Repost: See the whole Article on Project CBD: https://www.projectcbd.org/article/sourcing-cbd-marijuana-industrial-hemp-vagaries-federal-law
Disclaimer: This is such a great article. So well written and really sums up the current state of the CBD industry in the US today, that I had to extract some important points to share with you, and encourage you to read the whole article.
1. As far as current federal law goes, any CBD-rich plant that exceeds 0.3 percent THC is considered marijuana and is therefore off limits for growing and extracting. But the Feds are much more lenient when it comes to pharmaceutical THC. Single-molecule THC (sold as “Marinol”) is a Schedule III drug available by prescription in all 50 states, even though it makes one as high as a kite. Schedule III is reserved for therapeutic substances with low abuse potential. Whole plant cannabis, meanwhile, continues to be classified as a dangerous Schedule I drug with no medical value.
2. Products with heavily processed “pure” CBD derived from industrial hemp lack the full spectrum of aromatic terpenes and other cannabinoids found in high-resin drug plants. These compounds interact synergistically with CBD and THC to enhance their therapeutic effects. Scientific research shows that whole plant CBD-rich cannabis oil has a broader range of therapeutic attributes and greater therapeutic efficacy than single-molecule CBD.
3. Single-molecule compounds are the preferred domain of Big Pharma, which favors patentable isolates over “crude” whole plant synergies. It’s only a matter of time before the Food and Drug Administration gives a thumbs-up to synthetic, single-molecule, pharmaceutical CBD. The FDA, however, is generally not in the business of approving plants as medicines (though there are a few exceptions). The FDA’s single-molecule tilt reflects a cultural and political bias that privileges corporate pharmaceuticals. Single-molecule medicine is the predominant corporate way, the Big Pharma way, but it’s not the only way, and there’s scant evidence that it’s the best way to benefit from cannabis therapeutics.
4. When it comes to CBD-rich oil production, the 0.3 percent THC legal limit is an absurd, impractical, resin-phobic relic of reefer madness. It has become the lynchpin of cannabis prohibition, a venal, dishonest policy that impedes medical research and blocks patient access to valuable therapeutic options, including herbal extracts with various CBD:THC ratios. For patients struggling with a wide range of conditions, CBD and THC work best together, enhancing each other’s beneficial effects.
5. Confucius once said that to change society one must start by calling things by their real names. If maximizing CBD-rich oil output for product formulation is the objective and the best plant sources are federally illegal because of a minuscule amount of THC, then perhaps it’s time to call things by their real name. It’s not industrial hemp that’s growing when American farmers harvest their cannabis crops before full maturity to minimize THC content. These are high-resin, CBD-rich drug plants, albeit the non-euphoric kind—in essence, marijuana that doesn’t make you feel high. And marijuana is still prohibited under federal law.
Comment: When you look at the very recent actions by the FDA, it really makes you wonder who the government works for. Well, actually it makes things more clear.
Top 10 Summary points
1. Huge interest in the medicinal potential of CBD has catalyzed a rebirth of industrial hemp in the United States.
2. There are two types of cannabis plants, broadly speaking — low resin hemp plants and high resin drug plants. Low-resin industrial hemp includes plants grown for fiber and for seed oil. High resin drug plants include euphoric THC-rich plants and non-euphoric CBD-rich plants.
3. Industrial hemp is not an optimal source of CBD-rich oil.
4. Federal law prohibits American farmers from growing high-resin CBD-rich drug plants that narrowly exceed 0.3 percent THC, even though these high-resin cannabis plants are much better suited for extracting CBD-rich oil than low-resin industrial hemp.
5. The 0.3 percent THC federal legal limit for industrial hemp is an aribitrary, impractical, scientifically baseless distinction designed to maintain marijuana prohibition, a disreputable policy built on a mountain of lies.
6. American farmers in Colorado and elsewhere are growing high resin CBD-rich marijuana and calling it hemp. These “hemp” growers typically harvest their crop early to minimize THC content.
7. Colorado start-ups are marketing CBD-rich oil to all 50 states, despite the fact that federal law bans the cross-border transport and sale of Colorado cannabis oil products. CBD is not legal in all 50 states.
8. The Federal Farm Bill of 2014 carved out an exemption for growing and marketing industrial hemp under the auspices of state-approved pilot research programs, but only one state thus far implemented such a program. Licensed farmers in Kentucky are currently allowed to breed, cultivate, and harvest industrial hemp, formulate products, including CBD-rich oil concentrates, and ship these products across state lines.
9. For many hemp farmers in Canada and Europe, CBD oil extraction is actually a co-product or byproduct of industrial hemp grown primarily for another purpose. Farmers earn extra money by illegally selling their leftover hemp biomass to businesses that want to extract CBD.
10. CBD and THC enhance each other’s therapeutic effects. Most medical patients need access to a wide spectrum of whole plant cannabis remedies, not just low THC products.