Cannabis is a plant that contains over 400 different chemical compounds. The two most commonly known naturally occurring compounds are THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol).
There are two types of cannabis plants. One type of cannabis plant is marijuana, which contains varying levels of THC, the compound that produces the “high.” Another type of cannabis plant is hemp, which has extremely low concentrations of THC (no more than 0.30%).
CBD is naturally contained in and can be extracted from either marijuana or hemp. Regardless of whether CBD is extracted from marijuana or hemp, CBD will not make you “high.”
WHAT CBD IS
Hemp-derived CBD is legal. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 removed hemp – cannabis plants with extremely low concentrations of THC – from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This removal from the definition of marijuana is what legally allows companies to use hemp-derived CBD to formulate over-the-counter CBD products for purchase by consumers.
CBD is a naturally occurring compound contained in cannabis plants, which can be extracted, tested and formulated into over-the-counter products for use by consumers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognizes the potential opportunities that cannabis compounds like CBD may offer and acknowledges the significant public interest in these possibilities.
WHAT CBD IS NOT
Unlike THC, CBD does not produce a “high.” CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. CBD products may not be appropriate for everyone and, as in most cases, care should be taken by special populations, like children, the elderly, and pregnant or lactating women.
CBD SUPPLEMENTS OUR ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM (ECS)
Cannabis plants contain over 400 different chemical compounds. These compounds act on your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a specialized system in the human body involved in regulating almost all brain and body functions, including sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response, our ability to handle stress, and our mobility and muscle health. There have been numerous studies that highlight the potential benefits of CBD and how CBD could support the ECS.
Types of CBD
A Full Spectrum CBD product means the product contains all compounds naturally found in the plant including compounds like CBD, CBG (Cannabigerol), CBN (Cannabinol), CBC (Cannabichromene), and THC. Full Spectrum CBD may have a stronger natural flavor and odor. Quality Full Spectrum CBD products are typically high in CBD with trace amounts of minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, as well as an extremely low concentration of THC (less than 0.30%). This extremely low concentration of THC may still appear as a positive result on a drug test. In such extremely low concentrations, consumers using Full Spectrum CBD products should not feel the psychoactive effects of THC as the THC is only present to help increase the potential “Entourage Effect.”
Broad Spectrum CBD products are identical to Full Spectrum except the product has been processed and refined to remove THC. Broad Spectrum CBD products should contain all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids naturally found in the plant including compounds like CBD, CBG, CBN and CBC, except THC. Based on lab results, Broad Spectrum CBD products should not have detectable levels of THC. The removal of THC makes Broad Spectrum an excellent alternative to Full Spectrum for consumers who may benefit from CBD but must take drug tests or cannot use Full Spectrum for other reasons.
Isolate CBD products have been processed and refined to remove all compounds naturally found in the plant except CBD. Based on lab results, Isolate CBD products should contain over 99% pure CBD and should not have detectable levels of THC.
Does health insurance cover medical marijuana products if recommended by a doctor?
Even though a majority of states including Louisiana have legalized the use of marijuana in medical treatments, patients will have to pay for medical marijuana products out of pocket at a licensed pharmacy due to the Schedule 1 controlled substance classification of marijuana.
Can a Health Savings or Flexible Spend Account fund the purchase of medical marijuana products?
Medical marijuana has been found to provide relief against a variety of medical conditions such as nausea, chronic pain, and muscle stiffness. However, marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance, so the cost of medical marijuana products are ineligible for reimbursement under a Health Savings or Flexible Spend Account.
Does Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan cover the cost of medical marijuana products?
Medication must have FDA approval for coverage under Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans. Since marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance, patients will have to pay out of pocket for the products.
Here in Louisiana, we’re seeing a very different approach that has a good viability to become the gold-standard of what medical marijuana programs should look like.
– Mark Slaugh, Cannabis Consultant
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