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It’s been a few years now since The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 made hemp and hemp-based products legal and removed hemp (which should contain less than 0.3% THC) from its Schedule 1 Drug status. With this new legislation, the CBD market boomed, peaking at around $500 million in sales within the first year. 

With this boom, new products and providers arose, creating a space that’s full of competition. With this impressive growth also came setbacks in the form of misinformation, confusion, and decades of smear campaigns against Cannabis. Here’s your guide to CBD in 2020. We’ll cover what CBD is, what it does, and why it’s so popular. And yes; it is legal. 

Cannabidiol 

CBD is an acronym for one of 113 Cannabinoids found in Cannabis; Cannabidiol. The Cannabis plant comes in several varieties. Those containing less than 0.3% THC are considered to be industrial hemp, one of the strongest natural fibers in the world. In fact, hemp has over five hundred uses! 

Paper, clothing, rope, and much more can be created from hemp fibers; not to mention CBD and CBD-based products.

Cannabidiol is extracted using various methods, from CO2 extraction to solvents and even with olive oil.  The latter is often used in home settings or very small industrial settings, and the CO2 method is the most popular (and efficient) method used in large-scale operations. This yields the highest purity and has predictable results. 

Bear in mind that CBD must be extracted from hemp containing 0.3% or less THC on a dry-weight basis. Anything with higher THC concentrations is considered to be a controlled substance, per the federal guidelines

Misinformation in the CBD Space 

For decades, Cannabis has been the blanket term for anything hemp-derived. While technically both marijuana and hemp are considered to be Cannabis, hemp contains very specific amounts of THC. THC is a psychoactive substance, whereas CBD is not. That being said, the way Cannabis has been viewed since the early 1920s and since the passing of the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 has provided more than enough misinformation about CBD. 

First and foremost, CBD does not get you “high”. While CBD offers many benefits, it’s non-psychoactive. This is actually part of the reason it’s preferred by so many people; it’s legal, non-psychoactive, and still offers many similar benefits to THC. Among those are pain and inflammation relief, stress management, and more. 

Minimal Regulation 

According to Penguin CBD, one of the problems the CBD industry has run into is a lack of regulation by the FDA or any other organization. This means that plenty of imposter providers pop up, claiming to offer “high-quality” CBD products for the same prices as the real stuff. This leads to more misinformation and doesn’t help earn the trust of the public when it comes to CBD. 

Minimal regulation means that CBD can be sourced from imported hemp, which often contains harmful chemicals like pesticides. Hemp that is USA-grown is more strictly regulated and less likely to contain these harmful additives. Almost all of the top CBD providers use only organic USA-grown hemp to source their CBD, and it makes a huge difference. 

Even though the FDA has set only a few guidelines for CBD, it’s still recognized the effectiveness of the compound in a medical setting. The seizure medication Epidiolex was approved for use by the FDA and is used to manage seizures in patients with rare conditions. 

What Is CBD Used For?

CBD is safe for human use and consumption, and some people even use it for their pets to help manage anxiety and other conditions. For one thing, CBD is particularly effective at managing inflammation and pain in patients with chronic conditions. We’ve already mentioned its effectiveness at managing seizures, and it’s also said to have anti-aging properties; although this is still under study. 

Millions of people use CBD to manage pain, anxiety and stress, depression symptoms, brain fog/difficulty concentrating, acne, and even to help manage cancer symptoms. The compound interacts with the body’s Endocannabinoid System, which is responsible for things like appetite, pain management, and stress response. 

The problem is that CBD has been labeled under Cannabis, and illegal at the federal level. This means that the research is struggling to catch up to those decades of misinformation, but preliminary studies show promising results for CBD. It’s been shown to have no major side-effects and to be extremely effective at things like pain and anxiety management. 

No doubt, as more money pours into the CBD market, more research will take place, and we’ll gain a better understanding of the compound and how it works with our brains and bodies. 

The Market Is Going To Keep Growing 

With a huge boom in the last few years, the CBD market has become one of the fastest-growing markets in history. In fact, the value of the CBD space is projected to exceed around $20 billion by 2022. The demand for CBD products continues to rise as we gain a better understanding of what this natural compound has to offer. 

The Take-Away

CBD is legal at the federal level, but that doesn’t mean that it’s well-regulated. Though the FDA has some guidelines available, it’s still working on cement regulations that will be applied on an industry-wide scale. Until then, it’s important to use common sense and perform a bit of your own research when you’re looking for CBD products. Keep these guidelines in mind:

  • USA-grown hemp is of a higher quality than imported hemp
  • Lab-tested CBD ensures potency and proper THC content 
  • Full-spectrum products contain THC 
  • Broad-spectrum products contain no THC 
  • There is still plenty of misinformation about; be sure you’re getting the facts 
  • The industry leaders have set their own standards of quality. This is a good metric to measure other companies with. 

Once you try your first CBD product, you’ll know exactly why so many people choose to use them on a daily basis. Make sure you’re choosing a high-quality provider for your CBD products!

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