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Why CBD is Illegal It’s not Intoxicating

In the recent years, scientists from all over the world have teamed up in studying and promoting the benefits of one of the active cannabinoids found in marijuana – CBD (Cannabidiol). Many people are faced with a common issue regarding CBD accessibility, though, which raises the question of why CBD is illegal – it’s not intoxicating, after all

However, regardless of the indisputable fact that CBD intake is not associated with triggering the same psychoactive and intoxicating effects induced by THC, CBD is still classified as a Schedule I Drug, based on federal laws.

Martin Lee, who is involved in Project CBD, states that the number one reason why CBD is still technically illegal is that marijuana prohibition is “built on a mountain of lies.

Fortunately, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. Even in present days when the disputes over CBD’s legitimacy are on their very peak, many lawyers assert that CBD’s legality is actually open to interpretations.

Below, we will dig into detail on that matter, following the mission of sharing the truth about why CBD is (and is it really) illegal since it’s not intoxicating.

CBD’s Emergence on the Global Stage of Cannabis

CBD is only one of more than 500 compounds found in marijuana plants, consisting of a wide array of active cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

All of these compounds have their own, unique role in the way cannabis consumption interacts with our endocannabinoid system.

But while the benefits of many of the active cannabinoids present in cannabis such as CBN, CBC, and CBG, among others, are still not fully researched by scientists, CBD and THC have been bathing inattention. There is a logical explanation of why THC and CBD have earned massive reputation earlier than any of the other active compounds as THC and CBD are the most plentiful cannabinoids found in marijuana.

To be more precise, THC is the active cannabinoid that is present in most abundance, while CBD is the second one in this category.

The CBD fever that hit the market is intricately related to one of the major differences between the effects induced by THC VS the effects induced by CBD – CBD does not lead to experiencing the sense of high associated with marijuana consumption.

While it is not accurate to state that CBD is non-psychoactive, its psychoactive effects differ much from the psychoactive effects of THC.

But CBD does stimulate the cannabinoid receptors, even though indirectly, as it also simultaneously inhibits the signals triggered by THC binding to your cannabinoid receptors.

If that sounds quite paradoxical and a bit confusing – welcome to the whimsical world of the science behind cannabis – a world full of magic, riddles, and a lot of secrets yet-to-be-solved. Without any doubt, though, it would be fair to say that THC is intoxicating, and CBD is not.

It might be surprising to find out that CBD was discovered all the way back in the 1940s.

CBD has been proven to help in the treatment of an array of medical conditions that are hard to alleviate or totally non-responsive to conventional medications and therapy, such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s (and, in particular, the terrible seizures associated with these conditions). Nonetheless, CBD has been proven to work as an all-natural alternative to medications that cause a plethora of side effects for patients.

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Other medical benefits attributed to CBD ingestion include anti-depression, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory,and chronic pain-relieving properties.

To Legalize CBD or not to Legalize CBD – Is that Even a Question

CBD’s legality is still under debate in many other countries, apart from the US.

Fortunately, in 2018 the World Health Organization recommended that CBD remains unscheduled under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, as well as any other United Nations drug treaty.

CBD has become legally available in Australia in 2017 but is still regarded as a schedule 4 drug, meaning it’s only available by prescription.

In New Zealand, patients can also receive a CBD prescription, and all CBD products are only allowed to contain up to 2% THC of total CBD.

In March 2019, the European Commission has scheduled a final ruling of classifying CBD products as “novel foods.”

Since 2018, CBD products are legal for possessing, purchasing and selling within the territory of the United Kingdom, as long as CBD products don’t contain more than a total of 0.2% THC.

In Switzerland, CBD products containing less than 1% THC can be freely sold and/or purchased.

In Sweden, CBD is classified as a medical product.

Canada has made the biggest progress in CBD accessibility – CBD is legal for both medical, as well as recreational use.

In the US, CBD’s legality has become quite a complex, controversial topic of discussion.

The year 2013 marked never-seen-before progress in raising people’s awareness over the amazing benefits of CBD. This happened once CNN featured the touching story of a young girl named CharlotteFigi. Charlotte was struggling with intolerable epilepsy-associated seizures. Conventional treatment failed but Charlotte’s condition showed tremendous improvement with CBD treatment.

Soon afterwards, Charlotte’s story went viral. What followed is that 16 states finally passed laws allowing the use of CBD without a doctor’s prescription but only with a doctor’s recommendation.

The rise of medical marijuana legalization that swiped the US as if by storm has made it possible for 33 states up-to-date to pass even more relieving laws regarding CBD’s accessibility and possession.

What’s more, medical marijuana states further approved the use of CBD products featuring a much more reliable amount of THC – unlike UK’s limitations on up to 0.2% THC present in CBD products, for instance.

For those who might be wondering why a reliable content of THC is needed when it comes to CBD treatment, let’s take a quick look at the term “entourage effect.

First used in cannabis context in 1998 when a group of researchers headed by Dr. Raphael Mercolaum – an Israeli biochemist known as “the father of cannabis research” – “the entourage effect” refers to science-backed up evidence on the complex way in which all of the active compounds found in marijuana plants (including not only cannabinoids but also terpenes, among others) have their very own, unique, invaluable role in the way cannabis consumption affects the mind and the body.

Thanks to DR. Ethan Russo’s paper titled Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-Terpenoid Entourage Effect published in 2011, the entourage effect started to make its way to the wide public.

Although much more research is needed to understand how each of the active compounds in marijuana plants can be used in combination or alone to target particular medical conditions even better, it is undeniable that the entourage effect seems to make CBD’s legality even more complex. Because, after all, legalizing CBD alone seems quite insufficient, keeping in mind that CBD is not a miraculously working compound on its own – at least not for all the different medical conditions that different patients might want to alleviate through CBD treatment.

As of now, despite the fact pure CBD products can be produced according to the government standards that limit the content of considerable amounts of THC to avoid inducing an intoxicating effect after consumption, CBD is technically still illegal to sell or purchase freely within the USA – one more paradox.

In 2018, the FDA started undertaking a new drug evaluation investigation on CBD. As of December 2018, CBD is still not considered a legal dietary supplement or a legal food ingredient.

So far, the FDA has only approved the legal sales of GW Pharmaceuticals’ CBD product named Epidiolexthat was created for the treatment of rare types of childhood epilepsy. Epidiolex is a Schedule V drug, so its accessibility is only possible after receiving a doctor’s prescription for use. In fact, Epidiolex requires further approval by some states before becoming legal for purchasing within these states’ borders.

Historically, since the marijuana prohibition started in the 1930s, the anti-cannabis campaigns literally brainwashed people to such an extent as to throw away any common sense and fall victim of misconceptions, lies, and deeply-rooted fears depicting marijuana as something similar to a lethal weapon for mass destruction.

Unfortunately, the anti-marijuana campaigns are not over yet, no matter how much research and science-backed up evidence, along with personal examples of successful, non-abusive marijuana use are available up-to-date.

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With this in mind, it is no wonder why so many complications on CBD research arose, making it impossible to fully examine the true medical value of Cannabidiol up-to-date due to its federal illegality. For reference, CBD is still classified Schedule I drug. According to the law, Schedule I drugs have a high risk of abuse and have no medical use.

You might be wondering how come CBD products can be easily spotted as you roam the aisles of various stores, despite considered illegal by the law

Well, it seems that disinformation that comes from all the wordy, complexly stated and twisted CBD rules and regulations are overwhelming to business owners and lawyers alike.

But on the bright side, this means that CBD’s legality is bound to be solved very soon – for people are really starting to get mad and nervous from nonsense restrictions. Patients, manufacturers, and distributors of CBD products alike do all insist on fast and result-driven actions by the government – so it’s merely a matter of time before CBD will be (hopefully) fully rescheduled from the drug substances with no medical use and high risk of abuse.

CBD Rescheduling in the Foreseeable Future

For a start, there’s huge pressure on the DEA when it comes to finally settle the issues related to CBD legality.

Soon after the tremendous success of the Schedule V CBD product available by prescription –Epidiolex – Barbara Carreno who is DEA’s public affairs officer commented that CBD “absolutely has to become Schedule 2 or 3,” further claiming that they “don’t have any other choice on that.”

Up-to-date, CBD’s legality in the US depends on the source from which Cannabidiol has been derived. If derived from hemp, CBD is technically not illegal.

That’s because the definition of hemp makes it clear that hemp is excluded from the definition of marijuana under the federal CSA (Controlled Substances Act). CSA’s marijuana definition puts “all parts” of the marijuana plants under the Schedule I drugs policy, including the active cannabinoids such as CBD.

However, the definition of hemp clearly refers to “any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

What this means is that CBD found in and extracted from hemp is not subjected to the same regulations as CBD found in and extracted from marijuana plants – but then again, that’s under particular regulations regarding the very source of CBD.

Fortunately, states participating in the Hemp Pilot Program are capable of legally producing CBD products. That wouldn’t have been possible without the 2014 Farm Bill which legalized the sale of hemp material grown within the Hemp Pilot Program-friendly states. What’s more, the 2018 Farm Bill authorized interstate trade of hemp products. Regardless, these hemp derived products are still under the FDA’s purview.

Apart from the limitations posed on whether or not CBD is extracted from plants that contain other cannabinoids, there’s another limiting factor that affects CBD’s legality – the associated costs. CSA’s tight regulations on all products derived from cannabis make the seemingly clear task of passing a CBD product through FDA’s precise and strict lab testing a very, very expensive process.

Furthermore, the regulatory barriers make cannabis testing an even more time-efforts-and-money consuming process that is also very, very limited by the multiple restrictions. For instance, researchers are only allowed to use cannabis from a single facility in their testing. The federally authorized cultivation facilities issue has to be addressed but it seems that the progress on that matter is too slow and lacks clarity, despite 26 applications received only in the last couple of years.

One thing nobody can dare to counterfeit or neglect, though, is that CBD is full of amazing benefits that work on a mental and physical level. And whenever there is hope for health improvement, there is also a struggle for justice – justice in regaining the sacred right to medicate responsibly and effectively. For is there anything more natural than opting for the green medication that nobody else but Mother Nature herself has provided in abundance

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Finally, the promise for better days for CBD’s legality is alive. There’s much room for challenging the CSA for rescheduling CBD based on medical necessity. Back in 1990, only 16% of Americans supported marijuana legalization. According to National Poll stats in 2019, 61% of Americans are pro-cannabis legalization – and that’s a stunning difference within as little as three decades.

Why CBD is Illegal It’s not Intoxicating: Final Food for Thought

CBD, THC, Pinene, Myrcene, CBG, Limonene – all of these terms that once remained locked up in the shadows of public awareness are now increasingly growing in popularity – just as marijuana legalization for recreational and medical purposes is.

However, we can’t deny that the road to legalizing cannabis is a bumpy one – and since CBD is one of the active compounds present in marijuana and hemp plants, its legality is also inevitably impacted by disputes, legal boundaries, and numerous regulations.

If we take a look at Georgia’s recent case in legalizing medical marijuana, we can have an excellent example of one of the many paradoxes regarding marijuana treatment accessibility and availability. As of now, medical marijuana is technically legal to have but illegal to get, at least until legislators make medical marijuana available not only in theory but in practice, too. With this example in mind, it seems more understandable why CBD legality has been so hotly debated – it is difficult to pass and approve the needed bills and measures on the federal level in a breeze.

On the bright side, public figures are eagerly promoting the benefits of CBD – something that further impacts speeding up the legalization process. For instance, Martha Stewart has just started a partnership with Canopy Growth Corp.

Stewart and her partners will focus on developing new lines of CBD products derived from hemp and possibly featuring other active cannabinoids, apart from CBD, in the foreseeable future. Although Canopy Growth Corp. is Ontario-based, that doesn’t mean the new line of CBD products won’t be available for sale and purchase in the USA, too – then again, at some point in the foreseeable future.

If somebody asks you why CBD is illegal when it’s not intoxicating, you now know fair well that it’s a matter of mutual responsibility to spread the awareness of the benefits of marijuana treatment. It’s high time that more people can finally let go of the outdated, deeply rooted fears depicting marijuana as a ferocious enemy of mankind while it can actually prove to be one of the best gifts ever granted to humanity by Mother Nature.