What is the Relationship Between CBD and Hemp?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in marijuana, but it can also be derived from hemp. Hemp is defined as any part of the cannabis sativa plant with no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering substance of marijuana. Hemp seed oil is listed as cannabis sativa seed oil. CBD is usually listed as cannabidiol, full-spectrum hemp, hemp oil, or hemp extracts by PCR (rich in phytocannabinoids).

In short, CBD is derived from hemp. With the legalization of medical marijuana (cannabis) in many states and the proliferation of products that are openly marketed with claims of containing CBD, this has become a popular question among hospice professionals for patients and caregivers. The FDA is working to answer questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing cannabis and compounds derived from cannabis, in particular CBD. Purity and composition should be a very real concern for any CBD research and, of course, for any consumer.

Unlike the FDA-approved CBD drug, unapproved CBD products, which may include cosmetics, foods, products marketed as dietary supplements and any other product (other than Epidiolex) that makes therapeutic claims, have not been evaluated by the FDA to determine if they are effective in treating a particular disease or if they have other effects that could be asserted. All doctors should be aware of the impact, not only of THC, but also of CBD in the treatment and prescription of pharmaceutical products to CBD consumers. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not consider hemp, CBD, THC or even marijuana in the same way as illicit substances such as methamphetamine and cocaine, even though the DEA classifies both as having less potential for abuse than marijuana. The agency tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some of the products and it was found that many did not contain the levels of CBD they claimed.

It is important to note that while CBD is believed to alleviate several symptoms experienced by patients with advanced illness, it is only indicated (as determined by the FDA) for the treatment of seizures in pediatric patients. A number of states still essentially regulate CBD oil as a Schedule 1 substance similar to marijuana. As part of the CBD-containing prescription drug review and approval process, it was determined that the risks are outweighed by the benefits of the approved drug for the particular population for which it was intended. For patients who want to use CBD for its perceived health benefits, it is important to discuss these intentions with their doctor before proceeding.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers any CBD product containing more than 0.3% THC to be a Schedule I drug in states where recreational use of cannabis is not legal.

Kelli Prellwitz
Kelli Prellwitz

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