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Gospel Q&A: What is the Church's Stance on Medical Marijuana and CBD Oil?

Gospel Q&A: What is the Church’s Stance on Medical Marijuana and CBD Oil?

Gospel Q&A is a series from LDS Daily that strives to answer important gospel questions from readers. Today, we answer the question, “What is the Church’s stance on medical marijuana and CBD oil?”

Do you have a question you’d like to see answered? Send us an email at calledtoshare@ldsdaily.com or leave it in the comments below.

The Church’s stand on medical marijuana is easy enough to find in the Church handbook under policies. It states that the Church opposes marijuana for recreational use (as with other mind-altering drugs), but that the Church does not oppose marijuana use for medicinal purposes. The patient’s circumstances, however, do need to meet certain criteria before use, including that the use of medical marijuana is deemed “medically necessary by a licensed physician or another legally approved medical provider,” and that the patient “follows the dosage and mode of administration” prescribed by their medical provider.

Additionally, “the Church does not approve of vaping marijuana unless the medical provider has authorized it based on medical necessity,” and, “the Church does not approve of smoking marijuana, including for medical purposes.”

The Church’s stance on CBD oil is not as clearly defined. The standards for youth found in the For the Strength of Youth direct, “Avoid any drink, drug, chemical, or dangerous practice that is used to produce a ‘high’ or other artificial effects that may harm your body or mind.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, CBD oil [or cannabidiol] “is a chemical found in marijuana. CBD doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high.” One may conclude, then, that CBD oil is safe and fine, except the Mayo Clinic also states, “another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products. A recent study of 84 CBD products bought online showed that more than a quarter of the products contained less CBD than labeled. In addition, THC was found in 18 products.

When the topic of medical marijuana was up for a vote in Utah, the Church issued a statement that included this clarification: “While we are not in a position to evaluate specific medical claims, the Church understands that there are some individuals who may benefit from the medical use of compounds found in marijuana. For that reason, although the Church opposes SB 73, it has raised no objection to SB 89. These two competing pieces of legislation take very different approaches when it comes to issues like access, distribution, control and the potential harm of the hallucinogenic compound, THC.”

According to a Utah dispensary, “This senate bill approved access to cannabis in the cannabidiol (CBD) form” and so, therefore, was not unapproved by the Church or the Word of Wisdom.

While not being unapproved isn’t quite the same thing as being approved, the Church’s stance on SB 89 unfortunately, is about as clear of instructions as we currently have on CBD oil use. Though it may be difficult, it seems the area of CBD oil use is not clearly defined and, therefore, we must be prayerful and judicious about our course of action. We must also be non-judgmental about it if our family, friends, or neighbors make different choices based on their own prayerful considerations.

The Church handbook declares, “There are other harmful substances and practices that are not specified in the Word of Wisdom or by Church leaders. Members should use wisdom and prayerful judgment in making choices to promote their physical, spiritual, and emotional health.”

The handbook also leaves us with this admonition from the Apostle Paul:

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

My advice? Use your agency to choose based on the direction you receive from the Holy Ghost. Best of luck to you.

Disclaimer: While all of my answers will use scriptures and/or words of modern prophets, I do not represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don’t believe any of my answers are comprehensive. I’m just one person using the gospel I have been blessed with to bring hope, peace, and answers to other seekers of truth.

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