CBD oil is becoming hugely popular. But what is it? Is it marijuana? Should it be seen as an illegal drug, or is it just a healthy herbal extract?
The laws as well as the perception held by the public on CBD oil are analyzed by an article published by Motherboard.
CBD oil from industrial hemp
Let us begin by clarifying “industrial hemp”. It is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant grown for fiber, textiles and animal feed as well as culinary and industrial oils and biofuel. Certain genetic variants contain high levels of the compound CBD, also known as cannabidiol, one of the non-psychotropic cannabinoids found in cannabis. It also contains negligible levels of THC or Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive in cannabis.
CBD naturally counteracts the effect of THC. So, marijuana used for recreational use has been bred to increase THC levels and decrease CBD levels to prevent the non-psychoactive, or calming effect of CBD from interfering with the euphoric effect of THC. Recent tests on medical cannabis in Canada found that CBD has been bred out of much of the cannabis grown for medicinal use.
CBD oil for many medical conditions
Motherboard reports that CBD is used in the treatment of an array of medical conditions, but is best known and most widely accepted as treatment, for epilepsy to reduce, and in many cases, eliminate seizures. It is also widely used as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic to relieve pain.
CBD oil is legal in some states even if medical marijuana is illegal. This is because of the low THC levels in hemp.
Ignorance can be dangerous
Hemp is a bio-accumulator, which translates to the fact that the plant draws toxins from the soil. This is great to rehabilitate areas contaminated with pesticides or radiation, but lethal for producing medicine. This is one of the reasons some people believe CBD should be regulated to prevent patients taking unsafe medicine contaminated with poisons.
In addition mycotoxins can be produced by fungi growing on improperly cultivated and handled plants, adding to the potential toxicity of products. In some countries, this has been solved through certification such as Good Manufacturing Practices certification (GMP), but there is no such provision in the United States.
Legalities of CBD oil
With almost every state in the US having its own perception on CBD oil, the situation gets really confusing. In some states, it’s regarded as medical marijuana, and you have to be a registered patient to get it. In others, it’s seen as a harmless supplement that can be bought over the counter in health shops. And in a few states, it’s outright illegal.
This situation borders on the ridiculous, because in these states, CBD oil (which can’t make you high at all) is regarded as being as bad as heroin, which not only makes people high, but can kill them.
Some lawyers argue that since CBD oil is a hemp product, it is technically legal in any state where hemp products are legal. They argue that if you can buy hemp seeds for your health, you should be able to buy a hemp extract without transgressing the law, but as far as we can determine, this argument has not yet been put to the test in a US law court.
Will the US finally rethink CBD oil?
Unfortunately, the rise of conservatism in the US seems to indicate that rethinking CBD oil will not be high on the political agenda. And since the decades-old decisions made by legislators were politically motivated, many analysts believe that only a political decision can undo the confusion surrounding CBD oil.