CBD or Cannabidiol has been garnering a lot of attention in the past couple of years mainly because of its many proven medical benefits. CBD is demand all over the world, especially in the US where CBD sales have more than doubled from 2018 to 2019. It is also evident that a lot of celebrities, sports athletes, and personalities are using and endorsing CBD because of its positive effects. Despite CBD’s rising popularity, it’s still not sold legally in all countries around the world. However, there currently are many counties actively looking at new CBD legislation.
A new study proved that cannabis usage is safer than alcohol, but it is still not allowed in a lot of parts of the world due to its psychoactive and addictive effects. Thankfully, there are hemp-based CBD products that don’t have the psychoactive properties of cannabis, making them legal to use.
However, the laws surrounding cannabis can still be quite confusing. There are some restrictions regarding CBD – depending on which country or state you are in. Many European countries, Canada, and some other nations have very lenient cannabis laws. In fact, cannabis is fully legal now in Canada. If you are located in one of these counties, whether it’s for medical or recreational purposes, you are free to use it as long as you are 18 or older.
What Exactly is CBD or Cannabidiol?
There is a lot of confusion on this topic, let’s clarify. Technically, CBD (Cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower, stalk, and branches of Cannabis Sativa and Indica. Cannabis is a plant with a rich history – both commercially and medicinally. Cannabis and humans go back tens of thousands of years. Cannabis was probably the 1st crop humans farmed. Crazy to think about a person, in Southern Turkey (and independently in Taiwan about the same time) decided growing Cannabis was important enough to the tribe than hunting or gathering for the year. That is a major risk that has paid off. Cheers to her/him! But back from that rabbit hole. 😊
CBD comes not only from Cannabis, but also a host of other plants– like chocolate, black pepper, echinacea. You can’t not have CBD in your daily caloric intake (I know, double negative). A good metaphor is that CBD is to Cannabis what Vitamin C is to Oranges – it’s highly concentrated and pure. Interestingly, when you think of Cannabis you think marijuana – you think of “pot” or “weed” or “Ganja” – but not all Cannabis is marijuana. Majority of Cannabis was designed for commercial purposes, not to get you high.
Metaphorically, just as all dogs are not Labs – all Cannabis is not Marijuana. Taking this a step further, people have breed Cannabis into different “strains” just as we have breed Canines into different “breeds”.
- Grown for industrial purposes, like rope, canvas, clothing
- Hemp is what George Washington planted at Mt. Vernon
- Hemp farming was officially re-legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill
- Hemp must contain less than .3% THC to be legal
- Legal CBD comes from Hemp
- Grown for the psychoactive THC compound – Gets you High
- No industrial purposes
- Found to help people with psychoactive disorders (PTSD/Anxiety/etc)
Marijuana Laws in the US
In the US, there are states wherein cannabis is fully legal. Below are the 10 states where you can use cannabis freely, whether for recreational use or medicinal use:
- Washington, DC
On the other hand, there are states that only allows marijuana for medicinal purposes and it must be prescribed by a doctor. Those states include Arizona, New York, Florida, New Mexico, and Montana.
CBD Laws in the U.S.
Thanks to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 or the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-based products are more accessible for people in the US since CBD is legalized in all 50 states. You will notice the growth of the number of places where CBD products are being sold. This doesn’t mean that you can just grow hemp on your garden whenever you want to though, it still has its restrictions.
Hemp-based products are legal only if it is produced by a licensed grower and approved by the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration). It also needs to have less than 0.03% THC in it because anything more than that will be considered as “marijuana” and will make it illegal.
There is still a lot more to learn about hemp and research regarding its uses and benefits are still ongoing. So before purchasing anything CBD related, make sure to check if the producer is legitimate and legal.