Evidence suggests that hemp was first used back in 8,000 BCE, making it one of the oldest crops in existence. Across cultures and centuries, the plant has been used to make everything from textiles and paper to building materials and varnishes.
However, what it became renowned for are its potent therapeutic properties that could help treat a diverse range of mental and physical health conditions.
It’s precisely these properties that have allowed us to enjoy legal marijuana today. But, just because the plant is legal doesn’t mean that everyone suddenly knows its secrets. So, let’s dive deeper into the world of legal marijuana and see the secrets that it hides.
1. The Cannabis Market is Quickly Expanding
Ever since the 2018 Farm Bill introduction, the cannabis market has been on an exponential rise. New online and offline dispensaries are quickly popping up across the states as more and more recreational and medicinal users become interested in giving the plant a try.
The global legal cannabis market was valued at $20.5 billion in 2020, and experts estimate that it will reach $90.4 billion by 2026 with a compound annual growth rate of 28%!
But while this spells excellent news for all users and cannabis enthusiasts, it also presents some challenges. The success of the market is inviting all kinds of players who want to make a quick buck. So, although the availability of legal marijuana is increasing, many sellers offer subpar products.
If you want to ensure you get high-quality legal cannabis, you’ll need to do a bit of research and find reputable sellers.
2. There’s No Real Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana
The Farm Bill makes it a point to differentiate hemp and marijuana on a legal level. Technically speaking, hemp is legalized; marijuana isn’t. However, those aren’t different cannabis species. There’s no scientific difference between the two – they’re the same plant.
The difference lies only in the legal jargon. The federal government has legalized cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC, which they define as “hemp.”
On the other hand, every cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC is referred to as “marijuana” and is illegal.
3. Legal Marijuana Has Many Benefits
As previously mentioned, cannabis was legalized mainly because of its many beneficial properties. It can act as an analgesic and alleviate pain, as an anxiolytic to help fight anxiety symptoms, as an anti-inflammatory agent, antiemetic, and antioxidant.
It’s a powerful plant that can help with conditions such as:
- Mood disorders
- Chronic pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
And, to top it all off, legal marijuana usually isn’t even followed by any significant side effects. Users most commonly report dry mouth, nausea, and fatigue, but that’s about it.
4. You Can Use Legal THC
Cannabis with high THC content is mostly illegal on a federal level. However, there isn’t just one kind of THC.
What we usually refer to with “THC” is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It has powerful psychoactive properties that will have a substantial impact on your clarity of mind. It’s illegal in every state, so you cannot buy or sell it.
But, cannabis is also packed with delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 can be extracted from the legalized hemp, so you can freely use it.
It’s less potent than Delta-9 and doesn’t affect your clarity of mind as much. It’s still slightly psychoactive, but its effects are much milder.
5. Your Body is Primed to Respond to Marijuana
Although it’s easy to pin all the beneficial effects of cannabis on its unique properties and compounds, its potency doesn’t lie solely in the plant itself. The reason why cannabis can impact our minds and bodies as much as it does is our endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a natural biological system in every mammal – humans, elephants, cats, dogs, etc. It controls processes such as sleep, appetite, mood, pain-sensation, even memory, and immune responses.
In order to activate the ECS, our bodies produce lipids known as endocannabinoids, which then bind to the receptors in the ECS and moderate it.
Since our natural endocannabinoids and hemp’s cannabinoids have a very similar structure, our ECSs respond to both of them very similarly.
So, it isn’t cannabis per se that’s so powerful at the end of the day. It’s our biological systems that allow cannabis to impact our minds and bodies to such a great extent.
Legal marijuana is a powerful plant that can affect us in surprising ways. And although we’ve learned many secrets about legal marijuana in the past few years, the plant still hides many more that are just waiting to be explored.