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What Is CBD & How Does It Differ From THC?

The cannabis derivative could help many.

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Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury

As State and Federal cannabis laws continue to loosen, new forms of the plant are being synthesized. One product that citizens are beginning to use routinely in the new era of marijuana semi-legalization is CBD. CBD simply stands for cannabinoid and during the extraction of the plant, CBD can account for more than 40% of the plant material. CBD will not get the user “high” as it doesn’t possess the same psychoactive properties as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

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CBD in California market.

CBD can be infused into food and beverage to make it easier to consume. Users suffering from addiction, epilepsy & inflammation have found natural relief in the Big Pharma alternative. Advocates cite a decrease in pain and the medicine has been helpful in treating schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Cancer patients have also found the substance to be helpful in relieving pain and slowing the rate of cell destruction.

In 2013, a controversial “pot for tots” bill was passed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The legislation allowed for the consumption of “Charlottes Web” as a medicinal practice to treat epilepsy in children. As of today, all 50 states have passed similar legislation that allows for use of CBD in children/adults.

CBD can be applied through a series of different methods. From ingestibles to balms, CBD can be administered and manufactured in numerous ways. For many people, vaping CBD is the easiest and most direct consumption method and has even been used to treat THC addiction. Since CBD doesn’t get you ‘stoned’ in the classical sense, a wide variety of patients have begun using the product and the market for CBD has grown rapidly in the past several years. Even Dr. Oz did a special on it:

With the opioid crisis at an all-time high, scientists and citizens alike are attempting to create new products that can ween users off harmful substances. Videos and blogs have started to spring up around the internet espousing the benefits of CBD. Five years ago, CBD was a word only known by pot smokers and research scientists. Today, your average run of the mill person suffering mild anxiety or sleep issues can use the product to help calm and relax the mind, body, and soul.

In January, The New York Times wrote an interesting piece about the luxury beauty industry and their collective interest in CBD. Lord Jones, a high-end startup out of L.A. has a comments page littered with reviews about the efficiency of CBD as a pain and wellness treatment. The NYT also spoke with Verena von Pfetten, lead chief at Gossamer, who was fair in her criticism of the ‘cure-all’ notion. Pfetten pointed out that studies on CBD’s effectiveness are limited and warned users not to expect a ‘wake-up-and-feel-it’ moment.

Although the federal government has been slow to implement legislative change, many were not surprised to see Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell enter a new bill that calls for legalization of hemp in all 50 states. The economies of legalized states have seen a gold rush of money pour into the sector. According to the same article, the hemp business will be worth close to $2 billion dollars next year.

As Cannabis criminalization continues to fall, new avenues of research and use for the plant will arise. While CBD is already legal, the susbtance still faces an uphill battle in the eyes of our older generations. As time inevitably rolls on, expect to see more CBD boutiques and products pop up around the country!

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