CBD (Cannabidiol) oil is derived from hemp. Many people confuse hemp with marijuana, but hemp is a very different plant. Marijuana and hemp may share the same scientific name, Cannabis sativa, but they are not the same.
Medical cannabis sativa is cultivated primarily for its psychoactive cannabinoid, a chemical compound called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, for recreational and medicinal use. Marijuana contains both THC and CBD.
Hemp contains only a trace of THC, less than 0.3% compared to marijuana's hefty 5-35%. The main cannabinoid in hemp is CBD, but there are over 100 other cannabinoids in hemp, as well as compounds that produce tastes and scents called terpenes (e.g. citrusy smell of oranges, the unique aroma of pine trees, or sweet flower smell of lavender).
For thousands of years, hemp has been cultivated for food, clothing, fiber, and fuel. It is one of the world's oldest domesticated crops. In the early days, hemp was a vital crop in the U.S. During the 1700s, colonial farmers grew hemp mainly for its strong fiber.
However, hemp production came to a screeching halt when the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed. Mainstream attitudes towards cannabis began to sway greatly towards the negative. Hemp became the "evil weed" because it shares the same species as marijuana even though it does not contain marijuana's abundant THC.
Over the years, many have speculated that the real reason for the anti-cannabis campaign boiled down to the worry that hemp could become a low-cost substitute for paper pulp. American industrialist William Randolph Hearst and the DuPont family had major investments in the timber and newspaper industries.
They initiated a smear campaign to destroy the lucrative hemp market for fear that the rise of hemp would undercut their profits. Nevertheless, years later, it became known that hemp does not contain a high enough concentration of cellulose to be an effective paper substitute.
Eighty long years later, hemp finally regained its legal status in the U.S. after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp, defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC, is removed from Schedule I controlled substances. Hemp-derived products are legal as long as they come from licensed hemp growers.
More and more universities and hospitals have begun to study it. Americans can now use CBD legally. It can be ordered online and shipped to all 50 states.