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The ABCs of CBD

Have you heard of CBD? According to news reports, CBD is “everywhere” – in edible products, topical products, tinctures, and oils.Harvard Men’s Health Watch reports that CBD is being touted as something of a panacea – a substance that can be used to treat and even cure a wide range of physical ailments and complaints. Among other reports, a recent article in The Atlantic confirms CBD’s popularity – this article notes that by sometime in mid-2019, CBD was even more likely to be searched for on Google than Beyoncé. Given all of this attention, many Marylanders are beginning to wonder. What is CBD? Does it work? How is it different from cannabis? What laws apply to or restrict CBD use? Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are not always perfectly clear, and questions about CBD use are often fact-specific. For more information about CBD use and the law, contact an experienced and knowledgeable Waldorf criminal lawyer.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a substance that can be derived from both cannabis and hemp plants. According to WebMD, CBD prevents a chemical breakdown in the brain and can affect the way we feel (by affecting, for example, our moods and perceptions of pain). According to Harvard’s Health Blog, while myriad uses have been touted for CBD (including treatment for anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia), additional research is still necessary to determine whether CBD is truly a realistic option for treating these and other complaints.

What Does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Say About CBD?

Even the FDA website has noted the existence of the seeming explosion of interest in CBD, with CBD available in shops ranging from grocers to health food stores and even pet shops (where CBD is added to many of the products pets consume). As a result, additional work is being done by the FDA in order to better assess the safety of CBD and products to which CBD has been added. The FDA cautions against the unapproved use of CBD by consumers without awareness of some potential risks, such as:

  • Liver damage
  • Drug interactions
  • Reproductive toxicity (based so far on animal studies)

Is CBD Legal?

The laws regarding CBD can be confusing. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, a federal law, hemp was legalized, so that CBD that is grown by a licensed producer according to applicable regulations, and that has less than 0.3% THC, is no longer a banned substance. Hemp-derived CBD that complies with the FDA’s requirements (meaning that it contains not more than 0.3% THC) is legal in Maryland, according to a 13WJZ CBS Baltimore Report. (In contrast, CBD derived from marijuana, which, according to pbs.org, is any cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC, is federally illegal). Without becoming too technical, the distinction between these two substances is a tricky one – based on some basic chemistry of the plants.

Want to Know More?

Overall, the prevalence of CBD on shelves suggests that scientific research for this popular substance, as well as its legal treatment, are evolving. For more information, contact The Law Office of Robert R. Castro.

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