Medical cannabis is a growing fight as families across America attempt to get help for their children and loved ones for a variety of illnesses and afflictions. Access to cannabis oil is NOT the most important part to the equation and might actually do more harm than good if not done the right way.
(To listen to Dale explain why the oils for autism, epilepsy, and cancer are all different just click on his Vimeo video below.)
Hear me out on this one first before you jump ahead. In this article I'm going to attempt to address two very important points in the whole "Medical Cannabis" movement.
1) The legislative fight
2) The actual medical treatment of your child or yourself.
In either of the above cases, access to cannabis oil is of the utmost importance, however I will argue that the proper type of "access" is the most important part to that equation. Not only is the right type of access very important but the current level of access that most parents and patients currently have in this country could also serve as the biggest threat to the movement that those of us leading the charge across the country face. Let me explain.
In order for our movement to legalize medical cannabis oil to truly be successful we must show and demonstrate how effective cannabis oil truly is as a legitimate medicine. As I have tried to explain in this post on Facebook , all cannabis oil is not the same. As a movement and those leading it, we must understand that the average parent/patient doesn't fully understand all the finer details of what makes cannabis oil an effective medicine. The average parent has simply heard about how "Cannabis Oil" has helped X, Y and Z child on the Internet.
Where do they start to find access to this potential medicine for their child? Let's assume, for a second, that they start where everyone starts.... a simple Google search. Here they find a variety of links for "CBD oil" available at a variety of local "health stores" just right around the corner. They may also find a few links to the few providers the have set up operations to sell and ship "hemp oil" around the country. These companies may include those supplying oils like Charlotte's Web, Haleigh's Hope or Palmetto Harmony. These oils and companies have truly been a life saver more thousands of families around the country and we all owe them and their creators a debt of gratitude! These companies have served a huge role in helping to educate the country on the effectiveness of the cannabis plant to treat a variety of illnesses, specifically epilepsy.
This leads me to my main point. Those of us in the industry truly believe that cannabis oil is a REAL medicine and for society to truly take us seriously we must start treating it like a real medicine. How is real medicine treated today?
1) Specific medicine is prescribed to treat specific conditions.
2) Doctors prescribe a specific medicine and then their staff of assistants and pharmacist help the parent/patient receive the medicine and then help them answer their questions about dosing and any potential side effects of said medicine.
This is the area that is greatly lacking in most areas of the country that have not passed extensive medical cannabis oil laws. In most areas of the country parents/patients are still left lacking for support and guidance when it comes to finding the effective medicine/oil for their family. Most all are left having to go to the "black market" in some way. This looks differently depending on what state you might live in. Obviously, I know most about my home state of Georgia but there are many states that look a great deal like Georgia, the latest being our neighbor to the west Alabama. In Georgia and Alabama, our state legislature have passed laws that allow parents to possess oil and treat our families but they have left us with absolutely no legal way to actually purchase said oil.
Just for a second let's just agree to ignore the lunacy of this situation and discuss the reality that we are faced with here in these states. What is a parent to do? Who is here to help those parents know what type of oil their family needs or where to get it? Do they go and buy legal "CBD oil" at the health store down the street? Do they order online from one of the suppliers (Hemp oil legally) mentioned earlier? If they are dealing with epilepsy then obviously this is the route that would more than likely be the best option for them and more than likely will be a very effective route. However, what about the other patients that aren't dealing with epilepsy? For myself as a parent, I'm concerned most with treating my sons autism with cannabis oil.
(To read and listen to Dale's story, you can click here for his interview.)
Will those oils be effective for my son? Still yet, if those oils are effective for my son, are they effective for ALL autistic patients? What system is set up to help guide the parent to know the difference? I cannot speak for all of the online businesses because I've only done business with one of them after learning that I could legally order online and that their oils might be effective for my son and his autism. I visited the site, went to the page that had a list of different oils and selected a bottle, paid for it and then it was shipped to my house. The missing part to that transaction was the part where I was asked what condition I as a parent was attempting to treat. Where were the instructions on dosing? Where was the disclaimer letting me know that while there are little to no known negative side effects associated with cannabis oil, this particular bottle of oil that can legally be shipped across the country MIGHT not be the specific strain/ratio best for my family? As a parent where do I turn to find that information or better yet where do I turn to find the right and effective medicine that is best for my family?
Here's the meat and potatoes of my point and this article.
What are we doing as leaders in the industry to help educate parents/patients on the difference of the oils out there?
Let's walk out a very real and possible outcome from my experience if I was just the average parent. My wife and I waited to treat my severely autistic son for nearly 18 months after learning that it might help him because it was illegal to do so. Once we made the decision to cross that line in the sand we went the only route we knew about at that time and ordered the oil online. Right after we placed our order we found out that "hemp oil" which is very high in CBD has been shown to actually increase negative characteristics that come along with autism. This information came to us, not from the company that we had ordered from but simply because I'm deeply involved in the legal fight here in Georgia and gained access to this type of information after the fact. What if I was that average parent though? I would have made a HUGE decision to break the law, purchased the only oil that I could find legally, tried it for who knows how long, only to be greatly disappointed in its effectiveness. It's at this time that I would have more than likely come to the conclusion that this whole movement was a joke and a scam! All because I had access to some wonderful oil that is extremely effective for those with epilepsy but not for every condition and especially not for severe cases of autism.
In my case and for many others out there, this type of "access" could have been detrimental to the whole movement. Just imagine if I had went down the street to health store and purchased "CBD oil" how disappointed I would have been in its effectiveness!
So what is the solution? Once again, I can only speak about my first-hand knowledge of how things are here in Georgia and what we have done. Since the law here in Georgia requires parents to either find marijuana on the street and then process it down to oil in their kitchen or travel to other states and attempt to find it on the black market there illegally (a resident of Georgia cannot legally purchase medical cannabis oil in other states either!). We have set up a group of families here in Georgia that are very knowledgeable concerning the oil and what the different types of oils can treat. We then traveled to a variety of states and developed relationships with "people" that have agreed to help us find access to the oil that we need. When a family here in Georgia has finally been convinced that "cannabis oil" might be a possible solution to the condition their family faces they come to our team. We then evaluate the condition they are wanting to treat, then give them a recommendation on the type oil they need, then help them find access to that particular type oil AND then most importantly help them answer the questions they have actually administering said oil.
In my opinion this is the right type of "ACCESS" and when it comes to convincing society as a whole and also getting more laws passed across the country, is something that needs to be done by the industry as a whole and I hope is already being done. Again, I can only speak about my personal experience here in Georgia.
The last thing the industry needs are parents that are not accustomed to breaking ANY laws finally work up the courage to finally do so and then come to the conclusion that it was all a hoax or worse a scam, simply because they had "access" to oil but not the right oil for their child and no one was there to tell them that there are other options for different conditions. What we need for the movement at large are parents that have had success using the oil out there telling others about their success not parents that have been left to figure things out on their own, been disappointed with the results and are now telling everyone they come in contact with that its all a joke or a scam.
We know that cannabis oil works for a variety of conditions and we know that it really is medicine but for the sake of our movement, we must protect and guard the way in which people find access to oil. Just "any way possible" might do more damage than good for the movement.
In conclusion, I want to be extremely clear on this one thing in case there is any confusion. This is in no way to criticize any particular oil out there but rather point out the differences and the importance of and the role education plays in the movement. I'm sure that even "CBD oil" at health stores is a good multivitamin for most and I know for a fact that the "hemp oils" mentioned have saved thousands of lives around the country and have also served to educate the general population probably better than anything or anyone else out there. However, high CBD- low THC oil is not the same as other ratios of THCa, THC, CBN, CBN and others that are better for conditions like MS, Autism, Cancer and Parkinson's.
To get in touch with Dale and to follow his story, you check out his Facebook Page or his parents' advocate page on Facebook as well. He has also set up a Facebook page especially for his son Colin's journey, you can follow that by clicking here.
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