Currently 11 of the 33 states, and the District of Columbia, that have legalized medical marijuana have also legalized recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, the other 17 states have passed laws to allow the use of cannabidiol extract, better known as CBD oil. In all 50 states, CBD is legal in some sense. Now, how does a state legalize one part of cannabis and not the other?
Three words: cannabis, marijuana, and hemp. Due to common misconceptions, these words often get used interchangeably. Cannabis refers to the plant itself, while marijuana and hemp refer to two different parts of the cannabis plant.
Marijuana is that good good part of the cannabis plant that gets you high, with a greater than 0.3% concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp is often overshadowed by, and can even be confused with, marijuana. Hemp is the chiller part of the cannabis plant whose concentration of THC is less than 0.3%; it has higher concentrations of CBD. While THC is psychoactive, the low concentrations of it found in most CBD oils won’t get its users high.
The Agriculture Improvement Act, signed back in December 2018, removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, thereby legalizing hemp farming and allowing the extraction of CBD from hemp. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still holds the authority to regulate all cannabis products. And the FDA has concerns with CBD marketing claims that promise therapeutic benefits. Though plenty of research supporting the therapeutic benefits of CBD oil exists, many of these claims have not yet been approved by the FDA.
Do you think the legalization of CBD oil is a stepping stone to the legalization of marijuana? Or nah?
Does legalizing CBD mean THC is next?