Is CBD legal in your state? Before buying CBD products, you should, at least, know the response to that question.
We’ve compiled this article to help you determine the legal status of CBD in your state. You’ll learn a brief history of legalization and about the current CBD laws to help you stay safe.
Also, what about those outside the United States? Is CBD legal internationally?
We’ll answer these questions and more. But, first, let’s get started with an overview of CBD.
What Does Cannabidiol Stand for?
Cannabidiol, also called CBD, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid present in cannabis. It is the second most abundant compound after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is found in both marijuana and hemp plant. However, only CBD sourced from hemp plants containing trace amounts of THC is legal.
CBD has many potential health benefits. These include analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-seizure properties, and lots more.
CBD works through the endocannabinoid system present in the human body. Through this system, it can reduce pain transmission to the brain, regulate stress response, and other bodily processes.
Many persons think because CBD and THC come from the same plant, they have similar psychoactive effects. But, that is not true. CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. In fact, several studies suggest it can help minimize the intoxicating effects of THC when you take both together.
Why Legality Comes in Question When Taking CBD Oil?
CBD is present in both hemp and marijuana plants. And marijuana is a federally controlled substance. So, it’s not surprising that the question of legality always comes up when discussing CBD.
For decades, cannabis has always had a rocky history. Even before there was a clear distinction between hemp and marijuana, the two cannabis plants have always been lumped together. Before the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp plant and hemp-derived products were illegal.
A Brief History of Marijuana Legalization in the United States
Marijuana, and cannabis in general, has had a long history in the United States in terms of legalization. In fact, not just in the U.S., even in some other parts of the world as well.
As the years go, and scientists begin to discover more benefits of this plant, the government will adjust the laws. The cannabis plant is one of the oldest cultivated plants in America. It has been around for centuries. So how did the legalization get this complicated?
Marijuana’s legal battle in the United States began in the mid-1930. Before this happened, people could buy marijuana from pharmacy shops anywhere in the world.
The then government stigmatized it and began multiple campaigns against its use. Marijuana was associated with insanity, criminal acts, and aggression. To achieve this, they released a propaganda film in 1936 called Reefer Madness.
There was another project: The 1936 Geneva Trafficking Convention. The aim was to suppress the cultivation, manufacturing, and use of marijuana all over the world. The focus wasn’t only on marijuana. It also included opium and coca.
This 1936 treaty led to the ban of marijuana in other parts of the world like Australia, Europe, and Canada. Some countries, however, decided to ignore it.
Many years after that, The Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970 in the United States. This Act put a stop to all forms of marijuana use, including medical. It wasn’t until 2014 that the government revisited this law and made changes.
In 2014, former President Barrack Obama passed the Agricultural Act of 2014. Also known as the 2014 Farm Bill, it allowed the use of industrial hemp for research purposes. Many changes followed suit afterward.
Also, in 2014 some states like Colorado allowed usage of cannabis products, like CBD and THC, for recreational purposes.
Hemp Vs. Marijuana
Marijuana and hemp are two kinds of cannabis plants. Although they are from the same cannabis species – cannabis sativa, they have their differences.
Marijuana is what comes to mind when someone mentions “cannabis.” It’s a type of Cannabis sativa plant that produces medium to high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, THC. THC is the intoxicating compound in the cannabis plant. So it’s always present in mid to high amounts in marijuana.
In the United States, the Federal government considered marijuana as a Schedule I drug. Therefore, it’s not legal on a federal level. However, there are some exceptions on a state level.
Conversely, hemp is another type of cannabis Sativa plant. For a plant to be classified as a hemp plant, it must contain no more than 0.3% of THC. If a particular strain produces THC higher than 0.4%, it’s considered marijuana.
Aside from the differences in the cannabinoid profile of these cannabis plants, their legal statuses are also different.
Hemp plants are legal on a federal level in the United States. However, farmers must go through different license applications and procedures before getting approval to grow this plant.
Everything became even easier after the 2018 Farm Bill. This Bill lifted the ban on hemp plants, and farmers could easily get licensed to grow hemp. Some states still have certain restrictions.
Is CBD Oil Legal in the United States?
The answer to Is CBD oil is legal in the United States is: it depends. First, the legality of CBD varies federally and from one state to another. Second, another determining factor is where the CBD is derived from – Is it from hemp or marijuana?
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal to use on a federal level. However, certain regulations must be adhered to, which include:
- The CBD must be from hemp plants, containing 0.3% THC or less
- The hemp must be in accordance with shared state-federal regulations
- A licensed owner must grow the hemp plant.
Additionally, the 2018 Farm Bill allows for the transportation of hemp-derived CBD products across states.
The law guiding marijuana-derived CBD oil is different. Although hemp-derived CBD is legal on a federal level, that of marijuana is complicated.
Marijuana is illegal on a federal level. Some states like Colorado and California allow the recreational use of marijuana, and this extends to CBD as well. For some other states, marijuana-derived CBD products are strictly illegal, except for medical reasons. And you must have a medical marijuana card to consume the CBD.
Currently, about 33 states are legalizing medical marijuana. Note that CBD oil from marijuana may contain higher THC levels.
Due to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and its derivative products are legal on a federal level in the U.S. Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell introduced a provision known as the Hemp Farming Act of 2018.
The bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. This allows it to be used commercially during manufacturing. Also, people can sell it as an agricultural commodity.
Most importantly, the Farm Bill removed hemp and its derivatives from the classification of “marijuana,” per Leafly. Federal authorities will no longer arrest people for growing hemp, manufacturing CBD products, or using them.
In addition, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating hemp-derived food and drug products. There are no laws from this body currently as regards this. However, while everyone waits for the proposed CBD rules, the FDA warns manufacturers against selling CBD products as dietary supplements.
The state laws are where things get complex. Unfortunately, Federal laws do not automatically determine state laws. Each state regulates hemp and CBD differently. For instance, CBD is completely legal in Washington, California, and Alaska, while in some states, it’s legal but with certain conditions attached.
The FDA is now responsible for regulating hemp and other hemp-derived CBD. The agency is working on creating outlines to guide the production, sales, and marketing of CBD products to the public.
The legalization of hemp caused an influx in the CBD industry. So the idea is to have a system in place that can help ensure every CBD product available on the market is safe for consumption. Also, the agency wants to curb the claims manufacturers make to market their products.
Most manufacturers tout these products as all-healing and make outlandish claims with no evidence to back them up. This act could be misleading to the consumer.
While we wait for the FDA to come with its rules, consumers have to take it upon themselves to seek high-quality CBD products. There are measures you could take, like requesting third-party lab reports and purchasing from brands that follow great manufacturing practices.
Controversy over the Legal Status of CBD
Historically, the use of CBD has been a complex subject. As time changes, we’ll continue to see rules and regulations guiding the creation of CBD products evolve.
People want access to cannabinoids with potential health benefits, like CBD. The protests, lobbying, and interest from scientists have caused the government to reconsider its stance.
We can see numerous states adopting laws that allow people some form of access to the cannabis plant and its derivatives. While this change is frustratingly slow, it’s happening. There are gray areas as well, which makes things quite complicated.
It’s important to research your state laws to stay updated with the legal status of CBD.
The Legal Status of CBD in Each State as of 2021
Below is a rundown of the legal status of CBD state by state.
Alabama – CBD products with less than 0.3% THC levels are legal for recreational use
Alaska – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Arizona – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Arkansas – Medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products are legal
California – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Colorado – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Connecticut – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Delaware – Medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products are legal
Florida – Legalized medical marijuana and FDA-approved CBD products
Georgia – Legal to use CBD products below 0.3 % THC levels.
Hawaii – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Idaho – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Illinois – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Indiana – Legal to use CBD as long as it’s hemp-derived.
Iowa – CBD products are legal if by chapter 124E of the Iowa Code.
Kansas – Legal to use CBD products. Also, CBD products below 5% THC levels are legal for medical use.
Kentucky – CBD oil is legal for use as long as it has less than 0.3% THC.
Louisiana – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Maine – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Maryland – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Massachusetts – Legalized medical marijuana and FDA-approved CBD products
Michigan – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Minnesota – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Mississippi – Allows use of CBD products with less than 0.3% THC levels. Medical patients can use CBD of concentrations up to 0.5%
Missouri – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Montana – Legalized medical marijuana and FDA-approved CBD products
Nebraska – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Nevada – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
New Hampshire – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
New Jersey – Legalized medical marijuana and FDA-approved CBD products
New Mexico – Legalized medical marijuana and FDA-approved CBD products
New York – Legalized medical marijuana and FDA-approved CBD products
North Carolina – Illegal to grow hemp here. Allowed for medical use only with less than 0.9% THC.
North Dakota – Legalized medical marijuana and CBD products
Ohio – Medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products are legal
Oklahoma – Legal
Oregon – Legalized medical marijuana and FDA-approved CBD products
Pennsylvania – Legalized medical marijuana and FDA-approved CBD products
Rhode Island – Legalized medical marijuana and FDA-approved CBD products
South Carolina – CBD products are legal as long as it’s below 0.3% THC. Furthermore, CBD for medical use is legal as long as its THC levels are below 0.9%.
South Dakota – South Dakota recently legalized FDA-approved CBD products
Tennessee – CBD is legal if it’s below 0.3% THC. Also legal for medical use if below 0.9% THC levels.
Texas – CBD products are legal if below 0.3% THC. Also, CBD for medical use is legal as long as it’s below 0.5% THC levels.
Utah – Legal to use CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC. CBD edibles are, however, illegal except gelatin cubes.
Vermont – Legalized medical marijuana and FDA-approved CBD products
Virginia – CBD is legal. Medical conditions also allow the use of CBD products with not more than 0.5% THC.
Washington – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
West Virginia – Legalized medical marijuana and hemp-derived CBD products
Wisconsin – The law is on whether CBD products are legal or not is complex in this state. Possession of CBD products is punishable by a jail sentence. However, the attorney general advised law enforcement not to implement this law. It’s best to get a physician’s permit.
Wyoming – CBD oil products sourced from hemp plants are legal.
Does CBD Show Up on a Drug Test?
The design of most drug tests is to detect the presence of THC, so CBD doesn’t show up on a drug test. But, if you’re using CBD products containing trace amounts of THC, you may get a false-positive result.
The only test where CBD may show up is one designed specifically for detecting CBD and its metabolites.
Is CBD Legal Outside of the United States?
We know CBD is legal federally in the United States. But, what about outside the U.S?
Medical Marijuana Inc. explains CBD products are legal in different countries of the world. However, keep in mind that the legalization and classification of CBD may vary from one country to another. In some parts of the world, you can access CBD only as a prescription medication. For others, you may be able to access it as a consumer product.
Can You Carry CBD on a Plane?
Whether you can carry CBD on a plane depends on where you are traveling to. According to Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you can travel with CBD products for domestic flights. You only need to be sure they contain less than 0.3% THC.
International flights would depend on the country you’re traveling to. Conduct your research on the legal status of CBD there to avoid any problems.
The Future of Legal CBD & Hemp
Hemp products like CBD have been in high demand since the implementation of the Farm Bill. Also, thanks to the potential health benefits of CBD, it’s gained popularity in the health field.
What we expect to see going forward is an increase in the use of CBD products. A lot of researches are ongoing on CBD and its effects on different health conditions. If the results from these studies are as promising as they look, then we are in for more CBD products.
CBD has long existed without a clear legal status. However, the recent law changes allowed the use of hemp-derived CBD products federally in the United States. While this is a great step, it gets even more controversial. Some states permit the use of CBD without restrictions, while others do with caveats in place. The legal status of CBD will differ depending on your location and THC levels. So make sure you know your state’s current stance before making a purchase.