Interested in trying out CBD products for yourself? Or, maybe, you want to do some research first and learn more about these products before taking the plunge. No matter your reasons, in this article let’s explore: is CBD oil legal in all 50 states?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is just one compound and active ingredient in the cannabis family, known as a cannabinoid. CBD is one of many different cannabinoids, the most infamous of all being the THC cannabinoid. However, unlike THC, CBD does not contain the same psychoactive properties and therefore, won’t give you the feeling of being “stoned.” CBD inhibits the effects of THC and often relieves feelings of paranoia that THC use produces.
While THC is making major headlines around the world recently, CBD is beginning to make its own waves for different reasons. Research surrounding the use of CBD in combating symptoms of various cognitive and physical conditions, especially in children, is giving CBD a name of its own and very separate from its cousin cannabinoid. Some of these conditions include inflammation, anxiety, epilepsy, addiction disorders and ADHD, among many others.
Hemp, CBD and the Legality of the Cannabinoids
Everywhere you look, CBD is all over the United States marketplace these days. In fact, a new estimate from cannabis industry analysts the Brightfield Group reveals the hemp-CBD market could hit $22 billion by 2022 on its own. From oils and vapes to gummies and coffee, there’s plenty of ways for CBD users to get their daily dosage, often in a fun way. Cannabidiol itself is safe and very beneficial for maintaining optimal health. However, since CBD is a derivative of the hemp plant in the controversial cannabis family, it currently exists in a legal gray area.
One remedy for this legal gray area is the highly-anticipated 2018 Farm Bill. If passed, the bill amends the term “marijuana,” which is currently defined in the 1972 Controlled Substances Act, by discluding the hemp plant, a cannabis plant containing less than .3% THC. If this bill passes, it would open a huge new industry for farmers across the country and would mean unlimited potential for the current CBD market.
Now, you might be scratching your head and wondering a few things. If the hemp plant is part of the cannabis family and deemed illegal to grow under the 1972 Controlled Substances Act, then how is CBD legal? Is CBD oil legal in all 50 states or just ones with legalized recreational marijuana? How do you know you’re following federal, state and local regulations when you’re buying CBD products? Below, we’ll explore how to tell if CBD is legal or illegal, as well as discuss the details of both the 2014 Farm Bill and the proposed 2018 Farm Bill.
What Makes CBD Legal vs. Illegal?
Cannabidiol, a compound, is found in both the cannabis and hemp plants. CBD can come from either of these plants. CBD derived from both plants is the exact same – there is no difference in the compound that comes from the cannabis plant versus the hemp plant. The only difference in CBD from hemp versus CBD derived from the cannabis plant is the legality of the CBD produced.
CBD derived from the hemp plant contains less than .3% or less of THC in it. This type of CBD is legal for purchase and sale everywhere in the United States. However, when CBD comes from the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa, it becomes a point of contention due to the plant’s illegal status under the 1972 Controlled Substances Act. Understanding where your CBD products of choice come from and your local laws on the permissibility of CBD will help you determine whether you’re using CBD legally or not.
Although CBD derived from hemp plant contains trace amount of THC, it’s not enough to induce any psychoactive effects or show up in a drug test. However, if you’re worried about your ability to pass a drug test while using CBD products, there are plenty of non-THC CBD products available for use like Regenefi’s premium, organic CBD products. This only applies to CBD derived from the hemp plant. When it comes to CBD that comes from the marijuana plant, or Cannabis sativa, regulations for purchase and sale change depending on state law.
States Outlawing Marijuana-Derived CBD Use/Sales
As of 2018, there are only four states completely restricting the sale of CBD derived from the marijuana plant. These states include:
- South Dakota
If you live in one of these states, knowing where your particular CBD products come from is imperative for legal CBD use.
States Allowing Limited Access to Marijuana-Derived CBD
Although THC restrictions vary between states, these 15 states allow at least limited access to marijuana-derived CBD products:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
To make sure you’re using CBD legally in these states, know the amount of THC in your products and make sure it falls in the legal range in your state of residence.
States with Legalized Marijuana-Derived CBD
Currently, 22 states allow the use and sale of marijuana-derived CBD with a doctor’s recommendation. These states include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
States without Any Marijuana-Derived CBD Laws
Last but not least, these 9 states have no restrictions on the use or sales of marijuana-derived CBD and no regulations regarding the amount of THC contained in these CBD products:
Just to reiterate: the above lists ONLY apply to the purchase and sales of CBD derived from the marijuana plant. The above lists DO NOT apply to CBD derived from the hemp plant, which contains a THC content of .3% or lower. CBD derived from hemp plants is legal for use throughout the United States. However, CBD derived from the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa, is restricted for purchase and sale in certain states. Understanding CBD regulations in your state will help you make an informed decision when it comes time to buy CBD products and use them.
The 2014 Farm Bill and CBD Legality
Earlier in this article, I mentioned that the 2018 Farm Bill, if passed, would update the definition of marijuana in the 1972 Controlled Substances Act to exclude hemp and hemp-derived CBD. Once excluded from this definition, farmers will be legally allowed to grow hemp plants, which will create a massive surge in this already-growing market. But let’s take a moment to discuss the 2018 Farm Bill’s precursor, the 2014 Farm Bill.
In February 2014, former president Barack Obama signed the 2014 Agricultural Act into law. This Act, which is more commonly referred to as the 2014 Farm Bill, is a comprehensive piece of legislation allowing states to set up “pilot programs” for the cultivation of hemp containing .3% or less of THC, as long as cultivators meet the state’s Department of Agriculture’s established requirements. However, on September 30, 2018, the 2014 Agricultural Act expired.
But don’t dismay just yet! The proposed Hemp Farming Act of 2018 establishes guidelines for future hemp cultivation and CBD sales by changing the classification of the hemp plant.
What is the Hemp Farming Act of 2018?
Kentucky is well-known for its robust hemp cultivation, making it no surprise that Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell introduced the successor of the 2014 Agricultural Act: the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 on April 12, 2018. If passed, this Act removes hemp, defined as any form of cannabis plant containing THC levels of .3% or lower, from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) listing as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. Other Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, mescaline, LSD, MDMA, GHB, ecstasy and bath salts among other drugs.
Once hemp is off the Schedule 1 list, it will be an ordinary agricultural commodity under the supervision of each state’s Department of Agriculture. The Hemp Farming Act also gives more financial and business rights to those in the hemp industry, opening up the use of the national banking system to hemp farmers and cultivators. With little resistance to the bill in the House, there’s a lot for hemp farmers to look forward to in this bill. Lawmakers are hopeful the bill will be passed by year’s end. On November 29, 2018, lawmakers announced the provisions set forth by the 2014 Farming Act were included in the final version of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018.
So, is CBD Oil Legal in All 50 States in 2018?
Let’s get down to the crux of it once and for all: is CBD oil legal in all 50 states in 2018? The quick answer is yes, definitely! But when you break it down, it’s a little trickier than that. CDB extracted from the hemp plant with a trace amount of THC (.3% or less) is legal for purchase and use in every state. However, CBD extracted from the marijuana plant, which often contains larger concentrations of THC, is legal for purchase and use in many states, but not every state.
Let’s break it down like this:
- Any CBD derived from the hemp plant with THC levels under .3% is legal throughout the entire United States.
- CBD produced from the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa, may be more regulated in its sale and purchase in certain states. Some states do not allow the sale and purchase of CBD derived from marijuana at all.
Keep in mind that the CBD industry is relatively new. The laws around CBD products are only starting to catch up with the science backing the benefits of CBD use. As new laws pass, the industry will open to many more products and more research into the naturally-derived compound. The 2014 Agricultural Act and the future Hemp Farming Act of 2018 are just the start to the future of the potential $22 billion market. Until then, keep calm and CBD on – but do your research to make sure you’re using it legally, first.
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FDA Disclaimer: The statements regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products is not confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products do not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.