What Is The Legal Status Of Cannabidiol In The United States?

Cannabidiol, or commonly known as CBD, is one of the many cannabinoid compounds found in the hemp and marijuana, the two types of cannabis plant. CBD and its products are gaining much popularity around the world because of the health benefits it offers. Many countries realized the ability of CBD to treat the health problems that affect human body and legalized it. The federal government also legalized the hemp derived CBD products when the Farm Bill of 2018 was passed.

The CBD is legal in the United States under very specific conditions. There are some laws that are still unclear and confusing. The 2018 Farm Bill removed the hemp from the list of controlled substances and classified it as an agricultural commodity.  But there are still many misconceptions about the legal status of hemp and hemp-derived CBD in the United States.

What Is The Legal Status Of Hemp And Marijuana?

Both hemp and marijuana are two types of plants that come under the cannabis genus and both of them contain high amounts of CBD. Since both plants belong to the same family, they share many similar features, and even look the same. The amount of THC present in both hemp and marijuana is vastly different. THC is the intoxicating compound present in cannabis that provides the user with a sensation of high.

The amount of THC present in the hemp is less than 0.3 %. But in marijuana, the amount of THC is up to 30 %. The high amount of THC in marijuana induces the user with many mind altering effects. This is the main reason why marijuana is illegal under federal law.  And since the amount of THC in the hemp is under 0.3 %, it is federally legal.

Is Hemp-Derived CBD Legal In The United States?

As long as the CBD is produced with CBD regulations defined by the federal law, the hemp-derived CBD is legal. The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of Schedule I substance and reclassified it as an agricultural commodity. This made the farming of hemp and extraction of CBD from the hemp legal. Many people think that the Farm Bill legalized CBD regardless of its source. That is a common misconception. CBD derived from marijuana is still illegal.

The CBD derived from the hemp is legal when it follows the regulations set forth in the new farm bill.  The amount of THC in the hemp should be less than 0.3 %. The hemp must adhere to the state and federal regulations. Only properly licensed growers are allowed to grow hemp. The Farm bill also removed the sales and possession of hemp derived CBD products. Now transporting hemp-derived CBD products across state lines is no longer a federal offense as long as the product follows all the federal CBD regulations.

What Is The Legal Status Of Marijuana-Derived CBD?

The legality of marijuana-derived hemp is a little complicated. Marijuana is illegal under the federal law. But in some states like California and Colorado, the recreational use of marijuana is legal. This makes marijuana-derived CBD also legal. Some other states allow the use of marijuana-derived CBD products for some specific medical conditions.

There are 10 states where both marijuana and hemp is legal for recreational and medical use. They are California, Colorado, Alaska, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington and Vermont.  As of 2019, 47 American states legalized the use of medical use of marijuana-derived CBD products for treating a broad range of medical conditions. The specific requirements to obtain a marijuana card differ in each state. Therefore, consult a lawyer to find out the legality of CBD in your area.

There are still some states where the marijuana-derived CBD is still illegal. They are Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Even the legality of hemp-derived CBD in these states are in a grey area. So it is better not to go to these states with CBD in possession.

Why Was CBD Ever Made Illegal?

When the marijuana plant was declared as an illegal substance, all the compounds of marijuana, its derivatives and related plants were also made illegal. Because of the presence of trace amount of THC, hemp was also made illegal. The concern was that, hemp might also be used in the same way as that of marijuana. The lawmakers also concerned that people may hide marijuana crops within legitimate hemp farms. As the scientific research made great progress, the potential power of CBD became clearer.

How To Find Approved CBD Products?

To find approved CBD products, you must look for the four aspects: origin of hemp, certificate of analysis, testing methods and potency. When you buy CBD products, make sure that the hemp is grown in the United States. The certificate of analysis will show the results of a third-party lab testing.  Make sure that the testing methods used by the third-party lab are validated by any of the three national regulatory organizations. The certificate of analysis should also contain the amount of CBD and THC in the product.