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With the explosion in the CBD market since its legalization in 2018, there is no shortage of misinformation and misunderstanding floating around. In fact, until very recently CBD hemp was still considered to be no different than marijuana.
Because of this, there are still some very common myths that spread among consumers. These myths can understandably cause a lot fear and uneasiness and mistrust.
In our travels and conversations, here are the top 3 points of confusion we hear all the time.
It’s commonly believed that CBD hemp and marijuana are the same. They both come from the same plant, look the same, and smell the same - so why wouldn’t they be any different?
Both CBD hemp and marijuana come from the plant species Cannabis sativa; they are just different varieties of the same plant grown for different purposes.1
For centuries, people have grown Cannabis plants specifically for either their medicinal benefits or their psychoactive effects.2
We have long been aware of the differences between marijuana and CBD before we had an understanding of what cannabinoids even were.
Marijuana was effectively prohibited under the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.3 This act made it prohibitively expensive to be caught growing or in possession of any form of Cannabis plants and products.
There are two key differences between CBD hemp and marijuana:
Marijuana is anything containing more than 0.3% total THC.8 Some marijuana strains are grown for their high CBD or other cannabinoid content as well, however it is still considered marijuana if it has more than 0.3% total THC.
As we mentioned above, consumers have long been aware of the psychoactive effects of marijuana.
Per the Controlled Substances Act, Cannabis plants and products containing less than 0.3% total THC (any industrial hemp or CBD hemp products) are not regulated by the federal government as controlled substances.10
Therefore, CBD products are not legally considered to be a drug.
In addition to federal regulation, the basic accepted definition of a “drug” is a substance that, when ingested, alters the user’s state of mind. These substances, commonly called “recreational” drugs, have been created specifically for their psychoactive effects.11
While marijuana is known for its psychoactive effects on the user, CBD has no known psychoactive effects. CBD does not alter the user’s state of mind or produce any sort of “high” feeling12 and is not considered to be a recreational drug.
Many recreational drugs can cause the user to become addicted, either emotionally or an actual chemical dependence.
Because CBD has been rumored incorrectly to be a drug it has also been assumed that CBD can become addictive.
Studies have not found any addictive properties in CBD on its own.13
While the THC cannabinoids have been shown to promote some dependence in users, CBD has not. Scientists believe this is probably due to CBD being non-psychoactive.
Psychoactive drugs can cause users to become dependent on the drug itself because of the altered state of mind it can create. But because CBD is not psychoactive and does not alter the user’s state of mind, it does not cause this same dependence.
The CBD industry experienced unprecedented growth after the 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized industrial hemp.14
With this growth, misinformation has spread almost as quickly. But even though CBD products are new to the market, scientists have been studying CBD in great detail for decades.15
While we still have a lot to learn, thanks to dedicated researchers we know CBD is safe for the consumer.
You can read more about CBD, Regenerative Agriculture and Soil Health on our Frequently Asked Questions page.