There is only one factor that matters when we talk about what marijuana is: a chemical compound called THC.THC, short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, can be found in all cannabis plants but in very different amounts. Based on the levels of THC, we can classify a plant as marijuana or hemp. In Europe, similarly to the US or Canada, cannabis containing more than 0.3% THC is considered marijuana.
Why is there such a big focus on THC? It's all due to its intoxicating properties. THC can get you high, which is a problem in countries where recreational cannabis is not legal.
In some countries where recreational cannabis is not legal, medical cannabis is. Medical specialists can prescribe marijuana to patients suffering from certain illnesses, who can then use marijuana to deal with symptoms such as pain, nausea, lack of appetite, anxiety and insomnia.
CBD & Marijuana
All cannabis plants contain CBD (short for cannabidiol). This compound can be found in both THC rich cannabis (marijuana) and industrial hemp, and will show the same properties whether extracted from one or the other.
If you buy a legal CBD product in Europe, the CBD will come from industrial hemp. This is because using THC rich cannabis for CBD extraction is inefficient and (most importantly) illegal in Europe.
History of Marijuana
The stigma surrounding marijuana is a relatively new phenomenon.
When we look at the historical use of marijuana, we can find countless examples of our ancestors using it for various reasons, including religious ceremonies and medicinal purposes.
Yet, this is not something we learn at school. The war on drugs, which started in 1971, created a huge level of mistrust and fear towards marijuana. The stigma that arose from it is something we are still fighting with today.
It also led to a widespread ban on cannabis research, contributing to a belief that cannabis is an evil and dangerous plant with no benefits whatsoever.
Fortunately, this mindset is changing. With researchers being able to study the cannabis plant again, we are discovering new potential health benefits all the time and getting closer to seeing cannabis for what it is - a plant that might help people feel better.
Good to know about Marijuana
While the world is changing and more countries are legalising the medical and recreational use of cannabis, you must remember that in most places around the globe, marijuana is still considered illegal.
While the legal system in some countries might be more forgiving than in others, you must always follow the laws of the country you're in.
To make sure you do not break any laws if you're visiting or living in a country where recreational cannabis is illegal, only buy CBD products from producers who rigorously check their products for THC content.