Michigan law: CBD to be regulated as hemp, not as marijuana


Courtesy / WOODTV

Laureen Horan

A new law will prevent cannabidiol (CBD) products from being regulated under Michigan’s medical marijuana rules. The language of this law defines CBD as a low-THC derivative of hemp, not marijuana, and so medical certifications will not be required to use CBD products. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD are the two primary cannabinoids found naturally in the cannabis plant. Cannabis has two subspecies: hemp and marijuana. Hemp is bred to produce fibers for clothing and other textiles and is also commonly found as a supplement in health food stores. Hemp is low in THC. Marijuana is bred for psychoactive and medical effects and is high in THC. CBD can be derived from both hemp and marijuana, but they have different effects and uses.

Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, the cannabis market is about to expand exponentially. From oils to edibles, there are countless ways to consume cannabis and all of these products will affect the user in different ways. While products containing THC are only legal for adults 21 and older due to psychoactive side-effects, CBD is safe for people — and even some pets — of any age.

Both THC and CBD interact with the cannabinoid receptors found in the human body and brain, but their effects are entirely different. CBD is non-psychoactive, so users will not feel high. What they are likely to experience, though, includes pain relief, relaxation, enhanced focus, restful sleep, reduced inflammation and possibly fewer skin blemishes. 

Beyond supplemental use for temporary ailments, research from The Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics has shown that CBD is highly effective in reducing and preventing seizures in people with epilepsy, as well as reducing the symptoms of psoriasis and chronic pain. Because CBD is naturally derived, many people find it to be a safe, natural alternative to pharmaceutical pain relievers. 

“When I broke my shoulder, I was in agonizing pain and wasn’t prescribed pain medication to deal with the pain. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t use the entire left side of my body. Using various cannabis products for pain relief was the only way I managed to get through it,” said Grand Valley State University student Alissa Norris. 

Along with treating existing conditions, research has found CBD to be highly effective as preventative medicine as well. In August 2018, Harvard Medical School reported that rates of obesity and diabetes are lower in cannabis users than non-cannabis users. Additionally, cannabis users had better cholesterol profiles and lower risk of cardiovascular disease. 

One major factor that makes CBD versatile for use in adults, children and animals is the availability of CBD products that are completely THC-free. Consumers can pass a drug test, use the products in public, and operate a motor vehicle without ever worrying about intoxicating side effects or  legal implications.