What Is Medical Cannabis? – Benzinga

This article was originally published on The Cannabis Community and appears here with permission.

Marijuana has been around for centuries and has long been used to treat a wide variety of illnesses. In fact, it was only made illegal in the early 20th century. But in the past few decades, there’s been a resurgence of interest in marijuana as a potential treatment for a wide range of diseases and ailments.

With more and more states legalizing medical marijuana, more people are exploring the idea of medical marijuana as a treatment, and they want to know the answer to two questions: What is it, and how does it work?

In this article, we’ll discuss what medical cannabis is, how it is used, and its potential advantages and risks.

Defining Cannabis

Regulators, businesses, and just about everyone in the industry spends a lot of time and energy categorizing cannabis plants and depending on which categories they fall into, the plants can be legal or not, medical or recreational, etc. 

Marijuana or Hemp

Officially, hemp isn’t marijuana, and marijuana isn’t hemp. Hemp and marijuana are both species of Cannabis sativa L plant with chemical compositions that are similar but not identical.

The psychoactive ingredient delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol — or THC as it is more generally known — is one of the most significant differences between industrial hemp and marijuana. Marijuana normally has a THC content of 3% to 15% or higher, but industrial hemp has a THC content of less than 0.3%. Legally, in the United States, any Cannabis sativa L plants with more than 0.3% delta-9-THC are not hemp.

Hemp plants are legal in all 50 states, and most CBD products contain CBD produced from hemp plants. On the other hand, anyone producing hemp must be able to demonstrate on demand that their plants contain less than 0.3% THC, making them legal to grow

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