Cannabinoids / Cannabis 101

What are Cannabinoids?  

Cannabis products fall into one of four categories:

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Pharmaceuticals

Recreational Marijuana

Medical
Marijuana

Hemp

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Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis and derived from the hemp plant – the most well-known cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD and THC-infused products have become increasingly popular in recent years.

The global
CBD market size was valued at
$5.18 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 16.8% from 2022 to 2030.  While the FDA has sent over 50 warning letters to the CBD industry’s most egregious actors, we have yet to see strict guardrails put in place. The CBD industry has grown too quickly and with minimal oversight from the FDA, creating a potentially dangerous marketplace.

The breadth of cannabis products claiming benefits is also growing. Cannabinoids are included in everything from edibles, lotions and oils, to clothing, pet treats, and tampons. These products are often marketed to consumers with promises to treat or even cure a variety of health ailments despite the fact that they have not undergone enough  scientific and medical testing to make those claims. With changes to laws and the flood of new products to the marketplace, many consumers are understandably confused about cannabis derivatives and products: what is legal, what is safe, are there harmful contaminants or other dangerous and intoxicating substances in the products, and more.

Most
cannabis products on the shelves today fail to meet the safety standards we have come to expect from consumer goods. Nearly all products have not been scientifically tested for safety and efficacy, meaning any therapeutic claims of non-prescription cannabis products are not backed by science.

Despite these legitimate concerns, cannabinoids have become commonplace on retail shelves and websites – but consumers must be cautious.