Cannabidiol (CBD) does not prevent, treat, or cure diseases. However, it can alleviate various health conditions to make users more comfortable. A few studies have shown CBD’s ability to reduce pain, anxiety, inflammation, stress, and seizures. Besides, the FDA in 2018 approved a drug that contains CBD to assist in managing epilepsy. Despite more research on CBD being necessary, it has proven to improve the lives of users in several ways. That being said, is CBD legal? Continue reading for details.
Where Is CBD Legal?
CBD is legal in the U.S. at the federal level, and most states recognize that. However, some states do not. Therefore, the federal government says it is alright for you to use CBD, but your local government might have an issue with that. We are about to cover in which states CBD is legal and where it is not. First, let us look at a bit of legislation history surrounding CBD.
A Quick History of CBD Legislation in the United States
Hemp has been around for centuries in the U.S. People cultivated it and used its fiber to make ropes, paper, and cloth, among other things. Hemp and marijuana are different plants, but somehow, they ended up in the same category. In the early 20th century, Mexican immigration introduced marijuana to America. Its high THC levels make users feel high, so many assumed that all cannabis plants, including hemp, have the same effect, which is not true.
In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act was passed, banning the growing of hemp and marijuana in the U.S. in 1970, the act was replaced and became the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. It classified cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance, adding that it had no acceptable medical purpose and had a high risk for abuse.
Nonetheless, between the 1990s and 2010s, cannabis enthusiasts pushed for the reclassification of hemp and marijuana based on the plants’ medicinal purposes. Their efforts began to bear fruit. In 1996, California legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, becoming the first state to do so.
It did not end there. The 2014 Farm Bill built a framework for Hemp Programs, which allowed farmers to grow industrial hemp without a DEA permit. This paved the way for large-scale production of CBD items.
The 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act (also called the 2018 Farm Bill) provided more leeway for hemp cultivation to go beyond pilot programs. It also eliminated possession, transportation, and sale restrictions on hemp products in all states, as long as they met federal regulations. However, the act does not mean that hemp products are legal in all states. Some states are yet to accept CBD as legal.
Is CBD Legal in All 50 US States?
CBD could be legal at the federal level but not in all states. There are four groups of states when it comes to CBD.
- Friendliest: They have laws that permit retailers to sell hemp products. They include Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Missouri, Maryland, Vermont, Alaska, and Utah.
- Friendly: In these states, industrial hemp grown with adherence to the Farm Bill agricultural pilot programs is not classified as marijuana. These jurisdictions include Hawaii, North Dakota, New Mexico, Kansas, Montana, and District of Colombia.
- Gray Area: These locations have laws that conflict with the federal stand on hemp and its derivatives such as CBD, which creates a gray area. They entail Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, Washington, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Mississippi, New Jersey, Nebraska, Louisiana, Maine, Delaware, Lowa, Massachusetts, Idaho, Georgia, and Arkansas.
- Jurisdictions with concern: in these states, there are no explicit prohibitions about how industrial hemp CBD products are sold. They include California, South Dakota, Alabama, Arizona, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nevada, Michigan, and Ohio.
What Federal Law Says about CBD?
According to the 2018 Farm Bill that was signed into law, industrial hemp and its derivatives such as CBD are legal. It refers to hemp as Cannabis sativa L and defines it as a cannabis variety that contains 0.3%THC only. Note that THC is the cannabinoid that makes people high. Hemp contains minimal amounts of THC that will not leave you stoned.
Marijuana and hemp are both cannabis plants. However, they vary in composition. While hemp contains almost no THC, marijuana can have as much a 30 % THC. That is why it causes the high and is illegal in some states.
What State Laws Say about CBD
Just because hemp and CBD are legal at the federal level does not mean it is the same in all states. While some states consider CBD legal, others have conflicting regulations and some do not have a clear stand. Therefore, state laws on CBD vary from state to state. If you do not live in the CBD-friendliest or friendly states, confirm the CBD regulations of your area before buying and using CBD products.
What to Look for Finding Approved CBD Products
Even when all CBD manufacturers claim to provide the best products, no one brand is similar to another. Companies use different components, with CBD being the common ingredient. Below are the factors to consider when buying CBD to ensure you spend money on high-grade items.
Go for CBD products made using organically grown hemp. It is free of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. While some companies grow their own industrial hemp, others source it from hemp farmers. Colorado is a popular destination for premium, naturally-farmed industrial hemp. However, CBD brands source hemp from other places, including Kentucky and Oregon. What matters is that the herb should be organic, and the farmers to adhere to top-notch cultivation standards. Nonetheless, US-grown hemp is high-quality due to the strict farming regulations set in place.
CBD Extraction Method
There are various ways to extract CBD from hemp. However, the supercritical CO2 method is the best, as it provides clean, safe CBD with no harmful residues. It uses carbon dioxide and not solvents, such as butane. Manufacturers use CO2 in a state where it has properties of both a gas and a liquid. They direct it into a compartment with hemp, where it derives CBD and beneficial other components from the plant materials.
Once a company creates the final CBD product, it needs to test the formula to ascertain its quality and purity. In-house lab tests are vital, but it should not end there. A brand worth your money should take its products through third-party lab tests at a certified laboratory. Such provides an unbiased look into the components of the products.
Independent lab tests check for the cannabinoid profile and impurities in the product such as microbials, pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals. The lab report should be easily accessible on the product page online. However, some manufacturers include a QR code on the packaging, which you scan and get to view the test results.
The CBD industry has come a long way. Today, CBD oil is not the only product you can buy. Companies are providing more CBD products, including gummies, capsules, topicals, and vapes. These items contain more ingredients besides CBD, which include flavors, colors, sugar, and carrier oils. Make sure the CBD formulations you choose contain all-natural components.
Artificial colors, dyes, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives are terrible for your health. Leading manufacturers use organic cane sugar and stevia as natural sweeteners and vegetable juices to give gummies color. If you are vegan, the CBD market has products to suit you. Check the ingredients list or contact the manufacturer if you are not sure about a given component.
Website Design/Customer Experience
A good CBD brand offers high-grade products and has a simple to use website. Customers can navigate from one page to another with ease. The shopping experience should be stress-free, allowing buyers to add products to the cart easily. The website should not only be about product information and sales but also informative. That way, as customers make purchases, they also get to read and know more about cannabidiol.
Buy CBD items from a company that does not hide information from customers. It should be clear about the ingredients it uses and its manufacturing processes. Avoid products with vague details. Besides, some companies only provide lab reports on request, which is not ideal. As mentioned earlier, a fantastic brand provides the test results on the product page or includes a QR code on the packaging. Some brands even use both methods, which boosts convenience and enhances transparency.
The customer service of a CBD manufacturer also matters. You want immediate feedback for your queries and concerns, not waiting for hours or days to get the information you need. To test a brand’s customer service quality, send them an email or call and see how fast they respond.
The federal government recognizes hemp and its derivatives, including CBD, as legal. However, some states are yet to agree with that regulation. People are using CBD for different reasons. However, it is important to be on the right side of the law. If you are not sure about your state’s positions on CBD, seek clarification before purchasing or utilizing CBD products.