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Is CBD Oil Legal in Nebraska?

Is CBD Oil Legal in Nebraska?

Currently, there's a paucity of information and news about cannabidiol (CBD) in Nebraska and its legal status. This may be because on the state level, there's not much movement in this regard. So, the short answer to the question, "Is CBD oil legal in Nebraska?" is—mostly, no.

Is CBD oil legal in Nebraska?

CBD in Nebraska—The Law

In 2014, industrial hemp was reclassified as an agricultural product in Nebraska, and it allowed for state-sponsored research. Currently, the only permissible means to grow hemp is through university research. The University of Nebraska Medical Center has the sole right to distribute CBD to certified patients participating in an experimental research program.  

In Nebraska, industrial hemp—a variety of the plant species Cannabis sativa L.—is not allowed to have more than 1% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is lower than the federally required 3 percent. THC is the cannabinoid found in marijuana that causes psychotropic—or mind-altering—symptoms.

To quote the advocacy group NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws): "Various parts of the plant [industrial hemp] can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed, and other products."

However, possession of any product with more than the allotted THC is still seen as an offense and could result in a penalty or incarceration. That is, unless you happen to be partaking in the aforementioned university research program. [1]

It appears that at the beginning of 2018, Bill 1133 was introduced that would allow for expansion of research and hemp cultivation and product development, but this has been postponed indefinitely. [2]

In the meantime, a sample survey showed 77 percent of Cornhuskers voting in favor of allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana and CBD in Nebraska.

RELATED: Is CBD Hemp Oil Legal in All 50 States?

What the Nebraskans Say About Medical Marijuana

In a February interview with Lincoln's Journal Star, Lincoln Senator Anna Wishart remarked that it is clear that Nebraskans believe patients should be able to access the medicine they need safely and legally. She furthermore said that "...Nebraskans deserve to vote on establishing

protections for patients who would use medical cannabis. Those patients include children, veterans and those who are terminally ill."

Apparently, in another statewide survey conducted in 2017, 52 percent of voters said they would "definitely vote yes to legalize medical marijuana, and 22 percent more would probably vote yes." Three percent were undecided but leaning toward a positive response.

Only a small percentage (17%) said they didn't approve of medical marijuana, or they believed it would cause problems.

Wishart's bill (LB622) would make possession of medical marijuana lawful, with certain provisions laid out by the legislature. Opponents of the bill cited the rather tired "not enough medical research," while others raised concerns about the added responsibility of an "already-stressed Department of Health and Human Services" in the state. [3]

Wishart's bill (LB622) would make possession of medical marijuana lawful, with certain provisions laid out by the legislature.

CBD And The FDA

The legal status of CBD in Nebraska is sadly out of touch with the times, even with national legal developments.

This year, America's first CBD-based drug was approved by the FDA, with an indication for treatment of seizures associated with Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes in patients aged two years and older.

In a media release, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb states that “[t]his approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development.” [4]

While this is an encouraging move, the fact that Nebraska is dragging its feet in terms of medicinal marijuana and CBD may be in part due to ignorance of the nature of cannabidiol—and also hemp.

As Omaha Senator Justin Wayne said in an Agriculture Committee meeting earlier this year: "Hemp is not marijuana. Hemp cannot get you high. Hemp is not a mind-altering drug. ... Hemp has been incorrectly stigmatized." [5]

CBD And Research

CBD, or cannabidiol, is only one of many compounds found in cannabis. Next to THC, it is the most well-researched cannabinoid, and it is generally considered safe and nontoxic, even in high doses.

Across the world, millions are using it to alleviate and even treat many health conditions. It doesn't make the user feel anything other than relaxed, and it often leaves them with a general sense of well-being.

Their experiences are increasingly being backed up by reliable science.

While the naysayers block legal marijuana and CBD in Nebraska, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a Pre-Review Report on cannabidiol, conducted by an Expert Committee on Drug Dependence in Geneva last year.

The report clearly states: "In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential...To date, there is no evidence of the recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD."

CBD's continued demonization as a dangerous drug is scientifically unfounded.

RELATED: How to Use CBD Hemp Oil for Anxiety Relief

CBD's continued demonization as a dangerous drug is scientifically unfounded. The report went on to list CBD's therapeutic properties—based on current medical data—to be the following (adapted from the WHO report):

  • neuroprotective
  • antiepileptic (stops seizures)
  • hypoxia-ischemia
  • anxiolytic
  • antipsychotic and antidepressant
  • analgesic (treatment of pain)
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-asthmatic
  • antitumor
  • treatment of drug addiction [6]

RELATED: CBD Can Help Improve Your Mood

So, CBD in Nebraska and its legality remain questionable for the time being. Hopefully, one day in the not-too-distant future, the answer to "Is CBD oil legal in Nebraska?" will be a resounding "Yes." This venerable cannabinoid deserves and needs more clinical research to back up what millions know already, but it doesn't deserve the bad rap it gets in Nebraska on the government level.

Sources:

  1. http://norml.org/laws/item/nebraska-penalties-2
  2. https://legiscan.com/NE/text/LB1133/id/1691544
  3. https://journalstar.com/legislature/survey-shows-majority-of-nebraskans-would-favor-medical-marijuana-prescribing/article_c01078b4-ef21-576a-a38d-35ea0600a52a.html
  4. https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm611046.htm
  5. https://journalstar.com/legislature/nebraska-legislature-day-hemp-experts-pushing-for-right-to-grow/article_96a87a41-3dfc-53af-bcb0-d13035248895.html
  6. http://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf

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