CBD has gained popularity over the past years. It feels like it’s all everywhere. In some states, even CVS and Walgreens are selling CBD products. CBD can be used in anything from bath salts to gummy candies, so what exactly is it?
Is CBD something you should try as a Christ-follower?
WHAT EXACTLY IS CDB?
CBD, which is the nickname for cannabidiol, is a natural chemical present in cannabis plants. There are several controversies about CBD and its effects since the cannabis plant genus contains both hemp and marijuana. The main difference is that hemp-derived CBD doesn’t make consumers high. To be grown legally in the United States, the hemp must contain less than 0.3% of the psychoactive chemical THC or tetrahydrocannabinol that contains up to 25% to 30% of marijuana. It is the THC that makes the consumer of CBD high.
Why does it matter to the Christians? Many Bible verses specifically warn believers in Christ to stay sober or clear-headed. The Bible also speaks of avoiding drunkenness. Although these verses do not expressly prohibit you from getting high, they suggest that God requires you to protect yourself from being mentally damaged by any substance. Paul instructed Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:5(NLV): “But you should keep a clear mind in every situation.”
CBD passes the litmus test of consumers who stay sober-minded while they use it. Many users claim they don’t feel anything at all when they take it.
HOW DOES CBD HELP?
So if you don’t get high and don’t feel anything at all when you take it, what good is CBD? What does it do?
Several medical researchers are currently underway to test the effectiveness of CBD oil on several conditions, including epilepsy, pain, depression, sleep disorders, and social anxiety. Neurologists at the Mayo Clinic are very hopeful about the positive effects CBD oil appears to have on two unusual forms of pediatric epilepsy. Medical grade CBD oil has a great promise and seems to be well tolerated by young patients in the study.
The human body has an endocannabinoids system. This means that our bodies produce natural cannabinoids, just as cannabis plants do. Researchers and doctors are still learning about the human endocannabinoid system, but they know that we have cannabinoid receptors that connect to cannabinoids and naturally keep your body in homeostasis. It means that your body is in a healthy state with no inflammation.
Inflammation in any part of the body makes you ill, from skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema to brain wave disorders that cause seizures, anxiety, or insomnia.
CBD is in the early stages of human clinical trials due to its legal status in the past. Still, the experiments that have been performed indicate that CBD induces the activation of cannabinoid receptors in the body. CBD appears to help keep you in a safe state of homeostasis. The results of these studies showed that even large doses of CBD produced very little or no adverse side effects. Trial subjects remained sober, and their bodies were in no way affected.
This is good news for those who are taking prescription drugs with harmful side effects. Some epilepsy drugs, for example, can cause long-term harm to the liver of patients. Nevertheless, these drugs are important for preventing seizures. It’s a daily trade-off that consumers will be able to avoid when using CBD. The first CBD-based drug that was approved by the FDA is called Epidiolex and is used to treat a seizure disorder.
THE BENEFITS OF CBD
In addition to the benefits above, researchers claim that CBD oil can help with conditions such as depression, cancer-related symptoms, acne, insomnia, type-1 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. And CBD oil functions without the mind-altering effects that follow THC.
According to the World Health Organization report, CBD does not cause addictive effects typical in abused drugs. “In particular, unlike other drugs of abuse, the mesolimbic dopamine (reward) pathway in the brain does not activate or enhance the effect of rewarding electrical stimulation.” Which means those who use it won’t get addicted to it.
Although the FDA has approved Epidiolex, the CBD market is largely unregulated. The FDA organized a public hearing on CBD on 31 May 2019, but it appears that CBD oil is not yet controlled. It means that manufacturers can write what they want on the label of the CBD drug.
There is a serious risk when the customer is worried about the quality or potency of CBD Oil. As Mayo Clinic said, “A recent study of 84 CBD products purchased online found that more than a quarter of the products had less CBD than labeled. In fact, THC was detected in 18 drugs.”
In addition to the side effects described above, lack of CBD research may raise questions as to if the benefits of CBD oil are actually a direct cause or some other correlation. To make a better decision, the public needs more knowledge about this drug.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that you consult your doctor if you are willing to use CBD drugs.
WHAT ABOUT OBEYING AUTHORITY? IS CBD LEGAL?
The Bible instructs Christ-followers to respect government and authority. Romans 13:1-7 makes it very plain:
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.“
The CDB used to be illegal. It was listed as a controlled drug in the United States because it came from the cannabis plant genus, and it was deemed illegal under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. That was updated in December 2018. President Trump signed the Farm Bill 2018, which declassified cannabis containing 0.3 percent THC or less from being a controlled drug. It is now legal to cultivate hemp if farmers apply for a license in their states and comply with state regulations. Also, it is legal under the Farm Bill to cultivate, sell, and move goods of hemp across state lines.
The awkward part is that Food and Drug Administration regulations and approvals haven’t caught up to the Farm Bill yet. The FDA regulates all foods and beverages, medications, and supplements, as well as many body products such as body creams. Everything you apply on your skin (or in your pet’s body or on your face) needs FDA approval to prove that it has been tested for adverse side effects. FDA monitoring also helps ensure that goods contain what they claim they contain – nothing more or less. The FDA understands that CBD has already gone public and is working towards enforcement and approvals. But it is not there yet. Also, some states have not complied with the new federal regulations and still classify all cannabis-derived products, including those based on hemp, as violating state drug laws.
So how is CBD now so widely available? Many manufacturers get around the FDA by using a disclaimer to state that they are not making any health promises, and their products are not food, medication, or supplements; and that they have not obtained FDA approval.
Can you use CBD products and follow government authorities, as illustrated in Romans 13? You aren’t violating federal law and are obeying authority if you do your homework and know where the CBD you are purchasing has come from. Make sure it was properly licensed from a legitimate farmer. Ask for third-party monitoring to make sure you’re getting a good quality CDB. Know the laws guiding CBD usage in your state, and then seek the guidance of God through prayer.
What does this mean for those seeking relief from annoying or even debilitating symptoms with CBD oil while desiring to live in a way pleasing to the Lord? Like other medical treatments, CBD oil’s safe use is a gray area to be discussed between the patient, his doctor, and God. Christians should pray for guidance and pursue their convictions — and recognize that sometimes two Christians may have different convictions on the same issue.
Romans 14 instructs Christians to respect the convictions of one another (verse 1). If a Christian believes that consuming a particular food is a sin, it is a sin for him to eat it, while other Christians, without that belief, can eat such food in peace. So maybe that’s the case with CBD oil. Others may think that something connected to a marijuana plant is immoral, whereas others may feel that God has created a plant for our godly use.
WHAT ABOUT OUR LIBERTY IN CHRIST?
Some would say that they have the right to use CBD as a Christian.
Faced with an illness that he thought would hamper his godly purpose, Paul prayed three times that the “thorn in his flesh” (maybe a debilitating physical illness) would be removed. God did not remove the thorn, but He replied that His grace was sufficient for Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7–10)—and this is often the message for us as well. Perhaps God has permitted an illness in your life to make you a pioneer Christian man or woman to prove that natural medicine (such as CBD oil) can provide meaningful relief for symptoms. And maybe God has allowed the suffering of your life to reveal His grace in difficulty. Or maybe there’s an aspect that God is focusing on in your life during this struggle. As you pray for help, God will respect your willingness to please Him in all your decisions.
Christians contemplating CBD oil use will begin by checking the legality of CBD oil in their state. They should also receive advice from their health care provider. If one decides to try CBD oil, understand that because CBD oil is currently unregulated, there is a wide range of products, potency, and quality of the oil. Follow your doctor’s advice and carefully study the drug you are purchasing for consumption. Everyone would be wise to consider God’s plan and purpose for their lives when discussing physical or mental health issues.
CBD: ANOINT THE SICK WITH OIL.
Oil is used for healing in the Bible. James 5:14 instructs Christians to call upon the church leaders to anoint them with oil if they are ill. In Mark 6, Jesus sent out the disciples, and they anointed the sick with oil, and they were cured. CBD oil consumers experience relief from anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, epilepsy, skin disorders, and many other disorders.
You should ask yourself this: why do I believe that man-made medicine is better for me than God-created vegetable oil? Would you pursue your Spiritual values when you take drugs or just adopt the societal mentality that you’ve grown up with? Think about whether taking CBD is a moral or spiritual question for you or just a practical one?
The Bible states that the bodies of Christians are holy places since they contain the Spirit of God.
We are identified as temples in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Caring for your temple means carefully considering everything you put in it, whether it’s medication, oils, French fries, or nutritional beverages. It means giving the body what it requires for optimum health – hydration, exercise, proper nutrition, and substances that help it recover. So far, CBD has been shown to cure, not harm, human and animal bodies.
What is a Christian supposed to do about CBD oil? Research, pray, and speak to your medical professionals and faith leaders to make the right decisions about your well-being. Your body has been made to do the great things that God is calling you to do, and it needs optimum health to do it. Ask Him if CBD is part of your wellness program.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE EPIDIOLEX APPROVED BY THE FDA? CAN CHRISTIANS USE THAT TOO?
It’s all comes down to conscience.
In Rome, Paul faced a dilemma of conscience (Romans 14). Many Christians believed that consuming meat sold in pagan temples was wrong and would encourage demonic activity to invade their lives. Others thought that meat was an innocuous purchase and did not worry about spiritual harm.
While Paul recognizes that neither Christian was right or wrong about the subject in this scenario, he urged Christians to exercise caution when sharing such meat with one another.
If a Christian at the table believed that the meat was bringing demonic forces, Paul warned Christians not to eat the meat in their presence, put a stumbling block in front of them or cause them to grieve.
That is, you might believe it isn’t true. But if someone in your group feels that it can lead them to sin or have strong convictions against it, don’t flaunt it.
To use another instance, some Christians would drink in social occasions. In moderation, alcohol has minor effects on the body and one’s judgment. However, if you place a bottle of wine in your house in front of a visitor with a history of alcoholism, you are putting the temptation before his or her eyes. Although we may not see drinking every once in a while as a sin, we might cause another to sin by putting it on the countertop at a social gathering with them.
The same biblical theory can apply to CBD oil. Many Christians consider the use of any cannabis product to be a sin, even if it does not affect one and makes one high.
Others see this as a drug that can alleviate pain. But if a Christian gathers with another, particularly a Christian who has a history of marijuana-related addiction, they should exercise caution.
Although CBD can hopefully be shown to be safe and effective in treating various medical conditions but that isn’t the case yet. Today, the question concerning both the safety and effectiveness of CBD has led us to believe that using CBD doesn’t disturb our call to be wise stewards of both our well-being and our finances. As such, we conclude that it isn’t wrong to exercise the liberty of using CBD.