The Senate and House finally gave their approval to a bill that would permit students that have the necessary documentation, to continue using THC-A and CBD oils, even during school hours.
The bills and their provisions
The bill titled as SB1632 was sponsored by Senator Glen Sturtevant, R-Richmond. It also prohibits schools from expelling or suspending students that use THC-A or CBD with valid permissions. The bill even has a provision for protecting school nurses from prosecution for possession and distribution of these oils in accordance with school policy.
Along with this, legislators have also passed other bills, like the SB 1557 for one. This bill had been introduced by Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico and allows physician assistants and licensed nurse practitioners to write certifications permitting the use of THC-A and CBD oils as their cases may require.
Next is the SB 1719 as filed and backed by Senator David Mardsen, D-Fairfax. The bill gives THC-A or CBD patients the authority to designate registered agents to deliver or pick up medications on their behalf.
Dunnavant’s role in all this
Dunnavant, the only physician in the Virginia State, has always been supportive of and backed the expansion of access to medical cannabis to those in need of it.
He stated that giving nurse practitioners the authority to make this type treatment available will significantly reduce waiting time and in turn, the suffering of people who deal with this pain daily. And where SB 1557 is concerned, he said that it was an effective way for physicians to offer remedies that were low cost and low risk to their patients.
Dunnavant is hopeful that the expanding of cannabis derived medications usage will eventually curb the increasing opioid crisis.
His website states “Overdose deaths connected with prescribed opiates have lowered by 25% in those states that have legalised marijuana. The potential risks, side effects of medically administered THC-A and CBD are much lower than opiates and several pharmaceutical drugs currently requiring a doctor’s prescription.”
How different are THC, THC-A and CBD
Cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid are the two key ingredients or extracts that occur naturally in the cannabis satva plant. These substances connected with the cannabinoid receptors already inside the body that control memory, mood and pain.
Apparently, neither have the properties that are known to create that ‘high’. Its only on burning it does THC-A produce the psychoactive effects and then it’s referred to as THC.
Its for this reason that the Hemp plant, a member of the cannabis plant group, is still a popular choice for the commercial extraction, manufacture and marketing of CBD oil. It also has a very low amount of THC, when extracted.
THC-A oils, just like CBD, can be used to treat nausea, migraines and anxiety too and is significantly less potent.
How research will carry on?
In spite of this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t endorsed any THC-A or CBD medications except Epidiolex, for the treatment of seizures and two rare forms of epilepsy. The Drug Enforcement Administration authority has however, stated that it will support all FDA research efforts that go into understanding the various forms and components of cannabis.
The DEA too, has taken a proactive stand concerning the scientific research promoting legitimate therapeutic uses, but only on cannabis components as approved of by the FDA and is consistent with federal laws.
Virginia finally catching up
It is a very active scene out there but the state of Virginia has been slow when it comes to acting on medical cannabis laws. In fact, the General Assembly had only passed a legislation that permitted the use of THC-A and CBD oils for the treatment of intractable epilepsy.
And last year, a Dunnavant sponsored bill was passed and gave medical practitioners the authorisation to recommend these oils to treat any diagnosed condition. After expanding the definition of medical practitioners to include nurses, SB 1557 would make it even easier for Virginians requiring this medical treatment. Dunnavant referred to this as a practical and compassionate motion.