The cannabis industry got a lot more complicated on Dec. 14, when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it would now consider cannabidiol—known as CBD, a Schedule 1 controlled substance with no confirmed medicinal benefits. To put that in perspective, heroin is listed in the same category. Moreover, CBD is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis—it does not get you high like tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, which is one of the main elements in recreational marijuana smoking.
Setting aside the multitude of cannabis-smoking stereotypes, CBD has repeatedly been proven to significantly alleviate conditions such as seizures and epilepsy. This is particularly the case for younger children, and it can also aid with a multitude of cancer-related ailments such as nausea, decreased appetite, pain, and sleep issues.
The widely held perception of marijuana is that it’s a “gateway drug.” Whether or not that’s true, should that opinion deny the opportunity for others to use it for medical purposes? “Am I willing to deny something that could be beneficial to a population because I’m worried about the hypothetical risk of this becoming used recreationally…” postulated CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta during an interview with Pittsburgh’s ABC affiliate WTAE. “I don’t think we should talk about medical marijuana and recreational marijuana in the same basket. These are two different things… it should be studied like any other medicine.”
The issue is that the DEA treats marijuana and its many strains and extracts as though it’s all the same illegal drug, which cannot be broken down or distinguished from the Schedule 1 controlled substance classification. Josh Kappel, a partner in the marijuana law firm Vicente Sedberg LLC, told SF Weekly earlier this month that “the problem with the DEA’s rule is that they’re defining marijuana extract as any cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant.” Furthermore, the DEA has yet to embrace the extensive and proven research on its medicinal properties which have been conducted extensively abroad.
As a result, those who incorporate CBD into their everyday lives—whether in the form of treatment and overall well-being, or commercially sold within a business, are both shocked and concerned that CBD is illegal on a federal level. Adding to the confusion, in some states CBD consumption is legal, even though marijuana may not be.
The facts are clear; the CBD market is not going anywhere anytime soon. According to the Hemp Business Journal, the CBD industry is projected to grow to a $2.1 billion market in consumer sales by 2020, with $450 million of those sales coming from hemp-based CBD products. A recent Forbes article estimates that to be a 700% increase from 2016.
Therefore, it’s likely that you will frequently hear about medical cannabis companies in the near future. The Legion of Bloom is one company making waves in the cannabis world thanks to its commitment to organic, pure, sustainable farming practices, and careful craft cultivation. This Northern California-based company is proving itself to be an innovator in the industry by creating a fully-fledged brand that is about much more than just ‘smoking weed every day.’
Operated by five marijuana experts who each oversee their farms and hand select particular phenotypes in an effort to provide the best quality product possible, The Legion of Bloom doesn’t use harmful pesticides, chemicals, or additives. A self-proclaimed, “values-driven company,” they answer as a collective unit, believing that a “legion” comradery is stronger than the sum of its individuals. Despite the DEA’s newest ruling, this company is still changing the medical landscape for patients across the country.
The Legion of Bloom, who prefers to speak as a group rather than as a single entity, tells Paste that the DEA’s new unveiling of further cannabinoids restricted by Schedule 1 classification doesn’t change their business strategy for the foreseeable future. Unlike others in the cannabis industry, this group of entrepreneurs doesn’t plan on challenging the DEA’s role as an enforcement agency—though it’s questionable whether it is within the agency’s constitutional right to determine the laws. Only time will tell what happens with federal rulings, but as far as The Legion of Bloom is concerned, they will continue to abide by the local and national laws guiding the cannabis industry as a whole.
Though CBD is a rather new phenomenon that people are still wrapping their heads around, The Legion of Bloom believes that CBD’s healing and non-psychoactive properties remove some of the stereotypes associated with marijuana use, and expose cannabis to an audience that might not otherwise accept it.
Recently, the range of marijuana users has widened to now include more older adults than ever. In response, this company has launched the TerraPen—a THC:CBD (1:1 ration) pen line that comes in four therapeutic cannabis terpene profiles. Each terpene profile is thoughtfully chosen for its therapeutic benefits:
RE:lieve for pain, RE:lax for sleep, RE:vive to energize, and RE:zen for mental clarity. Additional advantages are often cited and include improved appetite, decreased nausea, increased focus, and relief from depression.
The Legion of Bloom is one of the leading disruptors in the CBD industry, as evidenced by this year’s Emerald Cup—an annual medical cannabis festival, educational forum, and competition. The Legion of Bloom took 1st place in CBD extracts with their TerraPen, and 3rd place in the CBD topicals category with their Zana Ayurvedic + CBD transdermal roll-on, along with two other non-CBD wins.
“It feels amazing to be at the forefront of this industry-wide movement into mainstream acceptance and use,” said The Legion of Bloom. “We now need others to open their minds to the evidence and research that we are so privileged to have access to. Only then will the masses begin to understand the differences between CBD and other forms of marijuana, and why clear cut distinctions are so necessary.”