Cannabis that contains over 0.3% THC is referred to as marijuana. Despite its wide use, marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug, making all marijuana-derived products illegal at the federal level.

Even if you live in a region where marijuana is legal, you cannot simply go to a CVS and have a prescription filled. Like any prescription medication, you will need a doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis. Additionally, each state has specific medical conditions that can be legally treated with cannabis, also known as “qualifying” conditions. Some approved medical conditions include Crohn’s disease, cancer, pain, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.

If you live in a state where medical cannabis is legal, you will need to obtain a medical cannabis card before visiting a marijuana dispensary. Please note that even in states where medical cannabis is legal, you cannot purchase it from your regular pharmacy.

What Is THC?

THC is a naturally occurring chemical entity called a cannabinoid, which is found in the cannabis plant. It causes the psychoactive effects that result in feeling high by attaching to receptors in the brain and central nervous system, known as cannabinoid receptors.

The active ingredient in cannabis that provides therapeutic benefits is THC. This compound can alleviate pain and nausea resulting from chemotherapy and stimulate appetite. Different methods of consumption are available for cannabis with high THC levels, including smoking, using oil tincture under the tongue, and taking it in capsule form or infused in food.

What Is CBD?

CBD is a type of cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is a single chemical molecule and is different from THC because it does not have psychoactive effects. In simpler terms, it will not make you feel high. CBD can be found in both hemp and marijuana, but it is only legal if it comes from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC.

The use of CBD derived from marijuana is illegal and considered a controlled substance even if it contains a low amount of THC. Although it may seem illogical, the reason for this classification has more to do with the method used to create the CBD rather than the CBD itself.

CBD is widely available in various forms like lotions, oils, and tinctures, but its only FDA-approved usage is as a medication named Epidiolex. This medication helps in treating seizures linked with two rare and severe types of epilepsy, namely Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, in patients who are two years of age or older.

Although its use is restricted, numerous individuals believe that CBD effectively alleviates a variety of ailments, such as anxiety, pain, insomnia, and chemotherapy side effects. Pure CBD is not intoxicating or addictive and has no potential for abuse.

Unlike THC, it doesn’t directly activate the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and nervous system, which means it doesn’t produce a high. However, it does affect many other receptors and may be beneficial for sleep, insomnia, and pain relief.

It is difficult to determine the purity of CBD products due to the lack of FDA regulation. There are many different variations in the composition of CBD products, such as their constitution, formulation, and intended method of use (topical, inhaled, or swallowed). These variations can lead to different outcomes.

Although CBD is generally safe, there is increasing evidence that it can interact with certain medications and cause significant side effects. Therefore, if you have any health conditions, it is important to consult your doctor before using CBD.

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