Hemp and marijuana (cannabis) are cousins that belong to the same plant family. Although they are often mistaken as two distinct species, reality is that both of them stem from the same Cannabis plant.
Their key difference emanates from their varied THC concentration levels. Both hemp and marijuana can produce high levels of CBD, but THC levels can be distinctive, giving each plant its unique set of therapeutic qualities.
The uniqueness of properties also differentiates them in the eyes of law-makers. While hemp and its derivatives are largely legal throughout the United States, marijuana still has a long way to go. Its tendency to intoxicate has categorized it as a Schedule 1 drug. Whether or not this is fair is a separate debate which you can read here.
So why does marijuana intoxicate users, while hemp does not? Lets dig in to the reasons.
THC – The psychoactive compound
THC is a psychoactive compound that is found in cannabis, meaning that it is present in both hemp and marijuana. The key difference – it is more abundant in marijuana and sparse in hemp.
It can bind directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, allowing it to react efficiently with the endocannabinoid system of the body.
According to research THC’s chemical structure is very similar to anandamide, a brain chemical that influences pleasure, memory, movement, coordination and perception.
Having a similar structure with a chemical that already exists in the brain allows THC to be easily recognized by the body. This gives it an edge in acting through the cannabinoid receptors, allowing it to activate the brain’s reward system.
These reward stimuli lead to the expression of dopamine – a neurotransmitter and feel good hormone of the body. THC not only stimulates its production, but the levels it expresses are notably higher than what the body would naturally produce in response to a similar stimuli.
As a result of this over-expression, THC leads to the euphoric high in its users. Due to this, THC poses a substantial likelihood of addiction among its users.
Hemp VS Marijuana – who has a higher THC concentration?
Having understood the psychological impact of THC, it will now be easier to contemplate the difference in the legal statuses of hemp and marijuana.
Hemp and Hemp Seeds
The hemp plant is capable of producing a wide range of cannabinoids including THC and CBD. What’s unique about THC produced by hemp is that the concentration levels of the compound are not high enough for inflicting intoxicating effects. Due to this hemp and its derivatives are legally accepted in all 50 states of USA.
By definition, hemp is classified as a cannabis plant that does not contain more than 0.3% THC in the United States. This threshold for legality varies between countries. For instance it is 0.2% in the European Union and zero in Great Britain.
Hemp seeds have been used for a number of purposes for the past many years. Due to their nutritional properties, hemp infused products are found in alternative health clinics as well as health food stores. They have been in use particularly due their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and calming properties.
In addition to this, hemp seeds and oil also improve heart health and aid in rejuvenation of skin, bones and muscles by providing protein. Moreover, they help with hormones, boost brain health, relieve pain and improve digestion.
Marijuana and marijuana seeds
The marijuana plant is classified as a cannabis strain that contains more than 0.3% THC. The seeds of these plants are generally more expensive and the plants require some exclusive care measures.
Not only do marijuana seeds need to be grown in controlled settings, but their growth cycle is significantly shorter. While it is 108-120 days for hemp, marijuana seeds take about 60-90 days. Medical marijuana has to be grown with extra caution with proper spacing between each plant.
While hemp is used in a number of industries, marijuana is solely grown for medicinal and recreational uses.
Can they be grown together?
Although hemp and marijuana look very similar to each other, they cannot be grown together. It is highly possible for the pollen from hemp to dilute marijuana’s psychoactivity, ruining both crops.
Cannabis Oil Effectively Reduces Chronic Pain
The use of cannabis oil and other medical items containing marijuana legal since 2018 in the UK. However, the evidence of marijuana being efficacious has come under light recently. Researchers are discovering the effectiveness of marijuana oil in chronic pain patients.
Multiple studies occurred to determine the effectiveness of cannabis oil. Patients receiving marijuana as part of their treatment feel much better and experience improvement in their health.
Gathering Evidence Of Cannabis Oil Being Effective For Chronic Pain Patients
The United Kingdom Medical Cannabis Registry enrolls one hundred and ten patients. The purpose of enrolling these patients was to observe the effectiveness of cannabis oil. Moreover, through these patients, the impact of marijuana on overall improving quality of life was determined.
The registry reports that enrolled patients feel much better after one, three, and six months of cannabis oil intake. They experience that their pain reduces after using medical pot. They experience comfort, and their sleep quality has improved hugely. According to the registry, there are significant improvements in patients’ health-associated quality of life.
The National Health Service of the United Kingdom has a strict cannabis oil prescription policy. It is hard for patients to get a marijuana prescription because of the strict rules of the NHS. Patients who don’t respond well to conventional therapy have access to medical marijuana. The conditions under which patients can access medical marijuana include pain sufferers, individuals with anxiety issues, and multiple sclerosis.
About sixty-five percent of the patients part of the study had never used cannabis oil or medical marijuana. The participants are primarily diagnosed with chronic non-cancer pain, neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia.
16% of the participants suffered from fibromyalgia and 48% percent from chronic non-cancer pain. Twenty-four percent of the participants are suffering from neuropathic pain.
Experts Focus On Research
For the betterment of society and its safety, it is vital to gather research-based evidence. Doctors and scientists consider it essential to discover the realities of using cannabis before prescribing it.
Dr. Simon Erridge is the head of research at Sapphire Medical Clinics. In a statement, he said that the number of medical marijuana prescriptions is increasing quickly in the UK. In this situation, it is essential to determine the outcomes of patients. Collecting real-world practical evidence regarding cannabis oil consumption is vital.
According to Dr. Simon, this research that they conducted is one of a kind in Europe. His team will continuously review inpatients, outpatients, and marijuana products via the Medical Cannabis Registry UK. So far, the selection of observational data has occurred. In the future, more critical research, including randomized controlled investigations, will occur.
Sapphire Medical Clinics developed the registry. They survey patients suffering from various diseases receiving separate prescriptions depending upon their condition. Surveying these individuals enables us to reduce the knowledge gap.
Filling the blank space regarding medical marijuana and cannabis oil in scientific knowledge helps a lot. The study’s findings were published in the well-known scientific journal, the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
The research does prove that medical marijuana is effective in improving multiple conditions of people. But researchers require more research to form guidelines, funders, and licensing agencies.
Adven is a subsidiary of Curaleaf International. It is one of the largest independent marijuana companies in Europe. Adven cannabis oil was used in studies such that the average CBD dose was 20mg per day. The average THC dose that participants get is 1mg per day. Administration of cannabis oil occurs in a ratio CBD/THC of 20 to 1.
More participants enrolled in the survey process. Sapphire Medical Clinic plans to continue its survey-based research.
Oklahoma On Its Way To Legalize Marijuana And Alter Medical Cannabis Reforms
Activists in Oklahoma are filling marijuana legalization. For the 2022 ballot, they are willing to introduce medical cannabis reform. On Thursday, the activists of the state legalized adult-use weed products. Moreover, they remodel the existing medical pot program of the state.
The activists formally introduced the measures to the secretary of state’s office. After the signature-gathering, the constitutional amendments will occur.
Last month, Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action (ORCA) announced late that it was close to finalizing the language of the initiatives. The final set of amendments occurs after soliciting feedback from a wide range of advocates and stakeholders.
Medical Cannabis Reforms
Medical cannabis reforms in the state have many flaws and loopholes that lead to problems. Jed Green is the director of ORCA. According to Jed, the initiatives the activists are introducing are to fix the issues that have emerged in the state’s medical marijuana program.
The amendments and new policies will also generate opportunities for the weed industry with adult-use legalization. According to Jed, these initiatives will enable the people of Oklahomans to keep operating the marijuana business successfully.
New Marijuana Policies
Under the new policy, individuals 21 or above will have permission to keep eight ounces of marijuana. They can purchase such an amount from any legal retailer or dispenser. The new policy also allows one person to own 12 plants of cannabis for personal use.
The new reforms suggest imposing a fifteen percent excise tax on the sale of weed products. There are multiple numbers of programs that will receive revenue generated from those taxes.
After deducting the implementation cost, the rest of the money is divided into various programs. These programs include water-related infrastructure, substance misuse treatment programs, people with abnormalities or disabilities, and many more.
Some of the revenue money will be for law enforcement training and cannabis research projects. The initiatives have measures for those that have faced resentencing for marijuana convictions.
What is new in Oklahoma Medical Cannabis Reforms?
In 2018 voters in Oklahoma approved medical cannabis programs are open for any patient. Unlike other states, Oklahomans patients do not need to fulfill specific qualifying conditions. In addition, physicians and doctors can prescribe medical weed products to anyone they think is fit to use.
Activists suggest establishing a new OSCC Oklahoma Cannabis Commission. The aim of establishing the OSCC is to build a commission that will oversee everything regarding the state medical marijuana program.
The new policy also suggests imposing a seven percent excise tax. The authorities will utilize revenue money from the sale of these items in supporting weed research. It will be for rural impact and urban waste remediation.
Part of the revenue will also be for agriculture development and treatment programs designed for substance use disorder patients. Gross income from the sale of medical cannabis will support mental health response programs.
The tax on medical hemp products will decrease to zero gradually within one year of the enactment of initiatives. Once the proposed constitution is under-enactment, medical marijuana dispensaries will have permission to sell recreational pot items. However, it will begin within 60 days of ordinance enactment.
The activists have previously attempted to qualify some cannabis legalization measures for the 2020 ballot. But, due to less support, those measures were never put to action. To get signatures of the majority to approve ballot 2022 is essential to introduce the new medical cannabis reforms and legalize marijuana for adult use.
Without sufficient support from registered voters, new policies can never become a reality.
New York Cannabis Board Relaxes Medical Cannabis Rules
New York State approves recreational and medical cannabis by passing the bill of decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana. Initially, the process got delayed, but now things are moving a step forward in implementing the bill. Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislators approve of the marijuana control board.
The cannabis control board, after its formation, conducted its first meeting on Tuesday. Five members of the board are taking a step closer to the commencement of legalized marijuana retail sales.
What Changes Does The State Cannabis Board Make?
The members agree to make an official announcement of immediately relaxing rules governing the state’s medical-marijuana program. The control board expands the number of people who can prescribe medical cannabis. Now anyone from dentists to midwives can prescribe marijuana as medication.
The control board permits the sale of weed flowers. It will make the drug available to people in a smokeable format. Moreover, it will lower the high prices of medical weed items in New York.
Tremaine Wright is the chair of the NewYork State’s Cannabis Control Board. The mandate of the board is to make medical marijuana accessible for patients and improve patient care. Tremaine elaborates that the board takes their mandate very seriously and will immediately work on fulfilling it.
Changes In The Medical Cannabis Program
In the first quarter of 2021, legislators made some changes to the medical marijuana program. Previously, the program authorized 150000 New Yorkers to only get access to medical cannabis for various health reasons. It is uncertain how many of the certified people are still using pot. It is unknown how many have died of terminal diseases.
Of the certified people, some people have abandoned the use of marijuana due to cost issues. Some stopped their program because of the inaccessibility of weed in New York.
Lawmakers urge the control board not to delay medical cannabis program changes. Crystal Peoples-Stokes is the Assembly Majority Leader. Stokes, the Assembly marijuana law sponsor, and a Buffalo Democrat were among those who requested quick changes. Legislators are requested to make the necessary changes to the program before beginning the process of allowing recreational marijuana sales.
Decisions regarding recreational pot, policymaking, and implementation of its rules can occur within 18 months. The state has time of 18 months before recreational marijuana sales begin in New York State. But before that, rules regarding pot as medication must undergo some alterations immediately.
What More Is On Marijuana?
The Office of Cannabis Management has decriminalized for people 21 and older the ownership of about 3 ounces of marijuana. However, the sale of weed is still illegal in the state. The control board or agency also controls the hemp industry along with the recreational and medical cannabis industry.
About 3400 healthcare professionals have permission to prescribe medical marijuana to patients that are certified or eligible. These professionals include physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, midwives, and some assistants of physicians.
The change that led to the expansion of health care professionals who can prescribe medical marijuana passed on Tuesday. It increases the number of prescribers that are recommending the drug. Now anyone with a license to dispense controlled substances can prescribe medical cannabis.
The board increases the supply of marijuana for dispensing. It decreases the $50 registration fee of the patient and caregiver. It makes it easy for facilities such as hospitals to hand out medical cannabis to patients.
According to officials, allowing the sale of raw flowers instead of refined final formulations of marijuana will decrease production costs. As a result, it will reduce the cost of medical cannabis for patients. However, the entire marijuana plant sale will not begin on the 38 medical pot dispensaries right away. They will have to practice some quality control measures to start selling the drug.
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