Legalization of marijuana and other cannabis-related products is very much in the news today. Terms such as cannabis, hemp, marijuana, CBD and THC confuse many people. It is important to understand what is legal and what is not.

It does not help that the media, along with sellers of some products, use the terms loosely. In some cases, sellers of legal products may also skirt the law on other products, so you need to be careful as a buyer.

What cannabis, hemp and marijuana are

Cannabis is the broad term for the family of plants which can be grown into one of two products that are often called hemp or marijuana.

Cannabidiol and fiber in hemp products

CBD from hemp is in many products for which sellers claim health benefits. The makers of these CBD products claim benefits for your heart, cancer symptoms, pain relief and many other things. Fiber from hemp plants can also be legally used to make products like paper, rope and building materials.

Low THC is the key

Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical that has a psychoactive effect. It naturally occurs in the cannabis products that are commonly referred to as marijuana. THC is the chemical that makes people “high” when they smoke it or otherwise consume it.  The newly passed Texas law requires that CBD and hemp products contain less than 0.3% THC to be legal. Recreational marijuana use is still illegal.

It is unlikely that your local drugstore or health food store will sell a CBD product which contains too much THC to be legal. But you must be careful when shopping at stores which sell a broad variety of cannabis products. Do not be afraid to ask questions about the THC content of the products you buy. If you are uncertain, do not buy them.

While some cities are not prosecuting for the sale or use of products which contain higher levels of THC, these products are still illegal in Texas. If you travel outside of these cities, you might find yourself in legal difficulty for their possession or use.