Is CBD oil legal is one of the most common questions asked. It’s a confusing time for the industry and consumers – especially with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp as an agricultural crop. One of the biggest factors in determining the legal status of CBD oil is where it came from. CBD is found in both hemp and cannabis.
The source of the CBD matters when determining its legality. We’ll get into that a little later.
What is CBD?
Before we get into answering is CBD legal in the US or whether you can buy CBD oil in the UK, we’ll help you understand what it is. CBD, or cannabidiol, is the primary cannabinoid found in hemp plants. It is the second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis.
CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, so it does not produce a high. You may also see the phrase non-psychoactive mentioned in reference to CBD. This term is used because there is no high associated with the cannabinoid.
CBD is available in three forms: full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate. Isolate is inferior to full and broad spectrum options. Full spectrum refers to all of the natural cannabinoids and terpenes of the cannabis or hemp plant being present with only the impurities being removed during extraction. CBD isolate refers to all of the natural cannabinoids and/or terpenes being removed except the CBD during extraction.
Broad spectrum products can start as a full spectrum oil or an isolate. When isolates are used, and the product is THC-free, the entourage effect cannot be achieved.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
Now, onto the big question, is CBD oil legal? The simple answer is – it depends where you live. Laws are different in each state regarding CBD – especially when it is cannabis-derived CBD. Products that are manufactured from hemp or cannabis cultivated by state-licensed growers also makes a difference.
We’ll explain why this answer is a little tricky. Cannabis, either medical or recreational, is not legal everywhere. So, CBD that is derived from cannabis may not be legal in every state. One way you can check the status of the legality of CBD oil in your state is to visit the NORML website and use the State Info section.
NORML updates state laws as they change. You can either click on your state or select it from the list under the map. This will bring up all of the rules for your home state.
CBD that is derived from hemp is now legal nationwide. Hemp contains 0.3% THC or less, meaning that even if you ingest the extracted oil from an entire hemp plant – you’re not going to get high.
So, is CBD oil is legal where you are, first, look at the origination of the CBD oil. If it was extracted from cannabis (marijuana) – review your state’s laws. If it is derived from hemp – it’s legal.
Hemp is Removed from the Controlled Substances Act
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is removed from the Controlled Substances Act. Hemp is legal in the United States for the first time in 5 decades. Despite hemp being legal, the FDA still has a say in regulating products derived from hemp – specifically CBD products.
CBD products derived from hemp will have to abide by guidelines set by the FDA. These regulations have not been determined as of January 2019. The FDA has a webpage available with information and FAQs regarding hemp CBD products and cannabis. The agency said it will update this webpage as regulations are put in place. This is both for public information and to help manufacturers remain compliant.
If the FDA determines that any CBD product is not safe, there are consequences for the manufacturer. Warnings will also be issued to consumers regarding the agency’s concerns. CBD manufacturers may not make any medical claims. What this means is, a CBD manufacturer may not say that CBD or their product cures anything. If a manufacturer wants to be able to say that their product treats or cures a specific condition, the product must be approved by the FDA for that specific reason instead.
FDA Press Release Statement
The FDA specifically says, “Cannabis and cannabis-derived products claiming in their marketing and promotional materials that they’re intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of diseases (such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders and diabetes) are considered new drugs or new animal drugs and must go through the FDA drug approval process for human or animal use before they are marketed in the U.S. Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of the law, but also can put patients at risk, as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective. This deceptive marketing of unproven treatments raises significant public health concerns, as it may keep some patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases.”
Foods and dietary supplements that include CBD and/or THC cannot be sold across state lines. What this means is, these products can’t be marketed as a food or dietary supplement due to CBD and THC both being ingredients in FDA approved mediations that underwent stringent clinical trials and research prior to being approved.
The guidelines for hemp-derived and cannabis-derived CBD products have not been set yet. The status of CBD and associated products is awaiting guidance and regulation from the FDA. Since regulations are not in place, we suggest reviewing your state’s specific guidelines regarding CBD and its origination.
Where is CBD Oil Legal?
Three U.S. states cannabis-derived CBD and other cannabis products are completely illegal. These states are Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota. Only hemp-derived CBD is legal in these states.
If you reside in one of the other 47 states, here is how you determine is CBD oil legal for you:
Living in recreational cannabis-legal states provides you access to both cannabis-derived and hemp-derived CBD products.
The cannabis-legal states are:
- Washington State
- Washington, D.C.
You don’t need to purchase hemp-derived CBD from only state-licensed medical cannabis or recreational cannabis stores in these states.
Medical cannabis-legal states are a little different because each state has its own regulations. We’ll go into a little detail for each state below.
Alabama has a very restricted medical cannabis program. Leni’s Law and Carly’s Law are both in place. These allow those with a patient registry card to possess CBD oil containing up to 3% THC. Under Carly’s Law, however, the THC content must be under 3%.
Affirmative defense is available to those that possess a prescription for CBD oil from a doctor at the University of Alabama Department of Neurology. Affirmative defense applies to patients and their caregivers.
Alabama does not have a full medical cannabis program.
Arizona has a full medical cannabis program. Patients must obtain a proper recommendation from an approved doctor or naturopath. The state must approve the application. Once the application is approved, patients can visit state-licensed dispensaries when their medical cannabis patient card arrives in the mail. Cards are valid for 1-year.
The state of cannabis extracts is currently in litigation in the Arizona Supreme Court. The state, however, has allowed cannabis extracts, such as CBD products, cannabis oil, edibles, concentrates and vape since the program’s inception in 2010. The only county in Arizona that raises concern about non-flower forms of medical cannabis is Yavapai County.
Arkansas does have a full medical cannabis program. As of January 2019, dispensaries are not yet open. Licenses have not been awarded yet, but a list of the highest scoring applicants has been released. Dispensaries are expected to be open later in 2019.
Patients with a valid medical cannabis certification will have access to cannabis-derived and hemp-derived CBD products.
The state is in the process of approving medical cannabis card applications but will not issue cards to patients until 1 month before dispensaries will actually be open.
In Connecticut, approved medical cannabis patients have access to a full medical cannabis program. Patients are allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis and products monthly. This includes CBD products derived from both hemp and cannabis.
Delaware has decriminalized possession of 1 ounce of cannabis or less. The state also has a medical cannabis program. Patients that receive approval from the state have access to CBD derived from both cannabis and hemp at state-licensed dispensaries.
Delaware does restrict patients under the age of 18 to access of cannabis oil only.
Florida’s medical cannabis program continues to grow. The state is in ongoing litigation to allow patients access to dry flower for consumption by smoking. Currently, no smokeable type of medical cannabis is legal in the state.
Is CBD oil legal in Florida? Yes. It can be purchased from state-licensed dispensaries. CBD oil that is derived from cannabis may only be sold to a valid Florida medical cannabis cardholder state-licensed dispensaries.
Delivery of medical cannabis products is available throughout most of the state. Florida’s program is restrictive and heavily regulated, and if you are caught with anything you may need to consult a lawyer.
Georgia is one of the most regulated and strictest in the country when it comes to medical cannabis and CBD oil. Is CBD oil legal in Georgia – it’s tricky. Georgia enacted Haleigh’s Hope Act. This allows patients with a limited number of conditions to possess and use low-THC cannabis oil. The oil cannot contain more than 5% THC.
The conditions include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Epidermolysis bullosa
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Intractable pain
The conditions above were added to the original law, which is restricted to only those with severe ailments or terminal illness status. There is no way for Georgians with registry cards to purchase their medication in the state. Patients have to break the law to obtain medication that the state says they can have. Legislation is pending to remedy that.
Hawaii has a full medical cannabis program. Patients with a registry card can access all cannabis and hemp products available through state-licensed dispensaries. Hawaii is very strict regarding its testing facilities. The state has been slow to get testing facilities up and running but dispensaries are becoming more available to patients.
Illinois is a tricky state when it comes to medical cannabis. CBD-derived from hemp is legal under the farm bill. CBD oil derived from cannabis is available under the state’s pilot program. The pilot program allows approved patients to purchase 2.5-ounces of medical cannabis and associated products every 14 days.
The pilot program ends on July 1, 2020 – lawmakers expect to have a permanent medical cannabis program in place by then. Illinois decriminalized the possession of cannabis up to 10 grams in 2016.
Is CBD oil legal in Indiana? Not exactly — Indiana only allows CBD oil for epilepsy. House Bill 1148 restricts the use of CBD oil to treatment resistant epilepsy. This means that only patients that have epilepsy and have not found successful traditional methods qualify.
Approved patients must be part of the state’s registry to be able to legally possess CBD oil derived from cannabis.
Several retailers around Indiana are offering hemp-derived CBD oil in their variety stores and health food stores.
Iowa allows the use of CBD oil for patients with an approved qualifying condition. Only patients with valid recommendations and registry identification may possess the CBD oil. Dispensaries are permitted in Iowa.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Kansas? Yes, Kansas has recently adopted legislation that permits the sale and possession of CBD oil. CBD from either cannabis or hemp is permitted.
Kentucky allows CBD oil only. Since the state has been participating in the national hemp pilot program, prior to the signage of the 2018 farm bill legalizing hemp, hemp-derived CBD has been made available.
Legislation is pending to legalize medical cannabis in Kentucky.
Louisiana has a full medical cannabis program with restrictions. Patients may not use smokeable forms of cannabis. The program allows patients access to CBD products made from cannabis or hemp.
Maryland has decriminalized cannabis possession and has adopted legislation to expunge some cannabis convictions. The state also produces hemp and has a medical cannabis program. With the medical cannabis program in place, patients have access to CBD oil.
Minnesota does not allow for smokeable forms of medical cannabis. CBD oil is permitted. Minnesota allows capsules, oils and liquids only. The state requires patients to be in the registry. Only eight dispensaries are in the entire state.
Mississippi has adopted a medical CBD program. This gives patients access to high-CBD, low-THC products. The program is highly restrictive as it only applies to those with intractable epilepsy.
Missouri allows those with intractable epilepsy to possess 20-oz. of cannabis oil. The oil must be at least 5% CBD and no more than 0.3% THC. The state also has a medical cannabis program but it has not been implemented yet.
The state of Montana does allow for hemp cultivation. The state also has a full medical cannabis program, which allows access to CBD oil from both cannabis and hemp. The list of qualifying conditions is quite small.
Home cultivation is permitted. The medical cannabis program just went into effect in 2017.
Medical cannabis has been legal in New Hampshire since 2013. The state is considering recreational legalization. The full medical cannabis program gives patients access to CBD oil from both cannabis and hemp.
New Hampshire restricts patients to purchasing medical cannabis from only one dispensary. A change of information form must be completed to purchase from a different dispensary.
New Jersey has a full medical cannabis program. The state is also considering recreational legalization. New Jersey is one of the few states that allows access to medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids. Patients can possess up to 2-oz. per month.
New Mexico is another state that is has recreational cannabis legislation pending. The state does have a thriving medical cannabis program. Protections for doctors recommending marijuana are in place. Access to CBD oil from cannabis and hemp are both available. Industrial hemp is currently cultivated here.
New York is on a path to legalize recreational cannabis in 2019. The state has an expensive and restrictive medical cannabis program. No smokeable forms of cannabis are permitted. CBD products are available. Patients are restricted to possessing a specific 30-day supply only.
North Carolina is an interesting state. Tax stamps are still used. The stamps must be present on all cannabis products. Medical CBD and hemp are still legal.
Not only is CBD oil legal in Ohio, so is medical cannabis. Dispensaries are preparing to open. Ohio does not allow smokeable forms of cannabis. The state requires that patients receive referrals from specifically licensed physicians. The state is also very strict on what types of facilities can test cannabis products for the medical cannabis program.
Oklahoma is another interesting state. Tax stamps are still in use here. The state allows CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC. Oklahomans will soon have access to a full medical cannabis program. CBD oil has been legal in the state since 2015.
Pennsylvania has a semi-restricted medical cannabis program and permits hemp cultivation. This makes access to CBD oil from cannabis and hemp available. Smokeable forms of cannabis are not permitted. The state is also discussing recreational cannabis legalization.
In Rhode Island, CBD oil is legal, as is medical cannabis. The state allows out-of-state patients with medical marijuana certifications to access dispensaries while visiting.
South Carolina allows approved patients to access CBD oil. The state also allows for industrial hemp cultivation. South Carolina still uses the tax stamp program as well.
Tennessee has approved the use of CBD oil. The oil cannot contain more than 0.3% THC. Tax stamps are still used in Tennessee. Industrial hemp cultivation is also permitted in Tennessee.
The question – is CBD oil legal in Texas is a tricky one. This is because Texas only allows CBD oil for those with intractable epilepsy. It’s estimated that only about 600 patients are benefitting from this highly restricted program. State lawmakers are working to expand access to more patients.
The THC content of CBD products cannot be more than 0.5%. The CBD content must be at least 10%.
Utah has allowed the use of CBD oil for intractable epilepsy and terminal illness since 2014. CBD products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC and should contain at least 15% CBD. The state recently adopted medical cannabis legislation but the program is not up and running yet.
CBD oil is the only thing that is currently legal in Virginia. House Bill 1445 was signed into law in 2015. This is an “affirmative defense” piece of legislation for those with intractable epilepsy. The products allowed are oils up to 5% THC and at least 15% CBD or THCa. THCa is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.
West Virginia’s medical cannabis program is not up and running yet. CBD oil is permitted. Patients with an approved application will have access to a 30-day supply of approved medical cannabis products. Smokeable forms of cannabis are not permitted but vaporizing liquids or oils is allowed.
Wisconsin is another CBD only state. Voters in over a dozen jurisdictions showed support for full medical cannabis legalization in election referendums in 2018. In Wisconsin, there is no limit of conditions when it comes to accessing CBD. As long as a physician recommends it for a patient, they can have it for any medical condition.
Medical CBD has been legal for intractable epilepsy in Wyoming since 2015. The state is very specific in what the CBD oil must contain for its patients. The CBD oil must contain at least 15% CBD and no more than 0.3% THC. Patients also receive a “hemp extract identification card” which deems them legally allowed to possess the high-CBD oil medicine.
This comprehensive guide should help you answer the question – is CBD oil legal, no matter where in the U.S. you live. With hemp being legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp production is expected to take place in every state. All of Canna Trading Co.’s CBD products are derived from American hemp farmers.