"The DEA followed up, in October 2001, with publication of an interpretive rule in the Federal Register explaining the basis of its zero-tolerance standard.63 It held that when Congress wrote the statutory definition of marijuana in 1937, it 'exempted certain portions of the Cannabis plant from the definition of marijuana based on the assumption (now refuted) that such portions of the plant contain none of the psychoactive component now known as THC.' Both the proposed rule (which was published concurrently with the interpretive rule) and the final 2003 rule gave retailers of hemp foods a date after which the DEA could seize all such products remaining on shelves. On both rules, hemp trade associations requested and received court-ordered stays blocking enforcement of that provision. The DEA’s interpretation made hemp with any THC content subject to enforcement as a controlled substance.
“Promoters often claim that the product is THC-free and its use will not show up on a drug test,” the NHRMC message reads. “Because CBD products are not FDA regulated, there is no guarantee what you are buying is THC-free. It may have various levels of THC depending on how it is produced, where it is manufactured and the potency/formulation of the product.”

Specific city and county laws have been enacted to regulate how citizens and tourists may possess and consume marijuana. Penalties exist for driving while under the influence of marijuana. Someone driving under the influence of marijuana is considered impaired in both Colorado and Washington when five nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood or more of active THC is detected.

Hemp has very low levels of another cannabis compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Evidence suggests that THC — not CBD — causes the symptoms people associate with getting high on marijuana, Blessing says. Unlike marijuana, which the CDC argues is addictive, CBD also doesn’t seem to be, according to the World Health Organization.
According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there were 455,000 emergency room visits associated with cannabis use in 2011. These statistics include visits in which the patient was treated for a condition induced by or related to recent cannabis use. The drug use must be "implicated" in the emergency department visit, but does not need to be the direct cause of the visit. Most of the illicit drug emergency room visits involved multiple drugs.[76] In 129,000 cases, cannabis was the only implicated drug.[77][78]

In the 1990s, European firms introduced lines of hemp oil-based personal care products, including soaps, shampoos, bubble baths, and perfumes. Hemp oil is now marketed throughout the world in a range of body care products, including creams, lotions, moisturizers, and lip balms. In Germany, a laundry detergent manufactured entirely from hemp oil has been marketed. Hemp-based cosmetics and personal care products account for about half of the world market for hemp oil (de Guzman 2001).


A 2011 study evaluated the effects of two non-psychoactive cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabichromene (CBC), on pain management. The study concluded that, “CBD and CBC stimulated descending pathways of antinociception and caused analgesia by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control. These compounds might represent useful therapeutic agents with multiple mechanisms of action.”
As a result of intensive selection in cultivation, Cannabis exhibits many sexual phenotypes that can be described in terms of the ratio of female to male flowers occurring in the individual, or typical in the cultivar.[28] Dioecious varieties are preferred for drug production, where the female flowers are used. Dioecious varieties are also preferred for textile fiber production, whereas monoecious varieties are preferred for pulp and paper production. It has been suggested that the presence of monoecy can be used to differentiate licit crops of monoecious hemp from illicit drug crops.[22] However, sativa strains often produce monoecious individuals, probably as a result of inbreeding.
Put simply, “indica” strains are those associated with a strong body-high, feelings of sedation and relaxation. For this reason, indicas are often thought of as the “heavier” strains of cannabis, offering stronger highs that impact the whole body. They’re popular among marijuana users as pain relieving and sleep-inducing strains. Indicas are especially popular among medical cannabis patients.
Hemp seeds contain virtually no THC, but THC contamination results from contact of the seeds with the resin secreted by the epidermal glands on the leaves and floral parts, and also by the failure to sift away all of the bracts (which have the highest concentration of THC of any parts of the plant) that cover the seeds. This results in small levels of THC appearing in hempseed oil and foods made with the seeds. Although most of the western hemp-growing world uses 0.3% THC as a maximum concentration for authorized cultivation of hemp plants, regulations in various countries allow only a much lower level of THC in human food products manufactured from the seeds. Currently, up to 10 ppm THC is permitted in seeds and oil products used for food purposes in Canada. In Germany, more stringent limits were set for food in 2000: 5 ppm in food oil, 0.005 ppm in beverages, and 0.15 ppm in all other foods. The US Drug Enforcement Administration published new regulations on hemp in the Federal Register on October 9th 2001 that in effect 4 months later would ban the food use of hemp in the US because any amount of THC would be unacceptable in foods (follow links at www.hempreport.com/). These proposals are currently being challenged by the hemp industry. Limits have been set because of concerns about possible toxicity and interference with drug tests (Grotenhermen et al. 1998). An extensive analysis of literature dealing with the toxicity of hemp is in Orr and Starodub (1999; see Geiwitz 2001 for an analysis). Because hemp food products are considered to have great economic potential, there is considerable pressure on the hemp industry in North America to reduce THC levels. 

Cannabis use is associated with increased recruitment of task-related areas, such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is thought to reflect compensatory activity due to reduced processing efficiency.[114][113][116] Cannabis use is also associated with downregulation of CB1 receptors. The magnitude of down regulation is associated with cumulative cannabis exposure, and is reversed after one month of abstinence.[117][118][119] There is limited evidence that chronic cannabis use can reduce levels of glutamate metabolites in the human brain.[120]
"The CSA [Controlled Substances Act] classifies marijuana in the first category of schedules, placing it among the most harmful and dangerous drugs.137 Marijuana meets the criteria for a Schedule I controlled substance because of its THC content, which is a psychoactive hallucinogenic substance with a high potential for abuse.138 Another key classification made by the CSA regarding marijuana was its broad definition of the drug.139 The CSA defines marijuana as follows:

Preliminary work in Germany (noted in Karus and Leson 1994) suggested that hemp could be grown on soils contaminated with heavy metals, while the fiber remained virtually free of the metals. Kozlowski et al. (1995) observed that hemp grew very well on copper-contaminated soil in Poland (although seeds absorbed high levels of copper). Baraniecki (1997) found similar results. Mölleken et al. (1997) studied effects of high concentration of salts of copper, chromium, and zinc on hemp, and demonstrated that some hemp cultivars have potential application to growth in contaminated soils. It would seem unwise to grow hemp as an oilseed on contaminated soils, but such a habitat might be suitable for a fiber or biomass crop. The possibility of using hemp for bioremediation deserves additional study.

Not until the end of the 20th century was the specific mechanism of action of THC at the neuronal level studied.[citation needed] Researchers have subsequently confirmed that THC exerts its most prominent effects via its actions on two types of cannabinoid receptors, the CB1 receptor and the CB2 receptor, both of which are G protein-coupled receptors.[142] The CB1 receptor is found primarily in the brain as well as in some peripheral tissues, and the CB2 receptor is found primarily in peripheral tissues, but is also expressed in neuroglial cells.[143] THC appears to alter mood and cognition through its agonist actions on the CB1 receptors, which inhibit a secondary messenger system (adenylate cyclase) in a dose-dependent manner. These actions can be blocked by the selective CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant (SR141716), which has been shown in clinical trials to be an effective treatment for smoking cessation, weight loss, and as a means of controlling or reducing metabolic syndrome risk factors.[144] However, due to the dysphoric effect of CB1 receptor antagonists, this drug is often discontinued due to these side effects.[145]


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The genus Cannabis was formerly placed in the nettle (Urticaceae) or mulberry (Moraceae) family, and later, along with the genus Humulus (hops), in a separate family, the hemp family (Cannabaceae sensu stricto).[45] Recent phylogenetic studies based on cpDNA restriction site analysis and gene sequencing strongly suggest that the Cannabaceae sensu stricto arose from within the former family Celtidaceae, and that the two families should be merged to form a single monophyletic family, the Cannabaceae sensu lato.[46][47]
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