• Thumbnail - Marijuana Flower (Bud)
  • Thumbnail - Cannabis Plant
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  • Thumbnail - Cannabis Oil
  • Thumbnail - Shatter
  • Thumbnail - Crumble
  • Thumbnail - Cannabis Edibles
  • Thumbnail - Hemp Products
  • Thumbnail - Industrial Hemp
  • Thumbnail - THC Molecule
  • Thumbnail - CBD Oil
  • Thumbnail - Cannabis Dispensary
(1) Marijuana Flower/Bud (2) Cannabis Plant (3) Hashish (4) Cannabis Oil (5) Shatter Concentrate (6) Crumble Concentrate (7) Cannabis Edibles (8) Hemp Products (9) Industrial Hemp (10) THC Molecule (11) CBD Oil (12) Cannabis Dispensary

Cannabis Fact Card

What is cannabis?

Cannabis represents a group of related substances derived from the Cannabis sativa plant species, or derived synthetically, including marijuana, hashish, concentrates, edibles, synthetic dronabinol, CBD Products, and hemp products. Each form yields varying amounts of a multitude of compounds known as cannabinoids, most notably delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is typically the most abundant cannabinoid and is responsible for the majority of cannabis's psychoactive effects. The cannabinoid CBD is non-psychoactive and is reported to possess therapeutic properties. [1] Purified forms of both THC and CBD are marketed for therapeutic purposes.

Assigning a classification to cannabis is difficult because it has different effects on different users — and different forms and plant strains also provide different effects. [2] Due to its varied psychoactive properties, cannabis might be classified as a CNS depressant, CNS stimulant, or hallucinogen. Cannabis can also be classified according to therapeutic application. Current pharmaceutical products are indicated as antiemetics (synthetic dronabinol), as appetite stimulants (synthetic dronabinol), and as anticonvulsants (CBD).

What is marijuana?

Marijuana is the crude product harvested from the Cannabis sativa plant, typically found in the form of its green to brown, dried flower buds or leaves. Marijuana is typically smoked in a pipe, water pipe (bong), rolled into a cigarette (joint), or vaporized (vaped). Marijuana might also be rolled into blunts, which are cigar papers that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana. Some users also mix marijuana into foods, such as brownies, or use it to brew tea. [3]

Marijuana Flower (Bud)
Marijuana Flower (Bud)

Marijuana can also refer to the cannabis plant itself. Countless marijuana strains exist, often with very colorful names, such as Purple Kush or White Widow.

Cannabis Plant
Cannabis Plant

What is hashish?

Hashish, commonly known as hash, is a more condensed form of cannabis, found in the form of soft brick of varying colors. Hashish is produced by collecting the resinous trichomes (fine hairs) from the dried flower buds of the cannabis plant, then compressing them into blocks. [4] Hashish typically contains a higher concentration of the psychoactive ingredient THC than crude marijuana — and is smoked or vaporized (vaped).

Hashish
Hashish

What are concentrates?

Concentrates are the most potent types of cannabis and are found in many forms. Concentrates are typically produced from the cheap and abundant plant materials that remain after the flower buds are harvested from the cannabis sativa plant. Different extraction solvents are used to separate the desired compounds from the plant materials, including butane, propane, and carbon dioxide (CO2). These extractions yield butane hash oil (BHO), propane hash oil (PHO), and CO2 oil, respectively, ranging in color from light to dark amber — in addition to the products shatter, budder, sap, wax, sugar, crumble, and rosin, pale to yellow or amber in color, with varying consistencies. Concentrates can be dabbed, vaporized (vaped), smoked, or ingested orally, depending on the specific product. Individual doses might be referred to as dabs. Concentrates based on alcohol extractions are typically homemade concoctions or tinctures marketed for therapeutic purposes. [5]

Cannabis Oil
Cannabis Oil
Shatter
Shatter
Crumble
Crumble

What are edibles?

Edibles are derivatives of cannabis that are intended for eating or drinking, produced by combining cannabis infusions with common food items such as cookies, chocolate bars, gummy candies, beverages, etc. Many commercial edible products contain extremely high concentrations of the psychoactive ingredient THC and are intended to be consumed sparingly. When unsuspecting persons consume such products in entirety, over-intoxication can occur, sometimes resulting in anxiety attacks. [6] In US states with legalized cannabis, emergency calls to poison centers involving edible cannabis products have increased dramatically. [7] This has prompted affected states to enact stricter labeling and packaging rules pertaining to commercial cannabis-based edibles. [6]

Cannabis Edibles
Cannabis Edibles

What is dronabinol?

Dronabinol is a synonym for the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, though it is generally used to describe synthetic dronabinol as a generic drug. Synthetic dronabinol is pure THC, lacking the hundreds of additional chemicals associated with natural marijuana. Synthetic dronabinol is available in the United States only by prescription and is, currently, the only product containing significant concentrations of THC that is legal in the US on a federal level[8] Synthetic dronabinol is indicated as an appetite stimulant for AIDS patients and as an antiemetic for managing nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. Synthetic dronabinol is prescribed: in oral capsule form under generic labels and the brand Marinol; and in oral solution form under the brand Syndros.

What is hemp?

Marijuana, its derivates, and hemp products are all derived from the Cannabis sativa plant species. However, cannabis strains developed for recreational or medicinal use typically focus on maximizing THC content. In contrast, cannabis strains developed for hemp products focus on maximizing plant fiber content and seed production, while minimizing THC content. Hemp is used in the production of many consumer products, including textiles, paper, building materials, lubricants, animal feed, cosmetics, food, food supplements, CBD products, and many others. [9]

Hemp Products
Hemp Products

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines industrial hemp as any part or derivative of the cannabis plant that is used exclusively for industrial purposes, with a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinols not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis. The term "tetrahydrocannabinols" includes all isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers of tetrahydrocannabinols. [10] With the US Farm Bill passed in 2018, products derived from industrial hemp are now under the supervision of the USDA, not the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This means that industrial hemp products are no longer classified as illegal Schedule 1 substances, but as legally tradeable commodities — including CBD products that meet the USDA's definition of industrial hemp. [11]

Industrial Hemp
Industrial Hemp

What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are compounds that interact with the brain's cannabinoid receptors, primarily those associated with the cannabis plant, known as phytocannabinoids. These compounds are the active ingredients in cannabis and are responsible for producing its varied effects. There are over 100 known phytocannabinoids contained within the cannabis plant, most notably delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD)[12]

What is THC?

delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most abundant cannabinoid found in most non-purified cannabis products and is responsible for the majority of their psychoactive effects. Recreational cannabis users typically seek products with the highest THC concentrations in order to maximize these effects. Users experience THC's effects with mixed results. Many experience relaxation and euphoria, while some experience anxiety and paranoia. [2]

THC Molecule
THC Molecule

A purified, synthetic form of THC known as synthetic dronabinol is marketed in the United States for therapeutic purposes. Synthetic dronabinol is indicated as an appetite stimulant for AIDS patients and as an antiemetic for managing nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy — prescribed under generic labels and the brands Marinol and Syndros.

What is CBD?

In current times, cannabidiol (CBD) is the subject of a great deal of attention from the medical community and the general public. CBD is valued because it's reported to possess many therapeutic properties, while not possessing psychoactive properties. Reported therapeutic properties include antiseizure, antipsychotic, neuroprotective, anticancer, antidiabetic, and many other properties. [1]

CBD Oil
CBD Oil

In 2018, the US FDA approved the brand Epidiolex, a prescription-only CBD-based oral solution. Epidiolex is indicated for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome (DS). Currently, Epidiolex is the only CBD product derived from marijuana that is FDA-approved and legal on a federal level[8] However, CBD products derived from industrial hemp are under the supervision of the US Department of Agriculture, not the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) — and as such, are legally sold in all 50 US states, without a prescription. These products come in a wide variety of forms: as oral oils, vape oils, as edibles and gummy candies, as topical pain creams, and even as bacon-flavored oils for dogs.

What are the effects of cannabis?

Cannabis products produce their effects due to the cannabinoids they contain, primarily delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Concentration of these cannabinoids varies significantly, depending on the cannabis type. Cannabis concentrates offer the highest concentrations, while crude marijuana generally contains the lowest concentrations of cannabinoids. Within cannabis types, cannabinoid concentrations can vary greatly as well.

THC provides the majority of cannabis's psychoactive effects, sought-after by recreational users. These effects vary from person to person, depending on the user's personality and familiarity with using cannabis. Many users experience mild euphoria and relaxation, while some experience anxiety and paranoia. New users may experience mild hallucinogenic effects, including distortion of time or reality. Other general short-term effects users may experience include memory impairment, lack of focus or concentration, incoordination, sleepiness, increased appetite, and intensification of ordinary experiences such as listening to music or engaging in sex. [2]

Unlike THC, CBD provides no psychoactive effects. Therapeutically, CBD's reported benefits include antiseizure, antipsychotic, neuroprotective, anticancer, antidiabetic, and many other properties. [1] Recent research suggests that CBD, when administered along with THC, can help to reduce the anxiety-related symptoms caused by THC with many users. However, research also suggests that the quantity of CBD required to achieve such benefits is far greater than what is found in natural cannabis products, including strains of cannabis that report low THC/CBD ratios. So, to achieve the desired results, additional CBD would need to be supplemented. [13]

Is cannabis legal in the United States?

On a federal (not state) level, all forms of cannabis and the cannabinoids THC and CBD continue to be illegal Schedule 1 substances, with three exceptions:

  • Since 1985, synthetic THC known as dronabinol has been prescribed as an appetite stimulant for AIDS patients and as an antiemetic for managing nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. Synthetic dronabinol is dispensed in oral capsule form under generic labels and the brand name Marinol — and in oral solution form under the brand name Syndros.

  • In 2018, Epidiolex became the first naturally-derived cannabis product to gain FDA approval as a medical drug — and as such, is the only product derived from marijuana (not hemp) that is legal in the US on a federal level. Epidiolex is the brand name for a non-synthetic version of purified CBD, available as an oral solution. Epidiolex is indicated for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome (DS).

  • With the US Farm Bill passed in 2018, products derived from industrial hemp are now under the supervision of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a crop, not the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as an illicit drug. Industrial hemp is defined as any part or derivative of the cannabis plant that is used exclusively for industrial purposes, with a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinols not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis. The term "tetrahydrocannabinols" includes all isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers of tetrahydrocannabinols. [10] Products derived from industrial hemp can now be legally traded in the United States without a prescription, including CBD products[11]

Except for the CBD product Epidiolex, products derived from cannabis with THC content above 0.3% are illegal on a federal level. Yet, specific US states have legalized these forms of cannabis for medicinal or recreational use. This contradiction creates the possibility for legal issues with cannabis users and vendors in affected states. However, in 2013, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a memo asserting that it will continue to rely on individual states to enforce their own drug laws, while focusing DOJ drug enforcement efforts on specific priorities, such as the prevention of: distribution to minors, diversion and trafficking, profiting for criminal enterprises, and impaired driving. [14]

To complicate matters, in 2018, the DOJ issued a new memo that rescinds previous guidance documents, including their 2013 memo. This action created new uncertainties involving the DOJ's stance on the issues of state-sanctioned legalization of cannabis. [15] Following the DOJ's 2018 memo, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued clarifying statements, indicating that federal prosecutors will not take on small-time marijuana cases — emphasizing that, in light of limited resources, federal law enforcement will continue to focus on drug gangs and larger conspiracies. This does, however, leave the door open for individual US Attorneys to prosecute state law-abiding cannabis businesses in their districts. [16] Though legal experts believe that this is unlikely to occur, with DOJ prosecution efforts focused on those business that are egregious violators of state-imposed regulations. [17]

Cannabis Dispensary
Cannabis Dispensary

Urine Testing for Cannabis

Marijuana urine tests target the metabolite 11-nor-delta-9-THC-COOH, with possible cross-reactivity for a list of cannabinoids and THC metabolites, including delta-9-THC (THC), delta-8-THC, cannabinol (CBN), 11-nor-delta-8-THC-COOH, 11-nor-delta-9-THC-COOH glucuronide, 11-hydroxy-delta-9-THC, and 11-hydroxy-delta-8-THC. Of all these compounds, only 11-nor-delta-9-THC-COOH glucuronide and 11-nor-delta-9-THC-COOH are recovered in significant concentrations in urine following consumption of cannabis products containing THC — while trace amounts of unchanged THC and other metabolites are recovered. 11-nor-delta-9-THC-COOH glucuronide is marijuana's primary urinary metabolite. [1] 11-nor-delta-9-THC-COOH is the standard target compound used by THC/marijuana urine screen tests.

Marijuana Drug Test
Marijuana Drug Test

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