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7 cool pieces of cannabis equipment 

Want to take your cannabis experience to the next level? As the legal industry has developed, innovative manufacturers have come up with a range of exciting products, to speed up and simplify the process of rolling a joint, or making edibles. We’ve got several revolutionary devices to show you, including: 

  • An automatic joint roller 
  • A cannabutter machine 
  • A glass blunt 
  • Innovative 3-in-1 vaporizers
  • Bubblers 
  • Bluetooth-connected vapes 
  • Cannabis potency analysis devices 

The equipment featured in this post is compatible with both hemp and marijuana flower. In terms of using them, these are essentially the same. It’s only in the cannabinoids that there is a difference – hemp has lots of CBD; marijuana is stacked with THC. 

Automatic joint roller 

An automatic joint roller is almost certainly the invention of somebody who has tried – and failed! – repeatedly to roll a joint. For some, the art of rolling is as simple as can be, and they may have years of experience rolling joints. For others, it doesn’t matter how many guides they read or new techniques they try, their joints are still loose, and virtually unsmokable – that’s if they can even roll a joint at all. 

The automatic roller is perfect for those who cannot roll, and also for people just looking for high-quality joints on demand, with minimal effort. The Otto from Banana Bros is the leading product in this market right now. This device boasts awesome, one-touch simplicity. 

The Otto even grinds up the weed automatically. Just place the marijuana flower into the top of the device, and position a RAW paper cone at the bottom. Then just press the button, and wait for the Otto to work its magic. The grinder has sensors which determine the density and consistency of the flower being used. The Otto can grind clockwise or counterclockwise, and changes direction automatically, depending on what the sensors think is best. The speed of the grind also adjusts without any human input.

There’s a lot of talk these days about “the robots taking over”. Bet you never thought they would be able to roll the ultimate joint! 

Manual joint roller 

Don’t want to invest in a pricey automatic joint roller, but looking for a device to improve the quality of your joints? Manual joint rollers are available at a really low cost. They are easy to use, and will provide you with a smokable joint in just seconds. The only downside with these is that the joint will look more like a cigarette than a cone-shaped joint. 

Cannabutter machine 

Ready to make some edibles, but find the process too long, cumbersome or difficult? A cannabutter machine could make all the difference. With this device, you’re guaranteed to get quality, infused cannabutter time after time that can then be added to any recipe of your choice.

The most famous in this range is the MagicalButter Machine. While the makers of this product don’t specify that it’s for use with cannabis, preferring to talk about “herbal infusions,” nobody’s fooled about what this device is for! 

The MagicalButter Machine takes care of absolutely everything, from grinding up your hemp or marijuana flower, to heating, decarbing, stirring and steeping the extract, ensuring it comes out just right. With this machine, you can make infused butter, oil, cream, tincture oils, and more. For the marijuana enthusiast who wants to start making their own infused products, a device like this is a must-have in your kitchen. Not only will it save time, but it will likely be more cost-effective in the long run, too. Since the butter always comes out perfect, there’s no risk of a bad batch. 

Once you have cannabutter or an infused oil, there are so many recipes you can make. There are many cannabis-themed recipes online. And even if you can’t find the perfect one, as you can use the butter or oil in literally anything, there’s always room for experimentation. 

Glass Blunt 

Glass blunts have become more popular – but are they an expensive gimmick, or a necessity? Since most people still consume cannabis in joint or blunt form, there’s definitely a market for glass blunts, not least because – as we mentioned earlier – some people just can’t roll! As with the automatic joint roller, glass blunts resolve the issue of getting an enjoyable smoke. 

There are a few different glass blunts on sale, each with their perks and downsides. The ideal glass blunt is one that’s made with borosilicate glass, is easy to pack, and ideally doesn’t have the screw design which tends to be fiddly. 

Glass blunts are healthier than smoking a joint or blunt, as the only material burning and being inhaled is the plant. Companies like RAW have introduced safer rolling papers to the market in recent times, but nothing beats a smoke where no papers are needed whatsoever. As we all know, smoking isn’t the healthiest way of consuming cannabis. But for many, it’s their favorite way, or even the most therapeutic, thanks to the fast cannabinoid delivery. Glass blunts – or should we say “glunts” – help to make the smoking experience slightly safer, without detracting from the effects or flavor. For those reasons alone, this innovative piece of kit is a winner.  

3-in-1 vaporizer 

All new CBD and cannabis vapers have a question to ask themselves before they buy: which products do I actually want to vape? For those with no prior vaping experience, this can be a difficult question to answer, and one that incurs significant and unnecessary costs, as they rush to grab all the equipment and accessories they can find. Then it’s a case of trial and error, experimenting with different products and devices before settling on the perfect combination. 

But what if you didn’t need to do any of that? What if there was a vaping device that could handle dry herb, concentrates and e-liquids? Thankfully, now there are. And if you can’t find any of the heralded 3-in-1 devices, there are a plethora of 2-in-1 options to cover most vaping bases.

What’s more, 3-in-1 vaporizers aren’t even that expensive. With a little bit of research, you should be able to find a solid device for under $100. 

What can I use in a 3-in-1 vaporizer?

E-liquids: Vape juices are great as you can choose from a range of strengths and flavors. Moreover, it’s easy to mix different e-liquids together, to enjoy a combination of effects. Some choose to do this with multiple CBD e-liquids, others like to incorporate CBD or cannabis with their nicotine vape juices. With e-liquids, vapers have ample opportunity to experiment. 

Dry herb: Many vapers find dry herb the safest option when it comes to vaping, especially compared to THC vape cartridges. There are prescient safety concerns about psychoactive cannabis cartridges, and primarily those that are unregulated and not lab-tested. Marijuana flower is natural, and doesn’t contain any potentially risky carrier oils or other ingredients. Vaping dry herb also provides a classic, cannabis flavor, bringing the delicious terpenes to the fore, as opposed to artificial flavorings. 

Concentrates: Concentrates are typically more potent than e-liquids and dry herbs. This makes for a stronger high for recreational users, and extra therapeutic relief for medicinal users. Wax, shatter, crumble and crystals are among the most common CBD-rich and THC-rich concentrated products. 

Bluetooth-connected vaporizers 

Some vaporizers offer just a couple of temperature options – indeed, with vape pens, there may only be one temperature setting. But for CBD and cannabis vapers who want more control over their experience, a vaporizer that connects to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth is a great investment. Such a vaporizer is perfect for enthusiasts who want to learn more about the effects and flavors at various heat settings. It’s also great for vapers who know that they get a more efficient, economical and effective vape session when they can set the device to a particular temperature. For instance, perhaps your strain works best at a specific heat setting, because of how the cannabinoids and terpenes interact. With a Bluetooth-connected device, you can set your device to one-degree intervals.

A few brands are getting involved with these “smart” vaporizers, and they are at the upper end of the market. Some smartphone apps will have a range of settings, to give you a special type of experience. This may involve tweaking with the temperature settings mid-session, perhaps delivering a “boost” at various points. The PAX is renowned for this feature, which lets you relax and enjoy your vaping, while getting a better experience than normal.

Bubblers 

Sometimes, a pipe can be a little bit too hot, as the smoke barely gets chance to cool before it’s inhaled. On the other hand, bongs greatly reduce smoke temperature, but can be a hassle to set up and maintain. A bubbler meets the two in the middle. These are still really easy to smoke from, like a pipe. However, a bubbler can hold a small amount of water in the bottom. This helps to cool down the smoke significantly before it’s inhaled. Therefore, you can take a much bigger hit with a bubbler than is possible with a regular pipe.

Bubblers tend to be really classy and stylish. They’re a great addition to any cannabis user’s collection. Moreover, bubblers are relatively easy to clean, and only need a small amount of water to operate. To use a bubbler, all you need is some delicious dry herb, and a gauze to place on the bowl. This stops any flower from falling into the bubbler itself.

Cannabis potency analyzers 

Cannabis potency analyzers are an absolute essential if you want peace of mind when using marijuana or hemp products. It’s now effectively a responsibility for comapnies to get their products tested by accredited laboratories. Brands that fail to do this risk losing out to competitors who better meet their customers demands for authenticity. However, for those who are still skeptical about these unregulated industries, a cannabis potency analyzer is an ideal way to test products for yourself.

These analyzers used to really expensive, but have become much more affordable. A standard device checks for CBD and THC content, and sends the report directly to your smartphone. A potency analyzer is really useful for those making homemade cannabis products, such as oils and edibles. There’s always the risk that you make an infusion that’s too strong, or too weak. With a testing kit, you can stay safer with homemade edibles and oils.

Final thoughts

There are lots of exciting cannabis-themed products on sale nowadays – and marijuana still isn’t federally legal in the United States. That is perhaps an indication that we can expect even more super cool cannabis equipment to hit the market over the next few years, transforming your weed experience further. See anything you like here? Why not invest in a glass blunt or high-tech vaporizer, and then try it out with some of the CBD products for sale at CBDVapeJuice.net!  

 

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How to roll a joint 

Many marijuana lovers enjoy rolling a joint as much as they do smoking one. It’s kind of sacred, and an art that is honed over time, with the aim of crafting the perfect joint to smoke alone or with friends. Those who know how to roll can skin an awesome joint in just seconds, but for those who don’t, at first it can be like learning a new language. 

Hopefully, you’ll have someone to teach you. But if you don’t, we’ve got all the instructions you need to start rolling awesome joints right away. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to roll a joint step by step. We’ll also look at some more intricate designs, such as Ls, crosses and the famous Dutch Tulip.  

How to roll a cone joint (regular)

To roll any joint, you’ll need quality rolling papers, a roach and, of course, some quality marijuana. A good grinder also makes things easier. A four-piece grinder, for instance, will grind your weed up finely and dispense it into a chamber below, while collecting kief at the bottom for you to sprinkle over a joint or bowl. Basic grinders will do the trick, but many users find that the weed gets stuck to the grinder with these, something that doesn’t happen with a three or four-piece. All set? Great. 

Grind your weed and make a roach 

The drier your weed, the better it will grind up. Ideally, you want your ground weed to separate up easily so it’s easier to spread evenly throughout the joint. Making a crutch or roach is the next step. Any thin card that folds effortlessly will do – perhaps a business card or some thin cardboard. Some brands sell roaches with joint rolling papers so you’ll always have them to hand. Take a smallish strip, fold back and forth a couple of times, and then roll the card until you’re satisfied with its thickness. Some smokers opt to forego a crutch or filter, but these help to make a joint sturdier, and stop weed from falling out or getting sucked into your mouth when you inhale. You’re also much less likely to burn your fingers as the joint burns down. 

For a cleaner and better-tasting smoke, roll a joint with a glass filter. These only cost a few bucks but are reusable, and may slightly cool the smoke down, as well. 

Fill and pack the joint 

Now, it’s time to add the weed. Get a paper and position the crutch at one end and in the middle, before sprinkling flower evenly. Depending on the size of your joint, you’ll need between 0.5g and 1g of cannabis. There are lots of papers to choose from, but many prefer hemp papers as these are made without nasty chemicals, and preserve the memorable and delicious flavor. 

Once you have enough weed, start to pack the joint down by pinching the paper and rolling it so that the flower beds down while keeping everything even. Repeat the pinching and rolling process as many times as is necessary until the joint is smooth and cylindrical. This part needs to be just right, or it will affect the appearance of the joint and how it smokes. 

Roll and add finishing touches 

Actually rolling the joint is the most important step, though. Each paper has a glued and unglued side. Tuck under the unglued part and roll the joint. Lick a small part of the glued side, toward the roach end and stick it down. Keep licking toward the other end, sticking the paper down as you roll. This is the preferred way of rolling a joint as the paper naturally rolls around. As you roll and stick the paper down, ensure that the joint is tight. This is fiddly, but worth giving extra care to. 

Excess paper at the end of the joint is normal. You could use a small, pointy stick to push the weed down and add extra flower (a pen or toothpick will work fine). Twist any loose paper to close off the tip of the joint if you plan on saving the joint for later in the day. 

This is the easiest way to roll a joint, and one that beginners will soon get to grips with. Perfecting your technique could take a few days, weeks or even months. Obviously, the more you practice, the better you’ll get! 

Rolling an L joint 

An L-shaped joint is just a longer version of the cone joint. It’s a simple modification, and only requires one extra paper and a pair of scissors – oh, and some more weed! Take the second paper and glue it to the end of the first paper, so that they make an L shape. Make a diagonal cut on the second paper, so there is a triangular piece of paper on top of the first joint. 

Then it’s just a case of rolling a regular joint. It may be a little trickier since the joint is longer. Take your time with the roll and make sure the joint stays straight. Since there won’t be any glue at the end of the joint, you’ll need to carefully wrap the paper triangle around it to seal the joint. 

Rolling a Cross joint 

Cross joints look really complex, and your friends are sure to be very impressed if you master one of these. But here’s a secret: they’re actually super simple to make. To roll a cross joint as good as Seth Rogen, just follow these steps.

Roll two standard joints – a slim one and a fat one. Only use a filter on the bigger joint, as the smaller joint is intended to be lit from both ends. Cut a hole through the middle of the bigger joint, using a paper clip or similar sharp and pointy item. Poke a large enough hole so that the smaller joint can fit through it, and then push the slim joint through to make the cross. 

To finish, take some sticky bits of rolling paper and wrap them around the cross section. This will make the joint airtight so that it smokes properly. Light up all three ends, and enjoy! 

Rolling a Dutch Tulip

The Dutch Tulip is a beautiful spliff to look at, and an even better one to smoke. This style hails from the Netherlands – as the name suggests – with the tulip being the country’s favorite flower. Indeed, the Dutch were so obsessed with tulips in the 1600s that, for a period, single tulip bulbs would sell for more than an entire house! So-called “Tulipmania” is considered to be the world’s first financial bubble. 

Form a square shape using two or three rolling papers. Make some diagonal folds, before sealing the paper together in a cone-like shape. Pack in some weed, and then twist the tube shut to seal off the weed inside the cone. Then it’s time to make the roach. Fashion a longer one than this usual, as this is key to making the joint sturdy and stable. Fill up the paper with weed like a normal joint. But instead of going for a cone joint, roll something more akin to a tobacco cigarette. Wrap the tulip cone over the top of the joint, and twist the paper until it joins nicely. Use some glued paper to strengthen the bond between joint and tulip. 

Rolling a Shotgun joint

Shotgun joints require much more weed than a regular joint. Grind up an eighth or so (3.5g) to start with. Make four filters, place them together like a square, but leave enough card so that it can wrap around all of the filters. Your goal is to make a roach four times bigger than normal so that it can hold all the weed without any falling out.

From that point, it’s plain sailing. Start packing the weed in, and finish the roll as you would a regular joint. It’ll probably be a little easier to stick the paper together, because of the larger size. But still be sure to make the roll as tight as possible. There’s a lot of cannabis in a Shotgun joint – you don’t want to waste any! 

Rolling a blunt 

A blunt has plenty in common with a joint, except it’s rolled with a tobacco leaf rather than a rolling paper. Get either a cigar or cigarillo and cut the leaf off using a sharp knife. Clear out all the tobacco – you won’t be needing any of that! 

Fill the leaf with marijuana. For a small blunt, use about a gram, but if you want something fatter pack in up to an eighth. You can add in hash and kief if you’d like – if so, add to the middle of the blunt, and cake the extract in flower. Then wet both sides of the tobacco leaf. This bit is super messy, but this is the only way to reseal the leaf and complete the blunt. 

Invest in an automatic joint rolling machine 

Perhaps you have tried and tried, but are still unable to roll a good joint. If you are exhausted trying and just want something simple, you could get a few pre-rolled joints, or some empty RAW cones to fill yourself. An automatic joint rolling machine may also be of interest. The Otto is just one example of a machine that grinds up your weed and fills a tightly-packed joint, ready for you to enjoy in seconds. 

It’s an extra investment, but one that eliminates the rolling process altogether, and makes the smoking experience much more convenient. You’re also guaranteed to get a great joint time after time. 

Smoking options 

There are so many different cannabis options to choose from nowadays, including:

  • Medical marijuana
  • Recreational marijuana high in THC 
  • CBD-rich hemp flower
  • One-to-one strains with equal amounts of CBD and THC 

CBD hemp flower is legal all over the US because it has less than 0.3% THC. Medical marijuana with some THC requires a medical card or prescription, depending on where you reside. Recreational marijuana is available to anybody over 21 in legalized US states. 

How to light a joint 

Lighting a joint requires a bit more care than lighting a cigarette. It’s vital to get an even light so that the joint burns at the same rate, and not down one side. Hold a flame to the tip, and slowly twirl the joint so that all parts are lit. Take a toke, and if all is good, blaze right through it. 

Final thoughts 

Hopefully this guide has helped you learn to roll both regular and fancy joints. There are several more we haven’t covered, and you can even get creative when rolling blunts and joints. Try one of our designs, or put your own spin on things. Just make sure you learn to roll!  

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Medical cannabis: UK situation one year following legalization 

In mid 2018, the United Kingdom made the huge decision to legalize medical cannabis. The move followed growing debate and pressure, after a slew of stories hit the headlines about children with epilepsy who were forced to travel abroad to receive medical marijuana treatment. 

Media attention then reached fever pitch after officers at Heathrow Airport confiscated cannabis medication from the mother of Northern Ireland’s Billy Caldwell. Ultimately, then Home Secretary Sajid Javid approved a medical cannabis license for Billy. This led to the UK government having to admit that marijuana has therapeutic value. Javid ordered a review into medical cannabis, and a few weeks later, it was announced that specialist doctors would be able to prescribe marijuana-based treatment to patients. 

But a year on from this breakthrough, just how much has changed in Britain regarding cannabis? We’ll seek to answer the following questions in this article: 

  • Are Britain’s medical marijuana laws working?
  • Who is able to access medical cannabis in the UK?
  • Are private clinics fulfilling patients’ medical cannabis requirements?
  • What are new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s views on cannabis? 
  • Will the UK legalize recreational cannabis soon?  

A short history of cannabis in the UK 

Cannabis and hemp has more than 1000 years of history in the UK. Hemp was a popular source of fibre in coastal regions, and was likely used to make fishing nets, ropes and more. Hemp continued to be cultivated for much of the second millennium. However, it first came to Western focus as a medicine in the 1840s, when it was imported from India. 

Cannabis use was widespread among many British colonies during this period, including Jamaica and southern Africa. Cannabis was quite popular in the late 19th and early 20th century as a migraine medicine. There are also reports that Queen Victoria used a form of cannabis to relieve menstrual cramps. However, some historians have poured doubt on this. 

When was cannabis made illegal in the UK? The Brits banned weed in 1928, slightly earlier than the Americans. This was to bring the UK in line with the 1925 International Opium Convention. The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1920 also listed cannabis from 1928 onwards. As in the US, marijuana became demonized, but enjoyed a comeback in the 1960s. The counterculture movements were perhaps not as fervent in Britain as the US. But cannabis arrests spiked by almost 2,000 percent to 4683 at the end of the 60s, from just 235 at the start of the decade.

Cannabis in the modern era

 

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 clarified illegal drugs just like America’s Controlled Substances Act of the same year. Cannabis has nearly always been categorized as a Class B drug, with authorities deeming it less harmful than cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and LSD. Between 2004 and 2009, under a Labour government, marijuana was briefly downgraded to Class C.  

There have been some attempts to legalize marijuana in recent years. The Liberal Democrats, who were part of a coalition government with the Conservatives from 2010 to 2015, campaigned to legalise weed in 2017. Public perception of cannabis in the UK has gradually improved. A 2019 YouGov survey found that 53 percent either “strongly support” or “tend to support” legalising the drug. The public’s improved view of cannabis can perhaps be attributed to positive media stories, and the proliferation of hemp-based CBD oil products. The Cannabis Trades Association UK reported that the number of British CBD users doubled from 125,000 in 2017 to 250,000 last year. 

Are Britain’s medical marijuana laws working? 

Medical cannabis legalization was supposed to mark a new progressive dawn for the plant in the UK. Britain has always prided itself as being at the forefront of healthcare, with the National Health Service (NHS) an example of how a socialized healthcare system can work. However, the UK has undoubtedly been behind the curve on medical cannabis, having only legalized it in 2018. And patients have been critical about how the current medical program makes it difficult if not impossible to access medicinal cannabis oil on prescription. 

Only specialized doctors are able to prescribe cannabis, and the drug can only be imported into Britain after the prescription has been made.This strict regulatory framework has, according to a recent Guardian report, likely limited prescription cannabis to fewer than 100 UK patients. Doctors apparently have concerns about prescribing cannabis products due to the absence of clinical evidence. 

This is understandable in a way, but when patients are experiencing severe pain or hundreds of seizures per week, their quality of life is so adversely affected that, on balance, it makes sense to trial medical marijuana. Doctors have full control over what type of products they prescribe. If there are long-term concerns about the side effects of psychoactive THC, simply limit THC levels and supplement prescriptions with non-intoxicating and anti-psychoactive CBD.  

Interestingly, Sativex, an oral cannabis spray from GW Pharmaceuticals, has been licensed in the UK for several years. The drug has a mix of THC and CBD, and is prescribed for multiple sclerosis. This shows that the UK can get medical cannabis to patients when it wants to. However, Sativex is expensive and not considered a viable medical marijuana treatment for the wider population.

Carly Barton’s story 

Carly Barton has suffered from fibromyalgia since the age of 24. Doctors have tried treating the condition with increasingly strong opioids, including fentanyl patches. Barton was sceptical of trying cannabis for pain relief, having heard about the mental health risks. But after eventually smoking a joint, her pain subsided for the first time in years. Since then, Carly has steadily eased herself off opioids, and onto cannabis. Rather than smoking weed, she opts for a healthier option – vaping it. 

Barton hoped things would get better with medical cannabis legalization. But she was forced to go private after being unable to get an NHS prescription. However, the prices were crazy, at £1,400 ($1,700) a month. Can cannabis be prescribed in the UK? Yes, but it seems only for the wealthy. 

With this unaffordable, and street dealers rarely having the correct strains, Carly has taken to growing her own. The reality is that the only way she can get legal cannabis in the UK is to break the law. Her situation is truly bizarre. After starting to home grow, Barton went to the police explaining exactly what she was doing. They are yet to stop her. But she rightly says that she “shouldn’t have to look over her shoulder” to access what is meant to be a legal medicine. 

Private clinics are certainly not meeting the needs of medical marijuana patients, to answer one of the original questions. But it can be argued that this shouldn’t be their role, since, unlike many other countries, the UK has a comprehensive socialized healthcare system.

What are Boris Johnson’s views on cannabis?

There is a lot of political uncertainty in the UK right now. Britain’s impending departure from the European Union has brought down two Prime Ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May. Now, Boris Johnson, a leading architect of the Brexit vote, is residing in 10 Downing Street. 

As with the previous two PMs, Johnson is a Conservative. The party has never campaigned for legal recreational marijuana. As a socially conservative party, they would traditionally be less likely to support this than the Liberal Democrats, and perhaps Labour also. Johnson is unpredictable, though, and something of a maverick. This may make him less confined to ideology than previous Tory leaders. Johnson has even referred to cannabis as “jolly nice” in a GQ interview back in 2007, having had multiple experiences with the drug. 

On a more serious note, two senior aides in Johnson’s new government are in favor of legal cannabis: Blair Gibbs and Danny Kruger. But these comments are not indicative of policy, according to a government spokesman. Johnson is hardly the first politician whose personal habits are in contrast to his political stances.

Legal cannabis: a vote-winner?

Legal marijuana could be a vote-winning policy according to polling. Should Boris prove to be a populist leader, going legal may be the way forward. It could also attract younger voters who the Tories have been struggling to win over. Furthermore, if all other parties move toward legalizing cannabis, it may be harder for the Tories to oppose it than support it. Much will also depend on whether Johnson is able to secure his leadership. If he were to win a future selection and secure a sizeable majority, it would become easier for the Tories to push their political ambitions through Parliament.

How other countries get on with legal marijuana will also be of interest to British lawmakers. Recently, a cross-party team of MPs went to Canada, which became the second country to legalize recreational pot in 2018. David Lammy (Labour), Sir Norman Lamb (Liberal Democrat), and Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative) are now expecting cannabis to become fully legal “within five to 10 years.” At present, Labour, the official opposition in the UK, are still against full legalization.

Cannabis research is on the rise

Another plus for cannabis advocates is the increasing cannabis research in the UK. King’s College London has come out with a series of important studies. These have focussed on both the risks of high-THC strains and the potential upsides of medical cannabis. For instance, a 2018 study showed how CBD could “reset brain function” in people with psychosis. Peer-reviewed JAMA Psychiatry published the study.

Moreover, the world’s biggest medicinal cannabis farm just happens to be in the UK. The cannabis factory reportedly grows weed with an annual street value of £80m ($100m). This is all part of a GW Pharmaceuticals operation, which makes Sativex and Epidiolex, a CBD drug for epilepsy approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018. It suggests there could be plenty of cannabis jobs in the UK in the near future.

CBD in the United Kingdom

CBD products have enjoyed a similar rise in the UK as they have in the US. Hemp-based products are popping up in health stores and can be purchased online, along with cannabis seeds. These CBD products face the same kind of restrictions – products can have no more than 0.2 percent THC. Brands must market CBD as a supplement. Those wishing to sell CBD as a medicine need to obtain a licence from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Britain’s version of the FDA.

But the ability for anyone to buy CBD oils, e-liquids, wax concentrates, and edibles such as chocolate, candy and brownies has brought CBD to the masses. Brits are giving CBD a try and liking what they get from it. This bodes well for CBD’s future across the pond, and that of marijuana in general.

Final thoughts

The UK has made a crucial step in legalizing medical cannabis. But so far, the law is flattering to deceive. Now, more patients need access to cannabis medicine on the NHS, at no additional cost. Only then will the law have been a success.

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Understanding the effects of terpenes 

Hemp is a complex plant from the cannabis family that produces hundreds of unique compounds. These compounds are split up into classifications, the most common of which are cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. Cannabinoids account for THC and CBD, two compounds that are key to the unusual, but therapeutic effects of cannabis. Flavonoids add to the taste of a strain, and potentially its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Terpenes and terpenoids are a group of compounds that have flavor, aroma and health benefits. These organic hydrocarbons are found in a variety of plants, not just hemp, and they also occur naturally in insects. It is terpenes that help us distinguish one strain of hemp from another. A strain’s terpene profile goes a long way to explaining the specific benefits a strain provides. 

In this post, we’ll take you through the most abundant terpenes in the cannabis plant, and offer a glimpse at how terpenes work. Our focus will be on the following, and more: 

  • Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) terpenes 
  • Linalool terpenes 
  • Myrcene terpenes 
  • Limonene terpenes 
  • How terpenes contribute to the ‘entourage effect’ 

Beta-caryophyllene (BCP) 

BCP is a terpene that many liken to CBD – indeed, some suggest that BCP is a cannabinoid, as well as a terpene. As with all terpenes, BCP doesn’t get you high. The compound has a peppery flavor, and is also present in hops. High quantities of BCP can be found in Super Silver Haze, OG Kush, Death Star, White Widow and a collection of other well-known strains. 

BCP is a potent anti-inflammatory, and generates these effects as an agonist of the endocannabinoid system’s CB2 receptor. Furthermore, BCP helps to alleviate anxiety, and may also be an effective antidepressant. With some research linking depression to brain inflammation, the anti-inflammatory effects of BCP may be key to explaining why the terpene is also an antidepressant. 

Interestingly, BCP uses the CB2 receptor to manage anxiety symptoms as well, according to a paper published in Physiology and Behavior in 2014. The suggestion is that brain inflammation to certain regions may cause long-term anxiogenic effects. Therefore, treating anxiety may require more than  regulating neurotransmitters. If so, an anti-inflammatory terpene such as BCP could be essential for combating the mental disorder. 

Limonene 

The limonene terpene is commonly found in citrus fruit peel (lemons, limes), and a whole host of other plants, in addition to hemp. Large amounts of limonene, which is a monoterpene, are present in Jack Herer, Super Silver Haze and Durban Poison. Limonene is a popular natural food and beverage flavoring.

Strains with rich quantities of limonene are associated with weight loss, stress relief, improved mood and antibacterial effects. Cannabis consumers may find that limonene helps with heartburn, too. Experts are uncertain as to how limonene produces its therapeutic effect. However, studies have noted that the terpene can boost serotonin and dopamine levels. Limonene may have a stimulating effect on the brain’s olfactory system. 

Myrcene 

The myrcene terpene may be best known for boosting the psychoactive effects of THC. Myrcene achieves this by speeding up the transfer of cannabinoids through the blood-brain barrier. Only by binding to receptors in the brain can THC have mind-altering effects. OG Kush, 9 Pound Hammer, Blue Dream and Grape Ape all have  myrcene. 

High levels of myrcene are found in mangoes, lemongrass, thyme, basil and hops. Researchers are unsure about myrcene’s full effects. However, it is thought to enhance mood, and is key to generating the ‘couchlock’ that cannabis users love. Studies have shown that myrcene has anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive properties. 

Pinene 

As the name gives away, pinene has a piney aroma and high concentrations are to be found in pine trees. Dill, parsley and rosemary also have solid pinene levels. Pineapple Express, ACDC, Blue Dream and Snoop’s Dream are all strains that have lots of alpha-pinene terpenes.

In terms of effects, pinene may improve memory and focus. This means it could complement low doses of CBD. Pinene possibly moderates THC’s effects, and has been touted as a remedy for pain, ulcers and anxiety. A 2014 study revealed that pinene is an anti-inflammatory, and a 2016 study showed how the monoterpene increases non-REM sleep. 

Humulene

Humulene, sometimes referred to as alpha-humulene, is a hemp terpene with a woody and spicy aroma. This chemical plays a vital role in producing the famous flavor of hops. It’s also found in black pepper and ginseng, and has a wealth of beneficial effects. Humulene is a sesquiterpene, and is similar to BCP, with the same formula but a different structure. 

While rarely a dominant terpene, above-normal amounts of humulene are found in Death Star, Thin Mint GSC and Original Glue. Humulene is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. The terpene may also help with weight loss, with research suggesting that humulene is an appetite suppressant.  

Nerolidol 

The nerolidol terpene, also known as peruviol and penetrol, is a natural sesquiterpene that occurs in ginger, lavender, tea tree and jasmine, as well as hemp. This true terpene is considered more stable than some terpenes, and is often found in low levels in strains with a woody aroma. 

Nerolidol may be effective at treating skin lesions, according to a 2007 study on rodents. Research suggests that nerolidol has an antioxidant effect on the hippocampus of rats. This may help to protect memory, motivation and overall cognition. That said, we need much more research on nerolidol’s effects in humans. 

Linalool 

Linalool is one of the most common terpenes, and is present in many cannabis extracts. The terpene has a potent, sweet aroma and is abundant in lavender, sweet basil, thyme and clary sage. Linalool doesn’t just have a strong scent, but a list of benefits that elevate the therapeutic potential of hemp and cannabis strains, such as Kosher Kush. 

This terpene may ease both pain and inflammation, and also reduce depression and anxiety symptoms. Experts have mooted that linalool’s possible anti-epileptic effects come from blocking glutamate, an excitatory brain chemical. A 2016 animal study highlighted that linalool reduced brain plaques and cellular tangles. This could be key to treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Eucalyptol 

Eucalyptol, or cineole, is an aromatic terpene. It’s present throughout the plant kingdom. Essential oils of this terpene are present in bay leaves, tea tree, common sage, sweet basil, and more – not forgetting hemp and cannabis, of course! The terpene was first identified in 1870. Bubba Kush, Super Silver Haze, Headband and Girl Scout Cookies all have rich amounts of cineole.  

Eucalyptol is a prominent antibacterial and antioxidant compound. The latter property may be why cineole may be useful for Alzhemer’s. The terpene also has potential for asthma. By lowering inflammation, cineole helps to improve overall lung function. 

Bisabolol 

This terpene has a floral and sweet scent, topped off with spicy and citrusy notes. Bisabolol is a common terpene. Both German chamomile and the candeia tree contain bisabolol. Hemp is also a good source of bisabolol. The terpene is used regularly in perfume and fragrance products, and is increasingly popular in cosmetics. So what of its health benefits?

Researchers believe that bisabolol is an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory. The terpene may be effective for pain relief and as an antioxidant, too. Bisabolol is in many strains, but especially OG Shark, ACDC, Pink Kush and Master Kush. Experts still have much more to learn about the bisabolol’s health benefits. 

Ocimene 

Ocimene is a monoterpene. Clary sage, lavender, and hemp are all great sources of ocimene. The chemical acts as a protective mechanism for plants, against pests. Ocimene has a relatively low melting point. This means the chemical is always activated if present in a full-spectrum CBD vape cartridge. Lemon Sour Diesel, OG Kush, Space Queen and Strawberry Cough all have ocimene in high levels. 

Ocimene has anti-inflammatory effects, as per research published in 2013. Moreover, analysis shows the terpene may manage diabetes symptoms by blocking the spread of certain enzymes. Ocimene is an intriguing chemical that’s worthy of more research.

Terpinolene 

Terpinolene is apparently the least common of the “common” terpenes, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an important role. Hemp and cannabis have low levels of terpinolene. The chemical is also found in nutmeg, conifers, apples and tea tree, and has a boiling point in excess of 350F. 

What does terpinolene do? It appears to have a sedative effect, hence why it occurs in indica strains like Sensi Star. The terpene is an antioxidant, too. Terpinolene has antibacterial and antifungal qualities, and could potentially be used in topical infection treatments.

Valencene 

Valencene is a sesquiterpene and a common flavoring for citrusy beverages. The compound is sourced from Valencia oranges, and helps to create the grapefruit aroma. 

Our knowledge of valencene is poor in comparison to other terpenes. However, there are signs it boost cognitive function and improves alertness, while alleviating inflammation. Full-spectrum CBD and cannabis products may have valencene, with the terpene occurring naturally in orangey strains like Tangie and Agent Orange.

Geraniol 

Geraniol is a monoterpenoid. This compound occurs in citronella oil, rose oil, palmarosa oil and hemp. This terpene is very sweet and boasts citrusy notes, and is not unlike the more familiar myrcene. Geraniol, therefore, contributes to a strain’s fruitiness, and has been detected in Lemon G, Purple Punch, Tahoe OG, Strawberry Diesel and more. 

As to geraniol’s effects, the terpene lowesrs inflammation and is an antioxidant, as shown by a 2015 review. The compound may help with various types of infections, and is being studied as a treatment for diabetes and atherosclerosis. 

The entourage effect 

The ‘entourage effect’ underpins the unique medicinal value of cannabis. There is a synergy that occurs between all the cannabinoids in hemp, but also between these compounds and terpenes. This really means that hemp and cannabis works better as a whole plant, and is more helpful than if all the compounds were isolated and taken separately. 

Indeed, studies show that – in some cases – terpenes work with receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The ECS is a mysterious system, having been discovered in the 1990s, and there’s still lots we don’t know about how it functions. 

Final thoughts 

Nothing in hemp is more important than cannabinoids, but terpenes run them a close second. These are also the compounds that really separate strains from one another, as far as aroma, flavor and effects go. The terpene profile shows us whether a strain will be good for anxiety, pain, mood or any other ailment. Becoming familiar with these chemicals will allow you to fine-tune your cannabis experience, much more than if you just have a simple knowledge of indicas, sativas and hybrids. 

In most cases, terpenes are already infused into a cannabis or hemp product, as part of a full-spectrum extract. However, some brands make CBD products with isolated CBD and terpene essential oils. Companies that have terpenes for sale either stock them individually, or as a full terpene profile of a strain. 

 

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Discussing various cannabinoid effects and benefits 

The marijuana plant is very complex, as are cannabinoid effects on the body. Experts have discovered more than 100 unique cannabinoids from their research on cannabis and cannabinoids. Studying these compounds in-depth is key to determining the effects of marijuana, although scientists are only just getting started. 

There are two cannabinoids that just about everyone with medicinal or recreational knowledge of cannabis is aware of: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is non-intoxicating, and is highly touted for having novel therapeutic value. THC is psychoactive and integral to the cannabis ‘high’, but is medicinal in its own right. The conflicting properties of THC has made endorsing medical marijuana a conundrum for doctors and politicians alike.

Then there are other, less-discussed cannabinoids which adorn marijuana and hemp. These include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidivarin (CBDV), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). These generally only naturally appear in small concentrations, but can be crucial to determining the effects of a strain. 

In this post, we are going to analyse the effects of CBD and THC, and the five second-tier cannabinoids that we have mentioned. We’ll cover all of this, and more:

  • The physical and mental benefits of CBD
  • THC’s medicinal value and its popularity as a recreational substance 
  • CBC’s benefits for the brain 
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of CBG
  • The effects of CBN, CBDV and THCV

But let’s get started with CBD.

Getting to know CBD 

The potential benefits of CBD are numerous, and the cannabinoid also comes with hardly any side effects. CBD’s effects change from a low to high dose, and also depending on the way that the compound is taken. Oils and e-liquids deliver the effects rapidly, while capsules and edibles promote a long-lasting experience. This all comes down to the changing pharmacology of CBD with different intake methods.

CBD works with receptors and neurotransmitters all over the body to produce therapeutic effects. Many of these can be traced back to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), but CBD has been shown to influence other biological networks too, such as the serotonin system. 

But in the ECS, CBD serves a regulatory purpose. All the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant have a role to play here. However, CBD encourages ECS regulation through natural means, by ensuring the body has the right levels of endocannabinoids, so they can bind with cannabinoid receptors.

CBD’s mental benefits 

CBD is considered by some to be the anxiety and depression drug of the future. The chemical also has possible anti-addiction properties which should be of interest to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Beyond that, CBD may be effective for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia.

Starting with anxiety, CBD is not just beneficial here because of the changes it makes to the body. Key to CBD’s anti-anxiety value is the speed in which the effects occur. The SSRI drugs that anxiety patients are currently stuck with may have an effect in the long-term. But they can’t be used to suppress anxiety at short notice. In contrast, vaping CBD or taking it via tincture oil quickly restores neurotransmitter balance in the brain. This stops the excessive electrical activity and increased thought processes that are attributed to anxiety. This is not dissimilar to how CBD relieves epilepsy.

Depression and more

In regard to depression, CBD may be most useful by treating brain inflammation, as opposed to changing neurological chemical makeup. Scientists are still trying to work out exactly how the human body functions. Recent studies suggest that inflammation can cause damage to parts of the brain that are associated with depression – these include the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex. By lowering levels of inflammation, and supporting the growth of new brain cells, CBD can provide sustained antidepressant effects. 

With PTSD, trials have found that CBD can block the consolidation of bad memories, while helping to extinguish them. CBD also has antipsychotic effects, by virtue of how it impacts the CB1 receptor. CBD’s effect on this receptor couldn’t be more different than THC’s. This is why the former may help with schizophrenia and psychosis, while the latter seems to make it worse. CB1 receptor regulation is likely the mechanism that CBD reduces bipolar disorder symptoms. The CB1 receptor is implicated in many mental variables, including mood.

CBD’s physical benefits

The immune system is key to many of the physical benefits of CBD. When researchers learned that there was a connection between this system and the ECS, this marked a huge breakthrough in the development of anti-inflammatory drugs. It showed that CBD oil, among other hemp-based products, could be used to safely manage inflammation levels. In doing so, this has opened up new, and more effective treatments for arthritis, coeliac disease, hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and even allergies.

Moreover, CBD could prove to be vital to treating the root cause of autoimmune diseases. These are the result of a dysfunctional immune system. But by regulating the ECS, and specifically the CB2 receptor, this promotes balance in the body’s immune system response. 

CBD may also be useful for relieving chronic pain. The ECS is implicated in pain perception and sensitivity, with CBD helping via CB1 receptor regulation. CBD and anandamide, the most influential endocannabinoid in the ECS, also exert therapeutic effects on the vanilloid receptor, where pain is also controlled. 

Other possible positive health effects of CBD include boosting reproductive health, speeding up recovery time from bone breakages and fractures, and enhancing skin condition. As well as being an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, CBD mitigates infection risks, boasting antibacterial and antimicrobial effects. CBD also helps to reduce nausea and vomiting. 

THC effects and benefits 

THC has psychoactive effects, and is best-known as a recreational substance.  This intoxication is mostly felt psychologically, with THC bringing major short-term changes to mood and appetite levels. However, these alterations can also bring about some negative side effects, notoriously anxiety and paranoia. 

There is also a slim chance that first-time cannabis users can experience psychotic or schizophrenic outbreaks. However, this only seems to happen in those already predisposed to these mental conditions. Also, those who take THC at a young age also risk adversely affecting their brain development. 

As a medicine, most of the interest surrounding THC revolves around its pain-killing effects. Indica-dominant strains are really helpful for pain management. THC’s main role is to reduce pain perception as a CB1 receptor agonist. THC is more potent than anandamide, the ECS’ natural CB1 receptor agonist. This is why THC is such an effective painkiller. 

THC also has huge potential as an anti-inflammatory. The compound works with the CB2 receptor in the same way, as an agonist, outdoing anandamide. This effect is interesting in relation to brain inflammation and depression. THC is beneficial. But the intoxicating effects have long been considered a problem. Perhaps the dosage of THC is key to whether full-plant cannabis can be used as an antidepressant.

Full-spectrum cannabis and the entourage effect

Experts are confident that whole-plant cannabis is more powerful than when the cannabinoids are isolated. This is all to do with the ‘entourage effect’. The synergy that the likes of THC and CBD generate when used in conjunction makes them more beneficial. This may be vital in treating conditions such as fibromyalgia. 

Studies have identified the ECS as a potential root cause of the illness. A natural cannabis remedy, which incorporates all the compounds in the herb, looks to be more helpful than just THC, or just CBD. This is according to those researching the concept of ‘Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency’.  

CBC cannabinoid effects and benefits

CBC is a cannabinoid that appears in many full-spectrum cannabis and hemp products. This compound is never present in the quantities of CBD or THC. But CBC isn’t intoxicating, and likely has medicinal properties. CBC stimulates new brain cell growth, just as CBD does. For the hippocampus, this translates to a cognitive boost, for memory and motivation. Therefore, a hemp product centered around CBD and CBC could provide extra benefits. 

CBC also appears to help with limiting swelling after an injury. The anti-inflammatory effects of this compound have not been fully studied, but are unusual. CBC limits inflammation in the intestinal tract. However, it doesn’t produce these effects through cannabinoid receptor activation. It is feasible that CBC functions with another ECS receptor, and that it hasn’t yet been identified. Some have proposed that the GPR-55 receptor is part of the ECS, and should be called the CB3 receptor. 

CBN effects 

Cannabinol is another cannabinoid that won’t make you high. As with CBC, CBN hasn’t been studied too much. But it may be helpful for easing pain, and could also be used in natural antibacterial products. CBN is like most cannabinoids in that it has anti-inflammatory qualities. CBN levels in strains are typically below 1 percent. But it often pops up in full-spectrum CBD products, as a way of bringing out the entourage effect. 

CBDV benefits 

Cannabidivarin is popular for its anti-nausea and vomiting properties. CBDV has anti-seizure effects, and is likely effective at treating intractable epilepsy symptoms. Combinining this cannabinoid with CBD may make for a powerful, cannabinoid-based anti-epileptic drug. CBDV also indirectly stops the synthesization of 2-AG, a key endocannabinoid. What effect this has on the body is unclear, however. Although, one would assume it has some kind of health benefit, that is yet to be uncovered. 

CBG effects

Cannabigerol is perhaps the most well-known of the cannabinoids that aren’t named CBD or THC. Some brands are making products with a mixture of CBD and CBG. A potent antibacterial substance, CBG is great for managing and clearing up infections. CBG is really good for the bones, supporting growth. The cannabinoid also helps to relieve inflammation. CBG is a weak agonist of the CB1 receptor. Its effect on the CB2 receptor is so far unknown. But as CBG reduces inflammation, it is perhaps an agonist – to some degree – of this receptor. 

THCV effects

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) has some mild psychoactive effects. For this reason, strains like Durban Poison and Doug’s Varin that have lots of THC and some THCV can be more psychoactive than regular marijuana. Users find that THCV is an energizing strain, and can have a euphoric effect. That said, some report that THCV clears their head and brings about mental clarity. 

From a medical point of view, THCV is a CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist. This means it has anti-inflammatory effects, and is also an appetite stimulant. THCV may help with diabetes, and perhaps even Parkinson’s disease, according to the few studies that have been carried out. 

Final thoughts

The various types of cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis are, as we have seen, all different. This suggests that cannabis-based medication could be dynamic. Different mixes of cannabinoids could help with totally unique conditions.

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Cannabis and CBD – legal, or not? 

The law can be a complicated matter, especially in the United States where federal and state law can be conflicting. This has been a significant issue in relation to cannabis, and more recently non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) products. Since the mid-1990s, American states have started to enact marijuana reform, starting with medical cannabis legislation. This has now extended to recreational marijuana, which is now legal in 11 US states as of 2019. 

But with so many different cannabis products available, it’s a struggle for the average marijuana or CBD user to know what’s legal and what isn’t, and what their rights are. In this article, we’ve trawled through federal and state law so you don’t have to, painting a clearer picture of the legality of cannabis in CBD. Most of our focus is on the US, but we’ll also briefly cover the cannabis law in Uruguay, Canada, Europe and beyond. 

We’re going to be answering the following questions, and more:

  • Is cannabis oil legal in all 50 states?
  • Where is cannabis legal?
  • Can you travel with CBD cream, e-liquid and oil?
  • Is CBD oil legal in all 50 states?
  • Can anybody buy recreational marijuana in legal states?

Is cannabis oil legal in all 50 states?

No. While the term ‘cannabis oil’ can technically be used to describe hemp-derived CBD products, it overwhelming refers to cannabis with psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Federal law still classes marijuana as illegal. Indeed, cannabis is under the most restricted Schedule 1 grouping of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). 

However, several states have taken matters into their own hands, making recreational and medicinal cannabis legal. The first to do was California in 1996, when the electorate voted to pass a medical marijuana bill called Proposition 215. The West Coast state set the tone for others to follow, despite there being no change in stance at federal level. Medicinal use of cannabis for epilepsy, chronic pain, chemotherapy symptoms has become more widespread. As of July 2019, 33 states – or two-thirds of the country – has legalized medical marijuana, along with Washington D.C. 

Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2014 

In 2014, Colorado became the first state to approve recreational marijuana. This allowed anyone over the age of 21 to walk into a recreational dispensary and purchase cannabis flower, oil, vape juices and more. This was the first time that any American could legally use cannabis, without a prescription, since the effective prohibition of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Oregon, Washington, California, Vermont, Nevada and more soon followed, with Illinois the most recent state to legalize in June 2019. To cash in on the soaring demand for potent weed, cannabis plants have become stronger thanks to modern cultivation methods. Although this is not without controversy, as some argue that this disruption of cannabinoids makes pot more dangerous, even more so with the production of high-strength concentrates.

The laws on marijuana vary from state to state. In Colorado, for instance, medicinal users are permitted to have up to 2 ounces of cannabis at any one time. Other states set limits on the amount of THC that is allowed. In Virginia, a medical cannabis dose must have no more than 10mg of THC. Critics say that this restricts the benefits that MMJ can offer to patients. Furthermore, many states limit the conditions where medical cannabis can be offered. This is in contrast to California, where patients can quite easily get hold of an MMJ card. They can then walk into a dispensary and purchase the products that they are entitled to. 

Even in some places where recreational marijuana is legalized, people cannot always access it easily. In Washington D.C., for example, while possession of cannabis is legal, the sale of it is not. 

Benefits of cannabis legalization 

Cannabis legalization is ultimately proving to be a great victory for the American people, in terms of freedom and health. More clinical trials are now vital because of the increased use. This is almost certain to throw up further medicinal uses, which for some conditions, could replace prescription drugs. Cannabis is popular as it causes fewer side effects. Many also report getting benefits from marijuana they weren’t expecting. This could be down to the unique effect that cannabinoids have on the body, by reacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Moreover, while the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has always had the power to override state law and raid dispensaries, attitudes are changing. The US public is now overwhelming supportive of legal marijuana. The social battle for cannabis has been won thanks to states legalization, and the clear medicinal benefits that is bringing. The DEA increasingly has bigger issues to handle, with the opioid crisis, and also the increasing presence of harmful, synthetic drugs.

Federal legalization of cannabis containing THC may still be a way off. Much depends on political circumstances. Although this would likely be a bipartisan issue that Democrats and Republicans could work together on. If cannabis is legalized soon, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would likely want to have a role in product regulation. 

Is CBD oil legal in all 50 states?

Now we have summarized the legal status of cannabis, let’s move onto the chemical compound of CBD, and the industrial hemp plant. This is an area where the federal government has become much more involved in during the 2010s. However, the emergence of a CBD industry was an unintended effect of the legalization of hemp products in 2014. The 2014 farm bill did not mention CBD once. The law simply allowed for the sale of hemp products with less than 0.3 percent THC. Hemp has a number of other uses, such as to make clothing and rope. 

However, this loophole meant that companies started to spring up selling CBD products to all 50 states. While the farm bill suggested there was nothing wrong with this, the Schedule 1 status of CBD as a cannabis-derived substance posed a problem. This was clarified in the 2018 farm bill, which legalized hemp cultivation across the country. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell was a strong advocate for the bill. The Kentucky senator wants to kickstart hemp farming in his own state. Kentucky was big on hemp production before the plant was banned in the 1930s.

Yes, CBD is federally legal  

Therefore, according to federal law, we can now say that CBD is legal in all 50 states. There are very few FDA-approved products, however. Epidiolex is currently the only CBD medicine on the market, and is used to treat epilepsy. The CBD products that the average American citizen can buy are sold as hemp supplements. These work just the same, and are made from natural hemp extracts. 

But it has been up to manufacturers to effectively self-regulate. With the FDA not yet involved, CBD businesses send their hemp oil products to third-party labs for testing and analysis. This system works pretty well, and has served to distinguish reputable businesses from those selling snake oil. When the hemp-derived CBD industry first emerged, some dodgy companies were diluting the CBD, if they were even including it at all. 

CBD products must also be checked because of THC levels. The hemp plant is not THC-free, it just has a very low amount of it. CBD-isolate products are manufactured to have 0% THC. But full-spectrum CBD products are created with full-plant extracts, so may have a small concentration. Providing this is kept within the 0.3% maximum set by recent farm bills, there is no legal problem. 

Taking cannabis or CBD products on planes

Because cannabis remains prohibited at federal level, it’s illegal to take any THC-containing marijuana product on a plane. This still applies if you are travelling between legal states (e.g. California to Colorado). Airports are federal buildings, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) a federal agency that adheres to federal law. By the same logic, it’s not permitted to take cannabis across state lines – again, even between pro-cannabis, legal states. 

The law on taking CBD products on planes is not as clear-cut. But considering the recent changes in CBD law, there shouldn’t be an issue travelling with hemp-derived products. CBD could potentially be very useful for nervous travellers hoping to calm their anxiety before a flight. Products may also help with sleep if going on a long journey. 

A recent TSA update clarified that carrying some CBD oil is now okay. It’s probably best to only travel with the necessary quantity, and not to be using a product that looks too much like cannabis and may arouse suspicion.

The law on cannabis outside of America 

America gets the most attention regarding recreational cannabis, as the first major country where any form of legalization became a reality. But a month prior to Colorado’s new dawn, the South American nation of Uruguay also approved cannabis. However, the country holds a much different perspective, and has not capitalized on its early status as a trailblazer.

While Uruguay has legalized cannabis, it wasn’t out of any affinity for the plant. Rather, the law was to combat health problems and drug-related crimes. The country has never criminalized drug possession at a personal level. Uruguayans can grow up to six plants for personal use, or up to 99 if part of a registered growers’ club. Since 2017, approved pharmacies have been able to sell cannabis at a commercial level.

Canada made headlines in 2018 by passing The Cannabis Act. This made them the first G8 nation to legalize recreational pot. Canada hopes that a legal industry will reduce or eliminate the cannabis black market, and make it more difficult for those underage to get hold of marijuana. Cannabis is legal at 18 or 19 in Canada, slightly younger than in the US. 

Meanwhile, European nations are also getting curious about cannabis. The Netherlands leads the way, decriminalizing marijuana in the 1970s. This has made Amsterdam a hub for weed smokers worldwide. Coffeeshops can sell marijuana to Dutch people and foreigners. Patrons tend to smoke inside, but the police tend to turn an eye to public smokers, providing they aren’t making a nuisance.

CBD in Europe 

CBD is also making its mark in Europe. Some countries, including Switzerland, permit up to 1% THC in CBD products, more than three times the US limit. In the UK, however, the THC threshold is a little lower at 0.2%. There isn’t really any scientific evidence suggesting what the THC limit should be – politicians are just forced to choose a number. 

The UK also recently legalized medical cannabis. However, despite this happening almost a year ago, very few prescriptions are being made. Doctors are hesitant to do so without clinical research. This is likely an indication of the problem other countries will face if and when they legalize, and particularly those with government-run healthcare systems. It also emphasizes just how important more research is in the coming years. Now marijuana is more prevalent, public demand is likely to keep increasing. 

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The comprehensive guide to edibles 

Edible cannabis products have become a favorite of both recreational and medicinal users over the years. When consuming cannabis in an edible, the effects are quite different than when smoking or vaping. It is the unique effects of edibles which have made them popular, whether they are rich in psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD).

This comprehensive guide to edibles will cover all your questions, highlighting the benefits of both CBD and THC edibles, and showing you how to take them responsibly. We’ll also give you some tips on how to make your own baked goods infused with cannabis.

After reading this post, you’ll know all about:

  • How CBD and THC edibles take effect in the body 
  • The different types of edible on the market 
  • How to use edibles safely 
  • The benefits of CBD and THC edibles 
  • How to make edibles for yourself 

How do cannabis-infused edibles work? 

CBD and THC are cannabinoids, that only start to have an active effect on physical and mental functioning when they reach the bloodstream. The majority of their actions are on receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), but there is evidence that they also influence receptors elsewhere. 

Edibles, however, work differently to smoked and vaped cannabis products, where the cannabinoids are absorbed via the lungs. Instead, cannabinoids from edibles become active after passing through the walls of the stomach. In that sense, THC and CBD, two different forms of cannabis take effect in the same way. Because of this slower absorption, edibles do not boast the instant response that you get from smoking flower in a joint or vaping an e-juice. However, once the user does begin to feel the effects, these can last for several hours. Depending on preferences, this is why some find that eating cannabis is the best way to enjoy CBD or THC. 

What types of edible are there?

The edible industry is constantly expanding, in line with the ever-growing recreational cannabis and hemp-based CBD markets. In the early days, most used to make and take homemade edibles, such as brownies and cookies. That’s changing somewhat, with some brands now making gummy bears, hard candies, chocolate, and even lollipops and popcorn. There’s an edible product for everybody, and those trying to stay lean have the option of dried fruit or healthy drinks. 

What’s great about a professionally manufactured edible product is you can hone in your desired effect more easily, with the milligrams of THC or CBD present is made clear on the packaging. Getting the ideal low or high dose is no difficulty at all. This isn’t always the case with homemade edibles, where you have to expect some variance as it’s unlikely the hemp or cannabis extract will be spread evenly. 

How to use edibles safely 

As with any cannabis product, knowing how to use it safely promotes a positive and healthy experience. This is particularly important with THC edibles because of the psychoactive effect on the brain. But being clear about how to use edibles also helps with keeping costs down, by ensuring you don’t take too much or not enough. 

Furthermore, because of the delay in effect when taking edibles, that you don’t get with inhaled products, it’s important not to be impatient. Waiting a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour after your first dose is essential before you determine if the effects are appropriate. You can always take more if your dose is too weak, but a high dose is more difficult to correct.

CBD edibles 

The main thing you have to be concerned about with CBD edible use is drowsiness. CBD has no intoxicating properties, so you can comfortably take this type of edible in any situation and retain total control over mind and body. But a really strong dose could make you pretty tired a couple of hours into the experience. For this reason, and especially if enjoying an edible made with an indica-dominant extract, it’s best not to drive or operate heavy machinery after a high dose. 

In addition, going heavy on the dosage may not yield any extra benefits, as CBD’s effects eventually plateau. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a higher dose will necessarily be better, even if using for medical reasons. While there aren’t any health risks from a hefty dose, needlessly taking large quantities will hit your wallet. Settling on the perfect amount is trial and error for many users. Experiencing low, high and middling doses and adjusting accordingly is the best way of enjoying CBD efficiently long-term. 

THC edibles 

It’s with THC edibles that you have to be somewhat more careful. Ultimately, these are psychoactive drugs which have an unusual mental effect. While users get acquainted with these reactions over time, the potential for a bad trip is always there, even though THC is not considered a hard drug.

Firstly, finding a comfortable environment to ‘trip’ in is vital. Extroverts will probably want to be with friends where they can socialize. Introverts may be better suited to a quiet environment. Ultimately, a relaxing situation where you don’t have to take care of any responsibilities is the best time to use THC edibles. This applies even more so than when smoking weed as the effects are known to last for up to eight hours.

Keeping the dosage down initially is key, as an excessive quantity of THC could make for lots of anxiety and paranoia. Those familiar with cannabis edibles can be more liberal with their dose, but first-timers should definitely start small (perhaps 5 mg of THC). It’s not a race, and the first marijuana experience can be a defining one. You should do everything possible to make sure it’s a positive experience.

However, sometimes a trip goes bad for reasons outside of your control. If you do feel uncomfortable and want to bring your ‘high’ to an end more quickly, take some CBD. Research shows that CBD works in the opposite way of THC on the CB1 receptor. It’s this receptor that THC binds to in order to initiate a psychoactive effect, altering mood, appetite and perception of reality. In contrast, CBD inhibits this effect. The best products for reducing THC-induced anxiety are CBD-rich joints, vape juices and tinctures for the speedy effects. 

Benefits of CBD edibles 

CBD edibles have a number of therapeutic benefits. Because they last longer, they are a more effective way of using CBD for some conditions than other products. For example, those taking CBD for sleep purposes receive limited help from vape juices and tincture oils, as the effects wear off midway through the night. This is a nightmare if taking CBD for sleep apnea, chronic pain or any other nighttime disturbance. Edibles, however, provide an entire night’s relief from a single dose just before bedtime. 

The lasting effects also work a treat during the day. This is good for those who don’t have the opportunity to top up their dose often. This may be the case if the user needs to be discreet about their CBD use. However, taking edibles in the day can also be for economic reasons, particularly with chronic conditions. Why spend more on a product where you have to dose regularly, when one edible dose can give the necessary relief for hours?

Qualities of THC edibles 

THC edibles are brilliant for cannabis users who want to change up their high. Perhaps regular smoking has caused a tolerance buildup, meaning the marijuana doesn’t go as far as it usually does. Since the THC from edibles is absorbed differently, the tolerance is also different. For a while, the high will probably feel much more intense from an edible than with smoking. This is a pleasurable effect for those who are intent on getting as high as possible!

THC edibles can also be used medicinally. Some only experience the full advantages of cannabis with this psychoactive ingredient. Pain relief, for instance, is enhanced by THC because it significantly reduces pain perception. THC is also a very strong anti-inflammatory. One study found that THC is 20 times stronger than over-the-counter aspirin. Like with those who use CBD medicinally, the extended relief from edibles is often more economical. 

Furthermore, for those who want to enjoy weed when they can’t risk making a smell, edibles provide ideal coverage. While the edible itself may have a slight aroma, it’s not pungent by any means and can be discreetly taken in just about any scenario. 

How to make cannabis-infused food 

So, you want to make your own cannabis food products? This can be as easy or difficult as you want to make it! What many users like to do is make cannabutter or infused oil and then add it to a recipe. Or, you could buy a tincture oil and just mix it in to a recipe to provide the benefits of the cannabinoids.

To make cannabutter, get some standard butter and melt on low heat. Grind up the bud and add it to the saucepan, but ensure that the temperature stays between 160 and 200 Fahrenheit. It’s important that the THC and CBD is activated, but you don’t want to burn the compounds off. Stir the mixture regularly over the course of 45 minutes to an hour. Once satisfied, strain the butter with a cheesecloth to separate the bud. Store the butter in a glass dish with an airtight lid. 

You can use it immediately, or refrigerate and consume whenever you want. You can add as much hemp or cannabis flower as you need. It all depends on how strong you want the edibles to be!

Tips for the ultimate edible experience 

A trick that many edible users – both CBD and THC – are fond of is to combine the effects with vape juice or a joint. The delayed response of edibles means that you can get the effects to coincide, making for a stronger high, or more potent relaxation. It helps to know how long that edibles take to kick in beforehand. 

Roll up a joint before you start and then take the edible. After half an hour or so, or whenever you start to feel the edible kicking in, smoke and enjoy the ultimate edible experience! 

Final thoughts 

Hopefully this guide has shown you a lot more about how CBD and THC edibles work, and how you can benefit from them. Edibles are not just a gimmick, and have distinct value, whether you’re using cannabinoids medicinally or recreationally. They’re fun to make, although it’s certainly easier to buy some ready made products! If you do go for the latter, ensure that the company you’re buying from lab tests their products. You don’t want to end up with a dud.

Do you have any tricks you like to employ with edibles that we haven’t mentioned here? Or maybe you are taking edibles for a reason you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and join the conversation! 

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CBD vs THC: the full guide  

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two remarkable and rare compounds that define the cannabis and industrial hemp plants as we know them. You have probably heard of hemp-based CBD products, which are now being sold online and in health stores in all 50 US states. And if you have previously used recreational cannabis, you have likely noticed how the THC and CBD content is stated when you purchase a product.

This post intends to cover the following areas:

  • What THC and CBD are, and how they affect the body
  • The therapeutic value of CBD and THC for pain
  • Whether you should use CBD or THC for anxiety
  • The impact of CBD and THC on the brain
  • The negative side effects of THC

In addition to providing scientific insight and boosting your understanding of the compounds, we’ll study how to use CBD and THC products safely and effectively. Ready to learn? Let’s get started.

What exactly are CBD and THC?

While you may have heard of CBD and THC, do you know specifically what they are and why and how they affect the body? Cannabis science is undeniably complex, but we have broken it down so that you can easily understand the broad influence of these two compounds.

CBD and THC are cannabinoids – a type of compound that interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD and THC are just two – but easily the most abundant – cannabinoids of more than 100 that have so far been discovered. Cannabinoids are found sparingly in the plant kingdom, and are contained almost exclusively within the cannabis species.

CBD vs THC effects

THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid, but CBD is not. This stark contrast between the cannabinoids comes down to how they interact with CB1 receptors – these ECS receptors are located in the central nervous system. THC latches onto CB1 receptors as an agonist. This has an effect on several variables, such as pain perception and appetite, but most notably mood. CBD, meanwhile, is a CB1 receptor antagonist, so blocks rather than stimulates activity at the cannabinoid receptor. However, CBD does regulate CB1 receptors. This explains the therapeutic effects we will later explore in more detail.

Other cannabinoids to be aware of include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), cannabidivarin (CBDV) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). Some, or all of these are present in small concentrations in cannabis and hemp strains. The subtle influences of these compounds can change a strain’s overall effects.

CBD oil vs THC oil

CBD oil – whether it’s full-spectrum or isolate – is very easy to find. Hemp products with less than 0.3 percent THC content are no longer restricted by federal law. They can be sold by companies providing they are styled as “dietary supplements” and not medicines.

This has been great for CBD’s advance into the mainstream. People can do their own research on the potential of various products, and then try them out. And with CBD not causing a high of any description, users are generally comfortable about trialling products, dosing at different times of day. High-CBD oil’s benefits have been discussed often by the media, with the difference between them and regular cannabis being made crystal clear.

In contrast, THC oil is nowhere near as accessible. This is because THC is still a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The United States federal government has not yet changed its stance on recreational or medical marijuana. The relaxation on laws surrounding therapeutic and recreational THC-rich products has all come at state level.

This has been great for spreading the word about the cannabis plan. We are beginning to see how a legal market can work. But it does restrict the types of cannabis product that Americans are able to access.

CBD vs THC for pain

Cannabis has re-emerged as a popular remedy for chronic pain management. There is a history of cannabis use for this purpose which dates back thousands of years. But with our modern understanding of cannabis and its cannabinoids, what form of the plant is most effective for pain?

For many years, it was believed that the psychoactive THC was necessary in any cannabis mix that was used for pain relief. And the ECS logic was fairly sound. As a CB1 receptor agonist, THC reduces the body’s sensitivity to pain. THC is, therefore, very therapeutic for migraines, a nerve pain condition called multiple sclerosis (MS) and other illnesses with pain symptoms.

However, more recent studies have revealed that CBD is also beneficial for pain. This is thanks to its indirect regulating of the CB1 receptor, and actions on other receptors. It is great to know that it’s possible to treat pain in this way. The intoxicating effects of THC have certainly stopped cannabis from becoming legal earlier and being widely used.

Both CBD and THC are much safer to take for pain relief than opioid painkillers, however. These drugs have acquired a horrible reputation for causing addiction and overdoses. If you are going to use a CBD or cannabis product to ease pain, a strain or vape juice with indica terpenes may be preferable to a sativa. Indica-dominant products have more of a relaxing effect on the body.

CBD vs THC for anxiety

CBD has shown really promising effects on anxiety disorders. A few scientific studies have now been conducted on CBD’s value for the condition. The relief is quickly administered, with CBD appearing to address imbalances between inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters. The serotonin system may also be implicated in CBD’s anxiolytic properties.

The value of THC for reducing anxiety is less clear. The cannabinoid may even have negative side effects – anxiety and paranoia are quite common among recreational cannabis users. This is understandable. CBD increases activity in the brain, rather than decreasing it as CBD does. This causes the brain to think more than it would in normal circumstances.

However, the setting in which the user is taking cannabis may also influence if it causes anxiety. A negative environment is likely to lead to unhelpful thoughts. In contrast, a positive environment is conducive to a better experience. Psychoactive substances are poorly understood, and the overall effect they have on mental functioning is unclear.

But CBD products look to be better for anxiety patients than THC products. No psychoactive effects are better than some when tackling this mental condition. For best results, use a product that acts fast, such as a tincture oil or e-liquid.

CBD vs THC for sleep

Better sleep quality is achieved by ensuring both the mind and body is relaxed and soothed. The cannabis plant is used in its entirety to combat insomnia. But most users prefer indica-rich strains to amplify the calming properties. This suggests that a high-CBD product may be more effective than a high-THC option. A highly psychoactive cannabis product could make the brain too active for sleep. Hence why energizing sativas are preferred in the daytime, rather than the evening.

CBD is a sleep regulator. The circadian rhythm is vital for our sleep pattern, as it releases and suppresses hormones at specific times of day. For instance, the uptick in melatonin at night naturally relaxes the body for sleep. By getting the circadian rhythm in check, CBD simply helps the body to do its job. A regulated circadian rhythm is also key to deep sleep. Mental and physical healing occurs in this phase of sleep. Most people opt for an enduring CBD product for sleep, like edibles. The longer effects are necessary for relieving pain symptoms which may disrupt sleep, and for keeping sleep apnea at bay throughout the night.

CBD vs THC for the brain

CBD and THC influence the brain quite differently. The former is neuroprotective, and while the latter can be helpful, it is also neurotoxic in large quantities. This suggests that using high-THC products often could cause cognitive problems in the short and long-term. The risks of regular THC usage are further exacerbated by a lack of CBD.

Some take CBD to boost memory and general cognition. The nootropic market is flourishing, to help in day-to-day life and as study aids. CBD appeals because we know it’s safe, unlike some of the synthetic products available. The cannabinoid impacts the hippocampus positively, spurring growth – this effect is called neurogenesis. CBD also repairs sections of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex, which may help to manage depression.

However, some people swear by THC. Many believe psychoactive substances to have a helpful mental effect if used sensibly. THC is a light psychoactive drug in the grander scheme of things. Altering consciousness may help the brain to form healthier patterns. This applies if you are doing something rather productive while under the influence, as opposed to laying on the couch watching movies. Everyone responds uniquely to psychoactive drugs. It’s impossible to say how any single person will be impacted.

Negative side effects of THC

THC comes with more risks than CBD, and everyone should be aware of these before using high-THC products. The anxiety and paranoia side effects do not occur in everybody. But those who have not experienced cannabis previously should start in a relaxed environment. This will allow the brain to adjust to the changes, without causing a freakout.

Researchers need to assess the dangers of regular THC-rich product use. But some cannabis users do suffer from motivational and memory drop-offs. CBD studies have found that these declines can be reversed. This strengthens the argument that people should take natural cannabis products, and not super-strength THC products. Be wary about THC-isolate products for that reason.

There is also a slim chance of THC triggering psychotic episodes. People predisposed to psychosis and schizophrenia are the only ones at risk. But those with a history of mental illness should be cautious about smoking weed or taking edibles.

Final thoughts

It’s perhaps impossible whether CBD or THC is better. Their health benefits are quite different and people have different reasons for using each. The former is preferable among those who just want the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, and are not willing to expose themselves to the psychoactive effects. THC is more suitable for recreational users, who want a pleasant ‘high’ from their cannabis use.

However, a CBD and THC treatment may be better for some medical conditions. The ‘entourage effect’ provides a synergy that boosts the therapeutic value of cannabinoids. Furthermore, recreational marijuana usage may be healthier and more sustainable with strains that have balanced concentrations of the two. Personal preference and requirements are ultimately the biggest factor.

Do you use CBD products, or smoke weed medically or recreationally? Drop us a line about the type of products you use. Please share why you use them and how they affect you. We want to hear from you!

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Explaining the recent boom in hemp-based CBD products

Why is CBD so popular? If you have been asking yourself that question recently, don’t worry, you aren’t alone! CBD-infused products first infiltrated the alternative health market, and have since gone mainstream. Millions of people are now using CBD in America, and various other countries around the world.

You probably have a few other questions, too, such as:

  • What is CBD and where does it come from?
  • Why is CBD legal?
  • What is hemp?
  • Why is there so much variety in the CBD market?
  • Is CBD a fad, or here to stay?

In this article, we’ll explain exactly what CBD is and its newfound popularity, with an in-depth look at what hemp is and how CBD products are made. We’ll cover what people are using CBD for, and whether there is a permanent gap in the market for these revelatory new products.

What is CBD?

CBD is a natural chemical created by plants in the cannabis family – including Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa L. (hemp). Classified as a cannabinoid, CBD has some similarities with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But importantly, CBD does not have the same psychoactive effect on the brain.

Cannabinoids are a rare type of cannabinoid, found predominantly in cannabis strains. However, they can influence all aspects of health by acting on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This explains why CBD products have significant therapeutic potential, and may help us in ways that other natural products cannot. Even though scientific research on CBD is limited, legally available products have – for years now – proven very attractive for consumers.

Non-psychoactive CBD was isolated by Israeli cannabis scientists in the early 1960s. Our knowledge of the compound’s effects has grown over time, most crucially with the identification of the ECS in the early 1990s.

Why is CBD legal?

The legality of products is where many people get confused with CBD. After all, the cannabis plant has now been banned in the United States for more than 80 years. It has also been classified as a Schedule 1 substance since the Controlled Substances Act was brought in. We have seen some liberalization, with Colorado, California, Oregon and other states legalizing medicinal – and later recreational – cannabis. But this doesn’t explain why you can buy CBD products throughout America, both online and offline.

That’s because CBD products are made from hemp, which is now afforded a more relaxed legal status. Hemp-based products became legal in 2014, and thanks to some savviness, CBD-rich hemp products came into being. While hemp plants usually have a very small quantity of THC in them, this is no issue providing the THC makes up less than 0.3 percent of the hemp product’s dry weight. This is as important for the user as anybody. Many people who take CBD are opposed to the psychoactive effects of cannabis, for personal reasons or due to work-related drug tests.

Third-party testing

The 0.3 percent rule keeps all sides happy, and some brands even choose to make products with CBD-isolate extracts – these are completely absent of THC. This THC limit and the quality of CBD products is mainly self-regulated. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not involved with the regulation of CBD or hemp-based products. The top CBD brands subject their stock to third-party scrutiny, with cannabis and hemp testing laboratories giving a full analysis of various products. Ideally, these results are completely transparent, and made free and easily accessible to anyone who wants to buy CBD. This has also enabled CBD companies such as Green Roads CBD and Koi CBD to become established, and distinguishable from cowboy companies marketing snake oil products.

But what exactly is hemp?

As stated earlier, hemp is officially known as Cannabis Sativa L.,.and is almost entirely non-intoxicating. The plant has historically grown in cooler climates. This is opposed to the hotter, South Asian growing conditions that psychoactive Cannabis Indica plants favor. Hemp grows taller and thinner than other types of cannabis.

The plant has a rich history as a cash crop, including in the United States where it was regularly grown up until 1937 prohibition courtesy of the Marihuana Tax Act. US farmers also grew hemp in large quantities during World War Two to compensate for the stifling of hemp imports from the Philippines. The benefits of hemp, from cleansing toxin-ridden soil to its nutritious value, is well-documented. But the plant’s progression into mainstream, modern society has been slowed. This is due to its similarities with intoxicating cannabis, and the resulting misinformation.

Hemp’s comeback began with the Agricultural Act of 2014 which allowed for the sale of hemp-derived products. The plant has advanced further with the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which federally legalized hemp cultivation for the first time since the 1930s. This is anticipated to give farmers in states like Kentucky a huge boost. Although it will ultimately depend on how individual states choose to proceed now that Washington’s shackles have been removed.

Why is there so much variety in the CBD market?

Purchasing CBD for the first time can be a fun, but daunting experience. Not least because there is such an astonishing range of products to choose from – and the selection is only increasing. But companies aren’t just putting CBD in things for the sake of it. There’s a logic as to why you might want to take CBD in a vape juice, or an edible, or perhaps even a capsule. And then for the classic cannabis user, there are CBD-rich hemp nugs. These can be smoked, for a cannabis-like experience with no “high”. Let’s briefly look at the pros and cons of a few CBD consumption methods.

Vape juices

Vaping isn’t just for nicotine, but CBD, too. When fast, potent relief is a priority, vaporizing is the most efficient way of using CBD. The effects take just seconds to kick in, as CBD cannabinoids pass into the bloodstream straight away. Great for multiple sclerosis, anxiety and other nasty illnesses with sharp symptoms, vaping CBD e-liquid is the first choice for many users.

Of course, the main negative with vaping is that it’s not strictly healthy. Although it’s considerably less dangerous to smoking according to research. For those stuck between wanting rapid CBD benefits, but not the possible health risks from vaping, CBD oil is a more palatable option.

Tincture oils

Tinctures may not taste great, but there is perhaps not a more convenient way to quickly get the properties of CBD. This intake method works for all users. This includes older people in need of a CBD tincture for sleep, and younger patients who are treated with CBD hemp oil for epilepsy.

Tinctures have a good secondary use as a food supplement. They can be used in many recipes as a source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and more. Just beware that the hemp flavor can be overwhelming if not adequately complemented with other delicious ingredients.

Edibles

Dried fruit, brownies, gummies, lollipops, popcorn, honey sticks. You name it, and a company has likely infused it with CBD. Edibles are wildly popular among recreational marijuana users. They can also be harnessed effectively by those taking CBD for therapeutic purposes. Not only do edibles give the user discretion and an accurate CBD dose, but this type of consumption also promotes a longer experience. CBD edibles for chronic pain may even be preferable to prescription painkillers, according to some surveys of CBD users.

Creams

Topicals are absolutely unique in the world of CBD, as the only products which have been primarily designed for use on the skin. Lotions, makeup, gels, creams, salves and balms with CBD have all made their mark in recent times. And because of the known ECS activity in the skin, CBD can have real benefits when applied in this way.

Some find that the anti-inflammatory effect is helpful for reducing acne and psoriasis symptoms. The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of CBD – and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids present in full-spectrum extract products – are superb for treating wounds and infections. CBD creams infused with natural ingredients like menthol tend to work well for pain relief, with the cooling sensation dampening perception of pain. And with creams, it’s possible to get to the source of the pain. Orally-consumed products, while effective, cannot deliver the targeted relief that topicals do.

Is CBD a fad, or here to stay?

Many people wonder whether CBD can have a lasting impact on the health scene, given that wonder treatments have emerged in the past before fading back into irrelevance. But the development of the CBD industry and the sound science backing the qualities of cannabinoids suggests these products are much more than a passing fad.

For starters, the next few years are all but certain to see a massive uptick in CBD research, as experts drill down further on how the compound affects the body, with greater knowledge of what people are taking products for. This is a big deal. With CBD science so far behind other areas of medicine, experts need to know which fields to pay attention to first. Then patients will have a better idea on whether they could use CBD as a replacement for their prescription meds going forward.

CBD is becoming more popular

The rising popularity of CBD also coincides with an increasing American acceptance of cannabis. The plant is not as much as a taboo as it was for most of the 20th century. It is the psychoactive properties of the herb which have rankled with most people. But the increasing use of cannabis for medicinal reasons is changing perspectives. Moreover, a new survey revealed that more than 60 percent of Americans who know of CBD believe it should be available over-the-counter, without a prescription.

On the flipside, some caution should still be expressed. CBD is safe and doesn’t cause addiction, but we simply don’t know if it can treat as many conditions as some people claim. There is a reason why CBD products must be marketed as dietary supplements. It would be nice to think of CBD as a panacea for hundreds of conditions. But these claims just can’t be made at this stage. The best way to know if CBD could work for you is to start taking it in a responsible manner.

Final thoughts

The surge in demand for hemp-based CBD products is unlike anything the natural health industry has seen in modern times. CBD has captured the imagination of the media and ordinary people alike. And products are bringing a level of relief to some users that they simply did not think was possible. The amazing thing about CBD is that there is a perfect product for everyone – and through some trial and error, you can find your ideal setup.

Have you tried CBD, or do you know someone that is benefitting from it? Leave a comment below! We welcome your interaction!