Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD does not get a cannabis user high. But CBD still has an effect on the human body, and in recent years, it has become a popular treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. The effectiveness of CBD to treat many of these conditions, however, has not been substantiated by academic research. The legality of the substance is equally shaky at the federal level.
The uses for CBD seem to be multiplying, and its market size is growing accordingly. In 2016, the CBD market represented around $292 million. By 2021, the market is expected to grow sevenfold to $2.15 billion. Recognizing the legitimate uses of the substance, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from banned substances list as more and more athletes turn to it for pain relief. CBD’s reputation and marketability are clearly on an upswing.
Marijuana products are legal in many states; however, you can still get marijuana-related charges for possession, sale, and other offenses. If you are charged with a marijuana crime, contact McElfresh Law at (858) 756-7107, or use our online contact form.
CBD Is Gaining Legitimacy Within the Government and Medical Circles
The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally approved a prescription medicine made from cannabis–with CBD as its active ingredient. The medicine, which is called Epidiolex, treats seizures caused by epilepsy. Another boost from the federal government is the Senate’s passing of the 2018 farm bill, which would abolish the prohibition on growing hemp (a cannabis plant that contains little or no THC), and which also includes language that establishes the legal status of CDB that comes from hemp.
CBD is firmly established as a treatment for epileptic seizures, but medical cannabis activists have long claimed that this natural chemical can treat a wide range of ailments. The National Institute of Health has set aside $140 million for cannabis research, including $15 million to specifically study the potential medical benefits of CBD.
What medical Uses Does CBD Have?
If you ask some cannabis users, CBD is a miracle cure-all. Ask skeptics, and they will tell you that the benefits of medical cannabis are dubious at best, and only supported by half-baked science. The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle. As of now, peer-reviewed research shows that CBD is effective in treating:
- Spacity from multiple sclerosis
However, anecdotal evidence from millions of patients and their doctors suggests that CBD is effective in treating a wide range of medical issues, including:
- Opioid and nicotine addiction
- Parkinson’s disease
The National Academy of Science, which examined over 10,000 studies on medical cannabis, found that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that medical cannabis could treat anxiety, smoking cessation, or Parkinson’s. But as more money flows towards medical cannabis research, it is likely that the effectiveness of CBD and THC in treating a wide range of ailments will be established.
Importantly, the research performed to date shows that there are few risks to using CBD. Even the FDA agrees on this point. CBD appears to be even safer than THC, which does have a potential for abuse and psychological addiction. The worse side effects of using CBD are fatigue, loose stool, and changes to weight and appetite–mild symptoms when compared to those of more traditional medication.
CBD and other medical cannabis products are often produced within unregulated industries. Even in California, where the state has gone to great lengths to ensure the quality and purity of cannabis products, black market products still find their way into the hands of consumers. Products advertised as containing high levels of CBD have been tested as having only small amounts of the chemical, and contain THC instead. For now, people seeking the medical benefits of CBD must do their own research and wisely choose the products they choose to consume.
Is CBD Legal or Not?
CBD is legal in 47 states and in Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. CBD remains illegal in only three states: South Dakota, Nebraska, and Idaho. However, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continues to classify cannabis and all of its derivatives (including CBD) as a schedule I illicit substance like LSD, heroin, and ecstasy. If the 2018 Farm bill becomes law, however, CBD that comes from the hemp plant might be considered legal by the DEA.
The DEA is generally not concerned with busting individuals who buy and use CBD, but large-scale producers, distributors, and retailers of cannabis products run the risk of being investigated and prosecuted for drug trafficking. With the FDA’s recent approval of CBD-based Epidiolex, it’s possible that the DEA could reschedule cannabis, or at least CBD, as a less harmful substance. But until then, cannabis entrepreneurs will continue to be treated as criminals. If you or a loved one is facing marijuana charges, call McElfresh Law today at (858) 756-7107 or use our online contact form for a confidential consultation with a San Diego cannabis lawyer.