CBD stands for Cannabidiol. This is a naturally occurring substance found in cannabis plants, along with other compounds such as THC. CBD oil doesn’t make you “High” or cause you to feel impaired. It interacts with a natural hormonal system in your body called the endocannabinoid system. Some people are believed to have a deficiency in this system and CBD has a positive effect that can assist in correcting these imbalances.
We believe that by reducing the symptoms of a patient’s condition with the use of CBD oil and/or medicinal marijuana there is a direct impact on the improvement of your overall health and wellbeing.
Medicinal cannabis and CBD oil can be taken in several forms, including:
orally as a tincture or via oil-filled capsules
topically via skin creams and transdermal patches
infused into food products such as olive oil; or
vaporised for respiratory delivery.
Each method works differently in your body.
CBD works on the body’s endocannabinoid system by supplementing any deficiencies in it. Medicinal marijuana has been used by people for thousands of years to help treat many different medical conditions.
Internationally there have been hundreds of clinical studies and significant first-hand anecdotal evidence demonstrating the vast medical benefits of this natural product. Among others, researchers are reporting success in testing medicinal cannabis and CBD oil for treating:
That’s a list that makes you sit up and take notice!
CBD oil has in fact been legal in NZ since late 2017 and patients have been using it over this time. There can still be barriers to access these products for New Zealanders. Some GP’s will not prescribe medicinal cannabis and this is largely due to a lack of experience and knowledge or confidence in prescribing but can also reflect their opinions about CBD oil as not being a genuine medication.
So yes, CBD oil and medicinal cannabis are legal in New Zealand but only as a prescription medication from your doctor or specialist.
If you are finding little or no improvement in your symptoms using conventional medications or you are experiencing significant side effects of those medications, medicinal marijuana may well be a great alternative to investigate. It is also a viable option if you prefer plant-based treatments over pharmaceutical medications.
CBD oil reduces pain through its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also instill a sense of calmness to assist in reducing anxiety levels. THC can be very helpful for sleep and insomnia related issues and for more severe pain symptoms such as migraine headaches.
Medicinal cannabis will not necessarily suit or work for everyone and people can react differently. If your Doctor does recommend CBD oil or medicinal cannabis, we do encourage you to try it and work with your Doctor on a treatment plan that will optimise relief from your symptoms. It may be that some tweaks are required depending on how you are finding things after your initial consultation.
Dr David Porter, has seen first-hand the positive impact medicinal cannabis and CBD oil can have. “I’ve been prescribing CBD oil for the past 18 months since it became legal, for my fibromyalgia patients. Conventional pharmaceuticals tend to be ineffective at treating this condition and commonly cause debilitating side effects like drowsiness or mental fogginess. In stark contrast, CBD oil has proven to be head and shoulders above other treatments in terms of its lack of side effects, most importantly, but also the very considerable benefits to sleep, relaxation and pain relief. It is by far the most beneficial treatment I’ve used for these patients.”
Anecdotal feedback from Dr Porter’s patients support this, with comments about the hugely important improvement to their quality and quantity of sleep. Patients have told Dr Porter that they have experienced mental and physical calmness without the sense that a drug is doing it. Patients often mention they have greater mental alertness which is a really big deal in fibromyalgia where patients regularly complain of foggy thinking. And last, but not least, an improvement in pain.
The price for CBD oil will vary depending on the product that your Doctor prescribes, its strength or concentration and also the pharmacy from which you choose to fill your prescription. It is likely to cost around the same as a cup of coffee per day, or slightly less than that. THC products have a lower cost, possibly half as much. We are aiming to provide affordable and effective products to give you the best result without costing you the earth.
The Pain Clinic offers online consultations from the comfort of your home, or from our Christchurch clinic. We have a room at our clinic set aside specifically for patients who find that online consultations are not going to work for them in their home or work situation. If you visit our clinic, our friendly Practice Manager can guide you through the process.
CBD is not psychoactive, this means it does not effect how you think. CBD should not impair your ability to drive of work but this will also come down to the individual. THC products are relatively low in strength and prescribed in as low a dose as possible while still providing good clinical effects with minimal side effects. It is possible that you may feel some impairment but this will vary from person to person.
It is highly unlikely that CBD oil will show up on a drug test as it contains only trace amounts of THC. An actual THC (medical marijuana) based medication might however show on drug test results. Your Doctor can provide a letter of support to your employer advising they are prescribing a THC product.
The Health Europa Medical Cannabis Network has the latest medical cannabis news from across the field of European healthcare and social care policy. Click here.
An introduction to the endocannabinoid system: A description of the lipid signaling system essential to health, healing and homeostasis, long excluded from the medical school curriculum. Read it here.
NORML provide a comprehensive research library. Click here.