by high doses of the drug.
Cannabidiol is considered a substance that, in general, induces wakefulness, that is, the state in which one is awake. However, in high doses, this active ingredient can cause the opposite effect, making the patient sleepy.
Driving or operating machines after using high doses of CBD is not recommended.
Affected by CBD, the salivary glands show less production of saliva after using the drug, causing dryness in the mouth.
Inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism
Medicines metabolized in the liver may have their effects reduced or canceled out by CBD in high doses. This effect can cause unwanted drug interactions, but it can also be used to neutralize some drugs.
Before starting treatment with cannabidiol, talk to your doctor about any medication you are taking.
There are few contraindications for CBD. Are the following:
It is not recommended to use CBD when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Liver metabolizing drugs
CBD inhibits the metabolism of drugs that are processed in the liver. Talk to your doctor about this before taking it, as CBD can decrease the effectiveness of the drug.
Cannabidiol allergy is one of the contraindications to the use of the drug.
Being a new drug, doctors have not yet reached a consensus on which is the most effective method of consuming cannabidiol, but there are several ways that work well. Remember to always consult your doctor about the dosage and method of taking medications.
Some research shows that the ideal way to use CBD is to smoke a cigarette made with mixtures of cannabis components dosed in the laboratory, avoiding THC. This is the method that works most quickly, as the substance goes straight into the bloodstream through the lungs.
The problem in this case is that burning materials and inhaling smoke can be harmful to lung health.
Isolating CBD in the laboratory and turning it into tablets is feasible and effective. This method takes a little more time to take effect when compared to smoking, but it is fast like any other pill, in addition to not having the negative effects of smoke.
There are studies that advocate vaporization. Vaporizers would act on the CBD oil without burning it. This vapor must be inhaled. The effects are quick and do not harm the lung.
The oil should be applied under the tongue in the dose recommended by the doctor. This is the most practical method and also the most suitable for children and adolescents.
Derived from Cannabis sativa , an illegal cultivation plant, CBD was on the list of illegal substances until 2015. After being cleared for importation into a family, several others filed for it.
Today, CBD is classified as a controlled substance and it is possible to import it with a prescription signed by a doctor. It is necessary to complete an ANVISA form and the import authorization lasts one year.
Some NGOs are authorized to produce the oil in Brazil. This makes the product cheaper and more accessible, but it is still limited.
Research on the effects of CBD was hampered by the classification of an illegal substance it possessed. After the reclassification, research was more encouraged and the University of São Paulo will open, in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry Prati-Donaduzzi, a cannabinoid research center, focusing on CBD, in Ribeirão Preto.
Only people with medical reports and prescriptions can buy the medicine, which is controlled. There are a few ways to make this purchase. Are they:
With the disadvantage of being expensive and bureaucratic, it is possible to import CBD, as well as other cannabinoids such as THC, for medical use. ANVISA makes available, on its website, a register for individuals. Registration requires several documents and information. Are they:
The prescription must contain the patient’s name, the commercial name of the CBD-based product to be imported, the dosage of the medication, the amount needed for treatment over the course of a year, date, signature and the doctor’s stamp. The doctor’s registration number is also required.
This report must contain a description of the case, justification for the use of CBD in comparison to other alternatives available in Brazil, previous treatments, patient’s name, date and, as well as in the doctor’s prescription, signature and stamp with his registration number.
If it is a renewal of registration, it is necessary to prove the patient’s evolution with the use of cannabidiol.
Declaration of responsibility and clarification
A model declaration and other guidelines are available on the ANVISA website. It must contain the doctor’s signature and the patient’s or legal guardian’s signature.
If the quantity of CBD imported in the forecast for one year is insufficient, it is necessary to update the order. It is possible to import the total quantity at once or in installments.
After the registration is approved, the import can be carried out by express shipment, registration of the Import Licensing or accompanied baggage. It is necessary to present, with each import, the medical prescription and authorization from ANVISA.
There are some companies that import the product for patients, performing the bureaucratic part. The first of them in the national territory was HempMeds Brasil.
Prices are salted in the same way as importing directly, but through the company it is possible to receive the product at home. It is HempMeds that produces the oil in European territory for import.
Imported products are expensive. Cannabidiol oil syringes can cost from R $ 200.00 to R $ 1200.00 reais each. The treatment is not cheaper than R $ 1000.00 per month. For this reason, in recent years, another option to buy CBD has been gaining momentum.
Initially, the purchase of national cannabidiol oil was made illegally and illegally. There are still organizations that work this way, allowing families with fewer resources to access treatment.
However, there are organizations that have obtained the right to produce and sell oil in court. Some serve hundreds of families.
Prices are variable. The importer HempMeds Brasil sells some varieties ranging from U $ 139.00 (R $ 454.00) to U $ 329.00 (R $ 1030.00) per syringe containing 10 to 15 mL of the oil.
They also sell the liquid version in 118 mL bottles, ranging from U $ 89.00 (R $ 278.00) to U $ 119.00 (R $ 372.00), and in capsules, which go from U $ 109 .00 (R $ 341.00) to U $ 129.00 (R $ 403.00). The 236 mL flask costs U $ 259.00 (R $ 810.46).
Recalling that the site only offers the purchase in dollars. The amounts in reais are approximate and depend on the exchange rates at the time of purchase.
Known as ABRACE, the Brazilian Cannabis Support Association Esperança obtained an injunction from a federal judge that authorizes the production and supply of cannabis oil to about 400 patients with a prescription.
Cassiano Teixeira started supporting oil production through donations, but in 2015 he created a patient association. Families needed to associate themselves with prescription and medical report.
Each family pays 150 reais a month to the association, with the exception of 30 low-income families. Almost 400 patients are treated and there are more than 200 on a waiting list. You can enter their website by clicking here .
Mevatyl is the first cannabis-based medicine released for sale in pharmacies in Brazil. Indicated for multiple sclerosis, it is composed of THC and CBD. The drug is not yet on sale, but it already has a fixed maximum price. The price is extremely high, reaching almost R $ 2800.00.
According to ANVISA, the price of the drug takes into account the fact that it is composed of substances never used in medicines in Brazil, in addition to its price abroad, where it is known as Sativex.
In the United States, 28 of the 50 states have the herb released. The same is true in Canada, Colombia, Israel, Uruguay, Chile, in addition to dozens of other countries that have regulations on the medical use of marijuana. In Brazil, some steps have already been taken in this direction.
In 2015, ANVISA removed the CBD from the list of prohibited substances and placed it on the list of controlled substances. In the same year, the STF began to discuss whether it is a crime to carry drugs for its own use and the trial has been suspended since then, at the request of a view.
At the end of 2016, three families obtained habeas corpus so that they can plant and extract marijuana oil for their own medical use, a situation similar to that of ABRACE, which by court decision, can plant and produce the oil for the association.
In January 2017 the first remedy based on CBD and THC was registered in Brazil, Mevatyl. Four months later, Cannabis sativa was recognized by ANVISA as a medicinal plant.
You can treat various illnesses through CBD. Some of them are:
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system and spinal cord. It is estimated that 35 thousand people in Brazil have the disease, which has no cure. It is not possible to prevent it.
Treatment consists of alleviating the symptoms, which are several: the patient may experience pain, loss of balance, loss of vision, limb stiffness, muscle weakness, cognitive and emotional disorders , erectile dysfunction for men and lack of lubrication for women, among others. several other symptoms.
Along with THC, CBD is a medication that can mitigate the symptoms of this disease.
The first medicine with authorization for sale in pharmacies based on Cannabis sativa is indicated for multiple sclerosis. It is not yet available in pharmacies, but it already has a fixed maximum price. Its trade name is Mevatyl.
In Brazil, the disease that started the process of legalizing CBD is severe epilepsy. The substance helps to decrease the intensity and frequency of seizures.
THC also does this, but in high doses it can worsen the condition, so it is not recommended that it be used for the treatment of epilepsy. In addition, it is accompanied by the state of intoxication of marijuana, the “cheap”.
This disease causes pain in the fibrous tissues of the body and mainly affects women between the ages of 20 and 50, although it can also affect men. Fibromyalgia is usually treated with opioids, anti-inflammatories and corticosteroids, medications that can have several side effects such as chemical dependency.
Studies in 2011 indicated that CBD reduces pain in fibromyalgia patients more effectively than traditional treatment.
Although THC is known to increase the chances of developing schizophrenia in patients who are at risk, CBD has been shown to be effective in reducing and alleviating the symptoms of the disease.
A 2012 study showed that its effects are as effective as those of the antipsychotic amisulpride, with the advantage of having fewer side effects.
With anti-inflammatory effects, CBD can be used to reduce inflammation of the digestive system that characterizes Chron’s disease. Both CBD and THC have effects that can help with this condition.
Unlike marijuana, cannabidiol is a substance that does not have the side effects of the herb from which it originates. It can help patients with various diseases, but it still depends on changes in the legislation so that it can be used and studied effectively, since access to it is currently bureaucratic, complicated and expensive.