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What Is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It's one of many chemical compounds made by cannabis.
Products like CBD oil, gummies, and lotions often feature the extract of cannabis or hemp that’s formulated to have high levels of CBD. They may also capture varying degrees of other plant compounds.
Products containing only CBD are not intoxicating. This is unlike products with THC, which cause the ‘high’ famously associated with cannabis. This makes CBD a much-loved remedy among consumers seeking clear-headed relief, which we’ll cover a bit later.
When shopping for products containing CBD, you’re likely to come across many different forms and types. We’ll cover some of these products later, along with how best to choose a quality brand.
What Are Hemp and Marijuana?
You may have heard the terms cannabis, hemp, and marijuana all used concerning CBD. So, what exactly are hemp and marijuana? The Cannabis Sativa plant has two primary species. These are hemp and marijuana. Both species contain CBD.
But, there’s a much bigger percentage in hemp. Hemp also has extremely low THC levels compared to marijuana. Hemp has less than 0.3% of THC, which, as mentioned above, offers that ‘high’ associated with cannabis.
Hemp oil is the oil taken from the hemp plant. There are no cannabinoids – either CBD or THC – in hemp oil. This skin-loving ingredient is often used in beauty products as it's very moisturizing and is full of healthy fats.
Is CBD Marijuana?
This leads us to another common question – Is CBD marijuana?
The answer is no. CBD derives from hemp plants, not marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are from similar plants, yet they're very different.
Hemp contains no more than 0.3% of the psychoactive compound THC. In marijuana, THC is found in higher concentrations. Hemp also has higher CBD levels, the non-psychoactive compound renowned for boosting the well-being of the human body.
Is CBD Legal?
Let’s take a quick history lesson. Industrial hemp was authorized for growing in the United States until Congress announced the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937. Almost 80 years later, the 2014 Farm Bill said that states could regulate the cultivation of hemp, and from that, CBD. In 2018, President Trump endorsed a new Farm Bill that made growing hemp legal. This means that across the United States, if consumers follow the guidelines from their state, they can grow and use hemp products. This includes the use of CBD. So, yes, hemp can now be harvested freely under federal law. But while growing hemp is legal under federal law, it’s up to each state to enforce its own policy.
These policies vary. Marijuana and CBD are currently completely legal for both medicinal and recreational purposes in the following states:
In 23 states, marijuana and CBD are legal in some form, such as for medicinal help. Another 14 states approve just CBD oil. But marijuana and CBD are illegal in Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota.