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cannabis cbd oil legal

America’s relationship with cannabis is complicated. According to federal law, cannabis — including CBD — is still predominantly illegal, although there are exceptions. Even with the continuing federal prohibition of cannabis, most U.S. states have enacted their own cannabis-related laws. As such, CBD oils reside in a legal grey area.

Both industrial hemp and marijuana are members of the cannabis family, but they are treated differently under federal law. Industrial hemp, as defined by the federal government, is cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by weight. Marijuana is defined as any cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC by weight.

When Is CBD Oil Illegal?

Although cultures around the world have used cannabis for centuries, Americans are just now beginning to understand what cannabis and the chemical compounds in it do to the human body. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, in particular, has become wildly popular for its alleged health benefits, but is CBD oil legal?

Cannabis is filled with chemicals. Arguably the most well known of these chemicals is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Whereas THC is largely responsible for cannabis’ “high," CBD does not result in a high. Supplement manufacturers are making CBD into many forms, including oils, tinctures, pills, and lotions. Some supposed benefits of using CBD include:

It depends. In terms of federal law, the legality of CBD oil depends largely on where the CBD came from and where it is being used, so it is important to understand some cannabis fundamentals.

CBD is a compound found in cannabis. There are hundreds of such compounds, which are termed “cannabinoids,” because they interact with receptors involved in a variety of functions like appetite, anxiety, depression and pain sensation. THC is also a cannabinoid.

Trey Malone receives funding from the U.S. Department if Agriculture, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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“Broad spectrum” CBD typically contains at least three other cannabinoids, as well as some terpenes and flavonoids – but still no THC. “Full spectrum” CBD, also called “whole flower” CBD, is similar to broad spectrum but can contain up to 0.3% THC.

There is no standardized dosage of CBD. Some retailers may have enough knowledge to make a recommendation for first-timers. There are also online resources – like this dosage calculator.

The Drug Enforcement Agency categorizes cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning it handles cannabis as if there is no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Scientists don’t know exactly how CBD works, nor how it interacts with other cannabinoids like THC to give marijuana its added therapeutic effects.

Broad-spectrum means that the product contains CBD and terpenes, but has undergone additional processing to strip out any THC.

The Farm Bill did not legalize CBD products, all evidence to the contrary. It did charge the FDA with regulating CBD products, including labeling, therapeutic claims, and its presence in foods or drinks. The FDA normally approves new drugs and other products based on years of scientific study but since all forms of cannabis were illegal for so long, no such rigorous research exists. Companies that have decided to dump what may or may not be CBD into every product imaginable aren’t interested in scientific research or FDA approval anyway.

The FDA has historically been strict when it comes to health claims or content that could be understood as medical advice — and it makes no exception for CBD. According to the agency’s own long-standing regulatory framework, because it has already approved a drug with CBD in it, (Epidiolex, used to treat childhood epilepsy) the agency cannot also approve non-prescription products with the same ingredient. It also can’t approve the ingredient to be added to food and beverages.

How to choose quality CBD products

The2018 Farm Bill, however, legalized hemp cultivation and removed some cannabis from Schedule 1 status by creating a legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Under the legislation, hemp is classified as cannabis that contains no more than 0.3% THC by weight, while marijuana is classified as cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC.

There are state laws and then there’s federal law. Under federal law, marijuana is illegal but hemp is not even though they are both cannabis. After decades of rolling measures to stamp out weed nationwide,t all types of cannabis, including hemp, were made illegal by the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act. The legislation swept all cannabis under the Schedule 1 umbrella, which classifies it as a substance with a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a likelihood for addiction.

Most reputable CBD producers typically include the following information on their CBD product labels:

Until federal agencies determine final and enforceable regulations, the potential for mislabeled and poor-quality products is high. Knowing what to watch out for on a CBD oil label can improve the odds of finding high-quality CBD oil and other related products.