Recent research uncovering the medical benefits of marijuana has sparked conversation about a certain chemical found in the drug: cannabidiol (CBD). Already listed as a potential treatment for conditions ranging from arthritis to epilepsy, CBD still faces an unclear status of whether or not it is legal in the United States, and many proponents of the product claim it is “misunderstood”.
While tetrahydracannabinol (THC) reserves its spot as both the most well-known and most notorious chemical in marijuana due to its “mind-altering” effects, CBD can actually counteract THC’s psychoactivity. Growers of marijuana are well-aware of this relationship – depending on the product’s purpose, growers will breed plants with varying levels of THC and CBD. Usually, medical marijuana is bred with higher levels of CBD than THC.
When CBD is extracted, it’s produced in many forms, but its most common manifestation is cannabis oil. Essential oils have long been considered, well, essential to lead a healthy life, and CBD oil seems to be no different. It can be used to counteract stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, migraines, and other almost everyday ailments, yet it may also prevent cancer and promote heart health. And if you’ve ever heard of getting the marijuana-induced “munchies”, CBD oil can boost your appetite as well. Other than oil, CBD can be taken in the form of capsules, vaporizers, cream, or even gum.
But if CBD seems to do nothing but good, what’s the problem? Varying levels of legality throughout the nation stem from how the CBD is extracted; it can be taken from either medical marijuana or industrially grown hemp. Hemp, marijuana’s more fibrous cousin, is often seen in places you wouldn’t expect – friendship bracelets made with hemp rope, books made with hemp paper, bread made with hemp seeds. In its many forms, industrially grown hemp is legal nationwide, and thus, any CBD product extracted from hemp, such as hemp oil, is legal as well. However, because medical marijuana is not legal in every state, neither is CBD oil taken from it.
Because of CBD’s uncertain legal status, it may not be too easy to get your hands on it, depending on what state you’re in. Brand-name producers of CBD products like CanChew and Dixie Botanicals set up shops where medical marijuana is already legalized, like California and Colorado, and it’s probably not recommended to have it shipped in if medical marijuana is not legalized in your state.
Hemp oil, however, is an alternative that can be found nationwide, whether it’s in Walmart or Whole Foods. Hemp oil has a high CBD to THC ratio, meaning it’s meant more for health reasons than for getting high. So if you’re looking to ward off migraines and anxiety, the American legal system’s got you covered with industrially grown hemp products.
By Carina Vo