THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most well-known component of marijuana, and it is the one that “gets you high,” so to speak. But have you heard of CBD? Many parents haven’t, or even if they have, they aren’t sure what to make of it or even understand if their son or daughter is using CBD. What’s certain is that it’s becoming more and more widely available, and like vaping, is often marketed to young people. Below is an overview of CBD, the numerous forms it’s sold in, its efficacy in treating various problems and current knowledge about its relative safety.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is the largest non-psychoactive component of marijuana, and interest in its effects is growing. High levels of CBD and low levels of THC are found in most medical marijuana products, but the CBD industry has started to expand and market their products as “life promoting” to healthy individuals.
There are hundreds of online companies selling CBD, with the market estimated to grow to $2.1 billion by 2020. CBD tinctures, edibles, sprays, vaping liquid, capsules and items such as gels, hand lotions and shampoos are widely available, varying in price and CBD content.
Some of these products are illegal, while others can be purchased in a supermarket by anyone. The legality of CBD comes down to whether it is hemp-derived or marijuana-derived. Hemp and marijuana both originate from the cannabis plant, but cannabis crops grown for their flowers have high THC levels, while when grown for their fibers and stalks are usually called hemp.
Plants with high levels of THC remain illegal at the federal level, although state laws vary. Hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states and can easily be purchased by anyone in a health store, food market or online. On the other hand, CBD derived from cannabis is not legal in every state, so it’s important to check individual state laws on marijuana usage.