With the interest and buzz around CBD oil growing across the globe, it is no real surprise that the state of Pennsylvania has decided to sign off on their own medical marijuana program, making them the 24th state to do so!
Over the past few years, we have seen a huge rise in the number of states and countries that have altered their opinions when it comes to the benefits of legalizing CBD, and after working on the program since April 2016, Pennsylvania finally opened their patient application program at the back end of 2017!
*[Update: as of July 2018, several dispensaries are now open and operational in the state for medical marijuana cardholders. In addition to selling THC products, most dispensaries sell CBD oil and high-CBD marijuana strains and edibles].
The Pennsylvania medical cannabis application program offers protection to qualified/registered patients from state penalties relating to the possession or use of medical marijuana. It also offers a more structured and regulated system for patients using cannabis and CBD as a medical treatment.
While they may not have been the first state to legalize CBD for medical use, they have actually been quick to get the ball rolling and have already approved over two dozen licensed dispensaries, most of which will be fully operational after summer 2018.
This is of course fantastic news for long-suffering residents of Pennsylvania who have been struggling with debilitating medical conditions and relying solely on hit-and-miss prescription medication!
Need a Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania? Learn more about the process with our How to Get a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card [2018 Guide]
What Exactly is CBD Oil?
CBD is one of the main cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant, and it has spent many years overshadowed by THC – the compound that delivers the famous “high” associated with marijuana.
Unlike THC however, CBD is almost entirely non-psychoactive meaning it does not alter the state of mind of the user. CBD is extracted using different processes, but CO2 extraction produces by far the purest, safest, and most effective end products.
Most of you probably know that the CBD oil industry has skyrocketed in recent years due to the amount of perceived health benefits linked to its use. While many remain skeptical about the abilities of CBD oil (and often fail to separate it from the behavior-altering high that results from THC), it is no doubt at the forefront of discussion all over the world.
CBD oil affects the body by interacting with built-in receptors that are already present within us. Known as CB1 and CB2, these receptors are believed to control different aspects of our bodies; while CB1 interacts mostly with the brain and affects things such as emotions, appetite, movement and coordination, CB2 is mostly in our immune system and involves things such as inflammation and pain.
THC attaches itself to CB1 in the central nervous system, which is what leads to the “high” effect, while CBD – rather than attaching itself to either receptor – instead promotes the natural release of cannabinoids within our body.
What few people realize is that he body creates its own cannabinoids. By using CBD, we influence the development and production of naturally produced cannabinoids, thereby increasing the body’s defense pathways which leads to a range of health benefits — and minimial side effects!
Can CBD Oil help with medical conditions?
CBD oil has shown in some studies to improve a variety of medical conditions, ranging from mental health to physical health issues. Conditions such as some of the ones listed below are just a few of the health benefits that CBD oil may possess:
CBD for Epilepsy
As an increasingly prevalent medical condition (with statistics showing that around 5 people out of 100 will have an epileptic seizure at some time throughout their lives), there has so far been little to no progress in terms of finding a reliable treatment for epilepsy.
However, the CBD drug Epidiolex was just approved by the FDA as of June 2018 to treat intractable epilepsy in pediatric patients – the very first CBD-based drug (and only the second cannabis-based drug behind Sativex) to receive federal approval.
While CBD oil is not proven to cure epilepsy, there have been several studies done showing it is a reliable treatment method. For example, certain doses of Epidiolex have been found to reduce the number of seizures in epilepsy patients by up to 50% during a 12-week period. While there were some mild side effects such as sleepiness, diarrhea and decreased appetite, the results massively outweighed the cons.
CBD for Anxiety Disorders
One of the perceived benefits that comes with using CBD oil is the improvement it may have on anxiety disorders. Studies have shown that using CBD can help with a wide range of anxiety conditions, ranging from PTSD and OCD to generalized anxiety and social anxiety.
Anxiety is one of the most common forms of mental illness across the US, with statistics showing that around 10% of teens and a massive 40% of adults suffer from some kind of anxiety. So it is no surprise that the popularity of CBD for anxiety disorders has increased rapidly over the past two to three years.
CBD for Depression
Another one of the most common mental health disorders in the US, depression can affect an individual’s mood, attitude, thoughts and behavior in a massive way. CBD has been linked with the treatment of depression over recent years, and in 2016 a study, it was revealed that CBD could reduce the inability to feel the enjoyment of pleasure (otherwise known as anhedonia) within certain individuals.
[Learn more about CBD for depression here].
CBD for Pain Relief
Over the years CBD has been used more and more as a substitute for prescription pain relief. CBD oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties, inflammation being one of the key contributing factors of chronic pain.
In 2017, a study in Pharmacology revealed that CBD could not only reduce the way we feel pain, but also the emotional impact pain has on our mental health. CBD has also been used to treat pain relating to osteoporosis, muscle spasms, and nerve degeneration.
[Related article: 5 Best CBD Oils for Pain Relief [2018 Update]
CBD for Schizophrenia
There is a slight running theme here in that CBD oil has shown to help so many mental illnesses – from anxiety and pain to depression and schizophrenia. In 2013, a study showed that the antipsychotic properties of CBD could help with both hallucinations and things like lack of emotion and social functioning.
While THC is often suggested to cause psychotic symptoms, it is becoming increasingly common to see the use of CBD in helping control the disorder.
CBD Laws in Pennsylvania: What You Need to Know
To be clear, the state of Pennsylvania does not have legislation that specifically mentions the use or possession of CBD, CBD oil, or cannabidiol.
Rather, in addition to its medical marijuana program, the state has a bill (H.B. 967) that allows qualified farmers and certain individuals to legally grow industrial hemp for research purposes (industrial hemp of course being the raw material that most “legal” CBD oils are sourced from).
So what does this mean — is CBD oil legal in Pennsylvania? Do you need an MMJ card to be able to go to a dispensary and buy it? Can you buy CBD online and have it legally shipped to your Pennsylvania home?
Basically, you have two options if you want to buy CBD oil in Pennsylvania:
- You can either get your medical marijuana card (if you suffer from one of the 17 qualifying conditions) and buy from a state-licensed medical cannabis dispensary, or
- You can order from one of the many online sellers that manufacture CBD oil from industrial hemp (and ship legally to all 50 states).
Some of you may have noticed that CBD oil is being sold in malls and vape shops across Pennsylvania, but be advised that most of these products, since they are made from hemp seeds rather than actual plant material, are negligible in terms of their CBD content — and thus negligible in terms of their therapeutic value.
What you need is an actual CBD oil that has been extracted from the flowers, leaves, stems and stalk of the plant – either from industrial hemp plants (via online sellers) or from actual cannabis plants that are only available to MMJ cardholders.
[If you have any additional questions on your options to buy CBD oil in Pennsylvania, feel free to get in touch with us directly via our Facebook page].
Final Thoughts About the Current Situation of CBD in Pennsylvania
Looking at the range of scientific studies – coupled with the endless positive reviews left by thousands of CBD oil users all over the country – it is clear that CBD may provide a wealth of natural health benefits.
As a resident of the state, you may buy quality CBD oil in Pennsylvania in one of two ways: either obtain a medical marijuana card and buy from a state-licensed dispensary, or order from a reputable (and legal) online seller and have it shipped to your home (see our 2018 picks below for the top CBD oils in the U.S.).
[Related article: Medical Marijuana Card Pennsylvania [INFOGRAPHIC GUIDE]
Top CBD Hemp Oil Picks of 2018
- Full-spectrum Hemp extract
- No pesticides, solvents or chemical fertilizers
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Price Range ($48.00 – $139.00)
- Maximum potency and purity
- Compounded by a licensed pharmacist
- Highly concentrated extraction process
- Price Range ($26-$169)
- Full-Spectrum Extract (Made in USA)
- 100% Natural and Organic
- Contain no artificial flavors or preservatives
- Prices range ($48-$125)
- CBDPure uses a chemical-free CO2 extraction process
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Certified hemp grown in Colorado
- Price Range ($29.99 – $79.99)
- Over 5 Years Experience
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Organic hemp CO2 extract tincture
- Price Range ($62.00 – $204.00)