Can CBD be used recreationally?

Published Feb 2, 2020 10:00 a.m. ET
iStock / paulynn

CBD is one of many cannabinoids that have been discovered in the cannabis plant. Unlike its very popular counterpart THC, it does not provide the user with a psychoactive high, which some seek for recreational use. However, CBD does have some positive health benefits when used to assist in combating depression and anxiety. CBD can also be supplied from the hemp plant, taken from the hemp plant, the CBD from this source will also not render the high that THC will do. The hemp plant is also non-psychoactive.

Hemp vs Weed

Both of these plants belong to the same family. Hemp plants are typically grown for industrial purposes. There are over 25,000 uses for this fantastic versatile plant. Some of those include:

  • animal feed
  • textiles
  • paper
  • bio fuel

Medicinal uses added to the list of positive attributes from this plant

In many states in America, the only legal CBD is the one that is sourced from the hemp plant. By law, these products can contain no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight. This level of THC is not enough to invoke any psychoactive effects or symptoms. When sourced from the weed plant, the level will be higher.

Weed or marijuana is the term used for the variety of cannabis plants that contain more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Weed can induce a euphoric effect on the user. The hemp plant has been known to grow to 20 feet tall. The plant has large fibrous stalks. In comparison, the weed plant is shorter. The weed plant leaves are broader, and the buds are often covered in crystal looking hairs. The main distinction between Hemp vs Weed ultimately comes down to the amount of the cannabinoid THC in the plant.

Hemp and weed are regulated very differently due to the levels of THC in the plants. Hemp became a legal substance in 2018 with the passing of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018/ 2018 Farm Bill, which enforced the restrictions of the levels of THC contained in the product.

A misconception with the passing of this law was that all CBD was legal, regardless if it was sourced from the marijuana or the hemp plant, this is a big misconception, it is not valid. Interestingly noted is that if the CBD has 0.0% THC and was produced from the weed plant, under the 2018 Farm Bill, it is illegal and is classed as a controlled substance. Weed or cannabis/marijuana remains illegal federally in America under the Controlled Substance Act.

Hemp Flower

The flower or bud, as it is often referred to, is provided when the female hemp plant reaches maturity. The smell and the look can be mistaken for the weed plant. Some people refer to the buds on the hemp plant as CBD buds. The plants have been specially bred to have higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC.

Hemp leaf

The leaves from the hemp plant are pungent and can be a source of tea. Although the leaves are not as healthy and nutritional as the seeds, but they are still useful in salads or eaten as a raw leafy vegetable, and some prefer to use the leave for juicing.

One might acknowledge that although CBD is not a cannabinoid to produce a stereotypical recreational experience, it’s characteristics in combination with THC can provide a relaxing and enjoyable, recreational experience.

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