With the recent legalization of everyone’s favorite plant in Canada, the airwaves, soundwaves, internet pages, and everything in between have been dominated by the topic both domestically and internationally. As a community supportive of legal use, this debate is seen as long overdue and very positive in nature.
As an extension of this, we are taking to our own page to discuss and outline some of the major benefits of legal use, the confusion over what is legal in places outside Canada, and how you can stay on the right side of the law, whilst reaping as many benefits as possible from the use of cannabis.
What and where is Cannabis Use Now Legal?
Though all the talk of late has certainly been dominated by Canada, in the USA alone, recreation use f cannabis is now legal in the following 9 states:
- Washington D.C.
This has been the case progressively since 2012 when the states of Washington and Colorado legalized recreational use of cannabis. Interestingly, a recent article stated that Colorado now has double the number of marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks and McDonalds locations combined.
There are many other states which are in the process of following suit to various degrees. These include 30 additional states where the use of medical marijuana has been approved, as well as of course the mainstays of Amsterdam and other cities across Europe and the world who continue to maintain a liberal outlook on the use of cannabis.
The fact of the matter is that with a legal industry projected to hit almost $40 billion in the next three years, it is indeed high time that we educate ourselves further on the differences between basic legal recreational use and uses such as medical which can be hugely beneficial in other ways.
Confusion arises when it comes to the legality of other byproducts of the cannabis plant. The major point of confusion namely comes from the legality of CBD (Cannabidiol) which is seen by many as highly beneficial to a wide array of health conditionals and in other situations, though confusingly, not always legal.
What is CBD?
CBD is a compound, one of almost 400 which is found within the cannabis plant. It has been heralded for many years as a literal lifesaver among the liberal medical community. The benefits outlined include vast amounts of pain relief in chronic suffers from the likes of MS, and even a school of thought which show positive links to the treatment of cancer. The issue with CBD and legality is that unfortunately, it is not always legal.
Determining legality of CBD is a complex process which can often encompass something of a gray area. A major factor in the final verdict depends upon how it is derived. Whilst they are molecularly the same, levels of THC can be greatly altered depending upon the part of the plant from which the CBD has been extracted. This is what leads to a legal gray area in many cases.
Typically, hemp-derived CBD will contain much lower levels of THC. These are frequently less than 0.3%. Since they are so low, they do not have any impact in terms of a bodily-high effect which THC produces. This generally means that hemp-derived CBD falls into the category of legal across the nation.
Marijuana-derived CBD, on the other hand, is a different proposition. This is due to the much higher levels of THC it contains. In some cases, this can be up to 100 times more than the hemp-derived variety. It is because of this THC content, from which a lasting high can be felt, that marijuana-derived CBD remains illegal in most states.
The Medical Benefits of CBD
The medicinal benefits of CBD are something that have long been propagated and are constantly being proven under medical testing for a variety of ailments. Naturally, there is a certain level of difference in the benefits depending on the THC content within the treatments, however it is clear to see there is a large area of crossover in terms of treatments.
The role of the cannabis plant in treatments around pain relief goes back to the beginning of cannabis history as we know it. These are still well known and respected views today which continue to show through in the use of CBD as a pain management treatment within chronic conditions. The existence of higher levels of THC can only work to heighten this impact, as evidenced through the testimony of many a medical marijuana user.
These benefits can also extend to diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and depression relief. This much continues to be proven through extensive medical testing. With that, the levels of THC from marijuana-derived CBD certainly provide a more potent end-product which could be reflected in the medical impact in both positive and negative ways.
In the context of pain relief, it is safe to assume a higher THC content leads to a more sustained and powerful reduction in pain levels. This is due in large parts to the bodily high which is induced through the increased THC levels present. On the contrary, when dealing with issues of depression and mental health, a lower percentage of CBD may be more beneficial so as not to create feelings of paranoia which can sometimes be associated with a cannabis high.
When Two Become One
Of course, there are many differences between using cannabis for medicinal purposes and using it just for the purpose of enjoyment in the sense of feeling the high it provides. These differences will range from how much you take, the source and location of the products, and how it makes you feel.
We certainly recognize that those who take marijuana for medical purposes, and those who do so for enjoyment in the post-legalization era are likely coming from different standpoints and experiencing different feelings. Though the question does arise as to whether there is a crossover between the trio of legal, beneficial, and enjoyable in a recreational sense. This must certainly be the case, at least for a pocket of users.
With this graphic showing more than 900,000 users of medical marijuana in the State of California alone, there would certainly be a case that the benefits can extend beyond medicinal need and into the realms of recreational enjoyment in many cases. In at least nine states within the United States and now the entirety of Canada now that represents no problem whatsoever.
As more and more states battle to legalize and at the very least decriminalize the use of marijuana, this is a question which is not so clear-cut in other states. There may often be some level of disagreement between doctors and patients as to the medical benefits of marijuana with many conditions still under debate, in tandem with many doctors who may, for lack of belief of conservative value be uncomfortable to prescribe marijuana in a medicinal setting.
This may even become an issue between the patient and their own mind, at what point do the medicinal benefits of cannabis extend into recreational ones. This can be especially difficult to decipher with the pain related conditions on which cannabis is renowned as so effective.
The Future of CBD and Legalization
Some of the earliest forms of CBD mentions of CBD have been as early as the 19th century when it was proposed to have relieved menstrual cramps among women at the time. This is something which is certainly probable and ultimately the beneficial uses of CBD and other cannabis by-products will remain and develop long into the future. This is something which will likely go long past the complete legalization of all cannabis-related products throughout the world, something which is inevitable and approaching fast. For now though, as far as many state legislatures are concerned, despite the prolific evidence, marijuana-derived CBD at least remains in a form of legal purgatory for many. This is a fact which definitely inhibits the introduction and cohabitation of legal cannabis with a beneficial purpose beyond the pure enjoyment of the high.
Ultimately, despite the fantastic progress which is being made in terms or legalization, you still need to make absolutely sure that the cannabis products which you are selecting, be they for recreational enjoyment or medicinal purpose are both correctly sourced, conforming to all existing regulation and of the highest possible quality.
The best way to ensure this is to choose your purchases from a trusted and verifiable source. In that respect, you can remain absolutely sure that, if you are residing in an area where cannabis use is approved, then your purchase can remain both legal and beneficial for the purpose which you intend to use it. As legislation continues to make headway across the world, there is little doubt that increasing amounts of faith will shift to consumer verified sources and further out of the shadows which are dissipating with each passing day.