It depends. In terms of federal law, the legality of CBD oil depends largely on where the CBD came from and where it is being used, so it is important to understand some cannabis fundamentals.
If CBD oil comes from hemp, it is federally legal. If CBD oil comes from marijuana, it is federally illegal. State laws, however, vary widely.
When Is CBD Oil Illegal?
Both industrial hemp and marijuana are members of the cannabis family, but they are treated differently under federal law. Industrial hemp, as defined by the federal government, is cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by weight. Marijuana is defined as any cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC by weight.
Every U.S. state allows for the use of cannabis in some form, but each state’s laws are different. For example, Washington state law allows residents to legally consume CBD oil for recreational purposes, whereas South Dakota state law categorizes CBD as a Schedule IV controlled substance and allows citizens to use CBD only in forms that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, e.g., Epidiolex.
America’s relationship with cannabis is complicated. According to federal law, cannabis — including CBD — is still predominantly illegal, although there are exceptions. Even with the continuing federal prohibition of cannabis, most U.S. states have enacted their own cannabis-related laws. As such, CBD oils reside in a legal grey area.
If you have concerns that your pet is suffering adverse effects from ingesting cannabis or any substance containing cannabis, consult your veterinarian, local animal emergency hospital or an animal poison control center immediately.
A. FDA is aware of some cannabis products being marketed as animal health products. We want to stress that FDA has not approved cannabis for any use in animals, and the agency cannot ensure the safety or effectiveness of these products. For these reasons, FDA cautions pet-owners against the use of such products and recommends that you talk with your veterinarian about appropriate treatment options for your pet.
FDA can take action if it has information that an ingredient or cosmetic product is unsafe to consumers. Consumers can report adverse events associated with cosmetic products via the FDA’s MedWatch reporting system, either online or by phone at 1-800-FDA-1088, or by contacting your nearest FDA district office consumer complaint coordinator. For more information, please see the FDA’s webpage on how to report a cosmetic-related complaint.
Children and Pregnant/Lactating Women
As also discussed above (see Question #5) the agency also issued a draft guidance in July 2020, Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Compounds: Quality Considerations for Clinical Research Guidance for Industry, for individuals considering clinical research in this area.
10. Is it legal, in interstate commerce, to sell a food (including any animal food or feed) to which THC or CBD has been added?
 Gunn, et al. Prenatal Exposure to cannabis and maternal and child health outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 2016; 6:e009986.
16. What is FDA’s role when it comes to the investigation of cannabis and cannabis-derived products for medical use?
Brandon McFadden receives funding from U.S. Department of Agriculture.
CBD comes in food, tinctures and oils, just to name a few. Here are some commonly used terms used to describe CBD products in the store.
The Conversation UK receives funding from these organisations
Full spectrum CBD products for sale, including tinctures, topical creams, edible gummies and pet products. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
There is no standardized dosage of CBD. Some retailers may have enough knowledge to make a recommendation for first-timers. There are also online resources – like this dosage calculator.