A new type of cannabis has been sweeping parts of western Europe – it’s called ‘CBD cannabis’, or ‘Marijuana Lite’. The hemp flowers – with names like K8, Chill Haus, Cannabismile White Pablo and Marley CBD – are sold under the tag “cannabis light” because their level of the psychoactive compound that makes people high is a tiny fraction of that typically found in cultivated marijuana. Switzerland, France, Italy and even the United Kingdom are taking an interest in this legal form of marijuana, which comes from hemp and has a maximum 1 percent THC. CBD cannabis is, as one would expect, rich in CBD. But what many will want to know is whether Marijuana Lite will get them baked? First, let’s find out a bit more about this revolutionary cannabis.
Marijuana lite is hemp in the sense that it has less than 1 percent THC, but it looks, smells, and tastes just like high-quality weed. That’s because hemp that’s used to make fiber is typically grown outdoors, without much care given to the quality of the flowers. Most of the valuable fiber is in the stems of the hemp plant, anyway.
Marijuana lite, on the other hand, is different; most plants are grown indoors using advanced cultivation techniques usually reserved for high-THC cannabis. The results are resinous buds that smell dank and are covered in orange hairs.
Hemp was legalized in Switzerland back in 2011, with the THC threshold set at 1 percent. Possession of up to 10 grams of high-THC marijuana, usually for recreational purposes, is also decriminalized in the country. Marijuana Lite is Switzerland’s answer to the explosion in both medical and recreational cannabis in the United States. Europeans are noticing the incredible stories attributed to CBD and want their own alternative medication options.
Hemp with up to 0.2 percent THC is legal to ship all over Europe. With customs not causing bother for companies, it’s no wonder that Marijuana Lite has been popping up in neighboring countries Italy and France. However, it’s somewhat surprising that CBD-rich cannabis has made it to the UK already, as the country is further behind with cannabis legislation than several countries on the continent. Essentially, the exception made for low-THC hemp has allowed for the exportation of Marijuana Lite all over Europe.
The situation in Europe is very similar to the U.S., where products derived from hemp with 0.3% are “basically” legal in all 50 states. Hemp-derived CBD products are more popular in states with stricter cannabis laws because folks there don’t have access to other options.
Most Marijuana Lite users report a relaxing experience without a psychological high. The calming properties of CBD-rich cannabis can boost appetite and make it easier to drift off to sleep. The body high from these strains helps to relieve tension in the muscles. Some find that Marijuana Lite reduces chronic pain or gives them the necessary natural mood boost when enduring a bout of depression. Others simply like to enjoy a joint at the end of a hard day, in the same way people like to drink a pint of beer or glass of wine.
Some have chosen to get innovative, infusing their Marijuana Lite into butter and oil and then making edibles with it. Cannabis tea is also popular.
Europeans can buy marijuana lite online or at a local head shop for roughly the same price as black market weed that’s high in THC. The Guardian reports that in order to stay compliant, these CBD cannabis companies are not permitted to market their products as medicine.
Even though marijuana lite is legal in Switzerland, it’s reportedly driving the country’s police crazy. Because it looks and smells just like high-THC weed, which is still illegal to consume in public, Swiss police are often mistaking marijuana lite for the real thing.
“You can’t really tell the difference between our product and the illegal street product—the buds are covered with many trichomes, and they are grown organically and tested,” Sergio, managing director of the Swiss marijuana lite company, Cannical.
If you do get stopped in Switzerland for possession of marijuana lite, you can apparently ask the arresting officer for an expensive potency test of your “contraband.” If your bud tests below 1 percent THC, the cops have to give it back. Because of this, many in Switzerland are calling for the legalization of all cannabis.
Marijuana lite is taking advantage of a loophole in European law, but hopefully, as cannabis becomes more accepted and the benefits of CBD become better understood, it won’t be necessary because the herb will be fully legalized.