Till the early 20th century, marijuana usage was lawful throughout much of history. Between 1916 and 1931, 29 states in the United States outlawed marijuana usage. The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act effectively rendered cannabis illegal throughout the United States.
While cannabis is still illegal federally, many states have authorized the use and sale of various types of marijuana. In addition, more states are considering legalizing the plant for recreational use. Here is all you need to know about marijuana legalization in the United States.
The Legal History of Marijuana in the U.S.
Before people began using it for recreational purposes, the production of hemp crops for industrial purposes began early in American history. However, the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act effectively put an end to the hemp economy in the United States.
Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This implies it has “high abuse potential with no recognized medicinal value” under federal law. However, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 delisted various cannabis products (like hemp) from the Controlled Substances Act and legalized their production and sale. Despite this, anything containing 0.3 percent or more delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) remains illegal on the federal level.
Currently, the number of states that have legalized marijuana and CBD for medicinal or recreational purposes continues to rise. Medical marijuana legislation has been approved in 33 states and Washington, D.C. (plus ten states and the state capitol where medical and recreational usage is lawful).
What Types of Cannabis are Legal?
In America, marijuana is among the most regularly used narcotics. Some states allow it for medicinal use, while others legalize it for recreational purposes. However, it is vital to know the laws of your state before purchasing various cannabis products, as it is still federally illegal.
Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa are two distinct species of the Cannabis plant. The many forms of cannabis differ in terms of the variety of weed plants they come from and their impact on people. Cannabis ruderalis is another strain that is also utilized to manufacture marijuana. It features a lower THC content and is largely utilized for medicinal purposes. In addition, hybrid strains that combine the two primary species have been developed.
Indica vs. Sativa
The words indica and sativa come from the biological categorization of these plants, which is based on their physical properties. Cannabis indica plants feature broad, dark green leaves and are shorter. Cannabis sativa plants acquire thinner and light green leaves as they grow taller.
Indica is a potent cannabis strain in terms of its properties, as it has plenty of THC and very little CBD. It has a calming or sedating effect, making it ideal for use before going to bed at night. Thanks to its sedating properties, it produces a stronger “body high.”
Compared to indica, C. sativa has decreased THC levels and more CBD levels, resulting in more balanced quantities of both compounds. People often use pot from sativa strains early in the morning or afternoon due to its stimulating properties. Some report that the strain helps them be more creative and concentrate better. Compared to the physical high experienced with indica, C. sativa is said to provide a cognitive or “brain high.”
Several popular strains are highly sought-after from the different available species of the cannabis plant. They include:
- Purple Kush
- Sour Diesel
- Blue Dream
- Acapulco Gold
- Granddaddy Purple
- Bubba Kush
- LA Confidential
- Afghan Kush
- Golden Goat White Widow
- Pineapple Express
- Fruity Pebbles
- Super Silver Haze
CBD vs. THC
The majority of research into the medical benefits of cannabis has so far concentrated on CBD and THC. However, academics and experts are still unclear of the optimal THC and CBD dosages for various medicinal illnesses and recreational purposes. THC and CBD are both cannabinoids, but they have distinct effects on the body since they affect different brain parts.
Cannabis products with a higher THC content are likely to deliver more psychoactive effects. These include euphoria and increased sensitivity to things like taste and color. However, it can also result in paranoia and anxiety. On the other hand, CBD has no psychoactive properties. When using CBD, some people experience moderate physiological benefits like reduced anxiety. CBD has been shown to aid with nausea, vomiting and pain; and has neuroprotective impacts on the brain.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), certain cannabis-related products are legal. They include:
- Two synthetic THC medicines for the treatment of AIDS-related anorexia
- Another cannabis-related synthetic substance for the treatment of vomiting and nausea resulting from cancer therapy
- CBD extracted from cannabis for children aged two and above who suffer from uncommon epileptic disorders
To find out more about cannabis plants, their legality, and their use, contact us by filling out the form below. We will help you identify the potential positive and negative effects on your health and select the best strain for your situation.