Is CBD Legal? A Quick Look at the Law

Is CBD Legal? A Quick Look at the Law

Cannabis products have a long and complicated relationship with U.S. law, and even with the monumental breakthroughs of the 2018 Farm Bill, it’s still reasonable to wonder if products containing cannabidiol, or CBD, may be used without legal restrictions. The short answer is: That depends on where you are.   

As of December 2018, CBD products are now federally legal in every state. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (also known as the Farm Bill) officially removed industrial hemp from the federal government’s list of Schedule 1 controlled substances, opening up a world of possibilities for wellness products and expanded research.  

While the Farm Bill has federally designated industrial hemp as a legal agricultural commodity, the law becomes more complex at the state level. The question of legality commonly depends on the type of cannabis plant used to source the CBD. Even as CBD products derived from the Farm Bill-approved hemp are all legal across the U.S., products derived from marijuana are still not broadly free and clear.

By definition, the legalized hemp contains less than .3 percent THC, and due to the ratio of THC to CBD has no intoxicating effects. Marijuana, on the other hand, is classified as containing more than .3 percent THC, and is still illegal at the federal level. While marijuana isn’t ideal for producing CBD oil due to its higher ratio of THC to CBD, it is used to make some CBD products. These may be considered illegal substances in states that have not legalized marijuana.

The federal laws that permit the growth and distribution of hemp across the country do not override state laws, so even in the light of the 2018 Farm Bill, you must still be mindful of your local government’s official stance on the legality of any products derived from cannabis plants.

As the use of CBD becomes normalized across the U.S., and as scientific research continues to highlight cannabidiol’s host of potential benefits, it may only be a matter of time before the more resistant government bodies relax their regional restrictions.  


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