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medical hemp products

People often confuse the terms cannabis and marijuana. Cannabis is a category for a plant species that includes both hemp and marijuana. For a lot of people, the best way to think about cannabis is with an analogy: hemp and marijuana are to cannabis as lemons and oranges are to citrus. Two related but different plants, from the same “family.”

Health-conscious marijuana consumers commonly elect to vaporize their cannabis products. Vaporizers use convection heating to heat up the dry herb or wax concentrates until they reach their boiling point, releasing the cannabis material’s cannabinoids and other natural compounds as a clean vapor. By inhaling the pure vapor, the compounds promptly reach the bloodstream and effects are felt as instantaneously as when smoking. However, because vaporizing doesn’t involve combustion, it eliminates the exposure to all of smoking’s toxins, carcinogens, and other harmful chemicals that can damage the throat and lungs.

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Cannabis material can also be infused into various foods to make medical marijuana edibles. Popular among those who prefer to avoid smoking, edibles are now available in an array of food products, including chocolate bars, chews, and cookies. Because edibles are metabolized, their effects take longer to kick in and can last several hours. In general, edibles provide more body relaxing effects.

State medical marijuana laws are typically created in one of two ways: either through a voter backed initiative like in California or through a state’s legislative body as in the case of Pennsylvania. While voter initiatives must be approved to be added to ballots only on election years, state lawmakers can introduce a medical marijuana bill whenever the state legislatures are in session.

There is a significant interest in the development of therapies and other consumer products derived from cannabis and its components, including cannabidiol (CBD). FDA recognizes the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds may offer and acknowledges the significant interest in these possibilities. However, FDA is aware that some companies are marketing products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and that may put the health and safety of consumers at risk. The agency is committed to protecting the public health while also taking steps to improve the efficiency of regulatory pathways for the lawful marketing of appropriate cannabis and cannabis-derived products. FDA has a number of resources available that address cannabis and cannabis-derived products, such as CBD, and the agency wants to ensure that consumers and other stakeholders have access to these resources in a centralized location.

17. Does the FDA object to the clinical investigation of cannabis for medical use?

Consumer Information

Numerous other legal requirements apply to dietary supplement products, including requirements relating to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) and labeling. Information about these requirements, and about FDA requirements across all product areas, can be found on FDA’s website.

5. Why hasn’t FDA approved more products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds for medical uses?

These GRAS conclusions do not affect the FDA’s position on the addition of CBD and THC to food.