Is CBD Oil Legal in Ohio? Here’s the Answer
Is CBD oil legal in Ohio? Much more than just this non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis is legal in the state, as Ohio has approved a statewide medical marijuana program. Although not yet operational, it is set to be up and running by September 8th, 2018. By association with this law, CBD oil is legal in Ohio right alongside potent THC medicinal strains of cannabis.
On top of medical access to all forms of cannabis, Ohio has also moved to decriminalize recreational cannabis possession. State law has reclassified possession of a 100 grams of non-medical marijuana as only a misdemeanor; the only ramification is a small fine of $150. Excitingly for cannabis proponents in the state, it does look as if state legislatures are considering allowing for full-blown recreational marijuana. 
Because Ohio lawmakers have accepted the idea of cannabis as medicine and enshrined it into law, all residents will soon have access to use both CBD and THC focused products. Access to marijuana as a medicine could have many trickle-down effects beyond providing access to a new all-natural alternative therapy. In fact, as other states have seen, legal access to cannabis may also reduce dependence on opioids.
Before getting into the specifics of medical marijuana's possible influence over the state's opioid crisis, how exactly is CBD oil legal in Ohio? How do residents get access to all types of medical marijuana, including CBD oil? Here is what we know so far.
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The Fine Details of Ohio’s State Medical Marijuana Program
The state is ramping up the medical marijuana program, set to make both cannabis and CBD oil legal in Ohio come the fall of 2018. There are currently only a few dozen operations approved to cultivate marijuana in the state, with roughly 12 approved to grow upwards of 25,000 square feet of plants, and another 12 businesses who licensed operate 3,000 square foot facilities.
Only state-licensed growers, sellers, and processors can operate within Ohio’s fledgling cannabis industry. Also, only physicians and patients registered with the Ohio State Medical Marijuana program will receive access to legal THC products and CBD oil in Ohio. As of the end of March 2018, the state had received 50 applications from physicians.
As part of the application process, the law requires doctors take additional training on medical marijuana before approval. There are already some concerns surfacing that the state won’t have enough registered physicians for the number of patients seeking cannabis treatment. According to some estimates, upwards of 300,000 Ohio residents could qualify for medical access. 
Currently, the state has limited cannabis prescription for only approved health issues. The following diagnoses are approved for treatment with medical marijuana or CBD oil in Ohio:
- AIDS / HIV
- Alzheimer's disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
- Crohn's disease
- Hepatitis C
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic, intractable, or other Severe Pain
- Parkinson's disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sickle cell anemia
- Spinal cord disease or injury
- Tourette's syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Ulcerative colitis
Speak with your doctor to clarify if your health concern qualifies under the new medical marijuana program.
Cannabidiol comes in many different formats, oils, edibles, vape products and more. Will the new program allow for other forms of consumption beyond straight flower? Are both CBD edibles and CBD oil legal in Ohio? Lawmakers have approved almost all types of medical cannabis for sale within the state, including tinctures, edibles, all-natural buds, and concentrates. Because not all formats apply to every patient, having access to all types of products is important for patients and physicians alike.
How Will Legal Cannabis Impact Ohio’s Opioid Crisis?
Like much of America, Ohio is undergoing an opioid addiction crisis. In fact, by some numbers, it has been hit the hardest, with the highest numbers of related fatalities in 2014, and 2015. Especially in rural areas and economically depressed regions, the overdose crisis is crippling small communities who have few resources to handle the crisis. In the words of one resident interviewed by Canadian Broadcast Corporation, “My fear is that this is going to be our new normal. That we're just going to be dealing with this forever and ever, and we will continue to spiral into a Walking Dead kind of thing”.
But what if making cannabis and CBD oil legal in Ohio will positively affect the opioid pandemic? The idea isn’t that far fetched, with numbers already coming out of other states with medical and recreational cannabis programs. A study published in 2016 indicated that when patients with chronic pain have access to medical marijuana, they tend to reduce the number of opioids they use. As discovered through the use of a questionnaire, chronic pain patients who frequented a medical marijuana dispensary in Michigan, cut opioid use by upwards of 64 percent. The study concluded that patients are effectively substituting marijuana for opioids.
An earlier study, published in 2014, found a similarly compelling link between cannabis and a reduction in opioid use. Their research set out “to determine the association between the presence of state medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality,” and their results were nothing short of shocking. After reviewing the data, the authors concluded that medical marijuana laws significantly reduced the number of opioid-related fatalities. On average, after states introduced cannabis laws, there was a 24.8 percent lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate.
Although this theory is yet to be tested in Ohio, one can assume there could be similar effects. With cannabis and CBD oil legal in Ohio now, and perhaps recreationally in the near future, there could be hope to curb the increasingly challenging opioid crisis.
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