An FDA panel has recommended the approval of Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical drug that contains cannabidiol. This will lead to greater acceptance in mainstream society of this medicinal substance being used as a medical treatment.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how cannabidiol will eventually gain acceptance among the majority of the public by first examining the drug and presenting several reasons why the approval of Epidiolex will cause cannabidiol will gain massive amounts of public favor in the next few years.
But first, let us take a look at just what cannabidiol is…
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid, which is an endocannabinoid that comes from a plant. An endocannabinoid (an endogenous cannabinoid) is a component of the endocannabinoid system, which is a natural part of the human body and is located in the nervous system, the brain, the immune system, and many other locations.
Cannabidiol mimics the endocannabinoid known as 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), which interacts with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system. This system assists with maintaining homeostasis all throughout the body.
Cannabidiol is an active healing component of the herb known as cannabis and is used to treat pain, inflammation, psychosis, anxiety, nausea, spasms, seizures, depression, and other conditions. It is also used to treat diabetes, arthritis, MS, schizophrenia, PTSD, and epilepsy. In addition, CBD exhibits neuroprotective and neurogenic effects.
Unlike THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis), cannabidiol does not have intoxicating effects and is perfectly safe to use as a medical treatment.
Greenwich Biosciences Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of GW Pharmaceuticals PLC., and their primary product is Epidiolex, which is a medicine that uses cannabidiol as its active ingredient.
On April 19, 2018, an FDA advisory committee recommended that Epidiolex receive approval.
Future of Change in Public Perception
This endorsement will break down many walls of public resistance about cannabidiol being used medicinally. There are multiple reasons for this:
- FDA approval will give cannabidiol an “official” status
- Perceived elements of danger will diminish
- The phenomenon of “everyone else is now doing it” will strengthen
- The legality of cannabidiol will transform from being uncertain to “it is legal”
- Use of cannabidiol in more products and stores will increase dramatically
- Fear of being “old-fashioned” or “behind the times” will grow in the collective mindset of the general public FDA approval will give cannabidiol an “official” status
FDA approval will give cannabidiol an “official” status
The Food and Drug Administration is a highly respected organization. When it formally gives an endorsement to a product, that product is then understood to be part of the elite products available on the marketplace. There are lots of things turned down by the FDA, but the public has no trouble recognizing high quality in something that has their official stamp of approval.
Perceived elements of danger will diminish
When faced with an ever-growing selection of products, many consumers begin to look at all of the options available. If an option sports an FDA approval logo, then it generally goes to the top of the list as long as its price is in line with most of the other options. This favoritism is due in part to the product being safe to use because everyone is aware that the FDA will not risk its reputation on things that are not completely safe for the consumer to use.
Everyone else is doing it
There is a social phenomenon that accompanies large collections of people in a city, nation, or other types of gathering, and it is identified by the following phrase, “Everyone else is doing it.” This is sometimes referred to as “groupthink” and should occur with Epidiolex now that it has the official stamp of the federal government.
Once individuals see that other people are using a medicine that is highly effective and that the lives of their children are improving, widespread social acceptance of cannabinoid will become a reality.
For example, a mother in Maryland sees a child from California testifying about how great her daughter is now that she is using Epidiolex. A few days later, she gets a call from her sister who tells her that her neighbor’s son is now using this medicine, and he has stopped having seizures altogether. The mother in Maryland now takes her daughter with epilepsy to the doctor, so she can begin using Epidiolex. She figures that it is safe even though it comes from cannabis because “everyone else is doing it.”
The uncertain legality of cannabidiol will become “it is legal”
With so many states that haven’t yet approved cannabis as a medicine, many people are still wondering about anything connected to the plant. They often wonder, “Is it legal in this state?” “What if I buy it in another state?” “Well this product claims not to have THC,” and so on. With FDA approval, the certainty of this cannabis-based medication becomes far more clear, and many will say, “Oh, Epidiolex is approved by the federal government, so this one is definitely legal.”
The use of cannabidiol in more products will increase
Other products from a wide array of manufacturers will now begin to be created and placed on the market because it will be known that cannabidiol is government approved, and they would like to cash in on this emerging market. They know that they won’t have trouble with government authorities, and everything will be okay in the eyes of the federal law.
Having more products using cannabidiol will cause more people to use cannabidiol, and the stigmas against cannabis-based medications will continue to grow weaker every year.
Fear of being “behind the times” will manifest itself in society
“You’re not one of those old-timers who still believe that cannabidiol is bad for you because it comes from cannabis,” says one patron at the mall to another.
“Oh no!” replies the other. “I know better than that. Please don’t judge me that way.”
These sorts of conversations will become more and more common as the years go by, and cannabidiol becomes commonplace as an accepted medicine. Everyone will know it’s safe and effective.
History of Cannabis
So let us examine why this plant was stigmatized in the 20th century after being widely perceived by society as a medicinal herb for thousands of years. By doing this, we can better see what the future might bring as societal ideas continue to change throughout the next several years. So let us take a look at the extensive history of cannabis and examine the perceptions of this plant from a wide array of cultures from all over the world.
Ancient History of Cannabis
In China, Emperor Fu Hsi mentions cannabis as a medicine in 2,900 B.C.E., and a few centuries later, in 2,737 B.C.E., Shen Nung, an important individual in the history of Eastern medicine, included cannabis in his pharmacopeia.
Near the middle of the 2nd millennium B.C.E., cannabis was used by the Hindus and Scythians and was mentioned in religious texts in ancient India and Persia. Around the middle of the 1st millennium B.C.E., there were drawings of the plant in Byzantium, and Herodotus mentions it in his writings. A few centuries later, it is known that China used hemp to create paper.
At the beginning of the 1st century, C.E., a Roman surgeon named Dioscorides makes the claim that cannabis has medicinal properties. A few decades later, Pliny the Elder wrote a manual about hemp farming, and a later in the century, Hua Tuo, a Chinese doctor, uses the plant for medicinal reasons.
Cannabis in the Middle Ages
Somewhere near the beginning of the Dark Ages in 500 C.E., Cannabis was used to make paper by many cultures, including the Franks, Germans, and Vikings. Around that same period of time, the plant was used by the Muslim empire for recreational and medical purposes.
Near the end of the Dark Ages, in the 15th century C.E., the pope claims that cannabis is part of the Satanic mass.
Cannabis in Early Americas
The sails of the ship used by Columbus in 1492 were made with hemp, and it was cultivated in South America by the Spanish. Spain and England required that landowners grow hemp, and England introduced the plant to Canada and North America. Hemp growing throughout the colonies was quite regular and was required by law in numerous places.
In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper, and it was grown by many of the founding fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Hemp was a bumper crop for the American colonies and Europe for the next several decades.
In the decades just before the middle of the 19th century C.E., there was widespread knowledge about the medical benefits of cannabis. Abraham Lincoln used it to light his lamps, and several other physicians and researchers wrote numerous papers about the medical benefits of the plant.
Cannabis in the Modern Era
From the 1850s to the present, there have been so many historical highlights that listing them all would consume too much space. However, we will mention the main points so that today’s current attitude makes more sense.
South Africa, California, and Texas outlaw cannabis in the 1910s, and in the 1920’s several government entities begin discussing the negative aspects of the drug, and England becomes the first nation to make the plant illegal. In the 1930s a restrictive tax is placed on hemp, and in the 1960s, new international restrictions were enacted in order to eliminate the use of cannabis.
The sentiment of the public had definitely shifted towards an anti-cannabis bias in the 20th century, and this continues in 1969 when Jim Callaghan prescribes a maximum sentence of five years for possession of the plant. In 1970, cannabis is designated to be a Schedule One drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
The general attitude of the majority of the public in the late 20th and early 21st century has remained biased against the use of cannabis. However, during the Obama administration, this bias began to shift to one of tolerance, and now many states have legalized cannabis for both medical and recreational usage.
After examining the amazing history of cannabis, one thing becomes obviously clear, and that is that society was no longer willing to put up with the intoxicating effects of the drug. People were changing, and many of the world’s industries did not want to compete with a plant that could do so many things so cheaply. This was affecting the profits of too many companies; therefore, cannabis was doomed to be made a criminal substance.
Even though the plant is now legal in many states, the federal government still considers cannabis to be an illegal drug.
However, science has developed significantly, and the intoxicating effects can be effectively isolated from the medicinal qualities of the herb. In addition, the public is so well informed of the internet, that a national campaign against cannabis would fail.
We can now have our cake and eat it too.
This is what is going to happen as the medical aspects of cannabidiol are used more and more throughout society. There are just too many documentaries filled with little children who have recovered from their epileptic seizures, and there are just too many YouTube videos filled with testimonies about all of the children that no longer have to suffer.
The popular phrase, “Well what about the children?” has now been transformed from a statement with anti-cannabis sentimentally to one that possesses a pro-cannabidiol bias.
Our society is headed towards being a place where cannabidiol is an accepted medicine, now that the truth has set us free.
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