While it’s true that CBD is legal in all 50 states, there are situations when it isn’t legal. The difference between legal and illegal typically depends on several important factors determined by the state in question. There is, however, one very important factor that is a crucial determinant across all states, and that is where the CBD is derived from–hemp or marijuana.
In June 2018, the FDA approved the drug Epidiolex, an oral preparation of pure CBD for treatment of two rare and severe forms of epilepsy in children. The drug is made by the GW Pharmaceutical Company and was tested in three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, including 516 patients. It was found to be effective in reducing the frequency of seizures.
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Hemp Oil is processed from the seeds and stalks of the hemp plant and despite its source, it contains little to none of the psychoactive element Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), meaning it cannot get you ‘high’. For instance hemp may contain 0.3-1.5% of THC whilst marijuana contains anything from 5% to 20% plus. Hemp oils main components are in fact omega fatty acids, similar to those which can be found in fish and olive oil.
Cannabidiol is insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents such as pentane. At room temperature, it is a colorless crystalline solid. In strongly basic media and the presence of air, it is oxidized to a quinone. Under acidic conditions it cyclizes to THC, which also occurs during pyrolysis (smoking). The synthesis of cannabidiol has been accomplished by several research groups.
Recreational cannabis use centers around one chemical: the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Consuming this chemical induces euphoric and stimulating sensations commonly referred to as a “high.” For most marijuana users, these sensations are pleasurable and enjoyable. For some, however, THC can induce feelings of anxiety and paranoia, especially in large doses.
In 2015, The Hebrew University of Israel published a study that documented the potency of single-molecule CBD extract versus the potency of whole-plant CBD-rich extract. It found that extract taken from whole plant CBD-rich cannabis is therapeutically superior to single-molecule extract. The scientists behind this study noticed that science had been utilizing pure, single-molecule CBD, which resulted in a bell-shaped dose-response curve. This means that CBD’s efficacy plummets at very high and very low doses.
Cannabis plants can be male, female, or hermaphrodite. The dried marijuana flowers that humans consume, however, come from the female plant. That’s because female plants produce large resin-secreting flowers that are rich in cannabinoids and free of seeds. Hence, female plants are the ones growers prefer, though of course, male marijuana plants are a requirement for pollination.
In short, the results of the survey (which were published in the Journal of Pain Research) showed that roughly 42% and 46% (respectively) of participants claimed they were able to use cannabis in place of traditional medical to effectively treat their specific medical ailment. So if you’re wondering how to know if you need CBD for pain, remember that you’re certainly not alone.
In the United States, cannabis is overall the number four value crop, and is number one or two in many states including California, New York and Florida, averaging $3,000 per pound ($6,600/kg). Some believe it generates an estimated $36 billion market. Some have argued that this estimate is methodologically flawed, and makes unrealistic assumptions about the level of marijuana consumption. Other estimates claiming to correct for this flaw claim that the market is between $2.1-$4.3 billion. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime claims in its 2008 World Drug Report that typical U.S. retail prices are $10–15 per gram (approximately $280–420 per ounce). Street prices in North America are known to range from about $40–$400 per ounce ($1.4–$14/g), depending on quality.
In support of the previous study by Power et al. (in press), a second study by Giordano, Ohlsoon, Sundquist, Sundquist, and Kendler (2015) found that the relationship between cannabis use or abuse and schizophrenia may not be as strong as believed. The authors found that as the degree of shared genetic and environmental factors increased (beginning with first cousins to full siblings), the relationship between schizophrenia and cannabis abuse decreased, although it remained significant even in full sibling pairs.
Another concern is about medications with which CBD might interact. This won’t be an issue with most drugs, says Sunil Kumar Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D., a palliative medicine physician and scientist who studies cannabis and integrates it into his Seattle medical practice. The exceptions are blood thinners, IV antibiotics, and other drugs whose exact dosing is crucial and must be monitored closely, he says. (Of course, if you have a health problem, talk to your doctor before using CBD, and never take it instead of seeing your physician for a serious condition.)