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Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has recently gained popularity nationwide due to reported therapeutic effects for both common ailments and severe illness. CBD is not psychoactive and does not get users “high,” so many Americans have embraced it.
Despite these benefits, CBD is not yet legal in all 50 states. Worse, new legislation passed in December 2016 made CBD and other marijuana extracts federally illegal.
What does this mean for Coloradans?
Fortunately, CBD oil is derived from cannabis. Since Colorado enjoys some of the most progressive cannabis laws in the country, CBD is fully legal here.
Below we’re going to cover CBD oil basics, the health benefits of CBD oil, the legality of CBD oil, and how to find quality CBD oil in Colorado.
The cannabis plant contains over 100 bioactive compounds, collectively known as cannabinoids. Among the cannabinoids, the best-known compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is psychoactive, and has euphoric effects that get users “high.” However, THC alone is not as effective as whole-plant extracts in treating most health conditions that can be alleviated by cannabis. This suggests that other cannabinoids may be responsible for the therapeutic effects of marijuana.
CBD, as mentioned above, is not psychoactive, and does not give users high. Further, CBD has been found to be as effective as whole-plant extracts at treating a variety of illnesses, suggesting that CBD is responsible for many of marijuana’s therapeutic effects.
Because many modern marijuana strains have been selectively bred to produce high levels of THC and relatively low levels of CBD, you may find more therapeutic benefit from CBD oil, or from high-CBD marijuana strains.
CBD oil is a potent anti-inflammatory, and has been used successfully to treat a wide variety of inflammatory diseases such as autoimmune disease, arthritis, diabetes, diabetic complications, and acne.
CBD oil also has beneficial effects in mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and psychosis. Moreover, it is not addictive, unlike many pharmaceuticals used to treat psychiatric conditions, such as benzodiazepines.
Some studies suggest that CBD oil may have anti-cancer effects, although these studies need to be further verified. However, it is well-accepted that CBD oil reduces symptoms related to cancer, and side effects related to cancer treatment such as nausea and vomiting. CBD oil also alleviates muscle wasting.
Additionally, CBD oil activates the brain’s endocannabinoid system and other signaling pathways that are related to neuroprotection. It has been used to successfully treat neurodegenerative disease and other neurological disorders such as epilepsy.
Finally, many users report that CBD oil is an effective remedy for common ailments such as insomnia and moderate pain.
CBD oil can be derived from the marijuana plant, or from the hemp plant, which is closely related to marijuana but does not produce THC. Although the composition of hemp versus marijuana-derived CBD oil is theoretically the same, the legality of CBD oil differs based on the source.
Fortunately, in Colorado that doesn’t matter because recreational marijuana is legal, meaning that both hemp and marijuana-derived CBD oil are fully legal. However, in most states only hemp-derived CBD oil is legal. It is something to remember if you buy in Colorado and plan to travel to other states.
Importantly, hemp is an industrial crop, and is cultivated to produce products such as fibers. Therefore, hemp is not as well-regulated as marijuana, which is intended for human consumption.
As you can probably tell from all of this, the legality of CBD oil is complex. Moreover, the production of CBD oil is often not regulated, meaning that consumers may not be getting actual CBD oil, and that commercially available CBD oil preparations could potentially contain dangerous contaminants.
Since Colorado has legalized recreational marijuana purchased from licensed dispensaries, you may obtain CBD oil legally in the state of Colorado, regardless of the source. However, getting high-quality CBD oil here is not as easy as you might think.
Generally speaking, it’s best to obtain CBD oil from a dispensary. Hemp-derived CBD oil available in smoke shops and gas stations is not as well-regulated as the marijuana-derived oil sold in dispensaries. Moreover, dispensaries are required to test each batch of products sold, meaning that you’ll know exactly how much CBD you’re getting, and be able to verify that the product contains no psychoactive THC.
Not all dispensaries carry CBD-only products, however, as the psychoactive THC products tend to be more popular. You’ll therefore need to do some research to identify which dispensaries carry CBD products. Further, availability may vary from day to day, so you’re best off calling or checking the website for updated availability before you go.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.