In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was passed in the United States, which banned marijuana from all forms of use, including medical.
It wasn’t until recent years that marijuana regulation was revisited. The first changes were to support medicinal use and research. In 2014, then-President Barrack Obama passed the Agricultural Act of 2014. Section 7606 of the Act outlined the legal classification of hemp and allowed the use of industrial hemp for research purposes.
Not All Cannabis Products Are Created Equal
There’s a big problem regulators face with the cannabis plant — some of the compounds it produces are powerfully medicinal, while others make users high.
As a byproduct of this evolution, supplement companies now have access to hemp as a source of nutritional products — which now falls under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate as a nutritional supplement.
The first type of cannabis — marijuana — is what most people think of when they hear the word “cannabis”. These plants are a form of Cannabis sativa that produces mid to high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which is the main psychoactive compound in the plant. The THC is what makes users high.
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.
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?
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.
Every U.S. state allows for the use of cannabis in some form, but each state’s laws are different. For example, Washington state law allows residents to legally consume CBD oil for recreational purposes, whereas South Dakota state law categorizes CBD as a Schedule IV controlled substance and allows citizens to use CBD only in forms that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, e.g., Epidiolex.
If CBD oil comes from hemp, it is federally legal. If CBD oil comes from marijuana, it is federally illegal. State laws, however, vary widely.
Yes, and no, depending on what state you live in. Even in states where cannabidiol (CBD) is legal, the newly popular compound is still regulated. Whether CBD is legal depends on a multitude of factors: state law, how each state interprets federal law, how much THC is in the product, whether state legislation regarding CBD has been passed, and to what type of product it’s been added.
Since the FDA’s job is to protect Americans from dangerous and unproven products but they haven’t stepped up yet on CBD, consumers are on their own and must be especially wary. That means it’s important for shoppers to choose CBD products wisely.
What is CBD?
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.
Because marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule 1 substance, CBD that is derived from the marijuana plant is still considered federally illegal. While hemp is now considered an agricultural commodity, it still must be produced and sold under state regulations that implement the bill. States must submit their plans for regulating the cultivation of hemp to the USDA. Some states have chosen not to allow hemp cultivation.
Despite the Farm Bill’s passage, the FDA has issued a directive that no CBD, not even hemp-derived, may be added to food or beverages or marketed as a dietary supplement. Given the flood of CBD products on the market already, the FDA has begun re-evaluating that stance. But the agency’s slow movement has created further confusion on the state level. States may attempt to regulate CBD in food, beverage, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products independently of the FDA’s rules but federal law makes it clear that the FDA has jurisdiction.