“There is a great deal of confusion regarding the legal status of hemp and why these products are so readily available versus marijuana-based CBD products. In 2014, the Farm Bill stated that hemp was different from marijuana, yet the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) position is that hemp comes from the cannabis sativa plant and as such falls under the controlled substance act. In 2004, the Hemp Industry Association won a court case against the DEA from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled the DEA didn’t have the authority to ban hemp under the CSA. “By that federal court ruling, similar to non-scheduled hemp food products, this allows Medical Marijuana, Inc. (including HempMeds®) to sell online and distribute to customers in the U.S. states,” said Dr. Stuart Titus, the company’s Chief Executive Officer.”
While in all of these states recreational marijuana remains illegal, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island have all decriminalized the drug. In these states, having smaller amounts of marijuana on you won't lead to an arrest or a criminal record. The maximum amount you're allowed to have on your person will vary by state.
But scientists have found that CBD doesn’t bind well with endocannabinoid receptors. Instead, CBD influences the system indirectly. This creates many benefits, which is why you’ll hear of CBD as a treatment for so many different medical conditions. And, unlike THC, it won’t make you high. When it comes to pain, we know that CBD has multiple functions. First, it influences neurotransmitters and receptors. One receptor known to be involved with pain and inflammation is called TRPV1 — also known as a vanilloid receptor. CBD binds to the TRPV1 receptor, influencing the way you perceive pain. CBD can also affect the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and glutamate, which are related to pain sensation.
If you live in a state where CBD is legal for your condition, it’s best to buy it from a state-regulated dispensary. But even there, oversight is uneven. “I feel safe being a cannabis consumer in Colorado, since the state tracks everything from seed to sale, but I didn’t the first few years after cannabis became legal,” when the rules were still taking shape, says Robyn Griggs Lawrence, the Boulder author of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, which features recipes for cannabis edibles.
As mentioned above, CBD is no longer considered a Schedule I controlled substance under the Farm Act. However, under the DEA’s definition, it remains on the list. This allows for individual states to create exceptions to the status of CBD, even when cultivated from hemp plants grown legally under the act. It also maintains illegal status for any CBD sourced from plants produced in settings that are not consistent with that Act, or by an unlicensed grower. It is expected that more clarification on the status of CBD will come early this year (2019).
Although several clinical studies focused on the health effects of CBD, the results available so far were not enough to convince the FDA to approve it as a drug. The FDA does not agree with its use as a dietary supplement either, but as long as sellers publish the appropriate disclaimers (like those on the CBDPure website and labels), it’s not up to them.
It’s safe to say that Charlotte’s Web is probably the most recognized CBD brand out there — and it’s not all hype. This company pioneered the CBD industry and made it their mission to de-stigmatize CBD by setting the bar high for transparency. They produce and oversee their organic CBD products from seed to sale, standing behind them with a solid return policy.
The science behind CBD is in the relatively early stages. As a cannabinoid, we know that CBD interacts with receptors in your endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is integrated throughout your body — and this widespread, whole-body interaction creates a broad range of effects. Hence, the long list of possible benefits. We may still be in the early stages of discovery, but there’s plenty of scientific studies and anecdotal evidence that CBD provides relief for an array of ailments. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some potential benefits of CBD oil:
For decades, laws had grouped hemp and marijuana in the same category, conflating both plants and confusing the public. All of this changed in 2018 with the passing of the Agriculture Improvement Act. Also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, the new legislation removed hemp from the federal definition of marijuana and reclassified it as an industrial commodity. In other words, the bill made hemp legal at the federal level and established it is to be regulated by The Department of Agriculture rather than the Drug Enforcement Agency. As a result of the bill, hemp and hemp-derived products are completely legal nationwide, though individual states may still impose minor restrictions.
There’s a growing consensus that cannabis is a highly effective treatment for many kinds of neuropathic pain. A 2015 study published in Neurotherapeutics states, “Clinical studies largely affirm that neuropathic pain patients derive benefits from cannabinoid treatment.” But much of the human-based research (like this study) on CBD and nerve pain has centered around the efficacy of the FDA-approved medication Sativex, which includes both THC and CBD. Research on the best CBD for pain isolated from THC is still limited when it comes to neuropathic pain. There are exceptions, though: