Welcome to CBDRevealed, the source for unbiased information about cannabidiol (CBD). From the science and health benefits of CBD to updates about the legal status of CBD in the United States and other countries, we strive to present accurate and up-to-date information about CBD in a clear manner.
What Is CBD?
CBD is the more common name for cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. CBD has shown effectiveness in dealing with pain and anxiety issues, as well as promise as a potential treatment for many serious diseases. Many users take it for general wellness and its calming effects. Anecdotally, users report using CBD with success for everything from opiate addiction, to anxiety issues, and even relief for people suffering from late-stage cancers. CBD’s positive health effects have been well-documented, but its complex history and legal status have made it under-studied for its potential role in treating many health issues. Our goal is to educate people on CBD so they can make their own decisions on it.
How is CBD different than THC or Marijuana?
CBD is extracted from the stalks and leaves of the hemp plant. Hemp is closely related to marijuana, as the plant itself is the same species. Hemp is the legal version, which is used in industry to make everything from rope to paper and is naturally rich in the cannabinoid CBD. To be classified as legal hemp, the plant must have less than 0.3% THC. Marijuana is the THC-rich version, which is considered illegal at the federal level. THC from marijuana is psychoactive: resulting in the behavioral and physiological effects of being “high”. CBD from hemp is non-psychoactive; its use does not result in any high, and there are no known side effects to its health benefits.
How Does CBD Work?
Much remains to be studied on CBD but, like its chemical cousin THC, CBD directly affects the body through the endocannabinoid system (EC). The EC is a group of receptors found throughout the body that cannabinoids like CBD and THC can attach to. The existence of this system, and the dramatic effects when stimulated by the usage of different cannabinoids, has led to scientific interest in what health benefits are possible. There is no known toxicity level to the use of CBD, and has no widely reported concerns about being addictive or having negative long-term effects. Users do report the calming effect on stress and anxiety levels, which may be related to the behavioral effects of THC, but without the “high” or paranoia. Most users take CBD in a liquid oil or tincture form, but it can also be eaten or inhaled.
Who Should Use CBD?
Despite its lack of easy access by consumers in the United States, CBD is used by people from all walks of life, for many myriad health benefits. While CBD’s popularity and press coverage relate largely to powerful studies involving cancer treatments and children’s seizures, the majority of CBD buyers take it as a natural health supplement, rather than to fight a specific disease. CBD is primarily known, and studied, for its calming effect. Users report a reduction in stress and anxiety, often with better sleep and recovery. Athletes have taken CBD for reduction in aches and pains associate with training, reduction in inflammation. The combined physical and mental benefits of CBD usage are frequently cited by long-time users of CBD.
What’s the Legal Status of CBD?
While generally accepted as being very distinct from marijuana, CBD has been subject to questions about its legality that have led to many states adopting their own “Charlotte’s Law” specifically granting access to CBD for ill patients, particularly children. Officially, the marijuana plant is classified at the federal level as a Schedule I prohibited drug. The “hemp” version, meanwhile is considered perfectly legal under federal law with no regulations about its use. The key difference between the “marijuana” and “hemp” is the not the presence of CBD, but rather the amount of THC in the plant. Briefly, federal law allows “industrial hemp” as long as the plant contains less than 0.3% THC by volume. This low amount is presumed to not be enough to have any effects of creating a “high” in the user. CBD is thus legal, when extracted from industrial hemp plants having this very low concentration of THC, though formal government testing is not done.
In 2004, after an attempt by the DEA to ban hemp products, the Ninth Circuit of Appeals rejected that approach and affirmed that CBD and other hemp extracts were in fact legal. 10 years later, the Federal Farm Bill of 2014 defined industrial hemp in detail and distinguished it from marijuana. The Farm Bill legally defines a cannabis plant as hemp, not marijuana, as long as it does not exceed the 0.3%. Technically, the law applies only to industrial hemp that is grown outside the United States; so many legitimate CBD companies continue to source hemp from outside the U.S, typically from Denmark where CBD-rich hemp is regularly grown.
Can I Get In Trouble for Using CBD?
While a gap still remains between the Controlled Substance Act language, individual state laws specifically allowing for CBD usage by certain groups, and states that have no laws regarding CBD at all, the general consensus is that users of CBD face no real legal risk for ordering CBD or using it. As more states carve out their own state-level exceptions for CBD usage, we expect this trend to continue. As more and more citizens demand access to CBD as an alternative to medications, particularly opioids, the growing list of reasons to clearly legalize CBD usage and treat it like other natural supplements increases. We believe that information and access to CBD should be as unrestricted as possible, so that consumers may make their own educated choices about using CBD.