By now you have probably learned about the many CBD oil benefits and the potential of cannabinoids as natural medicine. But chances are that after researching the legality of CBD oil, you have become confused about the classification of CBD and other cannabinoids present in marijuana. Well, you’re not alone.
The truth is that the laws pertaining to CBD oil can be a bit tricky, and they continue to change. As the U.S. moves through this apparent transition period involving cannabis and cannabinoids, consumers are left wondering — is CBD oil legal?
Unfortunately, this isn’t the easiest question to answer, as each state has specific requirements and conditions that need to be followed in order to use CBD derived from marijuana legally. So, in an attempt to make this as clear as possible for consumers across the U.S., let’s break down the current laws pertaining to the use of CBD and marijuana.
The Farm Bill and CBD Oil
Under the 2018 Farm Bill that was passed in the U.S. Senate and signed by President Donald Trump, hemp has finally been differentiated from marijuana and is no longer considered a schedule 1 drug. This new law puts hemp under the management of the Department of Agriculture as a crop, rather than categorizing it as an illegal substance under the Justice Department.
Now hemp-derived products can be transferred and sold across state lines for commercial or other purposes. As long as hemp-derived products, like CBD oil made with industrial hemp or hemp oil itself, are produced under the guidelines of the new law, they can be transported and sold to the public with no restrictions.
When it comes to growing hemp, there are some restrictions, as it continues to be a regulated crop. States have different regulatory programs, farmers must get the appropriate license to grow hemp and the plants cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC.
The Farm Bill was passed in an effort to protect research into hemp. In fact, the bill extends research associated with hemp and products derived from hemp, like CBD oil, because the plant is being recognized for its importance and opportunity.
So, Is CBD Oil Legal in the U.S.?
Technically, CBD is still considered a schedule 1 substance under federal law. However — and for consumers this is an important factor — any cannabinoid that’s derived from hemp is considered legal when the plant is produced in a way that falls within the Farm Bill regulations. That means that CBD oil derived from hemp must contain less than 0.3 percent THC and the hemp grower must be licensed.
Marijuana-derived CBD oil, on the other hand, is not legal across the U.S., but the legality depends on specific state laws. The only exception is an FDA-approved drug, GW Pharmaceutical’s Epidiolex, which can be used for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy.
Because only CBD products that are made under the strict guidelines of the Farm Bill can be sold, purchased and used legally, it’s important that you do your homework before buying any CBD oil product. When you buy hemp-derived CBD oil from a reputable company that follows all state and federal regulations, using the product is completely legal.
And keep in mind that if you use a CBD product containing THC, even at low levels, it may turn up on a drug test. The only way to absolutely ensure that no traces of marijuana will be on a drug test, you must use CBD products that contain zero THC.
States Where Marijuana (and Yes, CBD Oil) Is Legal
Recreational marijuana (plus marijuana-derived CBD oil and cannabis oil) has been legalized in the following 10 states:
In addition to these 10 states, recreational marijuana is also legal in Washington D.C.
Many of these states allow residents to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of marijuana and products derived from marijuana, including CBD oil. Each of these 10 states has specific regulations for selling, buying, using and growing marijuana (and marijuana-derived products) recreationally, so you need to do your homework about the specifics.
States Where Medical Marijuana and CBD Oil Is Legal
As of 2018, you can legally purchase CBD oil derived from the marijuana plant in the following 46 states (and 3 territories) for medicinal usage:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
The following states have passed what’s called “limited access marijuana product laws.” This means that residents of these states may use products that are low in THC and high in CBD for medical purposes. Each state has specific guidelines pertaining to how much THC is allowed and what specific conditions can be treated with medical marijuana. The states with these laws include:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Idaho (was vetoed by governor in 2015)
Typically, states with medical marijuana laws have some kind of patient registry that protects citizens against arrest for possessing marijuana up to a certain amount.
And here’s an interesting note about using marijuana in states where it’s legal: Because marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 substance at the federal level, federal law prohibits its prescription. That means that doctors cannot technically write a prescription for marijuana and instead they are often called “recommendations” or “referrals.”
States Where Only CBD Oil Is Legal
Because of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD oil that’s derived from hemp can be sold, purchased and used legally, as long as the product is made under the bill’s guidelines.
When it comes to marijuana-derived CBD oil, the legality depends on the state’s laws. In the 10 states where recreational marijuana is legal, you can legally use CBD oil derived from marijuana. And in states where medicinal marijuana is legal, you can speak to your healthcare provider about getting a referral for legal usage.
States Where CBD Oil Is Illegal (!)
There are currently four states where marijuana-derived CBD (and overall marijuana use) is still completely illegal. These states include:
- South Dakota
What May Happen Next
It”s likely that cannabis reform will continue to progress in the coming years. Many governors are working to decriminalize marijuana. Governors in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, New Mexico and Illinois have expressed interest in legalizing marijuana, with some stating it as a top priority. So these states may be added to the list of states where recreational marijuana and CBD oil derived from marijuana is legal.
It’s also possible that access to medical marijuana will be expanded and banking restrictions on businesses selling marijuana will decrease. We can also expect that more and more research will be conducted on marijuana, CBD oil and other cannabinoids.
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