Where is CBD Legal?
Stefan McKellar |
With so many studies continuing to be done on CBD, we're learning more and more about all the amazing health benefits that this cannabis compound has on the body. From treating seizures, to reducing pain, to slowing down the growth of cancer tumors, the health benefits of CBD are nothing short of incredible.
But while we're all impressed by CBD and what it can do in the health and wellness sphere, there is still the issue of legality that looms.
The question is, where exactly is it legal to buy and use CBD? The short answer is that CBD is generally legal in all 50 states — as long as the product is derived from industrial hemp.
Like with any legal question, the long answer isn’t quite so black-and-white. Here’s what you need to know about CBD and the law.
What is CBD and Where Does it Come From?
Before we attempt to answer that question, it's helpful to understand exactly what CBD is.
Basically, CBD — which stands for "cannabidiol" — is one of the main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. The other predominant cannabis cannabinoid is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
While THC is what recreational marijuana users seek to get "high," CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects.
Both CBD and THC are found in the cannabis plant, and each has its own set of health benefits to the human body, including alleviating anxiety, reducing blood pressure, and even battling cancer. Cannabidiol is also derived from industrial hemp plants, which contain only trace amounts of THC.
Since it doesn't get users stoned, hemp-derived CBD is a great option for those who seek relief of their medical symptoms as an alternative to pharmaceutical medications.
Is Hemp-Derived CBD Legal?
CBD is in super high demand right now thanks to its ability to treat all sorts of health conditions naturally. As the recognition and demand of hemp-derived CBD continues to rise, so has its acceptance in the US.
But although CBD's acceptance has expanded and continues to grow, the legality of CBD is still somewhat clouded because of the different laws in each state across the country, as well as on a federal level. As such, many people might choose to abstain from using CBD out of fear of doing something against the law.
In response to the question, "Is CBD legal?" many might answer "yes." But the truth is, the answer isn't exactly black and white.
Before we delve any deeper into this question, it should be noted that hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states in the US. However, there may be certain circumstances in which it might not always be legal.
Certain factors come into play that dictate whether or not CBD is legal, all of which depend on the specific state that it is bought and consumed in.
That said, one crucial factor that is important in all states is whether the CBD is derived from hemp or marijuana, as the two sources are very different. More specifically, it is the THC content in CBD oils that essentially determines whether the product is legal or illegal.
Related: Does CBD Oil Have Side Effects?
Why CBD From Hemp vs Marijuana Matters in its Legality
Marijuana and hemp are both from the cannabis family, so it's easy to see how people would get confused between the two. But there is a significant difference between the two; namely, the level of THC that each plant produces.
Marijuana can have as much as a 30% THC concentration, while hemp doesn't usually have any more than 0.3% THC. It's the THC in cannabis that has psychoactive properties and gets a person "high." But because hemp has such low concentrations of THC, it's virtually impossible to achieve the types of euphoric feelings that THC produces.
Since hemp is not associated with any psychoactive effects, there is no legal issue with it. In fact, hemp products are legal all over the US and have been legally produced and sold for centuries. However, marijuana is a lot different in terms of its legality. For this reason, the source of CBD oil is of paramount importance to whether or not it is deemed legal.
Right now, marijuana is federally illegal. However, a handful of states have legalized recreational marijuana, including Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Alaska. Medical marijuana is legal in an additional 29 states.
So, the question still stands: is CBD legal? In short, yes, as long as it is hemp-derived CBD. If the CBD product is derived from marijuana, the answer becomes a much more complex one.
Since CBD from hemp does not have any psychoactive effects, it is legal to buy, sell, and possess of this type of CBD in all 50 states.
The biggest issue stems from the confusion between CBD that comes from hemp versus that of marijuana. Because of this confusion, many may not fully understand the legality surrounding CBD. But legally speaking, hemp-derived CBD is legal all over the US.
Related: How To Find The Right CBD Product
Final Thoughts on CBD Legality
CBD continues to be studied in great detail because of its amazing health benefits, and its skyrocketing popularity is driving further research. But there continues to be a stigma attached to CBD simply because it comes from the cannabis plant.
In addition, many may assume that CBD is illegal because of its association with marijuana. However, CBD products that come from hemp plants are completely legal, as long as THC levels are extremely low or non-existent.
As such, you can enjoy buying and using hemp-derived CBD oil to alleviate your symptoms with no fear of being in breach of the law no matter where you happen to be.