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As of October 2022, 19 states have approved marijuana for recreational purposes and 38 for medicinal use. The recreational cannabis industry alone generated $15 billion in 2021 — a figure that is on target to surpass $25 billion by 2025, according to Statista. Here’s what to know about marijuana legalization in the US, including which states have passed laws, what’s happening on the federal level and how Americans feel about legalizing pot.
You’re probably hearing a lot about cannabis and marijuana products as they become legal in more and more states. Two natural compounds are getting the most attention: CBD and THC. Cannabis is a plant that makes a thick substance full of compounds called cannabinoids. There are more than 100 of these chemicals in cannabis. They cause drug-like reactions in your body. CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis products. THC and CBD are in both marijuana and hemp. Marijuana contains much more THC than hemp, while hemp has a lot of CBD.
Chemical Structure: CBD and THC have the same chemical formula — 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. The difference lies in the way the atoms are arranged. That gives CBD and THC different chemical properties, and they affect your body differently. Both CBD and THC work with receptors that release neurotransmitters in your brain. They can affect things like pain, mood, sleep, and memory.
How CBD and THC Affect the Body: THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. It’s what makes people feel “high.” We have two types of cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. THC binds with receptors — mostly in the brain — that control pain, mood, and other feelings. That’s why THC can make you feel euphoric and give you that so-called high. CBD doesn’t cause that high. Instead, it’s thought to work with other elements in the body linked to feelings of well-being.
Since the beginning of time, people have used cannabis as medicine. Several old texts praised the plant’s ability to heal, which resulted in the creation of many medicines and hundreds of thousands of options in the health market today. Cannabinoids work with the receptors of a cannabinoid to control many bodily functions and give the body many health benefits. But to be sure you are getting the right product; you must be careful where you get your cannabinoids supply. And the health benefits that the body gets differ from different cannabinoids. For example:
• CBG – Cannabigerol – Anti-cancer agent, anti-inflammatory, pain relief.
• CBN – Cannabinol – Pain relief, sedative, anti-inflammatory.
• THCa – Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid – Treat nausea, and inflammation; increases appetite.
• THCv – Tetrahydrocannabivarin – Calming effect, psychoactive, decreases appetite.
• CBD – Cannabidiol – Calming effect, anti-cancer agent, anti-inflammatory, increases appetite.
• THC – Tetrahydrocannabinol – Pain relief, calming effect, psychoactive.
How do Americans feel about legal marijuana? According to a 2021 Pew Research poll, 91% of Americans believe cannabis should be legalized to some degree — 31% for medical use and 60% for both medical and recreational use. Only 8% of respondents said marijuana should not be legal at all. Gallup’s research also found that nearly half (46%) of American adults say they’ve tried marijuana, despite it being registered as a Schedule I controlled substance by the federal government, and 68% believe it should be legalized.