Are CBD Products Legal?
This is a commonly asked question by those using CBD products and those interested in finding CBD oil for sale. Many of these questions are answered by first understanding the difference between hemp and marijuana.
The political and legal climate surrounding cannabis and products derived from cannabis has been shifting for years, but the battles and disagreements are still far from over. Opinions about the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana are split. You probably can’t skim the news without encountering updates about cannabis-related laws.
This turbulence makes it difficult and often confusing to fully understand what, exactly, is legal or illegal in each state. In some cases, the lines are blurry, but clarification is only a short read away.
What’s the Big Deal?
Despite the fact that CBD is becoming more well known as a substance with a myriad of health benefits, mountains of controversy continue to exist around its distribution and use within the United States.
Due to the negative reputation slapped onto marijuana in the 1930s, a series of misconceptions continue to exist at the federal level. These misunderstandings result in CBD being tossed in along with marijuana restriction, and it is CBD’s close relationship to marijuana that has resulted in murky legal waters despite its benefits.
Hemp and Marijuana: The Initial Confusion
Before answering “is CBD legal?” from state to state, it is critical to understand the difference between hemp and marijuana. While hemp and marijuana serve drastically different purposes, creators of legislation maintain confusion and often fail to separate the two plants from one another when signing laws and bans into effect.
It all started in the 70s when President Richard Nixon put into motion the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 as a part of his “War on Drugs.” Within the Controlled Substances Act, all species of cannabis were lumped together and classified as a Schedule 1 drug, effectively outlawing the widely beneficial hemp plant.
Understand the Difference between Hemp and Marijuana
While both are a part of the cannabis family, hemp and marijuana are not the same! Understand the difference between hemp and marijuana.
The most significant difference between hemp and marijuana is the chemicals inside each. In particular, the cannabinoid composition of hemp and marijuana is drastically different. Cannabidiol (what you know as CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (called THC), the two most well-known cannabinoids due to their constant presence in research and the media, exist in hemp and marijuana in entirely different ratios.
In hemp, the THC content is less than one-third of a percent, but CBD levels are high. Marijuana, on the other hand, may contain as much as 35% THC.
It’s THC that legislators are afraid of, due to its ability to initiate psychoactive effects within the consumer. These psychoactive effects are what result in the “high” associated with recreational marijuana use. CBD, however, has no mind-altering effects.
So how, exactly, does this answer the question “Is CBD legal?”
Sourcing Your CBD
Now that you’re an expert in differentiating hemp from marijuana, you may have an inkling of one of the most important distinctions necessary for the legal discussion:
It’s important to know if your CBD is derived from hemp and if the extracts come from marijuana.
Because of the drastic difference in THC composition, hemp-derived CBD is treated differently than marijuana-derived CBD within the legal system. Hemp-derived CBD will have a maximum of 0.3% THC and a much higher concentration of CBD, leading to a further inhibitory effect on any trace amounts of THC present.
Especially if you live in a state where CBD laws aren’t entirely cut-and-dry, it’s important to know how and where your CBD originates.
Where is CBD Legal?
Most people want to know where to buy CBD oil and where is CBD oil for sale in their area. First, let’s take a quick aside from the idea of sourcing your CBD and at last address the question you want answered most!
In 2018, there are still six states where all forms of cannabis are completely illegal. Even if CBD is used for medicinal purposes, it is still considered illegal in these states. These states are Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
28 states have established laws legalizing marijuana for medical use—CBD is legal to use in these states.
CBD legality is a bit trickier in the remaining states, where CBD is only legal in particular circumstances. If you live in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, or Wisconsin, check up on the individual laws which exist within your state.
Hemp-Derived versus Cannabis-Derived CBD
For many, the presence of marijuana’s psychoactive effects provides uneasiness. This creates a reluctance to legalize CBD oil and other CBD products. As a result, hemp-derived CBD products and may be legal in some states for medical use. However, CBD extracted from marijuana might not be.
The Controlled Substances Act and the 2014 Farm Bill dictated guidelines for U.S. hemp farmers. In theory, CBD is legal to consume when it is grown by a state-licensed hemp farmer in the U.S.
At the moment, some legal experts agree on the frustrating lack of clarity surrounding CBD laws. They believe that regulations surrounding hemp-CBD are open to interpretation.
The Bottom Line and Current Events
Despite different opinions, the legislature is changing making it frustrating confusing. There is a lack of direct clarity within cannabis and CBD laws. CBD has a huge amount of promise as a medical treatment and pharmaceutical agent. For now, ensure you abide by your state’s laws by learning what they are. This will ensure you ask questions about the source of CBD products you buy.
Also, stay informed about upcoming developments and changes within the battlefield that is a fight for cannabis legalization. For example, Mitch McConnell introduced the Hemp Farming Act in April 2018. The definitions within it may separate hemp-derived CBD and marijuana.
The Senate passed a bill to go before Congress later this year. This would have a huge impact on laws. One attorney in New York even believes the U.S. will see CBD legalized in the next year or so.
For now, the country waits.