While the legalities and accompanying politics in relation to CBD continue to evolve, those who have used CBD products to treat illness and chronic pain maintain that its healing properties make a positive impact on their overall health and wellness. In fact, it is becoming more well known that cannabidiol (CBD) has been proven by research studies and clinical trials to treat symptoms such as anxiety, inflammation, chronic pain, insomnia, and much more.
As topics around cannabidiol (CBD) grow in popularity, and as the demand for products derived from it increases, the landscape of the legality of CBD can often seem overwhelming. Understanding the nuances of the various bills and laws that impact CBD growing, sales, and usage can also be baffling. This leaves consumers, product suppliers, and CBD companies often concerned about whether the sale of CBD, or using it for therapeutic treatment, is legal in their state.
There are a number of different details, and some history around CBD, to take into account as you consider purchasing products that contain the powerful CBD compound. This article will provide additional information and details to help better comprehend the legalities around CBD.
The 2018 Farm Bill
While the verbiage contained in some of the laws requires a bit of dissection and clarification in order to gain a clear understanding, you can rest easy knowing that CBD is technically legal now in all 50 states. Thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp was removed from the controlled substances list. Because of this, CBD was then formally legalized.
This was a positive move for the farming and hemp industry because now ranchers can legally grow hemp and maintain their federal farm benefits, which were previously in jeopardy.
Additionally, those who produce and sell hemp-derived CBD products also benefit from the passing of the bill. This means that consumers reap the benefits by being able to legally purchase and use CBD as a means to treat numerous disorders and symptoms.
The 2018 Farm Bill was a win-win for everyone involved, but it’s still important to understand more about how CBD is derived. This matters because the source of CBD determines its legality and how it can be used.
How Cannabidiol is Derived
Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from the hemp species of the Cannabis sativa plant. It is a compound that is naturally produced in the human body as well by the Endocannabinoid system. However, marijuana is another species of cannabis but is different than CBD in that it doesn’t contain a specific enzyme needed to produce the cannabinoid CBD.
Because CBD is harvested from the hemp plant, and not marijuana plant, it is not included on the controlled substances list and in legal to grow and sell in all 50 states.
Difference Between Hemp, CBD, and Marijuana
But here’s where things can become more convoluted because hemp and marijuana are both members of the cannabis family and include similarities and important differences.
It is not federally legal to produce or sell CBD derived from marijuana, because legal CBD products must contain less than .3 percent THC. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of over 100 identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. However, it is one that contains a psychoactive property and responsible for the feeling of getting “high”. Hemp contains less than .3 percent THC and is therefore legal to produce, sell, and use hemp derived CBD products.
Another way to frame this is to remember that any plant of the cannabis family that contains less than .3 percent THC is classified by the US Government as hemp. This conversely means that any plant that is a member of the cannabis species and contains over .3 percent of THC is classified as “marijuana” by the US government. Therein lies the subtleties that affect the laws around CBD and cannabis and the reason the government decided to address this classification.
States and Their Jurisdictional Categories
While the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill led to great strides and milestones in the hemp-derived CBD industry, there is still progress to be made. It’s important to note that local jurisdictions may take more time to officially accept the changes and remove any obstacles in the way of those who plan to produce, sell, and use CBD products.
As such, four traditional categories have been created that can help shed light on which states have more “friendly” reception of hemp-derived CBD products. This can be used as a general guide for consumers as they consider purchasing and using the products.
The breakdown of the categories goes from “friendliest” to “states with concern”. For more detailed information on legality, check the specific laws and bills for your state or get in touch with local advocacy groups.
Friendliest states (these laws allow the sale of industrial hemp-derived products)-: Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Friendly states (these laws outline that industrial hemp grown in a Farm Bill-compliant agricultural pilot program is explicitly exempted from the definition of marijuana): District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, and North Dakota.
This means that there is little to no risk of either selling CBD products or purchasing and using the products in these states.
Gray Area states (these laws do not include explicit prohibitions against the retail sale of industrial hemp-derived CBD products but do have exemptions in the law that argue for the legality of hemp-derived CBD products): Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.
It’s important to note that some states, such as Florida, do not differentiate hemp from marijuana. For this reason, some argue that hemp is still illegal in Florida until legislation is created to legalize it. Recently, in July of 2019, Florida’s legislature passed Senate Bill 1020, which allows the use of CBD oils that contain up to 0.3% THC.
States with Concern (These laws include no explicit prohibitions against the sale of industrial hemp-derived CBD products. However, the retail sale of industrial hemp-derived CBD products may be at risk due to recent law enforcement actions): Alabama, Arizona, California, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
In these states, it is recommended that manufacturers of CBD products become aware of the intricacies of the law and consider consulting with lawyers prior to sale.
CBD Can Benefit Everyone
Legislation aside, CBD continues to gain traction as a viable and alternative treatment for a host of common disorders and ailments. Those who use CBD report incredible success with remedying pain, reducing inflammation, eliminating nausea, and helping to treat disorders such as PTSD, ADHD, multiple sclerosis, and immune system disorders.
With the multitude of options CBD users have – such as oils, edibles, tinctures, vape pens, balms, lotions, and water – it has become an appealing choice for those seeking a natural healing option. Because of their convenience and ease of consumption, hemp-derived CBD products are popular among people of all ages and with diverse wellness needs.
It’s no surprise that CBD continues to be a therapeutic choice for those who suffer from chronic pain, illness, and discomfort. With little to no side effects, CBD has become a sort of “miracle” treatment for many.
As the laws continue to make CBD more accessible, and as the stigma around cannabis and hemp dissolves, CBD will become available to even more people who could benefit from its amazing healing properties.