Cannabidiol used in treating pain in physical therapy office, Vermont


RehabGYM, a physical therapy office in Williston, Vermont, is treating its patients who are suffering from pain with special balms made with cannabidiol, also known as CBD.

Until recently, the most popular compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—which is the most active ingredient in marijuana. Though marijuana contains both THC and CBD, the both compounds have different effects.

THC is known for the mind-altering “highness” it gives when broken down by heat and introduced into the body, such as when a user smokes the plant or cooks it into foods.

CBD on the other hand, is not psychoactive. This means that it doesn’t alter the state of mind of the person who uses it. However, it does appear to produce significant effects in the body and has been found to have medical benefits.

A large amount of CBD used medicinally can be obtained from the least processed form of the cannabis plant, known as hemp.

Elmore Mountain Therapeutics, a new company that are in the business of selling CBD oil and balm, approached RehabGYM with the idea of using them to enhance their customer’s experience.

While people commonly use prescription or over-the-counter drugs for relief from pain and stiffness—including chronic pain—distributors say the compound can provide a more natural way to relief  pain, anxiety, and even symptoms of cancer.

According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, it was found that CBD significantly reduced chronic inflammation and pain in some mice and rats. The researchers concluded that the non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana, such as CBD, could be a new treatment for chronic pain.

Sharon Gutwin, the founder and owner of RehabGYM, said it’s long overdue for the industry to utilize natural products such as cannabidiol for various forms of pain relief.

“Pain is very real,” she said. “Anything that we can do to help a person’s pain physically, and or mentally should be explored. This is a natural product. You can’t get addicted to it. You can’t overdose on it.”

The WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence—after reviewing evidence from animal and human studies on cannabidiol (CBD), concluded that “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” Advocates for marijuana use equally endorsed WHO’s conclusion.

“It was terrific to see WHO acknowledge what other scientific research has already stated,” said Justin Strekal, political director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

“While we are pleased to see the WHO finally acknowledge that absurdity of international restrictions, the continued domestic classification and criminalization of cannabidiol as a Schedule I controlled substance is out of step with both available science and common sense.”

“It is yet another example of the U.S. government placing ideology over evidence when it comes to issues related to the cannabis plan,” he added.

Gutwin noted that her gym is the first and only therapy office to utilize CBD during treatment in the state. She also uses CBD and hopes to incorporate even more natural products into her business.

Thus far, the Gutwin said interest in the products has been a bit poor, but she expects it to pick up over the next couple of months.

A total of twenty-nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes. While other states, including Georgia, have legalized the possession of CBD to treat specific disorders.

However, it is still a federal crime, to have or sell any form of marijuana, including CBD.

But irrespective of these federal regulations, CBD is still an ingredient in some popular products sold over the counter as oils, extracts, supplements, and gum to treat many illnesses.

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