Docs Afraid to Prescribe Life-Saving Medical Pot, Even Though It Won’t Get Patients High

Three-year-old Dahlia Barnhart was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer last June. Her mother, Moriah Barnhart, immersed herself in research and sought out any treatment that could improve Dahlia’s condition.

"We were pretty much confronted early on with the fact that this was the worst case scenario,” says Barnhart.

Barnhart’s research led her to CBD extract, a major component of the cannabis plant. Unlike more commonly known THC, CBD doesn’t get patients high. Barnhart says CBD has been extremely effective for Dahlia.

"The first night she took it, she slept through the night for the first time in her entire almost three years of life. She very quickly started to get her appetite back, she was thirsty,” says Barnhart.

Many patients swear by CBD as a treatment for a variety of cancers and other serious conditions like epilepsy. Yet despite the fact that it’s not psychoactive, doctors won’t prescribe it for their patients.

"I was really shocked. To be completely honest, I discussed diets, supplements, and the only thing that could not be discussed was cannabis extract.”

The murky waters surrounding federal prohibition have had a chilling effect on the medical community, and even though CBD may be a viable option for many patients, doctors won’t prescribe it for fear of losing their licenses. Prohibition has also made researching and accessing CBD a difficult task. This is because CBD has been "strained out" over the years as CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. The Ludwig von Mises Institute’s Mark Thornton says that prohibition can help explain these dimished levels of CBD.

“The war on drugs increases the risk and the penalties of being caught and therefore suppliers have a tendency–a strong desire–to bring in highly potent marijuana,” Thornton says. “All of their efforts are given to driving up the potency of THC in marijuana and as a consequence they’ve also reduced the potency of CBD.”

With marijuana legalization picking up steam and advocates like Moriah spreading the word, many are hopeful that access to strains with higher CBD levels may follow suit.

About 4:30 minutes.

Written and produced by Tracy Oppenheimer, who also narrates. Associate producer is Gabrielle Cole. Additonal camera by Zach Weissmueller and Chad Parish. Graphics by Will Neff.

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  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Reefer Madness, indeed.

  • Paul.||

    OT: NPR discovers true meaning behind opposition to Obamacare:

    Broussard has all kinds of problems with the law itself — that it's wrong to force people to buy insurance, that it will make businesses hire less. But there's something else that bothers him: The law is the signature achievement of a man Broussard never wanted to see become president.

    "I don't vote for black people, lady," he says. "No, ma'am. I don't vote for black people. They got their place, I got my place. That's the way I was raised."
  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    So it really was racism all along. The more you know.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Beau Broussard? Not *the* Beau Broussard? He's such a prominent figure, such a political powerhouse!

    Wait, who is he, again?

  • Free Society||

    A random racist that represents all who oppose any of the various leftisms.

  • Free Society||

    or rather whom...

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I was going to die of cancer, but then I got high
    I had a wasting disease, but then I got high
    Now I eat and drink more, and I know why
    Because I got high, because I got high, because I got high

  • VicRattlehead||

    Extracting CBDs is a safe and slow process, start out with excess cannibis matter, (leaves and stems only nuggets have too much THC to use for medicine)and gind them into a fine powder, next you freeze the grinded material, next you take 1 cup of the powder for every 3 cups of glycerine, add 1/2 cup of honey seal the container (ball jars work best) now flip it on its top, wait 24 hours then flip it again, repeat the process for 1 month. you know it worked if it looks green to a greenish amber color, do not eat if it turns brown or black it has molded. this should extract most of the CBDs and minimal THC levels.

    in case any of you wish to take steps to treat yourself without tyrannical intervention, this formulation has been reported a high success rate with epilepsy, cancer, MS, and auto-immune victims.

  • VicRattlehead||

    Food grade glycerine only*

  • Firstname||

    What kind of a perverse society would keep a lifesaving medicine away from sick and dying children? Oh ... The United Police States of America has and is continuing to deny this medicine despite knowing better. Shameful!

  • ||

    If banning it saves just one life...

  • RishJoMo||

    Sometimes man you jsut have to roll with it.,

  • Juice||

    Hell, they're afraid to prescribe legal pain relievers for fear of retribution from the state.

  • ||

    ^^Exactly this.

  • kitmaira||

    CBD is apparently legal. See: http://www.bluebird-botanicals.....D__oil.php
    It is a component of hemp oil which is exempt from laws against marijuana

  • bubbles||

    As someone who actually graduated from an accredited medical school, I don't object at all to the use for medicinal purposes. I do, however; object to the term "life-saving" as this is used improperly. Increased sleep, appetite, and comfort levels while a worthy secondary endpoint are not "life saving". For a child with cancer, regression of tumor load might be said to meet the standard, but antidotal evidence, though it may tug your heart strings, is not very defensible.
    That said, I have known quacks who prescribed herbs and spices to cancer patients in place of chemotherapy. Not surprisingly, their patients seemed to die at an increased rate compared to conventionally treated patients. You can always find a witch doctor to give you whatever you want.
    Call it adjuctive, call it synergistic if you must but don't confuse it with "life saving".

  • Ross Adams||

    Unfortunately for your argument, it is life-saving.

  • Paul Pot||

    To deny safe, effective medication to people in great need is a "Crime Against Humanity".

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