Hemp oil — obtained by pressing benefit-rich hemp seeds — is slightly different than cannabis oil, although they both come from the same genus, cannabis, and the same species, cannabis sativa. The term hemp is used to describe a cannabis sativa plant that contains only trace amounts of THC. Hemp is a high-growing plant that’s commonly grown for industrial uses, such as oils and topical ointments, as well as fiber for clothing, construction, paper and more.
Right now, there’s a good chance that you don’t really know what you’re getting from any source. Testing and labeling rules vary by state, but many states that allow legal cannabis also require some kind of testing to verify that the THC and CBD levels listed on the label are accurate. However, this testing is controversial, and results can vary widely between labs, Jikomes said. A study published in March found measurable variations in test results, with some labs consistently reporting higher or lower levels of cannabinoids than others. There are no guarantees that the label accurately reflects what’s in the product. For a 2015 study published in JAMA, researchers tested 75 products purchased in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle and found that only 17 percent were accurately labeled. More than half of the products contained significantly lower levels of cannabinoids than the label promised, and some of them contained only negligible amounts of the compounds. “We need to come up with ways to confidently verify the composition of cannabis products and make this information available to consumers,” Jikomes said.
By 1942, cannabis was removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia because of persistent concerns about its potential to cause harm. In 1951, Congress passed the Boggs Act, which included cannabis with narcotic drugs for the first time. In 1970, with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis was classified as a Schedule I drug, giving it no accepted medicinal use.
It’s not possible to buy cannabis oil online or at a local store. Some states offer cannabis for medical conditions, and this may require a medical note or proof of injury and illness. You can also join a collective, which is a group of patients who grow and share medical cannabis with each other. If you are using cannabis oil, make sure it’s purchased through a reputable company that sells pure and lab-tested oils.
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