The legalization of recreational marijuana has been a hot-button issue for years. As of January 2020, Illinois became the 11th state to authorize the sale of cannabis, whether for medicinal purposes or recreation. Although Colorado, Washington, Florida, California, Alaska, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Illinois and District of Columbia have made the recreational use of cannabis legal, the federal government still considers it an illegal substance.
With more and more states allowing their residents to use marijuana, people aren’t just smoking it, they are using it to bake desserts, make candy, create meals and more. But what are they really using?
There are derivatives of the cannabis sativa plant that produces cannabidiol (CBD), hemp and marijuana, each serving different purposes.
Hemp-derived CBD is obtained from industrial hemp plants and is grown for its seeds and fiber. The leaves are skinny and limited in foliage which makes it easy to discern from marijuana. Hemp is also differentiated from marijuana by the levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which are minimal. In the U.S. it’s less than 0.3 percent.
Because of the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp was eliminated from the government’s list of controlled substance. This action authorized hemp-derived CBD to become legal in all 50 states and allowed for the proliferation of CBD into the marketplace.