CBD Legal Status

    The legality of CBD (Cannabidiol) could be a confusing topic of discussion among many people, shrouded with the undergoing laws on the legality of marijuana. Unlike marijuana, CBD is totally legal in the US, under certain specified conditions. However, some laws concerning CBD derived from marijuana could make this unclear, as marijuana is strictly illegal in many states in the US and other countries. This has led to the misunderstanding and the misinformation being passed around, requiring a deeper knowledge of the issue.

    A crucial factor that determines whether CBD is legal is whether it is derived from hemp or marijuana. Though both the plants are closely related and are classified under the Cannabis genus, these are treated with a huge difference in legal terms.

    Hemp Vs Marijuana

    Hemp and marijuana share many similarities in visual structures and the genetic construct. Both the plants are taxonomically the same and are only the different names given to the same genus (Cannabis). However, marijuana produces Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating compound found in Cannabis, at a much higher level than hemp. Hemp can be used to produce less than 0.3% of THC, which is a negligible or non-existent amount for intoxication. On the contrary, marijuana can produce THC up to 30% which is a fairly high amount to induce mind-altering effects.

    Marijuana is federally illegal for production in the US and other countries, though some of them have allowed its use specifically for clinical or limited recreational purposes.

    The 2018 Farm Bill

    This leads us to our initial dilemma – is CBD legal? CBD derived from hemp is termed as legal if the hemp is produced abiding to the rules and regulations defined by the law. The US Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (known as the 2018 Farm Bill) has reclassified hemp as an agricultural commodity, removing it from the Schedule I substance list and thus lifting its prohibition. This does not mean that the bill has legalised CBD in all its forms of production. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recognises CBD as a Schedule I substance and still terms it illegal under its guidance.

    However, when CBD is derived from hemp following a set of regulations under the new Farm Bill, it is legal. The regulation defines that hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC and adhere to the share state-federal regulations including being grown by a properly licenced grower to be legal. The bill additionally removes restrictions on the sale, transportation, and possession of CBD products that are derived from hemp. This makes the transportation of CBD products derived from hemp that follow the above regulations completely legal.

    What about marijuana-derived CBD products?

    The legality of marijuana is closely tied to the legality of CBD that is derived from it. Marijuana is legal for recreational purposes in 10 states in the US, as of 2020, which naturally makes marijuana-derived CBD a legal thing in these states. Recreational use of marijuana is allowed in Alaska, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Over 30 states allow the use of marijuana for specific medical conditions, thus making the use of CBD derived from marijuana legal under certain conditions. Many states approve the use of CBD extract, usually in oil form, used for the treatment of epilepsy and seizures. The extract contains a minimum or negligible amount of THC.

    On the contrary, some states strictly prohibit marijuana, and hence marijuana-derived CBD, making it illegal.

    States with regulations that permit the use of marijuana-derived CBD for a broad range of conditions include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

    States with regulations that permit the use of marijuana-derived CBD under certain circumstances include Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

    Medical marijuana card and precautions

    Most of the states mentioned above do not require patients to obtain a medical marijuana card for the purpose of marijuana-derived CBD consumption. The regulations of each state determines its necessity for legal consumption. It is highly recommended to consult a lawyer or refer to the latest legislation before purchasing CBD in different states to comply with the specific regulations.

    It is important to note that CBD derived from both hemp and marijuana is strictly prohibited in some states. Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota are quite stringent about the laws of CBD usage, making the sale, possession and use of CBD very risky.