Now that we’ve covered an introductory post about the hemp plant and its, um… more casual uses, we’ve arrived at the slightly more controversial aspect of the plant – the extracted oil known as cannabidiol, or CBD in short. Why all the controversy surrounding it, you ask? Does it have anything to do with the state of CBD in Malaysia? Well, there’s a lot of ground to cover – so lets go thru them step by step.

One of the chief reason (me thinks) is because of its association with its more illustrious namesake – weed. When you just mention weed, images of people (or a particular Dogg) puffing away clouds of smoke form in your mind, and pretty naturally we’ll associate it with some sort of nastiness (be it the smell, or the stigma of ‘those damn hippies puffing their lives away’ sort of thing).

So… to set things a little bit straighter, what exactly is this CBD and how does it differ with weed? Some think that the hemp and marijuana plant is two different species. They are actually not distinct species at all. They’re just two different names for cannabis, a type of flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family.

So, science doesn’t actually differentiate between ‘hemp’ and ‘marijuana’, but rather the law does. Legally, the key difference between the two is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. What? another one of this abbreviations yet again? What’s this THC now? THC is one of many cannabinoids, or chemicals found in the cannabis plant. It’s the one that’s primarily responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis.

So whats the difference? Its kind of an arbitrary one at that – but it has been established that the term ‘hemp’ is used to mean cannabis that contains 0.3 percent or less THC content by dry weight. This defination was proposed back in 1979 in a book called “The Species Problem in Cannabis: Science & Semantics.”

In the book, its author, Ernest Small addresses the fact that it’s difficult to distinguish hemp and cannabis because there’s no actual taxonomical difference between the two. He proposed the 0.3 percent rule as a possible solution, but he himself acknowledged that it’s an arbitrary number. And so, this magical ‘0.3’ number was then used in the legal definition of hemp (as specified in the Agricultural Act of 2018 and other laws in the United States).

So in layperson terms, the THC level of hemp is not high enough to get you … well… high.

So where does this CBD come from then? Cannabinoids are found in higher concentration in cannabis flowers, leaves, and stalks. Those seeking to experience the effects of CBD often turn to cannabis flower, which can be smoked or extracted into tinctures and edibles. Thus, a whole new category of consumption is born – there are some who vape it, and some even made into gummy form. Yes, gummies (I’d bet the innocence of gummies have now been stripped).

Another aspect of the Hemp v Marijuana is of course the BIGGIE – legality. The 2018 Farm Bill made it legal to grow hemp, or cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent THC, throughout the United States. It also made hemp-derived CBD products federally legal.

That has lead to CBD becoming increasingly popular since hemp was federally legalized. Many people use CBD products because CBD is said to have numerous health benefits. The benefits of the oil has also been covered by Forbes Magazine as well.

So that’s it for an introduction to CBD. Next up … maybe a deep dive? or should we say deep puff? Keep on the metta guys.

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