In addition, some cannabinoids interact synergistically, producing unique effects that are not found when using them individually. For example, CBD inhibits THC’s psychotropic effects when the two are taken together. However, CBD does this (and produces many other effects) without directly interacting with the cannabinoid receptors. At first, scientists thought there was a third type of CB receptor just for Cannabidiol, but the answer was far more interesting and revealing.
As of April 2019, CBD extracted from marijuana remains a Schedule I Controlled Substance,[13][72][73][74] and is not approved as a prescription drug, dietary supplement, or allowed for interstate commerce in the United States. CBD derived from hemp (with 0.3% THC or lower) was delisted as a federally scheduled substance by the 2018 Farm Bill. FDA regulations still apply: hemp CBD is legal to sell as a cosmetics ingredient, but despite a common misconception, because it is an active ingredient in an FDA-approved drug, cannot be sold under federal law as an ingredient in food, dietary supplements, or animal food.[75] It is a common misconception that the legal ability to sell hemp (which may contain CBD) makes CBD legal.[75]
With the rapid rise in the popularity of CBD in everything from vape juice to lattes, many people are asking- “what is CBD oil?”. To answer that question, let’s first answer the question- what is CBD? CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in hemp plants. CBD’s benefits are numerous, making it a popular supplement. We’ll explore the effects of CBD oil in more depth below, but in short, it interacts with receptors that keep the body balanced and running normally.

From 2015 to July 2019, the FDA issued 48 warning letters to 23 American manufacturers of CBD products for false advertising and illegal interstate marketing of CBD as an unapproved drug to treat diseases, such as cancer, osteoarthritis, symptoms of opioid withdrawal, Alzheimer's disease, and pet disorders.[91][92] The FDA said that the letters were issued to enforce action against companies that were deceiving consumers by marketing illegal products for which there was insufficient evidence of safety and efficacy to treat diseases.[91] In July 2019, the FDA stated: "Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims — such as claims that CBD products can treat serious diseases and conditions — can put patients and consumers at risk by leading them to put off important medical care. Additionally, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, effectiveness and quality of unapproved products containing CBD."[91]
In nature, Cannabis ruderalis typically has the lowest levels of THC, Cannabis sativa has a higher level of THC than it has CBD, and Cannabis indica has a higher level of CBD than it has THC. However, since man has been cultivating cannabis (and especially Cannabis sativa) for thousands of years, the effects of artificial selections have led to several different types of cannabis even within the same species, depending on the purpose the cannabis was cultivated for.
Some manufacturers ship CBD products nationally, an illegal action which the FDA did not enforce in 2018, with CBD remaining the subject of an FDA investigational new drug evaluation, and is not considered legal as a dietary supplement or food ingredient as of December 2018.[81][82] Federal illegality has made it difficult historically to conduct research on CBD.[83] CBD is openly sold in head shops and health food stores in some states where such sales have not been explicitly legalized.[84][85]
With that being said, one is not necessarily better than the other. CBD can be much more welcoming for those who do not want the potential high that comes with THC. THC may also offer more than just a high, with studies suggesting that it may possess health benefits of its own. More recently, evidence has suggested that THC and CBD can work together through what is known as the “entourage effect”. Taken together, CBD, THC, and the other compounds found in cannabis become more than the sum of their parts, amplifying their effects and working in synergy to support better health and well-being. It’s fine if you want just CBD on its own, but pairing your CBD with some THC may actually be good for you and give you whole plant benefits.

Until 2017, products containing cannabidiol marketed for medical purposes were classed as medicines by the UK regulatory body, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and could not be marketed without regulatory approval for the medical claims.[69] As of 2018, cannabis oil is legal to possess, buy, and sell in the UK, providing the product does not contain more than 0.3% THC and is not advertised as providing a medicinal benefit.[70]

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Food and beverage products containing CBD were introduced in the United States in 2017.[dubious – discuss][47] Hemp seed ingredients which do not naturally contain THC or CBD (but which may be contaminated with trace amounts on the outside during harvesting) were declared by the FDA as GRAS in December 2018. CBD itself has not been declared GRAS, and under U.S. federal law is illegal to sell as a food, dietary supplement, or animal feed.[13] State laws vary considerably as non-medical cannabis and derived products have been legalized in some jurisdictions in the 2010s.


In the United States, the cannabidiol drug Epidiolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2018 for treatment of two epilepsy disorders.[12] The side effects of long-term use of the drug include somnolence, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, malaise, weakness, and sleeping problems.[2] As of mid-2019 in the United States, CBD is a Schedule I controlled substance that is illegal for use in human foods, dietary supplements, other consumer products, or pet foods.[13][14]
As we have also seen above, CBD is considered to have wider applications than THC. Since CBD has been much less studied than THC, scientists assume that there are many new applications of CBD that haven’t yet been discovered. On the other hand, THC’s applications are more or less completely explored by now due to all the research on medical marijuana over the past decade.
However, there is so much more to both CBD and THC than just THC’s psychoactive properties that it is a shame not to explore their applications and learn the truth about them, especially since they are both being used nowadays to better the lives of countless people on a daily basis. Science is an evolving process and it pays to stay up to date, especially on new industries like CBD.
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