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Though 15 states have now legalized recreational marijuana, it remains illegal federally in the United States. Technically, those in possession of marijuana in a legal weed state can still be punished under federal law, and traveling across state borders with cannabis is prohibited.

CBD comes in food, tinctures and oils, just to name a few. Here are some commonly used terms used to describe CBD products in the store.

A stand at the 2019 Southern Hemp Expo, in Tennessee. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Retail CBD

Great Danes and chihuahuas are distant cousins, like marijuana and hemp. Pixy, CC BY

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Hemp, marijuana and CBD are all related, but they differ in significant ways. Here’s what you need to know about their legality, effects and potential health benefits.

One would assume, then, that hemp-derived CBD should be federally legal in every state because the THC levels don’t surpass 0.3%. But CBD occupies a legal gray area. Several states, such as Nebraska and Idaho, still essentially regulate CBD oil as a Schedule 1 substance akin to marijuana.

A. To date, the agency has not approved a marketing application for cannabis for the treatment of any disease or condition. FDA has, however, approved one cannabis-derived and three cannabis-related drug products. These approved products are only available with a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.

The agency also has approved Marinol and Syndros for therapeutic uses in the United States, including for the treatment of anorexia associated with weight loss in AIDS patients. Marinol and Syndros include the active ingredient dronabinol, a synthetic delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is considered the psychoactive component of cannabis. Another FDA-approved drug, Cesamet, contains the active ingredient nabilone, which has a chemical structure similar to THC and is synthetically derived.

Consumer Information

Hemp seeds are the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds of the plant do not naturally contain THC or CBD. The hemp seed-derived ingredients that are the subject of these GRAS notices contain only trace amounts of THC and CBD, which the seeds may pick up during harvesting and processing when they are in contact with other parts of the plant. Consumption of these hemp seed-derived ingredients is not capable of making consumers “high.”

The existence of substantial clinical investigations regarding THC and CBD have been made public. For example, two such substantial clinical investigations include GW Pharmaceuticals’ investigations regarding Sativex. (See Sativex Commences US Phase II/III Clinical Trial in Cancer Pain )

A. To conduct clinical research that can lead to an approved new drug, including research using materials from plants such as cannabis, researchers need to work with the FDA and submit an IND application to the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). The IND application process gives researchers a path to follow that includes regular interactions with the FDA to support efficient drug development while protecting the patients who are enrolled in the trials. For research for use as an animal drug product, researchers would establish an investigational new animal drug (INAD) file with the Center for Veterinary Medicine to conduct their research, rather than an IND with CDER.

The product comes in natural olive oil and mint chocolate flavors, and is made in small batches using alcohol extraction. This process provides a rich mix of hemp compounds, including phytocannabinoids and terpenes.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates a number of other systems in the body by controlling the release of various compounds. The body's natural cannabinoids assist with this regulation by binding to CB1 receptors, as does CBD and other plant-based cannabinoids. That's why CBD is used by some people to help manage mood, sleep, and pain. CBD works indirectly in the ECS by inhibiting the inactivation of anandamide, which is a neurotransmitter.  This leads to activity on the CB1 receptors and the release of serotonin, also known as the "feel-good" hormone. As a result, CBD is sometimes used to reduce anxiety.

Best Potency: Spruce CBD Oil Tincture

This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before consuming or using any of the products mentioned on this site.

Charlotte’s Web makes its organic CBD oil with Colorado-grown hemp. Concentrations range from 7 milligrams to 60 milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter serving, and each tincture is U.S. Hemp Authority certified. According to testers, the original formula has a calming effect, which contributed to a better night’s sleep.

CBD doses, or strengths, are measured in milligrams of CBD per serving. For CBD oil, this is typically expressed as milligrams of CBD per 1 milliliter dropper. If you prefer CBD gummies, look at the packaging to see how much CBD is in one gummy or one serving of gummies.