What is CBD?
CBD is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid sought for its health benefits. It is currently under medical research for the treatment of anxiety, psychosis, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, epilepsy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and more. Due to its excellent safety profile, CBD is undoubtedly one of the more interesting cannabinoids with a high potential for therapeutic use.
Cannabis vs CBD: Where in the world it’s legal
Global Cannabis Legalization
With increased education and clinical research, global governments are becoming more accepting of cannabis. Specifically, countries are debating cannabis and/or cannabinoid legalization due its vast therapeutic and medical applications and to maintain the health and safety of their citizens. Legalization will help abolish crime and violence associated with the illicit cannabis market. This is the exact framework adopted by Uruguay –the first country to legalize recreational cannabis. Canada followed closely behind with cannabis legalization on October 17th, 2018.
Global CBD Legalization
Despite global changes in government reform, CBD is more socially accepted compared to cannabis. For instance, prescription drugs containing CBD such as Sativex® and Epidiolex® are legal for medical purposes in countries whereby smoking cannabis remains illegal. Specifically, with increasing legal acceptance, CBD is gaining a significant presence in North and South America, China, and various regions in Europe. Despite different regulatory frameworks around the world, legalization typically depends on the following factors:
- The origin of the plant material (i.e. cannabis vs. hemp)
- Cannabinoid composition (i.e. abundance of residual THC)
- Purpose of use (i.e. recreational vs. medicinal)
Since the structure of hemp-derived and cannabis-derived CBD is identical, the different effects exhibited by each product is attributed to the abundance of residual cannabinoids, notably THC. As a result, most countries whereby CBD is legal for recreational or medicinal purposes restrict legalization to products that contain less than 0.3% THC, thus restricting the effects of THC from being experienced when consumed.
The ABCs of CBD Use: The most common ailments treated by CBD
Source: Brightfield Group
While CBD has a vast therapeutic and medical profile, CBD most commonly used for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and mild to severe pain. Additionally, due to the lack of psychotropic effects typically exhibited with THC, the Brightfield Group reports that cannabis consumers prefer the use of CBD to THC for nausea and pain relief.
However, THC is not the only treatment option that is more commonly replaced with CBD. For instance, the Brightfield group also reports that more than half of CBD consumers find the use of CBD to be more effective than over-the-counter products, herbal remedies, and prescription medication at treating symptoms of their medical conditions.
Source: Brightfield Group