Is CBD Oil Legal in Illinois?
The climate in Illinois is a positive one for all things cannabis. According to a recent poll in the state, 74 percent of residents support decriminalization of the plant and roughly 60 percent support legalization, with some conditions. The state has already implemented a program regulating medical marijuana, and soon it may take the final few steps towards total legalization. So, is CBD oil legal in Illinois? Absolutely.
When Did Illinois Approve Legal Access to CBD Oil?
Unlike other states which have CBD regulations in place, but still have not opened up their cannabis legislation, Illinois approved the legal use of medical marijuana in 2015. With legal access to medical marijuana comes legal access to CBD oil in Illinois.
While patients are not allowed to cultivate personal plants, they are legally allowed to possess two and a half ounces of cannabis every two weeks. All cannabis must be acquired through state-regulated dispensaries, using it for treatment of a qualifying condition.
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Early in 2018, it was estimated that just under 30,000 patients were registered for the medical marijuana program in Illinois. In 2016, the rules around cannabis prescriptions changed slightly so that patients no longer required a doctor’s prescription for cannabis explicitly. Instead, they only needed a doctor's note confirming the physician-patient relationship, as well as confirmation of the diagnosis of a qualifying health condition.
Since the inception of the medical cannabis program in Illinois, dispensaries within the state of sold $123.6 million worth of product. There is very clearly a market for both cannabis and CBD oil in Illinois.
In 2018, lawmakers are expected to start pushing for full legalization. There are also two other pieces of legislation amending the current specifics of cannabis in the state, including a bill which would give access to medical marijuana to people suffering from opioid addictions, and an update that would allow students to take non-smokable medical marijuana at school. But more on the latter petition in a moment.
CBD Oil in Illinois for Qualifying Medical Conditions Only
Is CBD oil legal in Illinois? Well, only if you have one of the 41 qualifying medical conditions for CBD oil in Illinois. The list is frequently updated, but it is still missing some of the most important uses for cannabis and CBD oil, including severe and/or persistent pain. Severe, chronic pain is one of the top conditions people use CBD oil to treat, at least according to an industry-funded survey on the subject. 
Despite this rather conspicuous omission from the approved medical applications for CBD oil in Illinois, there are still many other conditions which did make the list. Some of these conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis (MS), to name a few.
The preliminary research into CBD oil for cancer indicates that it could help target cancerous cells without also targeting healthy ones, something which traditional medicines fail to do. A recent review of the literature went so far as to say that “the non-psychoactive plant-derived cannabinoid CBD exhibits pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative actions in different types of tumors and may also exert anti-migratory, anti-invasive, anti-metastatic and perhaps anti-angiogenic properties.” 
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When it comes to MS, the state did well to include it as one of the qualifying conditions for CBD oil. Illinois residents can now use the compound to soothe very challenging symptoms. The early evidence shows that, in viral models of MS, CBD oil downregulates inflammatory responses. Combinations of CBD and THC have also proven useful for reducing the experience of neuropathic pain trigger by MS.
RELATED: This Is How CBD Helps People with MS
There are, of course, another 39 qualifying conditions for the use of CBD oil in Illinois. These two samples should at least highlight some glimpse into the future of CBD oil as medicine. The preliminary results for CBD oil for human health are captivating, to say the least.
Expanding Access to CBD Oil in Illinois
Just because Illinois implemented a medical marijuana program three years ago, doesn’t mean it still doesn’t have some kinks to work out. One of these kinks was laid bare by a young eleven-year-old girl named Ashley Surin. Despite finally finding a successful treatment for her seizures, young Ashley was not allowed to attend public school because her cannabis-derived treatment contravened state and federal drug laws pertaining to schools.
Her story started after three successive prescriptions had failed to cure her seizures. When her doctors tried to prescribe yet another pharmaceutical solution, her parents halted the process. They had seen their daughter’s health take a turn for the worse, including problems with memory, fatigue and mood swings. For these reasons, they sought out a second opinion, one which led them to CBD oil, and dietary changes.
Ashley’s family were shocked by the effectiveness and simplicity of the treatment. While her seizures aren’t gone for good, their frequency and numbers have reduced significantly, and she was mentally more alert and ‘present’. All without any harmful side effects.
Her prescription, which included lotions, a patch, and oils, all containing a high level of CBD, helped her return to her happy eleven-year-old self. But one problem remained.
Despite a legal prescription, Ashley and her parents could, technically, be prosecuted if she wore her CBD patch to school. Also, her teachers and school nurses would not able to help her take the medication, because of the Illinois school laws regarding marijuana and any of its derivatives.
Her parents then made the bold decision to sue Schaumburg School District 54 for Ashley’s right to use CBD oil products at school. Just like other students with medical issues that require them to have access to their medication at school, the Surins argued that their daughter’s rights should be no different. The school board and the Illinois Attorney General agreed. In April, in what is broadly considered a landmark case, the Surins won the right for Ashley to use non-smokable cannabis medicines at school.
The Future of Cannabis and CBD Oil in Illinois
Regarding marijuana and CBD oil, Illinois residents just won a case setting a remarkable legal precedent. It indicates that the public sentiment is strongly in favor of marijuana, including CBD, as medicine. Furthermore, in 2018 there is expected to be even more liberalization of the state’s cannabis laws, as legislatures are expected to put forth a motion for legalized recreational cannabis.
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