LAST week I received a vaporiser in the post, weed leaf proudly emblazoned on the front.
This wasn't a dark web deal though, but a legit product that's designed as a 'completely legal and harm-free way to unleash the miraculous health benefits of cannabis'.
It's active ingredient is cannabidiol (CBD), an oil extracted from the cannabis plant that contains little to no THC (the stuff that gets you high, hence the legality) but does purport to deliver medical benefits such as the soothing of anxiety, depression, insomnia and mood disorders.*
On its website, MediPen lists a staggering number of applications for CBD, each linked to numerous studies on the relationship between the oil and the condition:
Acne, Alzheimer's, Addiction, Anorexia, Antibiotic Resistance, Arthritis4Atherosclerosis, Anxiety, Asthma, Autism, Bipolar, Colitis/Crohn's, Cancer, Depression, Diabetes, Endocrine Disorders, Epilepsy & Seizure, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Heart Disease, Huntington's, Inflammation, Irritable Bowel, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease, Metabolic Syndrome, Mood Disorders, Motion Sickness, Nausea, Neurodegeneration, Neuropathic Pain, Obesity, OCD, Osteoporosis, Parkinson's, Prion, PTSD, Rheumatism, Schizophrenia, Sickle-Cell, Skin Conditions, Sleep Disorders, Stress, Stroke/TBI
The list is impressive and presents CBD as some sort of panacea, and if it's accurate then the device (which costs £50) will be flying off the servers.
But does it actually work?
First thing's first - it doesn't get you high, nor result in a feeling anything close to a weed high, sorry.
As for medicinal effects, I can only speak for the anxiety/depression side of things, from which I have suffered for a few years, and the pen did bring about a slight sense of calm and relaxation, though obviously there could have been an element of the placebo effect to this. There was a just-about-perceptible decrease in stress, when used for roughly the same amount of time you would a cigarette.
The idea that the MediPen is, as it claims to be, 'not psychoactive' but can psychologically help you feels paradoxical, but that's a matter for the UK's woefully inept drug legislation (which was again side-lined this month).
Whether the device can help with regards to the other conditions and illnesses remains to be seen, and a good deal more clinical studies need to be conducted.
One thing's for sure though, it won't do you any harm. The MediPen tastes smoother than any regular e-cigarette I've tried, and poses less risks than the already fairly risk-free cannabis.
"The only way you could kill someone is by dropping it on their head," pain specialist William Notcutt of James Paget University Hospitals, told New Scientist.
For those who wish to harness the medicinal properties of cannabis, it's the best you're going to get for a while, with Parliament recently refusing to even debate the drug's legality in court.
*THOUGH NOT TECHNICALLY THE FIRST CBD VAPE, IT HAS A MUCH HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF CBD THAN PREVIOUS ONES
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