Humans have been cultivating and using cannabis for thousands of years now. The famous U.S president George Washington was even known to have a personal hemp garden. However, is CBD oil legal in all 50 states? This question is not as simple as it sounds. A lot of people are still confused about whether CBD is legal in the United States or not.
The laws and restrictions surrounding CBD, marijuana, and hemp in the United States are one of the most difficult to understand compared to other countries. In America, the political climate regarding CBD and marijuana can be pretty tense. In this article, we’ll go through all the information we need to understand what CBD is, and is it really legal to use in all 50 states?
What CBD/Cannabidiol Oil Stands for?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active compound amongst hundreds that are found in the cannabis plant or marijuana. Even though CBD is an essential part of medical marijuana, most CBD products are derived from the hemp plant. The hemp plant is a close cousin of the cannabis plant. A common misconception is that CBD can cause a psychoactive reaction or can cause a “marijuana high”.
While CBD is indeed an active component of marijuana, it doesn’t cause that “high” feeling by itself. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short is the compound responsible for causing the “high” state that recreational marijuana users look for. In fact, according to a 2017 report by the World Health Organization, there has been no evidence that the use of pure CBD alone can cause serious public health problems. In the report, the WHO also found that so far, CBD does not exhibit any chance of forming abusive habits or dependency.
How people take their CBD generally depends on the preferences and needs of the person. CBD oil is one of the most common delivery methods of CBD. Other ways one can take CBD is by edibles, topical creams, and lotions, vaping, and pills. Most CBD users buy CBD oil online because it is the most convenient way to acquire them.
Why Legality Comes in Question When Taking CBD Oil?
Whenever CBD or cannabis is discussed amongst people, the question of legality always comes up. The legality of CBD is a hot topic for some. This is why some CBD users prefer to be discreet when taking their CBD and avoid announcing it to their friends and families. Why is this? Well for starters, most people associate CBD products with marijuana. Marijuana already has a negative reputation attached to it in most parts of the world. However, recreational and medical use of marijuana is slowly starting to become accepted and legalized in the past few years; but the established stigma is still there.
The second reason may be because a lot of people don’t know about the difference between CBD and THC. As stated previously in the article, THC is the compound prevalently found in marijuana which causes the “high” state. Most if not all CBD products that are openly sold on the market extracts their CBD from the hemp plant instead of the cannabis plant. This means that CBD-based products will contain a lot more CBD levels compared to THC levels; in the U.S, these products must contain approximately less than 0.3% THC. The amount of THC is so insignificant that it can’t produce any psychoactive reaction.
Why CBD is So Popular Nowadays?
In recent years, the usage of CBD has seen a huge boost in popularity, availability, and demand. A lot of this increase in popularity can be attributed to the numerous anecdotal evidences and the US Farm Bill that was passed in 2018. This bill legalized the manufacturing and usage of industrial hemp and also paved the way for legalizing medical and recreational use of cannabis at the state level. CBD has also made its way into various wellness and health products. You can even find CBD in some food items these days.
Due to the many stressors in our everyday modern life, people have been looking for a natural way to achieve relaxation easily. CBD products are one of the easiest ways you can do this. There is also the added benefit of not getting high and temporarily losing brain performance. People have also used CBD oil for pain because of its impressive pain-relieving properties. An increase in research and manufacturing also contributed to the increase in popularity and usage of CBD.
The availability of CBD products will depend on where you live. Some places have CBD products available in gas stations, at CVS, some pet stores, etc. However, the best place to acquire your CBD products is from official online stores of CBD manufacturers. This is the safest and most trustworthy way to buy your CBD. Make sure that you do your diligent research before buying anything. A good practice is to make sure that you buy CBD from reputable brands that have third-party research labs backing up their claims. The CBD industry is growing exponentially every year and is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Is CBD Really Legal in all the 50 States?
Yes and no, the drug laws in the United States have never been so straightforward. In most cases, the legality of CBD products largely depends on the process used to make the product and where it came from. One of the main factors to look out for when determining the legality of a CBD product is to look at where it was derived from.
Pure cannabidiol (CBD) can be derived from two plants, hemp or marijuana. The hemp plant contains high levels of CBD and low amounts of THC. On the other hand, the marijuana plant is vice versa; containing high amounts of THC and low levels of CBD. Besides this huge difference, both hemp and marijuana plants are very similar. This is why possessing these plants was illegal for decades.
However, a major change occurred in 2018. U.S President Donald Trump signed into law the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (commonly referred to as the Farm Bill). This law meant that all manufacturing and transportation of CBD products were now legal on a federal level as long as it was derived from hemp that contained 0.3% THC or less. This also meant that possessing CBD products made from marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. Legalization on a federal level meant that it applied to all 50 states.
47 of the 50 states consider CBD products derived from the hemp plant as legal to possess; however, a lot of them have strict restrictions and regulations such as CBD not being allowed in food and beverages. The friendliest CBD legal states are as follows:
- New York
- South Carolina
- Rhode Island
- North Carolina
FDA & DEA Regulations With CBD
In 2018, another huge milestone was achieved in the world of CBD. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first-ever drug that is derived from marijuana, Epidiolex. This drug is now under proper regulation and is used to treat two severe and rare forms of epilepsy that affect mostly children. The FDA suggests that any other CBD products beside Epidiolex that claim to be a cure-all or promise 100% safety will risk facing legal troubles.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), any CBD products based on hemp that exceeds the 0.3% THC level limit will be considered a schedule 1 controlled substance. This means that it will be considered as illegal to possess in all 50 states. So, if you’re a manufacturer of CBD oils, always make sure that you don’t pass that THC level limit as it can easily mean legal trouble.
What Are The CBD Restricted States in the US?
Despite CBD products that are derived from the hemp plant being legal on a federal level, it isn’t that simple when it comes to the state level. Possessing CBD, no matter where it came from, is still deemed illegal in the states of Idaho, Iowa, and South Dakota. However, CBD products containing zero HTC can still be bought within these states. The FDA approved CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, is also legal to purchase in these restrictive states. Recently, some CBD shops have opened in these states. These shops have caused controversy and raised a few eyebrows.
To summarize, hemp-based CBD products are essentially legal to manufacture and distribute in 47 out of 50 states. However, these 47 states vary quite a bit on the strictness of their rules and restrictions when it comes to the usage of CBD. Each states’ rules and restrictions can range from very friendly to neutral and strict.
The remaining 3 states are Idaho, Iowa, and South Dakota. These states deem the possession of CBD products in any form is illegal. Although the FDA approved CBD drug, Epidiolex, is legal to purchase and use to treat childhood epilepsy.
We hope that we’ve answered your question of: “is CBD is legal in all 50 states?”. Do remember that the laws regarding CBD and other drugs are constantly evolving. Make sure to stay updated on the news and stay safe.