Cannabis has had a tumultuous history in the United States. Starting in the 1920s, several states began to ban the use of the herb, eventually leading to a federal ban on the use of the plant for several decades. It wasn't until the 1970s that regulators began to consider the plant's medical applications and started to implement medical programs across the country. CBD was not recognized as a medicinal agent for quite some time, and regulators saw all forms of cannabis as a medicine, including hemp.
Recently, however, the federal government passed a bill that differentiated between hemp and marijuana, arguing that hemp cannot produce the psychoactive high associated with marijuana. This removed hemp from the list of restricted substances, giving people open access to the plant for the first time in more than 80 years. The picture is constantly changing, however, as each state has its own laws in response to this federal change. Some states are slower than others in making these changes.
To understand why CBD has so many uses and benefits, it's important to understand what CBD is and how it works. CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of more than 400 compounds found in the cannabis plant. It is arguably the most relevant for medical use. Cannabinoids are a unique class of compounds not exclusive to cannabis; they can also be found in plants such as echinacea or helichrysum, but none as abundantly as cannabis.
Cannabinoids are classified by their ability to interact with a specialized system of receptors and hormones in the body called the endocannabinoid system. In contrast, cannabinoids that come from plants such as cannabis are called phytocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system is a regulatory system, meaning that it indirectly controls a variety of processes in the human body by either increasing or reducing them. This is why compounds like CBD have such a long list of benefits and uses; by working through the endocannabinoid system, CBD offers a wide variety of benefits to the human body.
It is used to regulate stress response, promote sleep, regulate metabolism and even reduce pain signals sent to the brain. Thousands of scientific studies have been published that highlight the benefits of CBD for specific conditions and demonstrate its safety. In light of these reports, people around the world have begun to open up to using CBD as a health supplement with some caveats related to THC, which is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. The marijuana plant has had a long and challenging history with respect to legal status in the United States and other countries around the world; it is still banned in most countries today.
As times change and more people begin to understand its usefulness, laws are gradually beginning to review its status country by country. The long legal battle over marijuana began in mid-1930s in the United States when campaigns were launched against its use associating it with madness, aggression and criminal activity through propaganda films such as Reefer Madness (released in 1993). Before this, marijuana was freely sold in pharmacies around the world. The 1936 Geneva Traffic Convention was a treaty aimed at prohibiting worldwide cultivation, manufacture and distribution of cannabis products; this treaty also included coca and opium.
Although some countries chose to ignore this project, it is what led to regulation of marijuana in much of Europe, Canada and Australia. In 1970, The Controlled Substances Act was passed in the United States which banned marijuana in all forms of use including medical use. The regulator faces a big problem with cannabis: some of its compounds are powerfully medicinal while others cause consumers to become high. In light of this challenge, change is slow and complicated in the United States as cannabis laws differ at both federal and state levels and can vary significantly from state to state.
Some states allow CBD only with medical approval while others are completely legal; you can even buy products at corner stores, gas stations and vending machines without needing a dispensary. It's important to pay attention to local laws in your specific state and check for updates regularly as laws continue to evolve around cannabis. It's important to make a distinction between two main types of cannabis: marijuana and hemp. Marijuana is what most people think of when they hear “cannabis”; these plants are a form of Cannabis sativa that produces medium-to-high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the plant's main psychoactive compound.