As to whether the use of CBD is legal in the states is a question that has attracted the attention of many from dealers to would-be users. Many argue that the law is unclear on what is acceptable and what constitutes a felony and many have faced the consequence of this lack of clarity by being dragged to courts only for their charges to be dropped at the last minute. Others have chosen to hold back the urge to try CBD due to fears and or misconceptions about the cannabis product. In this piece, we seek to enlighten you on the facts about CBD and its legality both at the federal level and across the states.
What is CBD & Marijuana?
Cannabidiol or simply CBD is a chemical compound occurring in cannabis plants and has been found to have medicinal value and varied health benefits to users. Marijuana refers to dried flowers of the cannabis Sativa plant which are used in different ways including smoking rolled cigar and brewing in tea. The latter is listed in schedule 1 of the controlled substances act owing to its high potential for abuse attributed to its psychoactive effects on users. Unlike marijuana, CBD does not have psychoactive effects on users which means you will not get hallucinations or feel high like a marijuana user.
Are They Legal?
The answer to this is: yes, the use of hemp-derived CBD is federally legal but the use of marijuana–derived CBD depends on your state’s legislation. Different states and the federal government have different legislation about the growing, sale, transportation and use of hemp and marijuana. While the two plants belong to the same family, they have different quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol which highly determines their use and hence their legality. While the hemp plant produces a very low amount of the intoxicating compound – about 0.3%, marijuana produces as high as 30% of the same when consumed. This explains why marijuana remains federally illegal while hemp gets more attraction and laws are passed to legalize it. The use of hemp-derived CBD is legal in all the states while the fate of marijuana-derived CBD depends on state laws. CBD oils are probably the most famous of the plant extracts and are legal to possess and use given they contain not more than 0.3% of THC.
The 2018 Farm Bill
The year 2018, like other years, saw many bills passed to law. One among the bills and one which is highly misunderstood or unclear to people is the Agricultural Improvement bill (also called the 2018 Farm Bill). The bill reclassified hemp – the main source of legal CBD as an agricultural commodity rather than a controlled commodity. A lot of people out there have the wrong idea that the bill generally legalized the use of CBD regardless of its source but the truth is that it remains a schedule 1 substance and is therefore illegal. The bill lifted restrictions on the transportation, sale, and possession of hemp-derived CBD across the states provided these regulations are met: the hemp adheres to the common state-federal regulations, the hemp or hemp product contains not more than 0.3% THC and that the hemp grower is duly licensed.
The Legality of CBD at Federal Level
The federal government legalized the possession and transportation of hemp and hemp-derived CBD through the 2018 Farm Bill. However, CBD is still subject to state regulation. The 2018 Farm Bill does not approve the addition of CBD oils to food and food products. The Bill reserved the authority of the FDA to regulate cannabis and its derivatives. FDA, therefore, has the sole right to approve any cannabis derivatives that purport to have medicinal or curative value to any medical condition. The foregoing notwithstanding, there are varieties of CBD oils out there that are not verified by the FDA. This means you should be careful when making purchases of any kind.
The Legality of CBD at State Level
Like we previously mentioned, different states have taken different approaches toward legislation and controlling the use of CBD. Hemp-derived CBD is legal in all the 50 states while the legality of marijuana-derived CBD depends on legislation made by individual states. Recreational marijuana is legal in 11 states across the US. These include Alaska, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maine, Oregon, Nevada, Vermont, Illinois, the District of Columbia and Washington. This means CBD is legal in these states regardless of its source. As for medical marijuana, there are 22 states where it has been allowed. These are Arizona, Connecticut, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Florida, Maryland, Montana, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Missouri, Rhode Island, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Utah, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and North Dakota.
Some Health Benefits of CBD
Why the push to legalize CBD? Scientific studies have revealed that CBD has benefits to people dealing with a wide array of medical conditions such as inflammatory diseases, cancer, anxiety, Acne, Nausea, bacterial infections, schizophrenia, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis among other conditions. Although FDA has only approved a few medical products containing CBD and other cannabis derivative compounds, there is a wide range of commodities containing the same and which are available in both online and physical stores. One of these commodities is full–spectrum CBD oils. There are several brands and varieties of CBD oils that can be considered as the best full-spectrum CBD oils by what they contain and how they are processed. Best full-spectrum CBD oils are usually made from mature hemp plants either as a full leaf or just the aerial parts.
We have evaluated the legal status of CBD and marijuana across the states and we can clearly say that states are increasingly seeing the need not legalize the use of CBD and marijuana although not without control. 11 out of 50 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use while 22 others have legalized it for medical use. The use of hemp-derived CBD is legal federally but the use of marijuana remains illegal. It is also worth noting that different people react differently to CBD and therefore, even for medical purposes, different dosages will be prescribed for different people even with similar conditions.