HUMANITY'S RELATIONSHIP WITH CANNABIS-BASED PRODUCTS: LOOKS COMPLEX; IS SIMPLE.
Humanity's relationship with cannabis: time to click the "it's complicated" box...
Actually, complicated doesn't get near it. The perception engraved in many minds until mid-2018 was that there was one type of cannabis: "Hey man" recreational stuff, with mind's eye visions of 1970s San Francisco hippies or the less-glam visage of a stoned blue-haired weirdo hanging out in a squat. More recently, and more seriously, news has spread about the harm done to young people who consume ever more powerful recreational cannabis.
So, stereotypes and stigma. And risk.
Then June 11, 2018 came along. The then-12-year-old epileptic and severely autistic Billy Caldwell's prescription medicinal cannabis was confiscated by Border Control at London Heathrow. Within days, after massive worldwide media coverage, the UK population and politicians realised there was two types of cannabis: recreational and medicinal.
And then they started to realise that medicinal cannabis didn't just work for epileptic kids, it was also effective for a wider array of blue-haireds: blue-rinse-haired grannies with back pain, and people with anxiety issues, people of all ages in the final life stages of cancer, people with hundreds of different conditions involving pain or mental health challenges.
Let's be clear, though: there's not just one type of medicinal cannabis which can be considered a catchall: there is an almost infinite array of cannabis-based products covering medical and wellbeing use.
The closer to the high or challenging end of "having physical pain or mental health issues", the more complex it gets. There's two key components to medicinal cannabis: CBD and THC. THC is the element that is psychoactive in recreational cannabis, but a crucial part of the therapeutic package in medicinal. Ratios can vary massively. And then factor in that there is a vast array of types, strains and strengths of medicinal cannabis and its components, and that as conditions evolve and consumers or patients age, the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis also changes therefore requiring evolved treatments or, where available, prescriptions, and it becomes clear in its complexity.
Now, your eye flicks back to "CBD". Familiar, huh? Yes, CBD is being touted as (a) an effective wellbeing supplement and (b) as a potentially immense revenue generator.
This is the simple end of cannabis-based products.
Let's deal with (b), first. The Cannabis Oil Company (TCOC) will develop a policy of giving a proportion of profits to support vulnerable people who need advice, support or access when it comes to medicinal cannabis.
But (a)? Well, you've been able to buy CBD in High Street pharmacies and health shops for years. Yep, years. It's been used by high-flying office workers to de-stress, is part of some England Rugby Union players' pain and injury recovery regime, taken by chronic pain sufferers - a vast array of people.
But while a lot of people know it's a cannabis-based product, some actually don't. They simply see it as a vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) thing.
Nobody is completely clear why CBD does what it does. But people seem to know their own minds and bodies, and many say they feel a benefit from consuming it. Scientists believe the human body produces its own version of CBD, which may be a factor.
But the important point is that recreational cannabis, medicinal cannabis and wellbeing CBD are different things which apparently do different things.
Before consuming CBD, though, at least research it online, but at best consult your GP
Oh, and by the way, you'd need to consume enough High Street CBD oil to have a bath in to have even a glimmer of a brief psychoactive experience.