CBD, Marijuana, and Hemp: What is the Distinction Between These Hashish Merchandise and Which Are Authorized?

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Here’s what you need to know about their legality, effects, and potential health benefits.

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Brandon McFadden and Trey Malone • • The conversation A third of Americans believe hemp and marijuana are the same thing, according to the National Institutes of Health. A third of Americans believe hemp and marijuana are the same thing, according to the National Institutes of Health. Photo by Caitlin Riley / Getty Images

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New York recently became the 15th state to legalize recreational cannabis.

While 67% of adults in the US support marijuana legalization, public knowledge about cannabis is low. A third of Americans believe that hemp and marijuana are the same thing, according to the National Institutes of Health, and many people are still searching Google to find out if cannabidiol – a cannabis derivative known as CBD – makes them skyrocket like marijuana becomes.

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Hemp, marijuana, and CBD are all related but differ in significant ways. Here’s what you need to know about their legality, effects, and potential health benefits.

Hemp, marijuana and cannabanoids

Both hemp and marijuana are of the same species, Cannabis sativa, and the two plants look somewhat similar. However, there can be significant differences within a species. After all, Great Danes and Chihuahuas are both dogs, but they have obvious differences.

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The key difference between hemp and marijuana is their psychoactive component: tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Hemp has 0.3% or less THC, which means that hemp-derived products do not contain enough THC to produce the “high” traditionally associated with marijuana.

CBD is a compound found in cannabis. There are hundreds of such compounds, known as “cannabinoids” because they interact with receptors that are involved in a variety of functions such as appetite, anxiety, depression, and the sensation of pain. THC is also a cannabinoid.

Clinical research shows that CBD is effective in treating epilepsy. Anecdotes suggest that it can help with pain and even anxiety – although the jury is still not scientifically informed about it.

Marijuana, which contains both CBD and more THC than hemp, has shown therapeutic benefits for people with epilepsy, nausea, glaucoma, and possibly even multiple sclerosis and opioid addiction disorder.

However, medical research on marijuana is severely restricted by federal law.

The Drug Enforcement Agency categorizes cannabis as a List 1 substance, which means that cannabis is treated as if there are no accepted medicinal uses and a high potential for abuse. Scientists don’t know exactly how CBD works or how it interacts with other cannabinoids like THC to give marijuana its additional therapeutic effects.

Retail CBD

CBD is found in foods, tinctures, and oils, to name a few. Here are some common terms used to describe CBD products in business.

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While the terms “CBD tincture” and “CBD oil” are often used interchangeably, the two actually differ. Tinctures are made by soaking cannabis in alcohol, while oils are made by suspending CBD in a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil.

“Pure” CBD, also called “CBD Isolate”, is so named because all other cannabinoids have been removed. So do terpenes and flavonoids, which give marijuana its strong aroma and earthy taste.

Broad-spectrum CBD usually contains at least three other cannabinoids plus some terpenes and flavonoids – but still no THC. Full-spectrum CBD, also called whole flower CBD, is similar to a broad spectrum, but can contain up to 0.3% THC.

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, the list of cannabis-derived products is significantly expanded to include CBD with a THC content much higher than 0.3%.

There is no standardized dosage of CBD. Some retailers may have enough knowledge to make a beginner recommendation. There are resources online too – like this dosage calculator.

Consumers concerned about the content and accuracy of CBD products that are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration can apply for certification through independent laboratory testing or by scanning a QR code on the product packaging.

Note that CBD oil is different from hemp oil, which is obtained from the pressing of cannabis seeds and may not contain CBD, and hemp oil, which is an essential fatty acid source and does not contain CBD. It’s a dietary supplement, more like fish oil than CBD oil.

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Legal status

Another big difference between hemp, marijuana, and CBD is how the law treats them.

Although 15 states have now legalized recreational marijuana, it remains illegal at the federal level in the United States. Technically, those who own marijuana in a legal weed state can still be penalized under federal law, and traveling with cannabis across state lines is prohibited.

Hemp, on the other hand, was legalized for cultivation and sale in the US in the 2018 Farm Bill.

So one would assume that hemp-derived CBD should be nationally legal in every state, as THC levels don’t exceed 0.3%. But CBD occupies a legal gray area. Some states, like Nebraska and Idaho, still essentially regulate CBD oil as a List 1 substance that is similar to marijuana.

Our recent study found that Americans are more likely to view hemp and CBD as over-the-counter drugs and THC as more of a prescription drug. Still, the average person in the U.S. doesn’t see hemp, CBD, THC, or even marijuana in the same light as illicit substances like meth and cocaine – although both are classified as less abusive than marijuana by the DEA.

In other words, the current federal marijuana ban is inconsistent with public opinion – even though state legalization shows society moves on without the blessings of politicians on Capitol Hill. U.S. marijuana retail sales could reach $ 8.7 billion in 2021, up from $ 6.7 billion in 2016.

As interest in other cannabinoids such as cannabigerol or CBG – which some are touting as the new CBD – continues to grow, so does the need for further medical research on cannabis.

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Brandon McFadden, Assistant Professor of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware; and Trey Malone, Assistant Professor and Extension Economist, Michigan State University.

This article is republished by The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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