Over the years, there have been several trends in natural health products. Not long ago, superfoods were all the craze. Eating foods like yogurt for digestion and fish oil and whole grains are for better cardio health. Then there are super vegetables that are even better for you than first thought. Sweet potatoes, beets, blueberries are among some of the most popular superfoods today. All of these foods are supposed to make you healthier. Now, we have CBD products that are said to help with medical and mental conditions that people already have.
Even though hemp and marijuana are not plants that you typically eat, by smoking them, vaping them, or using the extracts obtained from them, they have gained new respect in the medical world. Cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana have been found to have beneficial properties when it comes to some health conditions, both physical and mental. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the most important.
Cultures across the world have long used these plant cousins for medicinal reasons. Marijuana has been frowned upon by some because it was thought to be only useful to make people high. Hemp, because it is closely related to marijuana, was considered the same. However, the 2018 Farm Bill changed that, and hemp was finally removed from the Schedule I Controlled Substance list in the United States. Since hemp contains a minimal amount of THC, it does not cause intoxication.
It has also been found that hemp has more of the cannabinoid CBD than marijuana does. Marijuana, on the other hand, has more THC. CDB from hemp is so popular today because it is legal to sell and use on the federal level as long as it does not exceed 0.3% in THC content. Some of the potential medicinal benefits of CBD have not been decided conclusively yet. However, there is research proving CBD can effectively treat some conditions.
What Is CBD Used For?
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has the final say on what new drugs are approved to be used. CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana. So far, there has only been one CBD-derived drug approved. An anti-seizure medication called Epidiolex using cannabidiol has been approved by the FDA to treat seizures in some forms of epilepsy.
Some studies indicate CBD can treat other conditions like inflammation, pain, anxiety, eating disorders, sleep disorders, and more. While many of these studies are ongoing, there has been some positive results. It is thought that CBD topicals and edibles can treat conditions like arthritis.
Since CBD promotes relaxing and calming effects, some researchers suggest it could help those that have anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). The calm, relaxed feeling CBD provides might also be useful to those that suffer from sleep disorders. Many people that already use CBD to treat some of these conditions report that CBD causes little or no side-effects when compared to some over-the-counter and prescription medications.
Why Is CBD Sometimes Illegal?
CBD from hemp is legal nationwide as long as it meets federal standards. Any CBD products that contain more than 0.3% THC are not legal federally. However, that doesn’t mean it is illegal everywhere. Thus far, there have been 11 states that decided to legalize marijuana for medicinal as well as recreational use. In those states, you are at liberty to use CBD products that have higher THC content.
Another 14 states have decriminalized marijuana. It is still illegal, but when caught with what each state considers a small amount of weed, you may only be charged a small fine for a first offense. In some US states, it could be a misdemeanor or civil penalty with no jail time. Some states may apply it to your criminal record and some may not. However, in these states, a second offense could carry higher fines and possible jail time. Most states where marijuana is still illegal or has been decriminalized will treat marijuana-derived CBD the same as marijuana.
Somewhere in the middle of legal and illegal are medical marijuana programs. There are now 33 states that have medical marijuana programs. Marijuana may be legalalized in some states, but where it is not, you could still have access to marijuana-derived CBD products if you are approved. To be considered for a MM program, it is necessary to have a recommendation from a doctor in the state and a medical condition that the state deems acceptable for treatment. The conditions eligible for treatment with marijuana or CBD, which contains THC higher than 0.3%, vary from state to state.
Current CBD Laws In Iowa
CBD is legal in Iowa as long as it comes from hemp and has 0.3% THC or less. Marijuana and any other marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal in the state. Iowa seems to have some of the harshest penalties still in place for marijuana possession. A first offense could cost you a $1000 fine and up to 6 months in jail. A future offense may carry harsher penalties. CBD with higher than the allowed 0.3% THC is likely to be treated the same as marijuana possession.
Iowa passed bill SF 2360 in 2014 that implemented the Medical Cannabidiol Act, but still only allowed CBD with 0.3% THC or less and only covered conditions such as some forms of epilepsy. In 2017, bill HF 524 added more qualifying conditions. Only recently, in June 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds signed bill HF 2589 into law. It expanded the conditions that qualify for the Medical Cannabidiol Act. It expanded the list of medical professionals that are allowed to recommend medical cannabis. The THC amount allowed in CBD was finally raised from 0.3% to 4.5 grams for 90 days. This amount of THC is still less than many other states allow.
Like Connecticut and other states, you must have a recommendation from a qualifying medical professional and the condition suggested for cannabis treatment must be on the state’s list.