Although cultures around the world have used cannabis for centuries, Americans are just now beginning to understand what cannabis and the chemical compounds in it do to the human body. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, in particular, has become wildly popular for its alleged health benefits, but is CBD oil legal?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most of the American CBD companies operate out of these states, especially in places that adapted their laws ahead of the curve — like Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and California.
Most CBD products like CBD oils, CBD capsules, edible gummies, or CBD E-liquids are made using hemp-derived CBD in order to sell these products legally.
These states honor the changes in the 2018 Farm Bill completely — in these states, you’re free to purchase, possess, and use hemp-derived products including CBD oils and capsules.
There’s no better example of states exercising their right to challenge federal laws than in the realm of cannabis laws.
The reason CBD has so many uses comes down to its ability to interact with this centrally-regulating endocannabinoid system. This has a trickle-down effect on the rest of the body, assisting in the regulation of other organ systems all around the body.
While the laws on CBD’s legalities are loosening federally, in a select few states you can still be arrested and thrown in jail for having a bottle of CBD oil on you.
The 1936 Geneva Trafficking Convention was a treaty aimed at a worldwide ban involving the cultivation, manufacture, and distribution of cannabis products. This treaty also included coca and opium. Although some countries chose to disregard this project, it’s what lead to the regulation of marijuana in much of Europe, as well as Canada, and Australia.
In Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon, you can be sure that the amount of CBD on the label does exist. In these states, cannabis is completely legalized. Products must pass state mandates regarding their claims on labels, so companies that fake information may be in legal trouble. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ran tests on multiple CBD companies’ products in 2015 and 2016 and found that the CBD content was over exaggerated or not at all present.
CBD oil—it’s all you hear about these days. The health benefits of CBD are numerous, and it is a non-intoxicating alternative to THC. Once you begin talking about CBD with your friends and family, however, some objections come up. The legality of CBD is hotly contested among some, while others do not seem to understand the difference between THC and CBD.
The Source Matters
In general, CBD that contains less than 0.3% of THC is considered legal across the United States.
In areas where CBD continues to be illegal, arrests are rare. One may be arrested for selling it, although the items are usually just confiscated. Possession does not usually end in arrest. If CBD is illegal in your area, however, it is important to obey the law.
Just remember, when in doubt, consult state law. Chances are, you can use Google to find a state-sponsored website with all the information you need concerning the legal status of CBD oil in your state. You can also check with your employer if you are worried about drug testing.