Federal vs. state laws over ‘medical only’ CBD is a train wreck in the making

Posted by Matt Rowland on

Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring derivative of the cannabis plant, but unlike its counterpart tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, CBD does not get the user stone.  It does, however, produce some rather interesting health benefits.  People suffering from chronic depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety issues, panic attacks, insomnia, and joint pain often consider vaping CBD as a less costly and more effective alternative to prescription medications.  In a recent survey, as many as 42% of participants with a variety of ailments successfully eliminated their dependence on prescription drugs altogether, simply by switching to CBD.

But users of this wonder-oil may be in for a bit of a shock as states like California and Michigan are changing their CBD laws to legalize the substance but for medical use only.  What’s more, hemp-based CBD is out, and marijuana-based CBD is in.  The surge in popularity of legalized marijuana legislation across the country may be a leading contributing factor to this latest attempt at government overregulation.

Related Article:  Vaping CBD: New study shows 42% of those surveyed stop using medications

In Kalamazzo, Michigan, state regulators have already made the move to recategorize oil-based cannabis products to fall under state medical marijuana laws, resulting in several businesses specializing in CBD having to shut their doors.  The state now only allows the legal sales of CBD products to those possessing a medical marijuana permit.  Furthermore, the oil-based CBD can only be derived from the marijuana plant.  Hemp-derived variations are no longer legal, which is going to cause a major issue among patients (more on that later).  

The federal legalization of hemp

Oddly, almost at the very same time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel of Kentucky is attempting to fast-track a federal bill that will essentially legalize hemp and reclassify it as an agricultural commodity.  Should the bill pass both house of Congress and be signed into law by the President, hemp farmers will finally be able to legally insure their crops, researchers can be granted government funds for research, and individual states can even regulate and tax the product as they see fit. 

Related Article:  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fast-tracks bill to legalize hemp

Just this month, researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) announced the receival of a $4.7 million grant from the private organization and non-profit the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation.  The money will fund a study involving CBD’s potential capabilities to help autistic children.  If McConnell’s bill becomes law, researchers like those from UCSD will no longer be totally dependent on goodwill organizations like the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation to fund their hemp and CBD research, which is a good thing.

In 2013, the parents of a 6-year old child suffering from severe epilepsy discovered an innovative hemp- and CBD-based solution now named Charlotte’s Web.  Within just a few short weeks, young Charlotte Figi’s seizures plummeted from over 300 grand mal events per week to only a few per month.   And within months, she regained her ability to walk, talk, and eat of her own volition, all thanks to CBD.

Related Article: Does vaping CBD prevent seizures in epilepsy patients?

But the Charlotte’s Web concoction is at least partially hemp-based, which means that it is now technically considered illegal in states like Michigan.  And what if the aforementioned research taking place at UCSD determines that hemp-based rather than marijuana-based CBD is more beneficial for autistic kids?  Again, the miraculous discovery will not be legally available to autistic children living in states like Michigan because of some misguided piece of legislation. 

In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reclassified all vaping e-liquids as tobacco products, even though e-liquids are completely and totally tobacco-free.  Nicotine is not tobacco, but our political leaders seemingly don’t care much about that.  It also seems a similar fate is awaiting the CBD industry, unfortunately.

McConnell says hemp is great.  Michigan says hemp is bad.  Perhaps legislators should do more research before randomly passing more nanny state laws that can potentially do far more harm than good for public health.

Related Article: Vaping CBD for medicinal purposes: Getting more Bang for your Buck!

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