BBC Horizon documentary regarding CBD and its effects

The BBC aired a Horizon documentary based on medicinal cannabis named “Cannabis: Miracle Medicine or Dangerous Drug?” led by Dr Javid Abdelmoneim. The show investigated the latest medical and scientific research into the effects of cannabis on the brain and body.

Medicinal cannabis became legal in the UK in November 2018. As legislation surrounding it has eased, the market for cannabis-derived products such as CBD oil has become available to the public seeking holistic benefits.

Renowned for their journalistic integrity, BBC Horizon displayed a very positive and pragmatic view of the plant, helping to disperse the negative stigma that's emerged from general misinformation. How does it do that? By differentiating between CBD products used for medicinal purposes from THC products used recreationally.

Cannabidiol history

Visiting Tel Aviv, Dr Abdelmoneim investigates the scientific history of cannabis and the ongoing studies surrounding the plant. We meet Professor Raphael Mechoulam, the man who discovered CBD, THC, and the endocannabinoid system. Mechoulam’s discoveries and research led to the medical cannabis revolution in Israel and are the foundation of understanding CBD.

Horizon's reporters also traveled to Denmark to visit a medical cannabis farm. As with any medicine, the manufacture of cannabis-derived medicinal products is highly regulated in order to know exactly what goes into them. The THC and CBD oils are extracted in the cleanest and efficient manner from plants grown and harvested in highly controlled circumstances to ensure the results are consistent and there are no unwanted residues in the ingredients.

CBD benefits research

The Horizon team then further explore research conducted at King’s College London that clearly defines the hallucinogenic property THC as the element of cannabis that, when consumed in high concentration or large doses, is detrimental to mental stability. They then further explore research conducted at King’s Clinical Research Facility which has shown that CBD could actually reduce the negative effects of THC.

Patients & CBD policy

We also meet a child patient named Alfie Dingley who suffers from life threatening epilepsy. Alfie’s mother kick-started the campaign for the legalisation of cannabis-derived medical products in the UK. Alfie was the first patient to legally gain a medical license for the use of CBD and THC oils as treatment. The dosage consisted of a minute dose of the THC oil and a much larger dose of the CBD oil.

The government is still in the process of researching whether cannabis-derived products should be more widely licensed for medical use, but the programme reinforces that whilst there is still a long way to go, change is on the horizon.

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