On Wednesday, the Kentucky State Senate unanimously approved a bill legalizing medicinal use of marijuana oil. Officials in the Kentucky House expect it to pass, and the bill is supported by Democratic governor Steve Beshear. Its passage would mark the first time any degree of marijuana use has been legal in the state in decades, and could be a major boon to sick citizens, particularly children prone to seizures.
Marijuana oil is rich in cannabidiol, which has been shown to be effective in preventing seizures, and is low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC,) which is the part that gets you high. It's basically an oil extract from marijuana, and is often referred to as a specialized form of weed.
The medical benefits of marijuana have been tough for American researchers to study throughout most of the 20th century, due to its classification as a Schedule 1 banned substance. Lumped together with drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and opiates, this has for years meant it can't be prescribed even by a licensed physician. This has limited both public access and the ability of researchers to perform above-board, respectable studies. Indeed, even if this bill passes, marijuana in non-oil form will still be off-limits, even medicinally.
But the oil form of marijuana could have some exciting potential health benefits. Rather than smoked, it's administered orally, underneath the tongue, and contains far less THC — a mind-altering chemical — than you'd get in your standard bong hit.
According to Debbie McGrath, executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana, this bipartisan effort — the bill is sponsored by GOP state Sen. Julie Denton — could improve a lot of young lives. There are about 10,000 seizure-prone children living in Kentucky who could stand to benefit..
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