CBD oil has gained immense popularity among consumers in the USA. From being used as an essential oil in spa treatments to potentially relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression, this oil has many scientifically proven benefits. But is the use of CBD legal in America? The Federal Government and the respective states in the USA have their stipulations and conditions on whether or not CBD is legal.
Here is an attempt to understand the legally approved use of CBD and the CBD products you can get your hands on. Let’s get started.
What is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation used for Cannabidiol which is a non-intoxicating extract taken from cannabis plant or more popularly known as marijuana. Did you know that this is one of the oldest plants cultivated by humans for its medicinal benefits?
The source plant contains more than 100 cannabinoid molecules in it and CBD is just one of them which has received wide recognition in the scientific community.
Research says that unlike THC, which is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, consumption of CBD does not get people ‘high.’
This oil contains CBD molecules mixed with a natural carrier oil like coconut at different ratios.
According to the World Health Organisation consumption of CBD in humans does not exhibit any indication of substance abuse.
They have not come across any public health-related problems related to the use of CBD in its pure form.
This oil, when bottled, is called tincture and is available in stores in different concentrations.
CBD is sold in the form of CBD capsules, under the tongue sprays, CBD gummies, CBD based skincare products, and the list runs long. It is commonly used to relieve pain, stress, and anxiety.
People have found CBD to be very helpful in treating depression, insomnia, etc. The most noted medicinal property of CBD is its ability to reduce the number of seizures and even stop them completely.
CBD Vs. THC: Which one is legal?
Over 400 active ingredients have been identified in a cannabis plant, and among them, CBD and THC are the two most popular compounds known to us so far. You would be surprised to know that both these ingredients have the same molecular structure and have multiple health benefits.
But the most significant difference between them is that THC gets people ‘high’ and CBD does not. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol found in cannabis or marijuana is a well recognized psychoactive ingredient and produces a euphoric effect among weed users. Thus use, or possession of any form of drugs containing THC is illegal in the USA, and one can be prosecuted under the law.
Cannabis being the most widely abused substance in the country leads to anxiety, psychosis, learning disability, and much more. Contrary to the effects of THC, CBD has proven to be effective in treating these health issues. Researchers around the world are working vigorously to explore the therapeutic properties of CBD and how it can be adsorbed best in our body. In 2018 the FDA approved Epidiolex, the first medicine containing CBD to treat seizures. Surprising though, a negligible percentage of THC (0.3 to 0.9%) in CBD based products can help absorb the molecules better and enhance its effects.
What is the Farm Bill?
Simply put, the Farm Bill is a complex set of food and farming rules followed in the USA. A proposal was made under the Hemp Farm Act of 2018 to stop considering hemp (cannabis with less than 0.3% TNC) as a Schedule I drug and reclassify it as a regular farm produce. The proposal was accepted and cleared as a law under the United States Farm Bill 2018. This bill can be a game-changer in the history of the USA’s agriculture. The bill fundamentally legalized the farming of cannabis or hemp plants and production and sales of its extracts. But it is explicitly stated in the law that any hemp-based product containing more than 0.3% TNC will be considered as marijuana and thus will be illegal.
AMS is working on developing regulations for growing hemp and processing it in states territories and tribes. Industrial producers have to apply for a license before mass-producing cannabis. AMS’s regulations will specifically address the land to be used for farming hemp, testing TNC levels, responsible disposal of plants and products, compliance with the law, and several other things.
Is CBD oil legal federally?
Presently the US Federal Government identifies hemp and marijuana as two forms of the cannabis plants. CBD is extracted from hemp and is being studied for its therapeutic properties. Marijuana, on the other hand, is grown to produce weed which has a high content of TNC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
Based on the Farm Bill of 2018, the Federal Law legalized CBD extracted from hemp and which contains less than 0.3% TNC. However, CBD taken from marijuana is considered illegal and categorized as a Schedule I drug. Epidiolex, a prescribed drug for seizure, is the only product approved by the FDA containing CBD. The agency approves no other dietary supplements or beauty products. With several CBD based pills, essential oils and edibles being sold in the market, the federal government is yet to decide whether to approve them or ban as illegal. CBD, even in its pure form, is considered illicit by both the federal and state authorities while being used for therapeutic treatments.
CBD State Laws:
In the USA, although the federal law prevails over the entire country, the state governments have the liberty to pass regional laws regarding matters specific to the state.
Legalization of CBD is one such matter where individual states have their own legislation. The State of Colorado recently legalized the use of all parts of the hemp plant to be used in food products.
A total of 9 states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana so far a whopping 33 states have legalized the use of CBD oil in any form.
Owing to the popularity of CBD based products and an immense boost in the industry, more and more lawmakers are allowing it to be sold at stores and being used as a food ingredient. Currently, there are only three states in the USA, namely Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming, where marijuana is considered illegal in any form. It should be seen how the state governments modify their laws regarding the legalization of CBD once the Farm Bill of 2018 is fully regulated.
How to find legal CBD products?
As stated earlier, the number of CBD based products in the USA is rapidly growing. Manufacturers are finding new ways to incorporate this element into their products attract a more extensive client base but at the same time complying to the restrictions put forth by the law.
According to cannabis radar:
The most popular CBD product is undoubtedly the CBD oil which has multiple applications.
Health products containing CBD are also immensely popular among the younger generation.
To ensure that the CBD products you are using are legal, here are a few things you should do. Here are a few vital information you need to check on the product label as well as the manufacturer’s website.
Where was the source plant grown?
Hemp grown and processed in the USA will be considered legal under state law. But if the product originated from overseas, there are high chances of it being deemed illegal.
Certification of analysis (COA)
This indicates the tests this particular product was subjected to. For every batch and packaging, different COA number is allotted, and you need to cross-check this number before using the CBD product.
Validation of test methods
All the tests conducted on the CBD product should comply with ISO 17025 standards. Among the three regulatory organizations in the USA, these test methods should be validated by at least one.
The COA certificate should indicate the percentage of CBD and TNC in the product.