THC vs. CBD: What Does This Mean Legally?
Over the last few years, there have been news reports about the benefits of CBD. Some people think this is a form of “marijuana” or “THC” oil. It is not; here is the difference.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. THC stands for tetrahydrocannaboil. Both of these are two natural compounds found in cannabis plants. The defining difference between the two is their chemical compositions.
THC and CBD are found in both hemp and marijuana plants. However, CBD dominates hemp, meaning CBD presents in high quantities in hemp. On the other hand, THC presents in high quantities in marijuana, or what is commonly known as pot or weed. Hemp, the plant that CBD is often derived from, are cannabis plants that contain 0.3% or less THC content. Hemp is used for thousands of different textiles and materials including clothing, rope, canvas, soaps, etc. THC, however, dominates marijuana plants which can contain up to 30% THC content. THC is the chemical in marijuana that produces psychoactive effects by directly binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors, giving that “high” sensation.
Due to the chemical difference of CBD and THC, they are regulated differently under the law. Hemp recently was removed as an illegal substance under the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the “2018 Farm Bill.” This act federally legalized hemp and hemp-derived products (including hemp-derived CBD) that contain no more than 0.3% THC. Marijuana, though legal in some states, is still recognized as a controlled substance and illegal under federal law. It is important to remember that federal law is the law of the land.
So what does this mean for Minnesotans? According to federal and Minnesota law: growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp is legal. This, in turn, means that hemp-derived CBD is legal in Minnesota. Marijuana-derived CBD is still classified as a controlled substance and remains illegal in the state of Minnesota regardless of its THC percentage.