Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. It has been linked to anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties. However, it is not legal in all states, and there are certain dangers associated with it.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Epidiolex, a refined form of CBD oil, a prescription license for treating two types of epilepsy. In other states, cannabis plants are legal.
Cannabis is made up of a variety of chemicals, with varied benefits and drawbacks. Some — but not all — are effective as a therapy. Similarly, some forms — but not all — are lawful in certain jurisdictions.
This article will examine what CBD is, how it might benefit one’s health, how to use it, any potential side effects, and its legal status in Canada and the United States.
Is CBD legal? The 2018 Farm Bill eliminated hemp from the list of controlled substances in the Controlled Substances Act. This meant that certain CBD products containing less than 0.3 percent THC were no longer considered illegal under federal law. CBD goods with over 0.3 percent THC, on the other hand, continue to be classified as marijuana by law, making them federally prohibited but permissible under certain state laws. Check your local legislation; especially while traveling; and keep in mind that nonprescription CBD medicines have not been approved by the FDA.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of a group of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are a group of chemical compounds that include cannabidiol (CBD). THC is perhaps the most well-known cannabinoid, but there are others including cannabigerol (CBG), cannabicyclol (CBL), and cannabicitran (CBT) to mention a few.
Let’s look at CBD in more detail, because it is one of the key components in cannabis and is changing modern medicine. Let’s dig a little deeper into what makes CBD so unique.
According to an article in Medical News Today, “CBD and Other Cannabidiols” (accessed November 14, 2018), CBD interacts with the brain’s neurons similarly to THC. “What exactly is a neuron?” you might ask. Excellent question. A nerve impulse is transmitted via a neuron, which is a specialized cell found in your central nervous system (your brain and spinal column).
Your brain is made of billions of neurons that communicate with each other through nerve impulses. While there are various ways to describe this, the most common words used to express it are: feel, think, and breathe. Your brain is made of billions of neurons that communicate with one another via nerve signals. In fact, your brain is composed of millions of neurons working in unison to produce everything from your senses to your emotions.
However, they aren’t always active. They can be on or off depending on what (or lack of) stimuli exist both inside and around you. This is clear from the fact that most people aren’t constantly sad, ecstatic, or some other perplexing combination of both. Consider neurons to be like battery terminals if you have trouble picturing the function of neurons in this way.
The receptor is the empty area where the battery goes in scientific terms. You give electricity to the electronic gadget when you connect the battery to the receptor. Your brain’s neurons function in a similar manner.
When a chemical binds to an empty location (the receptor) on a neuron and activates it, that’s called activation. When a neuron or a group of neurons is activated, events occur throughout the body or brain (such as relieving pain or causing sadness).
The CB1 cannabinoid receptors are just one example of a cell that responds to cannabinoids. Cannabinoids do not act on any and all neurons with which they come into touch. Rather, they only engage with particular neurons whose receptors will accept the specially-shaped molecules. The cannabinoid receptor or CB1 is one such neuron.
Although this is technically accurate, the information is misleading. The brain does have cannabinoid receptors that only respond to them. These neurons are activated and turned off by endocannabinoids, which are chemicals made by the body. When you think about it, it’s really fascinating.
The fact that cannabis sativa contains cannabinoids and is therefore necessary for human brain development implies that our brain was designed to utilize these compounds. There would be no receptors without it, so there would be no physical or mental effects. But let’s set aside the question of how babies are made for a moment and focus on how THC and CBD affect the battery analogy.
When you smoke, eat, or drink your favorite cannabis strain (let’s say Blue Dream), the THC molecules bind snugly to CB1 receptors and turn that cell on. Consider the THC molecule as a AAA battery in this situation.
The CBD molecule can also fit into the CB1 receptor. It won’t be as snug a fit, though, as the THC molecule. Consider the CBD molecule to be an AAA battery that barely fits in. Sure, you can put it in there; but, unlike the AA battery (THC molecule), it will not be a perfect match.
Because of the imperfect fit, the CBD molecule will not be able to provide enough power for a neuron to turn on as effectively as the THC molecule would. This is comparable to how an AAA battery does not have the same amount of power as a AA battery.
The difficulty is that once a CBD molecule enters the CB1 receptor (not turning it on), the CBD molecule also takes up residence in the neuron, preventing THC from docking. Because to how CBD inhibits THC from connecting with the cell, it’s been dubbed a CB1 antagonist. Consider if there was no CBD available. THC molecules would connect with all of the CB1 receptors, turn them on, and make you feel better than you’ve ever felt before.
Before you exclaim, “Absolutely correct!” bear in mind that a bad trip is defined as being excessively high on THC—having too much psychoactive influence. It’s known as an overdose at the absolute worst-case scenario. CBD prevents this from happening.
CBD also works in tandem with THC to prevent a psychedelic crisis. It activates additional receptors that THC can’t: the adenosine receptor, the serotonin receptor, and the vanilloid receptor. Here’s what those particular CBD-activated receptors accomplish.
- CBD activates the adenosine receptor, resulting in decreased anxiety as a result of its activation.
- The CBD in hemp oil activates the serotonin receptor, which improves mood, blood sugar levels, nausea, and a variety of other neurological and physiological consequences.
- CBD activates the vanilloid receptor, causing a response in the brain that reduces pain and inflammation.
But that’s only a sampling of the many advantages CBD may have. In fact, according to author Martin Lee, who wrote the book “Smoke Signals,” CBD is the “Cinderella Molecule” because…
“CBD has been found in studies to be able to reduce cancerous tumors, change gene expression, correct arrhythmic heart rhythms, and stimulate the growth of new brain cells in rats. CBD’s potential as a therapy for a variety of illnesses including chronic pain, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, and antibiotic-resistant infections has been scientifically and clinically proven. — so many diseases respond favorably to CBD that it’s almost like a fairy tale. However, the evidence is quite solid.”
Another cause of CBD (endocannabinoid type) deficiency is an absence of the endocannabinoids. According to Dr. Ethan Russo, CBD insufficiency is a root cause of headaches, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and other degenerative diseases that afflict people all around the world.
CBD is an essential oil that has many healing qualities. It may be called the holy grail of medical treatments since it does so much and cures so many illnesses.
CBD Is Sobering
CBD, on the other hand, works by inhibiting the enzymes that convert and bind THC to its psychoactive receptors. To summarize, CBD is a non-psychoactive substance that really inhibits THC’s euphoric effects (or “high”) by blocking the conversion and binding of THC to its psychotropic receptors. Because CBD has little impact on CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain that regulate learning, coordination, sleep, pain, and immunity, it does not make people mind-alteringly high.
Cannabidiol does not cause short-term memory impairment, either. Research participants who had smoked cannabis strains high in cannabidiol (i.e., low THC strains) performed significantly worse at recalling text when compared to those who didn’t smoke marijuana.
Those who smoked low-THC cannabidiol (i.e., high CBD strains) did not display the same side effects. L, a New Jersey and New York-based licensed psychologist and member of the Anonymous Protestor Group, offers an excellent example of the benefits of CBD.
The condition that caused our client to suffer from swelling all over her body was an immunological disorder and a cervical spine injury (double crush syndrome). Her doctor advised her to take valium, which relieved the discomfort somewhat.
L was concerned about becoming dependent on the medication because her tolerance level was growing quickly. She spoke with a number of specialists and all backed her decision to try medical (high-CBD) marijuana. They gave her a prescription, and the results were almost immediate. The excruciating nerve anguish in her hands caused by her cervical spine issue and two surgical problems was taken care of with just two puffs on a one-hitter of excellent marijuana.
“I didn’t get high, but I was able to work again. For the past four years, I’ve been incapacitated by pain and other ailments. Now that I’m back to work, I’m not going back to being disabled. Marijuana allows me to function while also assisting others.”
Unfortunately, L is prevented from revealing her identity for fear of losing her ability to assist others and herself. She would nevertheless want the general public to know that:
“As a psychologist working in a primary care setting, I am shocked by the number of people on very high doses of narcotic pain medications. In my area, we’ve had one person under the age of 30 die as a result of an accidental opioid overdose. If medical marijuana was accessible in different forms such as CBD oils, we would be able to save many lives and help many people. People won’t be stoned or dying due to drug use. We’ll have a better-quality population with less risk of diseases associated with chronic pain and other health issues. ”
CBD Also Lowers Social Anxiety
CBD isn’t just beneficial for physical ailments. It’s also beneficial in the treatment of mental illnesses. Because marijuana contains CBD, it aids in the reduction of limbic system activation. It’s also important for memory formation.
The limbic system, which regulates epinephrine flow, emotions, behavior, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction among other things, is where your emotional life is largely centered. Johnny Hempseed from Anonymous in Colorado states that CBD oil is effective for social anxiety because it provides therapeutic advantages without having the psychotropic side effects of traditional cannabis.
CBD Saves Lives
The world was introduced to Charlotte Figi, a kid whose seizures began at three months old, in Sanjay Gupta’s unique landmark CNN special Weed. She had almost 300 epileptic episodes each week because of a rare kind of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome by the age of five.
Dr. Gupta’s documentary premiered the Stanley Brothers and their now legendary high-CBD, low-THC strain of cannabis known as Charlotte’s Web, which was able to control Charlotte’s seizures after she ingested it as an extracted oil in the first hour.
According to Fox News, Charlotte is now talking, feeding herself, and riding her bike thanks to two dosages of three to four milligrams of oil per pound of body weight given twice daily. Her seizures only occur two or three times a month, with the majority taking place in her sleep.
Because of their positive effects, numerous additional patients with similar but not identical problems began to utilize the strain. CBD has since grown to be a major driving force behind marijuana prohibition.
CBD Is the Real Reefer Revolution
CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety while increasing calmness has not only been demonstrated in clinical trials, but it is also shedding light on the “bad science” that underlies anti-marijuana prejudice. CBD’s ability to promote relaxation and decrease anxiety offers hope for debunking the negative preconceptions about cannabis.
Much of this good press is due to Dr. Gupta’s documentary, which exposed Charlotte and her miraculous cure plant, debunking Anslinger’s Reefer Madness misconceptions in the same way that CBD tranquilizes a strong THC high. Much of this positive coverage is owing to the publicity Dr. Gupta’s film provided Charlotte and her wonder drug plant.
Despite the growing number of success stories surrounding CBD use, it is remarkable that the medical marijuana community was late to embrace it. This was most likely due to the fact that strains high in CBD were not being produced by underground horticulturists catering to the greater demand for euphoric THC plants.
The Stanley Brothers are best known for their high CBD strains, which at the time were controversial. Now, however, they’re known as “the Robin Hoods of Marijuana” due to their charitable organization The Realm of Caring’s use of donations to provide people like Charlotte Figi’s with medicinal cannabis.
CBD Is Still (Kind Of) Illegal
CBD is legal in 46 of the 50 United States as of this writing. CBD is illegal in four states: Alaska, Indiana, South Dakota, and Vermont.
- South Dakota
There is a disjointed and perplexing patchwork of legislation among the other 47 states. It’s fine to possess and utilize CBD in states where marijuana is legally available for recreational use. However, things get more complicated when marijuana is prohibited recreationally but permitted medicinally in states.
Marijuana is now fully legal in nine states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Additionally there are the District of Columbia and four U.S territories where marijuana is decriminalized (the Northern Mariana Islands have taken a different approach).
The population of these ten cities is about 70 million people. This indicates that 21% of Americans may light up for any reason, which is equivalent to one in five individuals. That’s twenty percent of the population!
It’s also interesting to note that marijuana is legal in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. As a result, you could rent a home in DC and grow up to six plants for recreational usage. It would be completely legal.
Alternatively, you can tour the White House with a huge bag of bud in your pocket—up to 57 grams—and you will not be breaking the law. (We don’t necessarily encourage it, but it’s possible that you wouldn’t be breaking any laws if you did.) Marijuana is illegal under federal statute while all of this is true.
There are now 20 more states that allow medicinal marijuana use with a doctor’s prescription in addition to the nine states mentioned above and D.C. CBD, as well as THC molecules, is included in many of these products. Those 20 states are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
We know that this is becoming difficult, but please bear with us. We’re almost done drawing out the complicated web of legislation surrounding cannabis in the United States.
There are 17 additional states where marijuana containing CBD is illegal, but it is permissible. To acquire CBD, most situations necessitate the use of a prescription. Furthermore, in most states, the amount of THC allowed in CBD products varies by state.
However, should you try to sell CBD products in your state, be sure that they are legal and compliant with all necessary regulations. In Virginia, for example, CBD oil must have less than 5% THC composition before it is considered lawful; but, just a few hours south in South Carolina, CBD products with more than 0.9% THC are unlawful to possess.
Here are the 17 states where CBD is legal:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
There you have it. That is the entire story on CBD laws in the United States of America. However, we must make one last point: despite being legal according to certain state laws, all types of cannabis are still technically illegal under federal law due to a lack of clarity regarding hemp and its products (including CBD).
Although it is legal in some states and countries, including Canada, the federal government still considers CBD to be a Schedule I narcotic. It is classified as a highly addictive, schedule 1 narcotic with no recognized medical value under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States (because it comes from cannabis). Other reasons also have an impact on marijuana legality in the United States, particularly Big Pharma.
CBD And The Pharmaceutical Industry
The pharmaceutical industry in the United States already outstrips the potential market value of the entirely legal cannabis business. Despite being overshadowed by these drug-producing giants, the cannabis sector is expected to take a big chunk out of Big Pharma’s earnings.
With only cannabis-based items (which are considerably less expensive to produce), the cannabis sector may take the place of designer drugs that cure:
- Bone growth
- Cancer cell growth
- Bacterial growth
- Artery blockage
- Nervous system degeneration
- High blood sugar levels
- Seizures and convulsions
- Muscle spasms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low appetite
- Chronic pain
That’s a lot of pills that haven’t been sold, and a significant amount of money going straight into the cannabis industry. Is it starting to make sense why Big Pharma and its army of lobbyists are working so hard to keep cannabis drugs illegal? It’s a shame because CBD has the potential to have such a beneficial impact on millions of people’s lives.
Cannabis-based medicines are significantly less expensive than several of the medications that treat similar ailments. That alone might be a major benefit to those who spend the bulk of their money on drugs that create more problems than they cure.
And don’t forget that Big Pharma is presently working to develop CBD in order to cash in on the advantages it offers. While this may appear to be a positive thing, it isn’t. As you’ll learn later in this article, recent studies have shown that whole plant CBD is much more effective than manufactured “single-molecule” CBD.
So, when Big Pharmaceutical manages to domesticate synthetic CBD, and if cannabis is still illegal in the United States, they’ll produce a plethora of products that are less effective than those produced from natural cannabis plants. Furthermore, they’ll almost certainly charge an arm and a leg for this inferior product.
With just these few examples, you can start to see why the pharmaceutical industry has such a stake in whether or not cannabis is legal or not.
Even Prohibitionists Like CBD!
The strategic assault of drug warriors such as Kevin Sabet, a former White House National Drug and Control Policy senior advisor, is to portray CBD as the good cannabinoid and THC as the bad one. According to Rolling Stone, Sabet is “The Devil Himself” and “The Number One Enemy of Legalization.” According to High Times, he’s “the number one enemy of legalization.”
“Charlotte Figge would be dead by now if Sabet and his flat-earther cronies had their way,” claims Smoke Signals author Martin Lee. According to Lee, the pharmaceutical industry’s attempts to synthesize and profit from CBD are more dangerous for children than allowing them access to it in its natural form, in part because they question whether cannabis smoking is addictive. nLee adds that…
“Marijuana does not cause a person to become an addict, any more than food causes a person to become a compulsive eater. The notion that marijuana harms teenagers’ brains, lowers their IQs, and makes them lethargic is a political invention with no basis in science. Apathy stems from loneliness and dismal prospects rather than cannabis use.”
The need of prohibitionists like Sabet to protect children from the “damaging” consequences of THC is seen by Lee as the last refuge of “drug war scoundrels.” CBD and, more generally, the science behind it completely contradicts claims like Sabet’s that euphoria is “harmful” to children and general human happiness. As…
“It’s not clear why mild euphoric sensations are harmful to a sick person or a healthy one, for that matter. In ancient Greece, the term euphoria meant “being in good health.” The pleasurable qualities of cannabis, far from being an undesirable side effect, are actually crucial to the plant’s therapeutic efficacy.’
It’s odd that marijuana’s intoxicating effects are used to argue against its medicinal usage, while alcohol is perfectly legal in all 50 states. Alcohol harms motor function more than marijuana, and alcohol has considerably less medical advantages than marijuana, if any at all.
We also have some wonderful news to share. Senator Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, is proposing legislation that would legalize hemp and CBD in all 50 states. The bill was favorably reported out of the Senate Agriculture Committee on June 20, 2018, with a vote of 20-1 in the Senate.
This is wonderful news because it will clarify some of the confusion surrounding CBD’s legality. Even if a few states still had laws on the books that defined CBD as an illicit substance, it wouldn’t matter since federal legislation trumps state legislation. Police would cease making arrests and any arreststhat were made would be abandoned by government attorneys. Great news for progress toward sensible regulation!
Modern Science Is Still Censored
Dr. Gupta received his education and training in the field of medicine, but he never studied about cannabis during medical school… Instead, Dr. Gupta took his cues from federal agencies that maintain that marijuana is a hazardous drug with no therapeutic value. The stunning turn in the CBD saga is the exposure of systematic prejudice within contemporary mainstream medical research.
The term “medical cannabis” was coined in the 1960s by a vocal opponent of drug prohibition, retired Harvard researcher and pharmacologist Lester Grinspoon. It is time for modern medicine to “wake up” and start researching marijuana as a viable option before it’s too late. The saga of CBD provides yet another example of how modern medicine has been as incorrect about marijuana as the Catholic Church was about the fact that Earth orbits the Sun.
The science behind cannabidiol’s non-psychoactive qualities is so serious that it makes us question what else we’re missing. What other natural marvels have our science failed to discover? What additional delightful surprises does the planet Earth still have in store for us?
CBD Isn’t a Solo Act
Despite the fact that he specializes in CBD study, Dr. David Lee challenges the conventional view that CBD is medicinal while THC is recreational by pointing to the therapeutic capabilities of THC even though he focuses on CBD research.
Dr. Lee stated that Chinese researchers had discovered how acupuncture’s pain-relieving effects are mediated by the same cannabinoid receptors that THC activates, for example. Professor Guillermo Velasco of Complutense University of Madrid agreed that THC had medical benefits comparable to those of THC, especially in the treatment of cancer.
THC:CBD ratios in indica cannabis plants are typically believed to be greater than those seen in sativa strains, with CBD:THC ratios being the polar opposite. According to Nico Escondido from High Times, however, the words indica and sativa should be used to characterize lineage, growth patterns, geographic and climatic origins rather than the effects of the cannabis itself.
Because of hybridization, not all sativas are rich in THC, and not all indicas are devoid of it. There are several different types of sativa, indica, and hybrid plants with a high CBD to THC ratio that allow users to find the right balance for their own body’s unique endocannabinoid chemistry.
Remember that CBD can be used to make a variety of items for your chosen way of consuming marijuana, so you don’t need to smoke it!
CBD is what motivates pharmaceutical companies to seek for marijuana-like molecules that don’t make people high. A groundbreaking research from Israel demonstrated that whole plant vs synthetic “single-molecule” CBD has greater therapeutic benefits.
In March of 2015, the FDA investigated eleven CBD companies and discovered that in many cases, their goods contained very little or no cannabidiol. Given the complexity of producing high-quality CBD extract from low-quality cannabis, this is little more than a surprise.
It’s legal to make products out of hemp, the non-psychoactive male strain of the cannabis plant, which is grown for fiber and is often used for industrial purposes. However, it takes a lot of industrial hemp to extract a small amount of CBD.
“Hemp oil start-ups lack credibility when they say their CBD comes from hemp seed and stalk” according to Martin A. Lee of Project CBD. Hemp also draws heavy metals out of soil as it grows, which makes it great for preventing soil pollution.
Finally, make sure your CBD oil was produced by a trustworthy grower / dispensary and from the same organic marijuana that the rest of your honest medicinal cannabis goods are made from.
CBD, on the other hand, is a series of unexpected health benefits that ironically will make you feel more sober rather than high. This is why CBD science is leading the way in terms of legitimizing and legalizing marijuana.
The CBD science and miraculous recoveries such as L’s and Charlotte Figi’s shatter the conventional Reefer Madness and Cheech & Chong stereotypes surrounding cannabis so convincingly that even mainstream physicians like Dr. Sanjay Gupta have been forced to reconsider their prejudiced opinions about cannabis.
Cannabidiol, in particular, has found an increasing number of supporters. It is so preferred that it has become the last convincing argument for drug war scoundrels who want us to use less effective synthesized cannabidiol medicines rather than THC because to their unjustified ban on cannabis.
Don’t be fooled by old-school scientific censorship, though; the only reason CBD oil isn’t completely legal in the United States is because it originates from the same mostly illegal source plants as THC does – but this is also why you’ll find that CBD works best with THC than jelly goes with peanut butter.