Cannabis is filled with chemicals. Arguably the most well known of these chemicals is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Whereas THC is largely responsible for cannabis’ “high," CBD does not result in a high. Supplement manufacturers are making CBD into many forms, including oils, tinctures, pills, and lotions. Some supposed benefits of using CBD include:
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.
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.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
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.
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?
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.
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.
Marijuana-derived CBD and its legal status in the US causes confusion when answering the question ‘is CBD illegal?’ This is because each state has different laws regarding cannabis. The laws vary from state to state, with 17 out of 50 states having specific legislation around the THC-levels found in CBD products.
When CBD is hemp-derived, CBD hemp oil is legal in all 50 US states. This is because hemp-derived products are low in THC (less than 0.2%).
When using the word cannabis, people instantly think of it as an illegal substance. Yet, the cannabis hemp plant is rich in CBD which is non- psychoactive and only has trace amounts of THC (0.2%). CBD is a totally different compound to THC in all aspects.
States where cannabis-derived CBD is legal in 2018:
The good news is that CBD is gaining more interest and coverage – and more and more scientific research is taking place. As a result, the legal status of CBD oil around the world is rapidly changing, so we advise you to keep up-to-date with your local laws.
In 2018, CBD oil is legal in most countries around the world as long as it contains low levels of THC (the natural compound found in cannabis plants that makes you ‘high’).
We believe that when CBD is extracted from hemp, it has lots of great benefits. It is completely non-psychotropic so it’s impossible to feel ‘high’ from taking it.
As of now, there are eight states where cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational uses. That means that cannabis-derived CBD is also legal. Here are the states:
Another big difference among hemp, marijuana and CBD is how the law treats them.
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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.
Consumers concerned about content and the accuracy of CBD products, which are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, can look for certification from independent lab testing or by scanning a QR code on product packaging.
Great Danes and chihuahuas are distant cousins, like marijuana and hemp. Pixy, CC BY
While 67% of U.S. adults support marijuana legalization, public knowledge about cannabis is low. A third of Americans think hemp and marijuana are the same thing, according to the National Institutes of Health, and many people still search Google to find out whether cannabidiol – a cannabis derivative known as CBD – will get them high, as marijuana does.
As interest in other cannabinoids, like cannabigerol, or CBG – which some are touting as the new CBD – continues to grow, so too grows the need for further medical research into cannabis.