“Is it legal?” is one of the biggest questions surrounding CBD oil and its related products. The short answer is that, as long as it’s made from hemp instead of marijuana, CBD oil is generally legal everywhere in the US. It was made effectively legal by certain legislative changes at the federal level, but states still retain the right to regulate the use and sale of products within their own borders. Its new position in legislature also opened CBD oil up to FDA regulation, which began rolling out in 2019.
Why the distinction? Well, CBD oil can be made from both hemp and marijuana plants, which are the most common varieties of the cannabis plant. In general, marijuana plants are cultivated for a higher concentration of THC, while hemp is cultivated for greater concentrations of CBD. Both chemicals may occur naturally in both types of cannabis plants, but usually only in trace amounts depending on what they are grown for.
Hemp-Derived and Marijuana-Derived CBD Oils
The main difference in legality comes from whether CBD oil is extracted from hemp or marijuana. The basic idea is that, when extracted from certain kinds of hemp, CBD oil contains little to no THC, which means it contains no psychoactive ingredients. This is the kind of substance that was made effectively legal by the 2018 farm bill. CBD oil is no longer classified as “Schedule 1” — this is because hemp itself was removed from the same classification as marijuana, meaning that oil derived from hemp is also legal.
Marijuana-based CBD oil is only legal in states where marijuana is legal. Hemp-based CBD oil, however, has been effectively removed from the list of controlled substances. Essentially, this means that if a state has legalized medicinal, but not recreational marijuana, CBD oil will be regulated in the same way medicinal marijuana is.
Where is CBD Oil Legal?
The result of the changes in the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp, and, therefore, hemp-based CBD oil, legal at the federal level. Federally legal does not necessarily mean completely legal in all 50 states, however, since each state retains the right to create their own legislation about hemp and CBD oil. This makes keeping up to date on the laws in your state essential.
Things get a little confusing when we start talking about the legality of marijuana-based CBD oil. Basically, the oil is under the same classification as the plant it’s extracted from. Making hemp federally legal made hemp-based CBD federally legal too. Marijuana-based CBD oil, however, follows the individual marijuana laws on a state-by-state basis, and remains illegal entirely at the federal level.
States Where Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil is Legal
Marijuana and marijuana-derived CBD oil are completely legal in the following states (and Washington D.C).
- The district of Columbia; Washington D.C.;
Marijuana and all related products are completely illegal in the following states:
- South Dakota;
In many states, marijuana and marijuana-derived CBD are legal for medical use only, with an appropriate prescription. The exact conditions vary by state, however, with varied legislation concerning marijuana, CBD, and hemp. Check in to your state’s laws if they’re not on the previous list.
Controlled Substances Act
The difference between the availability of marijuana and hemp and their oils is due to the way that each is classified under federal law. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance, which means it’s one of the most tightly controlled substances by the DEA. Hemp, on the other hand, was recently completely removed as a scheduled substance by the 2018 Farm Bill.
Hemp Oil and the Farm Bill
Up until 2018 federal law in the US did not differentiate between marijuana and hemp. They were both considered Schedule 1 controlled substances. The 2018 Farm Bill, however, changed that. The bill distinguished between marijuana and hemp, removing hemp from the list of scheduled substances and effectively legalizing it on a federal level.
Federal legalization also comes with federal regulation: the FDA began to get involved in the sale and advertisement of CBD oil as soon as the farm bill opened the proverbial floodgates. The FDA is also working to regulate the travel of CBD oil across state lines, so if you’re going to be travelling with CBD oil, make sure it’s completely legal and that you can provide proof of its legitimacy. Be aware that travelling with CBD oil may be severely restricted. The regulation, however, is mostly for sellers of oil, and, as a consumer, it’s perfectly legal to buy the appropriate kind of CBD oil from retailers and online sellers.
States also retain their rights to govern hemp products internally, so changes may occur concerning which states allow and disallow hemp and hemp-derived CBD oil. Pay attention to local laws, and purchase from reputable providers that can prove the legality of the oil they produce.