Is CBD Oil Legal in All States? A Guide to Federal and State CBD Laws
In 1996, California became the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana for medical use. This was a small step of a much more treacherous journey.
Since then, 33 states and the District of Columbia have joined California. Some have even made recreational marijuana legal.
One area of concern at the moment is that of a small molecule known as cannabidiol (CBD). CBD comes from the cannabis plant but doesn’t always contain the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Does that mean it’s not legal in those other 13 states where the law still forbids the cannabis plant? Is CBD oil legal in all states?
The truth is a bit complicated. Keep reading to learn more about the legal status of CBD and CBD products.
Why Is CBD Oil so Popular?
CBD products of all sorts seem to be everywhere. You may see them in health food stores and online.
CBD is a cannabinoid many people believe may have therapeutic effects. Some of the common ailments it may benefit include anxiety, seizures, inflammation, and more.
Still, lawmakers across the country battle over the legal status of CBD and other cannabis-derived products.
Hemp vs Marijuana
From a horticultural perspective, hemp and marijuana are two different species within the cannabis family of plants.
Marijuana is the term used to describe strains of the cannabis plant which contain high concentrations of THC. In other words, marijuana is the plant you might smoke if you seek a psychoactive high.
Many people cultivate different varieties of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes.
In contrast, hemp is a strain of the cannabis plant which contains little to no THC. This plant has been around for centuries and may have even preceded marijuana.
Hemp has been used to make sails, rope, textiles, and even food.
From the perspective of the law, there’s a different story to be told about the differences between hemp and marijuana.
The Legal Perspective
Federal law made cannabis illegal beginning with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. This new law levied a tax against anyone who dealt in the cannabis industry.
From there, cannabis laws continued to become more restrictive and enact harsher penalties.
Today, medical and recreational marijuana is legal in some but not all 50 states. What about the remaining states?
Federal law still defines hemp as a cannabis plant, even if it contains little to no THC. Because of this, CBD and other hemp-derived products are still illegal under federal jurisdiction.
A Schedule I Drug
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is in charge of classifying substances. The DEA continues to classify all forms of cannabis as a Schedule I drug.
This means it has no accepted medical uses and a high potential for abuse.
This puts cannabis and all cannabis-derived products in the same category as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine.
While some people believe this is an unfair classification, this is the way it is. If you live in a state where cannabis is illegal, you may find yourself in a sticky predicament if you possess, sell, buy, or cultivate any cannabis plant.
Changing Times and Changing Attitudes
You can see the legal status of cannabis, CBD, and all cannabis-derived products is a confusing subject. The confusion doesn’t end there.
In 2014, the federal legislature passed a farm bill allowing for the cultivation of industrial hemp across the nation. Many people will cite the 2014 Farm Bill as justification for their cultivation or sale of cannabis and CBD.
However, there is some confusion surrounding the bill. Officially, anyone who wishes to cultivate the cannabis plant must have permission from a state program for academic research.
Many people are still unsure whether or not the bill allows for the sale of CBD products.
To Make Confusion More Confusing
To make matters more confusing for us all, the FDA recently approved a cannabis-based product for medical use. The administration approved the prescription drug Epidiolex for the treatment of two rare types of epilepsy.
Epidiolex is used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. The active ingredient in this medication is cannabidiol (CBD).
Nonetheless, the DEA classified the prescription medication as a Schedule V substance. Schedule V substances have the lowest potential for abuse according to the drug scheduling system.
Still, you should only use Epidiolex under the guidance of a physician. They’ll help you determine whether or not you should take it, dosage, and more.
Up to Interpretation?
Each state has its own laws concerning the legality of cannabis and all cannabis-derived products. Under federal law, you can consider the plant wholly illegal.
If you live in a state where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, you may not have a huge problem. Those who might face problems are those who deal in the cultivation and distribution of any cannabis products.
If you use the products in the comfort of your own home, you should generally be fine.
If you live in a state where cannabis and all cannabis products are illegal, the story may play out differently. In these cases, you don’t have state laws to protect you.
You should do your part to stay informed about your home state’s laws.
Federal, state, and local court cases may continue to shape the way we view cannabis and CBD. In addition, medical research may reveal more and accepted medical uses for CBD.
Is CBD Oil Legal in All States?
State and federal cannabis laws can be confusing and difficult to navigate. If you and your doctor agree you might benefit from CBD, you should check to make sure it’s legal in your state.
Is CBD oil legal in all states? Not quite.
Federal law still considers cannabis and all cannabis-derived products to be illegal. If you live in a state where cannabis is illegal, you may not benefit from state protections against federal law.
If you need any legal assistance, search for a lawyer near you who can help.