The demand for cannabidiol (CBD) oil has skyrocketed in recent years due entirely to its myriad of benefits. As its popularity has begun to shift, so too has its acceptance in many different states across America including Colorado, California, Kentucky, as well as in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.
While things are definitely moving in the right direction, CBD’s legality as a whole remains very much unclear due to the clashing of state laws with the federal government. This confusion successfully deters many from adding CBD to their daily health regimen – leaving many stuck pondering: “Is CBD legal?”
Thanks to the Farm Bill in 2018, the answer here is pretty straightforward. It is true that cannabidiol is considered legal in all 50 states of the U.S. (and Washington D.C.). Some states do have their own specific laws which are typically widely dependent on several crucial factors that are determined by each state in question.
One regulating factor is a paramount determinant across all states, being whether the CBD was derived from the hemp or cannabis plant.
Hemp-Derived CBD vs. Cannabis-Derived CBD: What’s the Difference?
Hemp and cannabis (“marijuana”) both belong to the cannabis sativa family of plants; therefore they do share a lot of the same characteristics. However, there is a crucial difference between these two compounds (cannabinoids), being the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is produced by each plant.
- Cannabis can contain up to 30% THC (and quickly rising),
- Hemp contains (by law) less than 0.3% THC. To put it simply, cannabis produces a euphoric “high” effect and hemp does not.
The federal government holds no qualms against the hemp plant due to its lack of psychoactive effect. Hemp-based products are considered completely legal throughout the country and are widely available in many different types of stores and industries.
Cannabis, however, is a completely different story and is still illegal at the federal level for all intents and purposes — this is why the source that the CBD is extracted from is crucial for the product’s legality.
Hemp and cannabis (“marijuana”) both belong to the same family of plants; therefore they do share a lot of the same characteristics.
The Legality of Hemp-Derived CBD
“So, CBD is legal?” Well, the answer is ‘yes,’ so long as you are referring to hemp-derived CBD – the keyword here being “hemp-derived.” Since hemp-derived CBD does not contain any intoxicating effect, it is completely legal country-wide to purchase, sell, and possess CBD-infused products.
Hemp is often confused with the cannabis plant and because of this, there is still a general stigma in regard to hemp-derived CBD. From a legal stand-point, however, hemp-derived CBD is completely legal and thereby enjoys the same rights as every other legally recognized product.
Hemp-derived CBD is legal in every state throughout the United States. You can feel comfortable purchasing it without worry.
The Legality of Cannabis-Derived CBD
Alternatively, cannabis-derived CBD products are viewed differently and therefore do not get to enjoy the same luxuries. Due to being derived from THC-rich cannabis, CBD (even in its isolated form), is considered a byproduct of cannabis and is thereby judged accordingly. It is important to note, however, that in some states, cannabis-derived CBD is just as legal as hemp-derived products.
Each state has their laws regarding CBD and its regulation. Despite the confusion generated by this political indifference, there are still several states that have completely legalized both hemp-derived and cannabis-derived CBD. These states just may lead us to a nationwide shift in the plight of CBD legality.
States Where Cannabis-Derived CBD Is Legal
As of 2018, eight states have legalized both hemp-derived and cannabis-derived CBD. These states include:
If you happen to live in any of these states, then you are able to purchase and consume any form of CBD without prescription.
States Where Cannabis-Derived CBD Is Illegal
We have already discussed different states in which cannabis-derived CBD is legal at various levels – but there are still four states where cannabis-derived CBD is completely illegal for all purposes, those states are:
- South Dakota
We are very optimistic that as the CBD movement continues to grow, both hemp-derived and cannabis-derived CBD will be completely legal throughout the nation, in all 50 states within the coming years. It is hard to predict the future, especially considering the ever-shifting political landscape, but we can continue to push forward by building awareness and educating the world about the numerous benefits of CBD.