Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, promises to relieve all sorts of conditions, from pain to epilepsy and almost everything in between. It can come from either related form of the cannabis plant: marijuana or hemp. The main difference is that marijuana contains more Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which is the compound responsible for the “high”.
The United States Federal government still classifies marijuana as an illegal drug. So CBD’s legal status depends on whether it was derived from marijuana or hemp. If it comes from marijuana, it is still considered a schedule I controlled substance. However, if it is derived from hemp and adheres to recent new regulations defined by the law (The Farm Act of 2018), it is legal.
Sound complicated? It is and many people will agree or have very different ideas about what’s legal and what isn’t. A common misconception is that all CBD has been made federally legal. That is not the case. Only CBD made from hemp and adhering to regulation is legal at the Federal level.
To make things more confusing, many hemp or CBD businesses have difficulty marketing and selling hemp products, because some advertising platforms and financial institutions still do not distinguish between hemp and marijuana.
In spite of legal confusion and financial hurdles, the CBD market is exploding. Now you can find CBD oil, bath bombs, soaps and many other forms online, at Farmer’s Markets and just about everywhere. Even major chains like Walgreens and CVS are looking to get involved.
The scientific and medical communities stress that there is not enough long term data or studies to back all of the claims that CBD manufacturers make but at the same time aren’t really disputing them. So why is this market taking off like crazy? Is it because users actually do find that it helps with so many issues?
The FDA is aware of the public’s interest in the product but at the same time wants to protect consumers. They don’t want to see CBD products that are claiming all sorts of health benefits without any scientific research to prove it and that will take time. For now the best we can hope for is more clarity on the subject.