Is CBD Legal?

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Cannabidiol or CBD products are rapidly becoming a brand and have taken over the consumer market by storm. Due to its non-intoxicating effects over the human mind and high therapeutic benefits, CBD has become a favorite within a short period.

Today we have CBD oil, gummies, capsules, and even CBD skincare. These products are formulated to free you of your stress and anxiety while providing many other benefits.

But with all the benefits and increasing popularity, there are certain doubts related to CBD products. “LEGALITY” is one major issue that get you thinking before you head to buy CBD oil. There are quite a few “ifs” and “buts” that surround the big question, “Is CBD legal?”

The answer to this question is pretty confusing for many. The law differs from state to state throughout the USA. Some states have made CBD legal with some specifications, while others have banned CBD products completely.

Let’s check out the legal status of CBD in USA:

Legal Restrictions On CBD                                         

United States laws have categorized Cannabis Sativa into two species:

  • Marijuana plant.
  • Hemp plant.

Hemp and marijuana both contain CBD. However, the minor difference between these two forms of Cannabis is the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found alongside the CBD compound within these plants. The hemp plant contains an excessive amount of CBD with minute traces of THC. At the same time, marijuana has higher THC levels, surpassing the State restricted limit of 0.3% along with the higher concentration of CBD.

Now, CBD extracted from hemp is being used for general and medical purposes and legalized by the State under some regulations. Thus, CBD is legal as long as it is hemp-derived on the Federal level, but CBD obtained from the marijuana plant is still a big “No.”

So, in reality, it is not about CBD. Rather it is about hemp vs. marijuana when it comes to the question of legality.

Status Of Marijuana And Hemp Obtained CBD By State Laws

CBD from hemp is entirely legal, whether obtained for medical or recreational purposes but CBD extracted from marijuana is only legal in some states where marijuana itself is legit. As of now, a total of 48 states out of 50 have allowed CBD under the criteria designed by the concerning state.

However, two states are strict about CBD, as marijuana is completely illegal there due to the THC content.

  • In Idaho, a CBD product like CBD oil is only legal if it has 0%THC and is classified as non-marijuana under the Idaho state law.
  • In Nebraska, though technically illegal (as it makes no distinction between THC and CBD), only prescription CBD products are legal with less than 0.3% while following certain Nebraska state rules concerning manufacturing, testing, and delivery.

Federal Laws Against Marijuana

If we talk about Federal laws specifically regarding chemical compounds derived from marijuana, including CBD oil and CBG oil (the two most beneficial cannabinoids within Cannabis), the law is pretty stringent. Marijuana is listed in the Schedule 1 category of the Controlled Substances Act by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

As per this act, the cultivation, utilization, usage, and trade of marijuana come under federal violation.

For hemp, on the other hand, things took an impressively positive turn after the US Government passed the Farm Bill 2014.

A Brief View Of Farm Bill 2014

In the year 2014, Congress signed a policy in support of hemp-extracted compounds. This policy, famously known as Farm Bill, proved to be an important step towards developing hemp-derived products. It specifies the below-mentioned points:

  • Firstly, it allows the agricultural sector and other industries to cultivate and reproduce the hemp plant.
  • This bill proves to be a key step in the research and development of hemp.
  • It drew a line of distinction between marijuana and hemp.

It was only the beginning of the hemp industry expansion. But there were also contradictions between the State and Federal laws regarding the growth, use, and sale of products acquired from the hemp species.

Farm Bill 2018

December 2018 marks the new beginning for the hemp industry. The 2014 Farm Bill was further extended to give more space to the hemp plant research and business. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 not only legalized the hemp plant but also authorized the trade of the products containing CBD along with THC in a concentration of 0.3% or less.

Farm Bill 2018 amends the Farm Bill 2014 with the following points:

  • Hemp and hemp made products used either for medical or recreational purposes were removed from The Controlled Substance Act, making it legal at Federal as well as State level.
  • It promises to provide subsidies to the farmers in terms of water rights, the export of the crop, development in the hemp growth sector, and other subsidies.
  • It further stated that products derived from hemp would only be legal under one condition: the hemp crop must be grown with the procedure coherent with the Farms Bill.

Farm Bill Conflicts With FDA

Though legal federally, again, a conflict arises between the Farm Bill and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA argues that clearing any food or drugs containing any level of CBD is the exclusive right reserved by FDA.

Currently, the FDA views the vast array of products or drugs with CBD or CBG as illegal. Also, FDA approval is needed before the trading of such commodities. The regulatory department is still contemplating whether to give CBD and its products the go-ahead signal or not.

FDA has given clearance to only CBD product, Epidiolex, a well-known drug used for treating seizures. Now let’s see what further steps FDA takes for making CBD legal throughout the State.

CBD And Varying State Laws

So what changes do the state laws made to accept CBD and other hemp products in the eye of law? With CBD being legal in the Federal ordinance, the States are also making certain changes in their law books.

Let’s take Colorado for an example. Colorado State updated its law and made the entire hemp plant legal as a source of food ingredient. On the other hand, Nebraska has banned any CBD product containing even minute THC traces with serious penalties.

Different states have different laws when it comes to the legalization of CBD products. The best way to know if your state has made CBD legal or not, is to acknowledge yourself with your state laws before heading out to buy CBD oil, CBD drugs, or other CBD products.


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