Following the November 2018 elections, there are now 33 states which permit medical cannabis use, this includes the sate of Florida. Although Joints and pipes are the preferred methods to consume cannabis for more than half the market (53%); however, demand for non-flower products (i.e., concentrates, vaporizers, and edibles) has grown dramatically among consumers over the last few years. This is a sign of diversification and growth for cannabis, especially with food.
The second subset of the cannabis plant is called hemp, which has lower doses of THC, therefore does not have the same intoxicating effects of marijuana. Both marijuana and hemp contain cannabinoids and terpenes. The two dominant cannabinoids in both plants are: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Between the two plant types, marijuana is the one that is most sought after for its abundant THC content.
There are two subsets of the cannabis plant. The first is what we all know as marijuana which has the psychoactive effect commonly referred to as a “high”. Though marijuana it is not yet fully approved as medicine. Scientific studies on its benefits have led the FDA to approval of some chemical pills and sprays containing THC and CBD.
THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in both marijuana and hemp plant. In marijuana, however, it’s more abundant. THC, unlike CBD, can cause a person to get “high” when consumed. The science behind this psychoactive effect is that THC activates the body’s endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid is a system of CB1 and CB2 receptors in the central nervous system and throughout the body These receptors alter the brain signaling process which influences concentration, appetite, and many more of the body’s operating systems.
THC, for example, binds onto CB1 receptors, which are consequential in that it has an effect on cognitive functioning such as attention span, the formation of memories and the coordination of movements. It also activates the reward system in the brain which in some cases can cause a surge in dopamine levels which induce an intense biological response that leads to a decrease in pain, nausea and more.
Right now, the CBD products being sold in Florida are unregulated, untested and without standards on what consumers are putting into their bodies. There have been reports of falsely advertised products containing harmful additives and little or no CBD. Neither consumers nor FDACS can ensure these products are completely safe for human or animal consumption. Once state hemp legislation becomes law, FDACS will begin testing CBD products for consumer safety. If consumers suspect any products are unsafe or not as advertised, they should file a consumer complaint or call 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).