Cannabis is one of the most popular new wellness trends, and its gaining momentum. It has made its way into mainstream natural medicine. For a good reason, cannabis has been proven to help alleviate several ailments. Recently, there are increasing concerns about its legality, and that is the reason for this review.
Is CBD Legal? And what’s the difference between marijuana and CBD. CBD does not have a psychoactive component; it appeals to a range of enthusiasts, including those who aren’t trying to get high. CBD has the potential to help with pain, seizures, anxiety, and this has made it a natural fit for medical and recreational weed alike. The most commonly used form of CBD is Best Full-spectrum CBD oils.
Combining CBD oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil, it can be ingested or vaped, bringing a lot of variety. But because marijuana legalization is in such a murky situation with both federal and state laws to contend with, CBD oil’s legality can be hard to parse depending on where you are.
CBD and Marijuana: What we know about them
Why is everyone so obsessed with CBD recently? It is because CBD is known to alleviate anxiety and inflammation without getting you high. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the cannabis Sativa plant, which is also known as marijuana. It is a naturally occurring substance that’s used in products like CBD cream, and CBD edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm.
Some patients find that topical CBD products can provide anti-inflammatory relief for skin ailments though there is no current research to back up their claims.
Marijuana comes from the Indian hemp plant. The plant that contains the drug is found primarily in the flowers (commonly called the “buds”) and much less in the seeds, leaves, and stems of the plant. Marijuana, when sold, is a mixture of dried-out leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds of the hemp plant. It is usually green, brown, or gray.
Marijuana is one of the most abused drugs in the world. Some people think that since it is legal in some places, it must be safe. That is not true because our body doesn’t know a legal drug from an illegal drug. It only identifies the effect the drug creates after you must have taken it. This review will clear some of the misunderstandings about pot.
There are about 400 chemicals in marijuana. The chemical that causes intoxication or the “high” in users is called THC (tetracannabinol). It creates the mind-altering effects that classify marijuana as a drug. In some instances, the relaxing effect of THC in marijuana can alleviate anxiety as well.
The Difference between CBD and Marijuana
Both come from the same plant species, and marijuana and hemp possess many similar qualities and can even look identical. To understand how vastly different these two are, let’s take note of the vital differences between marijuana and CBD.
One notable difference between hemp and marijuana is the chemical structure inside each plant. Marijuana and hemp can both produce CBD, and they also produce THC at different levels. Whereas hemp can hold no more than 0.3% THC content, marijuana can actually up to 30% THC by dry weight. Although CBD and THC have similar molecular makeup, the slight difference explains the varying effects in the human body.
Both CBD and THC have similar compositions similar to the body’s endocannabinoids. This allows them to interact with our bodies’ cannabinoid receptors, which affect the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that are responsible for sending signals between cells.
Another difference between marijuana and hemp is how they are grown. Hemp is often planted on a scaled agricultural model, while marijuana is cultivated on more of a garden level. Both plants share the same agronomic principals and properties with varying degrees of difference between strains.
The main agricultural difference is that hemp is federally legal, and marijuana is not. This means that hemp is eligible for federal programs like crop insurance and other applications. Marijuana is still a federally scheduled drug.
- Psychoactive features
Other than their similar chemical composition, another primary difference between CBD and marijuana is that they don’t exhibit the same psychoactive effects. CBD is a non-intoxicating compound as it doesn’t give users any mind-altering effects that THC does.
While THC binds with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors to produce an intoxicating effect, CBD acts differently. CBD can lessen some of the adverse effects of a THC high.
- Medical potential
One of the most significant differences between marijuana and CBD is their use as medication. Although both remain illegal federally, most states have legalized CBD because it is an ingredient in an FDA approved drug.
However, CBD and THC have plenty of the same therapeutic benefits. This means that they both can offer relief from a variety of the same conditions.
Legality of CBD?
CBD is legal but under particular conditions. While the legal status of CBD has become more defined with recent reforms, some laws are still unclear, and others may still be needed. The legality of CBD varies from state to state and federally.
One of the determining factors is whether CBD is hemp or marijuana-derived. The two plants are closely related and are classified very differently under the law. Understanding the difference is crucial to use CBD legally.
Hemp-derived CBD is sourced from industrial hemp plants, which are grown primarily for their fiber and seeds. Hemp plants tend to differ from marijuana plants in appearance as they are often skinny and scarce in foliage.
Hemp-derived CBD is federally legal as long as it adheres to the law. However, if hemp-derived CBD adheres to the following regulations outlined in the new farm bill, it is removed as a schedule 1 substance and is legal:
- The hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC
- The hemp must adhere to the shared state-federal regulations
- The hemp must be grown by an adequately licensed grower
Besides, the 2018 farm bill removed restrictions on the sale, transportation, and possession of hemp-derived CBD products. It allowed the transport of hemp-derived CBD products across state lines as long as the products follow the above-defined regulations.
Marijuana-derived CBD is extracted from marijuana plants that have thick, lush foliage and flowers that are generally grown and consumed for their intoxicating properties. The US government defines marijuana plants as those which contain more than 0.3% THC. While most marijuana plants contain THC as the predominant cannabinoid, several strains of marijuana are rich in CBD.
While hemp-derived CBD is federally legal as long as it adheres to the law, marijuana-derived CBD is a bit more complicated because it is derived from an illegal plant. In some states such as California and Colorado, marijuana is legal for recreational use, and naturally, so is marijuana-derived products. Others allow marijuana-derived CBD usage under certain conditions, such as a specific medical condition, and some states strictly prohibit it.
The 2018 Farm Bill
The 2018 Farm Bill that was passed in the US Senate has now become law. For hemp growers and CBD-product manufacturers, the big news is hemp will no longer be equated under drug laws with its psychotropic cousin, marijuana.
The Farm Bill is an omnibus, multi-year law that governs an array of agricultural and food programs. Titles in the recent Farm Bill encompassed farm commodity revenue supports, agricultural conservation, trade, and foreign food assistance, farm credit, research, rural development, forestry, horticulture, bioenergy, and domestic nutrition assistance.
Typically, cannabis is not part of the conversation around farm subsidies, nutritional assistance, and crop insurance. Yet, this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s strong support of and leadership on the issue of hemp have thrust the cannabis plant into the limelight.
Under the new laws, hemp will be managed by the Department of Agriculture as a crop rather than by the Justice Department as an illegal substance. Below is a few key Farm Bill points from Hoban Law Group’s Senior Attorney Steve Schain:
- Banks and payment processors/credit card companies can offer services to the hemp industry.
- Interstate commerce of hemp and hemp products is allowed
- Hemp farmers will be allowed to buy crop insurance for the first time
- Investment and capital infusion is permitted in both the oil and fibrous hemp businesses
- Convicted felons can join the industry ten years after the bill passes
- Hemp research will be allowed for pharmaceutical uses as well as for health, wellness, and general nutrition, opening the doors for much more testing.
- Hemp futures can be traded for the first time, locking in prices for farmers
Until now, for the most part, CBD product manufacturing and shipping across state lines have operated with little interference. As public acceptance of CBD and marijuana products grows, public figures and lawmakers have different views on the topic.
States with Legal Cannabidiol
CBD has exploded in popularity lately. Where is it legal? As the push for medical marijuana turned into one of the most universally accessible stances in the world, advocates have been pushing for more states to legalize cannabis entirely.
Thirty-three states have legalized medical marijuana, while the remaining 17 states have all passed laws allowing the use of cannabidiol (CBD) extract, usually in oil form, with minimal THC. Below is a list of the legal, medical marijuana states.
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Both marijuana and CBD have medical potential, though they are both safe. Despite this, they continue to be illegal federally and in some US states. Anytime you want to purchase or use CBD or marijuana products, make sure you are aware of the laws in your country.
It is better to consider the possibility of interactions with any drugs you’re already taking and be sure to consult with a doctor.