Is CBD Oil Legal?

Find Out If Cannabidiol is Legal In Your State

overview

Jumping into this conversation generally brings up other questions, concerns, red flags and red tape.

So, before we get there, we want to be sure that we acknowledge this, and that we proceed with caution.

Depending on who you speak to, the answer you’ll receive will be different. But, it’s important to understand the full picture, to understand the terminology, and to become as educated as possible in order to make the decisions that are in your best interest.

For that reason, our answer to the “is it legal?” questions is, “Mostly. But…” with a lot of information following the “but.”

In this piece, we will do our best to outline the answer using legal cases and terms, along with some guidelines on how to proceed. Because of the overwhelmingly positive effects of CBD oil, understanding it’s legality, and following updates that relate to this are absolutely essential.

Jumping into this conversation generally brings up other questions, concerns, red flags and red tape.

So, before we get there, we want to be sure that we acknowledge this, and that we proceed with caution.

Depending on who you speak to, the answer you’ll receive will be different. But, it’s important to understand the full picture, to understand the terminology, and to become as educated as possible in order to make the decisions that are in your best interest.

For that reason, our answer to the “is it legal?” questions is, “Mostly. But…” with a lot of information following the “but.”

In this piece, we will do our best to outline the answer using legal cases and terms, along with some guidelines on how to proceed. Because of the overwhelmingly positive effects of CBD oil, understanding it’s legality, and following updates that relate to this are absolutely essential.

CBD OIL HAS PROVEN BENEFITS THAT INCLUDE:

ANXIETY RELEIF
MENTAL & MOOD DISORDER REGULATION
PAIN & INFLAMMATION RELIEF
SKIN CONDITION IMPROVEMENT
TYPE 1 DIABETES REGULATION
CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFITS
DRUG WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOM RELIEF
SMOKING CESSATION ASSISTANCE
DRUG-RESISTANT BACTERIA FIGHTING PROPERTIES

While you can find more information on our What is CBD oil” piece, understanding what CBD oil is – and what it is not – is absolutely critical to piecing together whether it is legal or not.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a type of cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemicals that can be found exclusively in cannabis plants. This is where the confusion – and often the concern – start to creep in.

Stick with us here.

Before writing it off as an illegal substance, let’s dive in further.

There are approximately 60 unique cannabinoids in cannabis plants, which can be classified as hemp plants or marijuana plants (there’s a difference!). CBD is one of them, and is the second-most prevalent cannabinoid found in the plant. THC is another. This distinction is absolutely critical to acknowledge to understand. That’s because THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the “high” produced by traditional marijuana; it’s where the negative connotations and associations generally begin.

But here’s the thing: they can be separated.

While “regular” or “medical” marijuana generally contains both CBD and THC, the two cannabinoids can be derived separately from the plant. CBD is the compound responsible for the overwhelmingly positive side effects and benefits of marijuana usage, where THC is solely responsible for the “high,” which can be a positive or negative, depending on who you ask.

CBD is the compound responsible for the overwhelmingly positive side effects and benefits of marijuana usage…

Simply put: THC and CBD are unique cannabinoids with separate properties. CBD cannot, in any case, get you high when sourced correctly. It can, however, provide the benefits you’ve probably heard of, that have led you to this point in your research.

In case you are more visually inclined, look at it this way:

Got it? Great! Let’s move on.

Here’s another question that might have crossed your mind a time or two, whether it be related to professional concerns or just in general:

CBD DRUG TEST?
WILL IT SHOW UP?

Is there a CBD drug test? Will using CBD cause you to fail a drug test? We understand your concern. Read on.

Drug tests are common in today’s world. For those with specific backgrounds that warrant drug tests, for those in certain professions or interested in starting a new job, for participants in high school, college or professional sports, or even other reasons, most of us will undergo a drug test at one point or another. Most of these tests are designed to screen for specific illegal drugs, prescriptions medications and other compounds in the urine, hair, saliva or blood. Each of these tests can detect the presence of these substances depending on the length of time between use and testing – a few hours or weeks. For the purpose of this piece, we’ll focus on urine tests, the most common.

So, CBD. Will it affect the test results?

A general urine screening for the presence of marijuana contains antibodies that interact with and detect THC – the psychoactive, “high” producing cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. It’s main metabolite is 11-nor-delta9-caboxy-THC if you’re looking for the specific language. It is not designed to detect the presence of CBD alone. This means that for standard CBD oil users – those who use certified products

containing less than .3% THC, as regulations current require – a drug test shouldn’t raise any red flags.

Before you get too excited…

Usage amounts matter in this case. If, for instance, an individual was using an extremely high dose of CBD on a daily basis, 1,000 mg, for example, they would be exposed to around 3 mg of THC per day. A dose of this size, or a similar one could cause a result to be positive, even if the user was not consuming traditional marijuana containing standard amounts of CBD and THC.

Responsible use still matters.

If drug testing is a part of your life, or could come up in the very near future, it may be in your best interest to search for a CBD oil that contains zero THC. These are often more costly, but, could minimize the risk of throwing a positive when undergoing a urine screening for THC.

HISTORY IS EVERYTHING

To understand the current issues surrounding the legality of CBD oil, it’s best to go back in history, to start at the beginning and to take a look at how America’s War on Drugs changed everything. CBD and medical marijuana have been a part of ancient societies and healing rituals for as long as oral – and written – history have existed. The first written account occurred sometime around 2727 BC when Emperor Sheng Neng of China drank a tea containing cannabis to help with his numerous health

ailments. From here, it seemed to grow in popularity, however, evidence is lacking about specific details. In the middle of the 19th century, Queen Victoria used cannabis plants to alleviate monthly pain relating to her menstrual cycle. Around the same time, William B. O’SHaughnessy began documenting the potential for cannabis’s role in medicinal techniques, performing a wide range of trials and experiments. Because of limited knowledge and harvesting techniques, at this point, CBD and THC were both involved in the use of cannabis.

In 1940, this began to change, when CBD was isolated from THC and other cannabinoids, demonstrating its active properties and benefits as a standalone product, without the psychoactive qualities of THC.

Shortly after this, the war on drugs started to change everything. During the Nixon administration, in the 1971, the size and presence of federal drug control agencies began increasing at a rapid rate, along with laws and punishments for breaking them.

As the initiative gained traction, the commission appointed by Nixon recommended decriminalizing the possession and marijuana for personal use, however, the report was rejected and marijuana remained a part of the larger group of “drugs” that were criminalized and prosecuted. On a state level, 11 states did take steps to decriminalize marijuana, but the statutes were short-lived. Teen use of marijuana came into focus and prosecution continued, despite recommendations to the contrary. Which brings us to today, an important definition:
We’ll go more in depth in the following sections, however, the legal terminology that defines “marijuana” as illegal, does not use the term “hemp.” Therefore, cannabinoids – like CBD – obtained from the hemp plant, containing less than .3% THC do not technically fall under the legal definition of marijuana. Complex? Yes. Confusing? That’s okay.

RECENTLY, BECAUSE OF THIS HISTORY, CONFUSION HAS INCREASED

The complexity surrounding the legality of CBD has continued to increase as individual states have started passing legislation to legalize various forms of marijuana while it remains illegal at the federal level.

Starting with election day 2012 in Colorado and Washington, voters began to decriminalize and legalize the possession and purchasing of marijuana in various forms.

California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada followed suit in 2016. Vermont was close behind with legalization occurring through the state legislature (as opposed to voters) in 2018.

Today, marijuana is legal for adult users in 8 states, plus the District of Columbia, with medical marijuana legalized in 29 states plus the District of Columbia.

This legalization has begun because of the aforementioned difference between marijuana and “harder” drugs, along with the benefits that the cannabis plant can provide.

This is exciting for many, but also complicated due to the fact that possession of marijuana is still considered a criminal offense at the federal level. Flying across and transporting marijuana across state lines, drug tests for employees following a visit to one of the states where marijuana is legal and other complications have led many to avoid the topic – and consumption – altogether.

Which brings us back to CBD.

What much of this history leaves out is the fact that CBD can be obtained from both the marijuana and hemp plants, and that it can be isolated from THC, making it a non-mind-altering substance with numerous medical benefits.

However, from the DEA’s standpoint and official statement in 2016, CBD oil remains a schedule 1 drug, grouped with others like heroin.

CBD oil as a schedule 1 drug? It’s important to note that this contradicts Congress’s view.

Under the Controlled Substances Act – passed by Congress and enforced by the DEA – the mature stalk of a cannabis plant can be used legally (we will dive into this shortly) – which means CBD extracted from the stalk is also legal. Meanwhile, the 2014 Farm Bill allows states to pass laws relating to the extraction of CBD and other compounds from the hemp plant – the industrial hemp plant – to be specific, while also allowing industrial hemp to be legally imported from other countries and parts of the world where it is considered legal.

The FDA’s role in marijuana and CBD marketing and labeling has added additional complexity to the situation. Because many manufacturers attempt to market THC and CBD-containing products as dietary supplements, which goes against the FD&C Act sections 201 (ff)(3)(B)(i) and (ii), clinical investigations are currently needed to promote a product as a dietary supplement unless the supplement has been publically available since before the Act was passed.

The Administration, however, claims to believe in the validity of scientific research furthering the introduction of these substances for medical purposes, and has approved the first CBD-containing epilepsy drug, just this year.
So…what’s the official word? What are the details you should familiarize yourself with? Where should
you start?

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Looking at the facts alone, coming to a conclusion regarding the legality of CBD can be, well, hazy. This means looking at legal precedents and definitions is more important than ever.

Let’s look at a few, starting with 2004’s Hemp Industries Association vs. DEA. In this case, the court ruled that marijuana and synthetic THC were in fact banned under the original Controlled Substances Act, which is where much of the conversation – and contradictions – surrounding CBD have both stopped and begun, respectively.

The case did not define the legality of CBD specifically. Which means that digging a little deeper into the legal definition of marijuana is critical when deciding whether it is legal or not.

Ready for the details?

Marijuana is defined by
the CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT as:

“All parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether
growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted
from any part of such plant; and every compound manufacture,
salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds
or resins; but shall not include the mature stalks of such plant,
fiber produced from such stalks oil or cake made
from the seeds of such plant, any other compound,
manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of
such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom),
fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant
which is incapable of germination.”

So. According to the Controlled
Substance Act definition itself, certain parts
of the cannabis plant are clearly illegal, while
others fall into a grayer area. One of these - for the most part - is CBD extracted from the “legal” parts of the cannabis plant, and non-marijuana industrial hemp plants, which, as defined by Section 7606
of the Farm Bill
are cannabis plants with
less than 0.3 percent THC.

Marijuana is defined by the CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT as:

“All parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resins; but shall not include the mature stalks of such plant fiber produced from such stalks oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom),fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.”

So. According to the Controlled Substance Act definition itself, certain parts of the cannabis plant are clearly illegal, while others fall into a grayer area. One of these – for the most part – is CBD extracted from the “legal” parts of the cannabis plant, and non-marijuana industrial hemp plants, which, as defined by Section 7606 of the Farm Bill are cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent THC.

As a reminder:

EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND UNDERSTANDING:
INFORMED PURCHASING IS EVERYTHING

Determining whether CBD is considered legal is clearly a challenge. Depending on the source, you will receive a loud, resounding “of course,” a more hesitant shoulder shrug or a blatant “no.”

IS CBD CONSIDERED LEGAL?

It is our belief, that, when harvested in compliance with the Farm Bill, and with the precedents set by Congress, CBD oil containing less than 0.3 percent, and harvested from industrial hemp plants, the answer is “yes.”

However, proceeding with caution is still absolutely essential.

Just like other supplements on the market, the quality of CBD oil could affect the benefits it provides, along with the way it impacts your overall health. Doing your own research should be your main mission if you’d like to pursue the health benefits.

According to DrugPolicy.org,

those interested in purchasing
CBD oil legally should:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

DO CAREFUL RESEARCH
and request information from any suppliers relating to the pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers and other solvents that were used during the growing process that could remain – with health hazards – following cultivation.
REQUEST INFORMATION
and documentation about the potency and dosage of the CBD product they intend to purchase.
LOOK FOR CLEAR LABELING
and contact information.
ASK FOR DOCUMENTATION
of the safety and quality of a given product. This could include
the results of tests for molds, fungus, bacteria
Suppliers should be willing to stand behind their product while clearly sharing information. If you are unable to verify the validity of any claims, or, if reviews and other research bring up concerns, it may be best to pursue other product options. Your health should always come first.

While the official word on CBD as an illegal or legal substance remains somewhat “gray,” arming yourself with information and understanding the demonstrated benefits of the oil, its various forms and the way it may further your health journey is critical.

Interested in moving forward, or, learning more about regulations in your state?

VISIT OUR COMPREHENSIVE, STATE BY STATE GUIDE, TODAY.