Here’s a quick look at the increasing popularity of cannabis. Check out the purported health benefits, the scientific evidence, and the plethora of cannabis options.
Over the last two decades, an increasing number of states have allowed the legal use of marijuana for various medical reasons. Marijuana helps with several medical conditions due to CBD, which is a cannabinoid (chemical compound) found in the cannabis plant. Typically sold as CBD oil, it is now the central core of what experts believe will become a huge industry.
CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant, but it’s not the compound that’s responsible for making you feel high. That’s THC, which also offers several medicinal benefits. CBD, in contrast, isn’t psychoactive, which makes it a much more palatable alternative for many potential users.
Is It Legal?
It’s difficult to give out a definitive answer to this question because the legal landscape for marijuana keeps changing on an almost daily basis. Marijuana remains banned under federal law, but the majority of states allow its use for certain specified ailments. Each state has its list of medical conditions for which marijuana is allowed, and some states even permit recreational use.
The federal government did state that CBD oil is legal when it’s extracted from hemp. Hemp and marijuana are cousins, as both belong to the cannabis Sativa plant family. The only difference is that hemp contains a minuscule amount of the high-inducing THC at merely 0.3%. In contrast, marijuana growers over the years have bred for cannabis with high THC content, with some varieties offering as much as 30% THC.
If you get your CBD oil from hemp, then it is absolutely legal to buy and use anywhere in the US. This is expressly stated in the federal Farm Bill of 2018.
What’s CBD Oil Good For?
Curiously, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) forbids makers of CBD oil supplements from mentioning how their products can help treat certain ailments. But many users have long believed that CBD can help with certain medical conditions. These include pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. The FDA even approved of a prescription medicine based on CBD, for treating certain types of epilepsy.
The scientific evidence to back up most claims for CBD’s therapeutic benefits is admittedly thin. The federal law that continues to regard marijuana as a banned substance prevents many mainstream scientists to conduct large-scale studies regarding marijuana and CBD use. However, the limited number of available studies do indicate that CBD can help and that it is safe to use.
Jumping on the Bandwagon
Just how popular will the CBD industry become? Experts project that the industry will experience exponential growth over the next few years. In fact, these projections have the CBD industry reaching sales of up to $23 billion by 2023. The increasing number of studies and anecdotal reports backing up the medical claims, along with the more tolerant acceptance of law enforcement organizations, have resulted in a perfect storm driving up demand for CBD.
The top cannabis companies have attracted large numbers of investors eager to profit in this budding market. Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. based in California has gained a market capitalization figure of more than $3 billion. GW Pharmaceuticals, which developed the CBD-based prescription drug for the specified epileptic ailments, is worth more than $5.1 billion.
The biggest of them all is perhaps Canopy Growth Corporation, which even has rapper and actor Snoop Dog as its celebrity endorser. Its stock in total is worth more than $12.1 billion.
Even “conservative mainstream” companies are joining in. Major retailer chains like Walgreens and CVS now stock CBD oils and candies. Barneys, Neiman Marcus, and Sephora now display specially picked beauty and skincare products infused with CBD oil. A report published in Newsweek magazine even stated that Molson Coors Brewing and family-friendly Coca-Cola are currently trying to develop their own line of CBD consumables.
CBD oil can be consumed in a variety of ways. You can smoke or “vape” CBD oils, put drops of tinctures under your tongue, and apply CBD oil cream to particularly painful areas on your body.
But the consumer market is particularly exciting when it comes to the CBD consumables. A wide variety of food items can now be infused with CBD, and you’re not limited to the stereotypical brownies. You can find CBD in candies, lots of different baked goods, and even in pizza.
CBD drinks are now available as well, and some are even offered in certain cafes and bars. You can drink teas and coffees infused with CBD, while some bars offer special mixed drinks with CBD as one of its ingredients. Many people even experiment at home to concoct their own CBD recipes.
Just be careful when you buy CBD oil. Buy only from reputable companies, and follow the label instructions. Play it safe by only buying hemp CBD oil, so you can be absolutely sure you won’t have any legal trouble.