What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol which is a chemical compound found naturally in the cannabis plant. It contains untraceable amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive element in marijuana, which means CBD will NOT get you high, and you will not fail any drug tests since these tests do not detect such low levels of THC. Over the past four decades, numerous studies have been conducted that highlight the potential benefits of CBD.
Users of CBD have found that CBD products help them with a wide range of health problems such as insomnia, physical pain, and anxiety. It also has anti-seizure properties and can combat brain damage caused by opioid addiction. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the process of approving a CBD-based epilepsy medication which will make it the first cannabis-derived prescription medication in the United States.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
While the popularity and overall acceptance of CBD have skyrocketed in recent years, state laws on CBD vary widely. The most important factors determining CBD legality are whether it is derived from hemp or marijuana and if it is produced by a state-licensed grower.
Even though hemp contains virtually no THC, the answer to the question, “Is hemp oil legal?” is not that simple. CBD derived from hemp is legal in most states. This includes all hemp-derived CBD products like oils, edibles, and ointments. However, marijuana-derived CBD does not enjoy the same privileges as hemp. In some states, CBD derived from marijuana is completely legal; but in most states, its legality depends on a number of different factors and conditions.
Where is CBD Legal?
There are currently nine states where cannabis is completely legal for medicinal and recreational use. If you live in one of these nine states, you can use CBD that comes from hemp or marijuana. These states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.
There are 22 states where cannabis is legal with a doctor’s recommendation. These are Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
Fifteen states have limited-access laws that allow cannabis only as CBD oil, with restrictions on the levels of THC varying per jurisdiction. These 15 states are Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming, and Wisconsin.
As of 2018, there are only four states where all marijuana and marijuana-derived products are illegal. These are Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. If you are in one of these states, it is crucial that you know what kind of CBD extract you are using and where it comes from.
As mentioned before, if you are consuming hemp-derived CBD anywhere in the US, you are in good shape. But when it comes to CBD products derived from marijuana, laws vary greatly at the state level. If you are not sure about your state’s cannabis laws, navigate through our map to learn more.
The Future of Hemp: The 2018 Farm Bill
The Agricultural Act of 2014, more commonly known as the 2014 Farm Bill, opened up new doors for the hemp industry by legalizing some cultivation activities that have since allowed the industry to grow in unprecedented ways.
Following the success of various pilot programs made possible by the 2014 act, hemp is now widely accepted by the public and most lawmakers. Earlier this year, the US Senate introduced The Hemp Farming Act in its version of The 2018 Farm Bill. Among other things, the act seeks to make hemp an agricultural commodity, give states the power to oversee hemp production, and take away the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) authority over hemp.
The 2018 Farm Bill is currently in conference committee where the two legislative chambers must reconcile a few differences before approval. The bill is expected to be signed into law before the end of the year; and if The Hemp Farming Act survives in its current form, it will be the most important victory in the history of the hemp industry in the United States.