Although cannabis has been prominent since ancient times, little or nothing was said of its chemical components.
For a reminder, cannabis contains over a hundred compounds, each with their potential benefits to humans and animals alike. Among these extracts, CBD and THC are remarkable for their abundant nature and promising findings from early research.
Although research suggests both THC and CBD compounds may be highly potent for a range of health concerns, CBD seems widely preferred in medicine primarily for its non-toxicity. That is, CBD does not leave its users high, as THC does.
As anecdotal evidence increasingly supports early research on the CBD’s effectiveness, many wish to give the compound a try. But being a product of one of the most criticized plants on earth, there seems some reluctance. Many are ignorantly scared of running afoul of the law.
In response, this article addresses the increasing inquiries around CBD’s legality.
Is CBD legal?
Being an extract of one of the world’s most criticized herb, it is natural to feel concerned about CBD’s legality.
Well, there’s no one-fits-all answer to this, as legality differs across different countries and even states.
CBD’s legality across regions is dependent on several factors, including:
- State and federal laws on hemp and cannabis
- The source of CBD
- The consumption method, e.g., eating, vaping or smoking
- The marketing
Now, let’s consider the federal and state laws on Cannabidiol
Federal CBD Laws
The Agriculture Improvement Act 2018 dropped the marketing barriers to CBD businesses. Also called Farm Bill, the law decriminalized industrial hemp, which is, by law, defined as cannabis with less than .3 percent THC – the high-causing compound in cannabis.
Hemp with over .3 percent THC level is considered marijuana, which is federally illegal.
While CBD is found in both marijuana and hemp (both cannabis species), only hemp is legal in the federal books.
States CBD Laws
As mentioned, CBD’s legality varies across states. While some allow medical marijuana, some others, as with the federal laws, permits but not more than .3 percent THC concentration.
Still, few states are 100percent THC non-tolerant. That is, even the federally legal .3 percent minimum level is considered illegal.
CBD and the FDA
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating CBD activities. The federal establishment has warned against marketing CBD products with any medical claims, as there is yet no substantial science-based evidence to support the early reports.
For now, the FDA recognizes only one product as a medical prescription – Epidiolex.
Even with its regulatory responsibility, the FDA sometimes overlook manufacturers who make such medical claims on their products. This leniency has led to an influx of CBD products with over .3 percent THC level on the market.
Summarily, hemp-derived CBD is legal; Marijuana-based isn’t. But despite the federal provisions on CBD, some state laws still consider the compound (regardless of THC concentration) illegal.