What is the difference between marijuana and hemp?
Both marijuana and hemp are varieties of the same cannabis plant species (Cannabis Sativa), and contain active ingredients called cannabinoids, including THC, CBD, and about 100 other cannabinoid types. Marijuana can contain a significant amount of THC (up to 30%), which is the cannabinoid that provides the intoxicating effect desired by some, sometimes taken in combination with other active ingredients. Hemp plants contain very little or no THC (0.3% or less), and are valued for their CBD content, which can be extracted from the plants and infused in products for wellness purposes.
Are Cannabis products legal?
Because the FDA does not recognize the legality of marijuana or hemp-derived CBD products, it is up to states to regulate these products themselves, for medical or recreational purposes. Many states have already legalized marijuana and hemp products, developed their own regulations for cannabis-infused products, and have a separate agency to license, inspect, and regulate these companies (Cannabis Control Commission, Marijuana Agency). In some states, the cannabis regulatory duties are carried out jointly by the state Department of Public Health in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture (for the cultivation areas). Check with your own state agencies to be clear of the laws in your jurisdiction.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than a hundred cannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa (a plant well known as marijuana and hemp) CBD, along with other cannabinoids (e.g., CBN, CBG, etc.) are present in both marijuana and hemp plants in different concentrations and are used for wellness effects. Relief of anxiety, inflammation and pain are among the most common uses. These cannabinoids are extracted from plants through a variety of methods to yield an extract, which can then be included in capsules, tinctures, lotions, edibles for consumer use.
Hemp–derived CBD: Is it legal?
The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (known as The Farm Bill) legalized hemp and hemp-derived products (including hemp-derived CBD containing no more than 0.3% THC). The FDA allows some hemp products to cross state lines (such as hemp seeds, seed oil, and seed protein), but it is illegal for CBD in food products to cross state lines. Some states, such as Colorado and Connecticut, allow CBD to be used in food products as long as the hemp and CBD are produced in a licensed, approved facility and items are not shipped across state lines.
What are the food safety risks of cannabis-infused products?
Hazards can exist during cultivation, cannabinoid extraction, processing, and distribution of cannabis-infused products, just as in other food products. These include harmful pesticides, mold, pathogens, inadequate food safety and sanitation practices, and materials from unapproved sources. Companies must put procedures in place to identify and control these hazards using a HACCP-based approach to operations.
What is a COA, Certificate of Analysis?
A Certificate of Analysis is a report provided after lab testing of a particular product, extract or plant, to confirm the presence of harmful contaminants, including pesticides, heavy metals, volatile compounds The Certificate of Analysis also should list the detailed breakdown of cannabinoids in the product, including the potency of each in the total package, and per serving.
How can someone verify the dosages listed on cannabinoid products?
Customers can request a Certificate of Analysis for the product, from the company itself. This report can verify levels of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, as well as safe levels of contaminants in the product.
What controls are there to prevent children from consuming products containing marijuana extract?
Many states require packaging to be opaque and tamper-resistant, and have no resemblance to popular candy types. Some require an imprint on every item to distinguish them as containing THC.
What kind of testing is done on cannabis products?
It is recommended that lab testing be done at multiple stages of production to demonstrate product safety, and is typically required by states that have legalized cannabis operations, from the cultivation stage to processing. Lab standards for the cannabis industry are not yet firmly established, but there are qualified labs that can help ensure that products meet minimum safety standards and accurate potency levels.