First, let me be the first to say that I am not a proponent of recreational drug use. I am not advocating legalization of marijuana for kicks. However, because of the research I have conducted for my mom, my cousin, and various friends who are currently confronting serious health issues, I have learned a lot about alternative therapies, including medicinal marijuana. And its benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Marijuana is often misunderstood, and because of the controversy that surrounds it, its proven and effective healing properties have been largely dismissed and ignored. I want to dispel some of the misconceptions. And my hope is that eventually, our Government will understand its benefits and make it more accessible to those who truly need it and could medically benefit from it.
Presently, marijuana is legal in 26 states and the District of Columbia. Other states, such as Virginia, enacted laws decades ago allowing for the possession of marijuana if individuals received prescriptions from doctors. Federal law, however, prohibits doctors from prescribing marijuana, rendering those laws invalid. Doctors can only write a recommendation for medical marijuana, which is different than a prescription, which leaves me asking how does this help those who reside in states like Virginia? It’s a potentially deadly catch 22. And who pays the ultimate price—patients and their families.
Sometimes, life matters more than the law.
Misuse of Terms
Part of the problem surrounding marijuana is the frequent misuse of terms. Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of the hemp plant, which is known scientifically as Cannabis sativa. Hemp contains cannabinoids like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that provide relief from pain, nausea, anxiety, and inflammation. They perform medical magic by imitating compounds our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which activate to maintain internal stability and health.
In practical terms, “hemp” is used to describe the food and fiber variety of the cannabis plant, and “marijuana” is cannabis that’s grown to enhance the THC chemicals that make you feel high. Like THC, CBD is a single cannabinoid found among the over 100 other cannabinoids in cannabis. Unlike THC, however, cannabidiol is non-psychoactive.
The FDA has said that products labeled as "CBD" cannot be legally sold across state lines in the United States due to evolving medical regulations and quality concerns.
So, if cannabis is illegal in much of the U.S., and some of its components are strictly regulated, how can one safely get access to the medical benefits of this plant?
Hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, meaning shipment between states is legal. Hemp has more CBD than THC naturally, making it an ideal source of CBD from cannabis and one of the reasons why hemp oil is the preferred source of natural CBD for thousands of people.
Know the Facts
What You Can Do
If you see the benefits of growing cannabis, and it's currently illegal in your state, take action. Write your local Congressman. Advocate on the Hill. Regardless of how you do it, use your voice to help effect positive change.
* (Virginia law requires that, before growing industrial hemp as part of an industrial hemp research program, an individual must obtain a grower’s license from VDACS. In order to obtain a grower’s license, you must first obtain a written agreement with a public institution of higher education that documents that you are a participant in that institution’s industrial hemp research program.)
Glory B's unifies all of what I love most—the earth and its natural elements like stone and wood; the creative arts, whether through the written word, or photography, or paint; and helping others to make the world a better place.