Is CBD Legal?
Cannabidiol, also referred to as CBD, is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp plants. There is another cannabinoid you might be familiar with – THC. This is the cannabinoid that gets you high when you consume cannabis plants like marijuana.
Both CBD and THC are called phytocannabinoids, because they are cannabinoids that are produced naturally by plants. However, unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t get you high. It is found more prevalently in the cannabis hemp plants.
In 2018, President Trump signed the Farm Bill into law. This bill made hemp a legal product in the United States. Because you can reliably and responsibly source CBD from the hemp plant, that in effect made CBD legal.
But wait a minute, according to Congressional testimony given by Amy Abernathy, Deputy Commissioner of the FDA, the Farm Bill also made the FDA the sole legal body responsible for authority over hemp products.
“The 2018 Farm Bill explicitly preserved FDA’s authorities over hemp products. Therefore, hemp products must meet any applicable FDA requirements and standards, just like any other FDA-regulated product. “
This means that those hemp products, including CBD, are solely controlled by the decisions made by the FDA.
Now, this is where the politics of government and big business (pharmaceuticals) get mixed up. The Farm Bill was set to be passed in the Spring of 2018, but it was delayed for several months.
I suspect this is because the FDA was looking at an application to approve a drug containing cannabidiol (CBD). If the Farm Bill passed prior to the drug’s approval, then CBD would be another natural supplement on the market.
However, in July of 2018, the FDA did approve the drug containing CBD – Epidiolex. Now, CBD is an FDA-approved drug, which keeps it solely under the control of big pharma when the Farm Bill passes.
Voila! In December, 2018, the Farm Bill was signed into law.
Now, CBD is an FDA-approved drug, and as such, it is subject to a lot more restrictions and requirements.
It does, however, produce significant changes in your body.
Current FDA Restrictions on CBD
The current FDA restrictions for CBD include a complete ban on any statements claiming that any product containing CBD is a treatment or remedy for any illness or medical condition.
Nothing being described as a CBD drug, outside of Epidiolex, has been approved by the FDA and is therefore illegal.
All CBD must be derived from the hemp plant – meaning that it contains under 0.3% THC.
All food that contains CBD is illegal because:
“It is prohibited to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food (including any animal food or feed) to which has been added a substance which is an active ingredient in a drug product that has been approved under section 505 of the FD&C Act.”
Remember Epidiolex? Yeah, now that it’s an FDA-approved drug, it made every single CBD food product illegal.
Cosmetic products like lotions and bath products are not illegal because these products are not subject to premarket approval by the FDA.
State CBD Laws
Some states have also enacted their own laws regarding CBD products. There are three states in the US that do not allow any type of cannabis products, whether they are hemp-derived or not – Idaho and Nebraska.
In Alabama, you must be suffering from a debilitating epileptic condition in order to possess CBD. Doctors are not allowed to write a prescription for it.
In Georgia, you can use cannabis oil as long as it contains no more than 5% of THC. This means most CBD oil derived from hemp plants are legal in Georgia.
Indiana has a law that allows for legal use of CBD oil as long as it contains at least 5% CBD and less than 0.3% THC.
Iowa law allows you to possess CBD if you need it for a debilitating medical condition.
In Kansas, you can use CBD as long as it doesn’t contain any THC.
Mississippi law requires that your product must contain more than 15% CBD and less than 0.5% THC.
North Carolina allows CBD products as long as they are less than .9% THC and over 5% CBD. CBD edibles are illegal.
Oklahoma allows for use of cannabis oil that is under 0.3% THC which can be used for severe forms of epilepsy and other forms of spasticity.
South Carolina law allows for the use of CBD in the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy. The CBD oil must be less than 0.9% THC and more than 15% CBD.
South Dakota has signed into law that any FDA-approved CBD product is legal for use. That currently only allows for Epidiolex.
Tennessee allows for use of CBD oil that contains less than 0.9% THC.
Texas has legalized the production of hemp crops and products. They may not contain more than 0.3% THC.
Utah and Virginia also allow for CBD product to be used, both in treating intractable epilepsy. Virginia requires it contain at least 15% CBD but can now be used for any condition.
CBD edibles have been banned for sale in New York, Maine, North Carolina, Washington, and Ohio.
Beyond that, most companies that are selling products that are hemp-derived and under the magic 0.3% definition from the Farm Bill, will sell their products online to anyone over the age of 21 in the US.