Legal cannabis oil coming soon

Cannabis oil for medical uses will be legally available in Texas as of January.  But some advocates claim the CBD and THC levels Texas legalized in 2015 are too low to help many epilepsy patients, and provide no help at all for other patients.

They could be right, according to Bill Martin, director of the Drug Policy Program at Rice University’s Baker Institute.  “The complaint has been all along that the ones that are out there, or that are legal already, are certainly very very low.”  The legalized levels, he says, could help “children suffering from Dravet Syndrome, which produces large numbers of seizures on a regular basis.”

While CBD is one thing, THC, the intoxicating substance in cannabis, is something else, Martin says.  “Because there’s such a resistance [in Texas] to any kind of measurable THC,” he observes, “it’s said that if Texas passes something, it might allow people to have medical benefits as long as it doesn’t make them happy.”  They can feel better, he notes, without necessarily feeling good.

“An interesting thing that seems not to be noticed,” Martin points out, “is that CBD oil is pretty readily available in all 50 states, including Texas.”  He says it can be purchased from pharmacies or online, even though the Drug Enforcement Administration says it’s illegal.

Martin says CBD is good for a number of ailments.  “I’ve talked to pharmacists who talk about the way that people say it’s been helpful for their arthritis, it has soothed their anxiety, it helped them sleep better,” he says.  “Some of that may be attributable to the placebo effect, but that’s a powerful effect.” 

As for the low levels of CBD and THC currently allowed, Martin points out that laws can be amended, and he expects that even though “Texas will hold out longer than most” states, it will ultimately follow the national trend.


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