Cannabis-derived CBD oil may be the latest trend in food and drink customisation offering claimed health benefits, but the problem is that more and more people are using it as a solution to conditions they do not really have.
This startling claim is derived from a mountain of political evidence showing an economic ‚Äėinvisible hand‚Äô pushing towards drug legalisation, in an attempt to intellectualise and rationalise the semantics of a judgment handed down by the Constitutional Court in 2018 permitting the cultivation and use of cannabis for personal consumption, says Dr Lochan Naidoo ‚Äď world renowned addictionologist, former chairman of the United Nations Narcotics Board and founder of Jullo Specialist Substance Abuse Rehab Centre in Merebank, Durban.
After the advent of the popularly celebrated national court case, stores around the Dolphin Coast have mushroomed up advertising cannabis-derived products from beer, pizza, baked goods, creams and medicines, each claiming to offer unverified benefits for one‚Äôs personal health.
While many don‚Äôt see the direct correlation between cannabis use and crime or death, Naidoo explains that the recent ruling is part of a careful dismantling of the drug control system originally intended to protect the health and welfare of citizens, and that the consequences are not necessarily direct nor immediate.
‚ÄúYoung children who have been exposed to drug use or adults with drug-related psychosis are at severe risk of a long-term imbalance within the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, which controls judgment and common sense,‚ÄĚ said Naidoo.
‚ÄúThis is further explained by the presence of mirror neurons that mimic the brain of the person who actually uses drugs, pre-disposing young children to go into adulthood with other problems such as hypertension or substance misuse.‚ÄĚ
The open door left by vague legislation points towards people experimenting with cannabis in their privacy with hybridisation, increasing the toxicity and lethality of the drug.
While CBD oil may not itself contain the psycho-active component of cannabis ‚Äď Naidoo claims it lays the foundations towards a drug-legal ‚Äėnarco‚Äô community, simultaneously with search and seizure laws being changed to prevent police officers from searching individuals without a warrant.
Kerry Roberts, a psychologist based in Salt Rock, affirmed that very little research had been done regarding the long-term effects of cannabis-related products, and maintains that recreational cannabis use is a dangerous habit leading to psychotic behaviour, lack of concentration and motivation.
‚ÄúWhile CBD is used for non-psychoactive pain relief, a lot of people are self-diagnosing their need for it and as society gradually becomes more socially accepting of cannabis and its self-administered use, the lack of knowledge and ignorance about the dangers of cannabis use will become more likely,‚ÄĚ said Roberts.
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Childhood trauma has been statistically linked to crime, incarcerated individuals and suicide as a common denominator, and more psychiatric professionals are urging the public to take ‚Äėadverse childhood experiences‚Äô into account as a measure of a society‚Äôs health, and look more substantively as to whether the immediate gains claimed by cannabis-related products are worth the risks, or whether they even have diagnosis for it.
Naidoo and Roberts agreed that professional medical diagnosis by a multi-skilled healthcare practitioner was critically relevant, as opposed to the efforts of a merchant to prescribe a product to push sales.