• FREE SHIPPING ON PURCHASES OVER $85 (US ONLY)

  • 0

Is CBD Oil Legal? The Facts That Will Clear up Confusion



You’ve probably heard a lot of chatter lately about CBD oil, cannabidiol, and CBD hemp oil, and you may find yourself wanting more info or asking, “Is CBD oil legal?” Well, you’ve come to the right place for information. Let’s take a look at some of the facts on CBD oil and the regulations, both federal and state, surrounding it.

Contents

1. Is CBD Oil Legal in Your State?
2. What’s the Difference between THC and CBD?
    2.1 Cannabidiol Can Be Extracted from Either Cannabis or Hemp
    2.2 THC: The Psychoactive Compound That Gets You High
    2.3 THC vs. CBD: Chemical Structure
    2.4 THC vs. CBD: Psychoactive Components
    2.5 THC vs. CBD: Legality, the Farm Bill, and the FDA
3. What about the Legality of CBD Sourced from Marijuana?
4. CBD, the FDA, and Federal Law
5. CBD Hemp Oil and State Laws
6. Dazed and Confused
7. Final Thoughts: So, Is CBD Oil Legal?

LISTEN TO THE BLOG POST HERE:

1. Is CBD Oil Legal in Your State?

 

Due to the global stigma surrounding marijuana and cannabis use, many people ask us, “Is CBD oil legal?” 

The answer…there is a high probability that it is legal in your state; it just depends on where you live.

CBD was made federally legal in late 2018, but only if it’s derived from hemp plants. This doesn’t necessarily guarantee its legality in your state. Check out our state-by-state guide of CBD laws below; this will help give you peace of mind.

Is CBD Oil Legal in Your State?

This chart is only applicable to unlicensed CBD products. There are different rules and regulations for state-licensed CBD products sold in medical cannabis stores, as these operate under different laws.

Before we dive into the subject, let’s set the record straight on the origins of CBD and THC as well as their differences. It’s important to know since it’s helpful for understanding the meaning of the laws regarding both THC and CBD.

2. What’s the Difference between THC and CBD?

 

As the legal use of medical marijuana and hemp-derived products grows, consumers are naturally becoming more curious about the options available to them.

These options include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), both naturally occurring compounds present in the plants of the genus Cannabis sativa L. However, THC and CBD have vastly different properties and effects in the human body. Let’s take a bit deeper look into the two. 

As the legal use of medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD oil grows, consumers are naturally becoming more curious about the options available to them.

RELATED: CBD vs. THC: Which One Is Better for Pain?

2.1 Cannabidiol Can Be Extracted from Either Cannabis or Hemp

CBD can be extracted from the Cannabis sativa plant and the hemp plant. However, legally in the US, UK, and Europe, the CBD derived from these plants must contain 0.3% THC or less.

CBD can be purchased in a variety of forms. These include oilsliposomal CBD productscapsulesorganic skin care lotions, and more.

Liposomal CBD products contain an innovative delivery system that produces more effective bioavailability than regular formulas. Thus, the hemp-derived CBD goes directly to the bloodstream and works much more quickly than most. When you combine a liposomal tincture, for example, with a topical skin care product, you get the best of both worlds, whether for daytime or nighttime use. CBD’s relaxing properties make sleep deeper and more restful—unlike THC, which we’ll read more about below. 

With liposomal CBD products, the CBD goes directly to the bloodstream and works much more quickly.

RELATED: Why New Liposomal Sleep Formula is the Best Natural Sleep Aid

2.2 THC: The Psychoactive Compound That Gets You High

THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces a “high” sensation. Used recreationally and medicinally for decades, it is mainly consumed by smoking cannabis. However, it can be obtained in edibles, oils, tinctures, capsules, and more.

Both CBD and THC interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. However, they have very different effects when consumed. (Click to Tweet)

Although THC and CBD have a lot in common, some essential differences determine their legality and the way you should use them.

RELATED: A Brief Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System

Keep reading to discover more about these compounds. Although they have a lot in common, some essential differences determine their legality and the way you should use them.

2.3 THC vs. CBD: Chemical Structure

THC and CBD have identical molecular structures: 30 hydrogen atoms, two oxygen atoms, and 21 carbon atoms. There is, however, a slight difference in the way these atoms are arranged, accounting for the different effects that they have on your brain and body.

THC and CBD are chemically very similar to the endocannabinoids present in your body. For this reason, they interact with your body’s cannabinoid receptors.

As this interaction occurs, neurotransmitters are released into your brain. These are essential chemicals that relay messages between cells, playing vital roles in immune function, sleep, stress, pain, and more.

Although THC and CBD have identical molecular structures, a slight difference in the way these atoms are arranged, accounts for the difference in their legality and the effects that they have on your brain and body.

2.4 THC vs. CBD: Psychoactive Components

Although THC and CBD have similar chemical structures, each compound provides different psychoactive effects. Although CBD is slightly psychoactive, it interacts much differently than THC. CBD will not give you the high associated with THC and has been shown to alleviate seizures, anxiety, and depression.

THC binds strongly with the brain’s CB1 receptors, producing a sense of euphoria.

CBD can also bind weakly to our CB1 receptors. However, CBD relies on THC to link to our CB1 receptors. As a result, CBD helps to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, such as sedation or euphoria.

Cannabidiol has been shown to alleviate seizures, anxiety, and depression.

RELATED: THC vs. CBD: What’s the Difference?

2.5 THC vs. CBD: Legality, the Farm Bill, and the FDA

Here in the USA, the laws relating to cannabis are continually changing. Under federal law, CBD is technically still considered a Schedule I drug.

The FDA has said that they are concerned at the “proliferation of products asserting to contain CBD.” Especially when they are marketed as therapeutic and have not yet been FDA-approved.

Their stance on unapproved products is that they violate the law and can place the public at risk. Therefore, they continuously monitor the CBD marketplace and are willing to take action where appropriate if they feel like companies are making exaggerated claims or putting consumers at risk.

The FDA recognizes the potential therapeutic opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds could offer.

RELATED: The FDA vs. CBD—A War Against the Innocent?

That said, the FDA “recognizes the potential therapeutic opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds could offer and acknowledges the significant interest in these possibilities.” [1] (Click to Tweet)

Although hemp was removed from the Controlled Substances Act as part of the 2018 Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) both classify CBD as a Schedule I drug. [2]

RELATED: The DEA, CBD, and the Law

At the time of writing, 33 states, including Washington, D.C., have passed specific cannabis laws. These laws legalize medical cannabis with large amounts of THC present. However, cannabis of this strength will need to be prescribed by a licensed physician in most states.

At the time of writing, 33 states have passed laws legalizing medical cannabis with large amounts of THC present.

Additionally, the recreational use of THC and cannabis is now legal in several U.S. states.

In fact, if cannabis is legal for medicinal or recreational purposes, you’ll likely be able to purchase CBD without difficulty.

That said, we recommend checking your state’s laws before you purchase THC or CBD. [3]

Be careful; if you possess cannabis-related paraphernalia in a state where cannabis is illegal or prescription-only, you could face severe legal penalties.

If you possess cannabis-related paraphernalia in a state where cannabis is illegal or prescription-only, you could face severe legal penalties.

3. What about the Legality of CBD Sourced from Marijuana?

 

Without a doubt, at a federal level, CBD that has been derived from marijuana is illegal.

Unless…

The CBD in question has been sourced from statutorily exempted parts of the marijuana plant.

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) provides an exemption if the CBD has been sourced from cake or oil made from seeds of such plants, the mature stalks of these plants, and the fiber produced from these stalks.

What about the Legality of CBD Sourced from Marijuana?

All other salts, compounds, manufacture, derivative, preparation, or mixture made from mature marijuana stalks (with the exemption of the resin that can be extracted from them) means that those CBD products can be listed as an exclusion. They will not be classified as a Schedule I substance and are therefore legal.

That said, opinions differ as to whether quantifiable amounts of CBD can be successfully extracted from these legally exempted parts of the plant.

RELATED: Hemp CBD Vs Marijuana CBD: There's a Difference

4. CBD, the FDA, and Federal Law

 

Federally, the government acknowledges two forms of the Cannabis Sativa L. plant: marijuana and hemp.

Hemp contains high levels of CBD and small traces of THC. 

On the other hand, marijuana is often bred to contain large quantities of THC—sometimes up to 30%—and low levels of CBD, averaging around 0.2%, according to research. [4]

The 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (Farm Bill) made hemp-derived CBD legal as long as it contains 0.3% THC or less by dry weight. CBD derived from the marijuana plant is still illegal under the Controlled Substances Act because the DEA still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. (Click to Tweet)

The 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (Farm Bill) made hemp-derived CBD legal as long as it contains 0.3% THC or less by dry weight.

RELATED: Is Hemp Legal? 2018 Farm Bill Clarifies!

In DEA terms, it means that the administration thinks that marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

The Farm Bill brought about new regulations for hemp farmers across the USA. These regulations mean that all cannabinoids that are derived from hemp plants are legal, but only if the hemp has been farmed in a way that is consistent with Farm Bill legislation, state regulations, and federal regulations—and is produced by a licensed grower.

So, even if a CBD product is found to contain the legal amount of THC, if it’s derived from hemp grown from an unlicensed producer, it’s illegal in the US.

If a CBD product is derived from hemp grown from an unlicensed producer, it’s illegal in the US.

On the same day that the Farm Bill was officially signed into law, the FDA stated that congress had “explicitly preserved the agency’s current authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.” [5]

As CBD has been approved as an ingredient for the epilepsy drug Epidiolex, it’s considered by the FDA to be a drug ingredient. This means that it’s illegal to sell or market CBD as a product that treats disease or has specific therapeutic or medical uses without going through the official FDA drug approval process. This is the case even if the CBD product has been derived from hemp and produced by a licensed grower.

As CBD has been approved as an ingredient for the epilepsy drug Epidiolex, it’s considered by the FDA to be a drug ingredient.

RELATED: Why the FDA Just Approved Cannabidiol for Epilepsy

Right now, it’s hard to say whether the FDA is going to crack down on CBD companies specifically in violation of these terms. We know that the agency looks at a number of factors when deciding whether to enforce action. This includes the FDA’s resources and whether there is a direct threat to public health.

5. CBD Hemp Oil and State Laws

 

Even though the Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD federally legal, many cities and states have changed their laws and differ slightly from federal regulations. (Click to Tweet)

Colorado, for instance, made it legal in 2018 to use any part of the hemp plant as a food ingredient. That said, any products containing any amount of THC are 100% illegal in Texas.

So, if you are wondering if CBD is legal in your state, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the local cannabis laws and legislation.

If you are wondering if CBD is legal in your state, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the local cannabis laws and legislation.

RELATED: Are All CBD Oils Legal in the USA: Federal vs. State Laws

There are several organizations that can help you to find out more information regarding local cannabis laws, including:

  • The National Conference of State Legislatures
  • The Marijuana Policy Project
  • The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

However, to find the most up-to-date information, check your state's agriculture department or criminal code.

6. Dazed and Confused

 

CBD has been showing up in everything from coffee to candy and is legally derived from hemp plants, which smell and look almost identical to cannabis—marijuana plants. 

They’re so similar, police field-test technology has not quite caught up with being able to tell the difference between the two substances.

For example, New York City police posted on social media last November about what appeared to be a significant drug bust: 106 pounds of green plants that officers thought were marijuana.

CBD is legally derived from hemp plants, which smell and look almost identical to cannabis—marijuana plants.

However, the Vermont-based farm that manufactured the plants and the Brooklyn CBD shop that ordered them argued that they were actually perfectly legal industrial hemp. They also had paperwork to prove the legality of the plants.

Get this:

Unfortunately, when the brother of the shop owner got to the police situation to clear up the situation, he was arrested. Police field-test tech had found levels of THC within the haul of plants.

The shop owner, Oren Levy, said that’s because hemp often tests positive for a permissible, trace amount of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol—which, we mentioned earlier, is legal as long as it is 0.3% or less.

Law enforcement officers can detect THC but aren’t innovative enough to specify whether a haul of cannabis-like plants is legal hemp or low-grade illegal pot, and sniffer dogs will recognize both.

Sniffer dogs can detect whether a haul of cannabis-like plants is legal hemp or low-grade illegal pot.

7. Final Thoughts: So, Is CBD Oil Legal?



Hemp-derived CBD products containing 0.3% of THC or less are legal on a federal level. However, they are still illegal under state laws in specific areas. CBD products derived from marijuana are unlawful on a federal level but can be classed as legal under state laws. [6]

Once again, check your state laws and the laws of any place that you plan to travel with your CBD products. Bear in mind that CBD products from potentially disreputable sources could be labeled inaccurately, so it’s best to do a bit of research on the company and its processes before purchasing.

Be well, take care, stay safe, and enjoy the wealth of CBD products that are currently available.

Sources:

  1. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd#:~:text=No.,warning%20letters%20to%20such%20firms.&text=CBD%20was%20not%20an%20ingredient%20considered%20under%20the%20OTC%20drug%20review.
  2. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/12/14/the-farm-bill-hemp-and-cbd-explainer/
  3. https://norml.org/laws
  4. https://mjobserver.com/law/fda-reminds-hemp-industry-of-its-regulatory-authority-over-foods-beverages-cosmetics-and-more/
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Average-percent-cannabinoids-for-five-different-locations-A-CBD-N-313-and-THC-N_fig1_316244704
  6. https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Related posts

CBD Oil for Sleep: How to Sleep Better with CBD

CBD Oil for Sleep: What You Need to Know to Sleep Better

Due to the global stigma surrounding marijuana and cannabis use, many people ask us, “Is CBD oil legal?” Check out our state-by-state guide of CBD laws.

CBD's Important Impacts on the Health & Wellness Industry

What Mark Will CBD Make on the Health & Wellness Industry?

Due to the global stigma surrounding marijuana and cannabis use, many people ask us, “Is CBD oil legal?” Check out our state-by-state guide of CBD laws.

What Is CBD Oil? What Are Its Benefits and Uses?

What Is CBD Oil and What Makes It so Popular Today?

Due to the global stigma surrounding marijuana and cannabis use, many people ask us, “Is CBD oil legal?” Check out our state-by-state guide of CBD laws.