But during a trip to Las Vegas in 2017, I discovered CBD—the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis Sativa and hemp. I’d heard about it but I was skeptical. Could pain that had once rendered me dependent on a cane be helped by a single gumdrop? It sounded like one for the birds. I was never a big pot smoker growing up, nor have I ever been one to follow health fads. (I drink matcha because I like it—not because I think it will add years to my life.) But when I started reading more about CBD’s benefits it all made sense to me. The enthusiastic pro-CBD proclamations from friends didn’t hurt either. Plus, the prospect of natural pain relief was enormously appealing.
The edible seeds contain about 30 percent oil and are a source of protein, fibre, and magnesium. Shelled hemp seeds, sometimes called hemp hearts, are sold as a health food and may be eaten raw; they are commonly sprinkled on salads or blended with fruit smoothies. Hemp seed milk is used as an alternative to dairy milk in drinks and recipes. The oil obtained from hemp seed can be used to make paints, varnishes, soaps, and edible oil with a low smoke point. Historically, the seed’s chief commercial use has been for caged-bird feed.
Cannabis lowers the pressure in the eye that causes optic nerve damage leading to glaucoma. Research has shown conclusively that marijuana users experience lower internal eye pressure while the body metabolizes THC. However, the psychoactive side effects of using THC to treat glaucoma make cannabis a nonviable medication for most people with the disease.
Technically speaking, its THC—the cannabinoid that gets you high—which is illicit. When you take a drug test, the aim is to detect THC in your body, not “cannabis.” If you possessed weed without any THC in it, technically you wouldn’t be in violation of the law. Because “weed” without THC has a different name: hemp. And the rules governing hemp are quite different from the restrictions placed on cannabis.
Cannabis use started to become popular in the United States in the 1970s. Support for legalization has increased in the United States and several U.S. states have legalized recreational or medical use. A 2018 Social Science Research study found that the main determinants of such changes in attitudes toward marijuana regulation since the 1990s were changes in media framing of marijuana, a decline in perception of the riskiness of marijuana, a decline in overall punitiveness, and a decrease in religious affiliation.