Demystifying the Legality of CBD in the United States
A Quick Overview of CBD
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in marijuana and hemp. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it will not get you high. However, scientific and anecdotal evidence has shown that the compound has numerous health benefits.
By working in conjunction with your body’s endocannabinoid system, CBD can help with ailments like pain, inflammation, nausea, anxiety, depression, alertness, insomnia, psychosis, convulsions, neuro disorders, and cancer.
Marijuana is still illegal federally, and actually classified as a schedule I controlled substance. Even if it contains less than 0.3% THC, technically, on a federal level, it is still illegal. CBD derived from hemp, however, is legal, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.
Due to the nature of our government, states do have the right to govern themselves. Indeed, they can make laws that contradict those of the federal government. This is why, as of today, 33 states and D.C. have legalized medical and/or recreational marijuana and the remaining 17 have laws allowing the use of CBD with some restrictions. Remember, the federal government can always prosecute you for possessing medical marijuana and CBD that contains THC. This includes a prescription in a state that has legalized it.
Legality by State
Montana, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, North Dakota, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Florida, and Hawaii have legalized medical marijuana, of which CBD derived from the marijuana plant is included. Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and Washington D.C. have legalized the use of recreational marijuana, meaning you do not need to have a medical reason to purchase and consume CBD.
The states listed below have special contingencies for allowing the use and/or sale of CBD.
Only those with “debilitating conditions that produce seizures” will be provided with an affirmative defense against prosecution.
Qualifying patients (those with cancer, ALS, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s disease, sickle cells disease, Tourette’s syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, epidermolysis bullosa, Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS, peripheral neuropathy, hospice program patients, intractable pain, and PTSD) can be issued a card by the Georgia Department of Public Health to be able to receive low THC (less than 5%) CBD oil.
The “distribution and retail sale of low-THC help extract”, considered industrial hemp, less than .3% THC. It must contain no other controlled substances are legal.
Qualifying patients with cancer, seizures, Crohn’s disease, untreatable pain, multiple sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, HIV, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, terminal illnesses, ulcerative colitis, or severe pediatric autism with aggressive or self-injurious behaviors can apply for a cannabidiol registration card to purchase CBD at an approved dispensary.
CBD with no THC is legal to sell and purchase. Patients with debilitating medical conditions are allowed to use CBD with 5% THC or less.
Physicians practicing at a hospital or clinic associated with a public university, college, or school of medicine may prescribe CBD to their patients.
Patients suffering from debilitating epileptic conditions may use CBD oil, extract, or resin. It must contain more than 15% CBD and less than .5% THC obtained from a pharmacy.
Patients with intractable epilepsy may use CBD, specifically hemp extract, that is less than .9% THC, and at least 5% CBD with no other psychoactive substances.
Patients with severe forms of epilepsy, spasticity due to multiple sclerosis or paraplegia, intractable nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation with chronic wasting diseases may use cannabis oil that contains no more than .3% THC.
Patients with a physician certification that have been diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, or other severe forms of epilepsy that are not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies may use CBD oil that is less than .9% THC and more than 15% cannabidiol.
The state has chosen to separate CBD from the definition of marijuana to classify it as a Schedule IV controlled substance. The FDA must approve the CBD product to be legal.
CBD obtained outside of Tennessee that is less than 0.9% THC that was obtained legally is legal for use in the state.
Patients with intractable epilepsy, medical seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, terminal cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, autism, and ALS are able to register into the Texas Compassionate Use Program to purchase cannabis oil from dispensaries that is no more than .5% THC and at least 10% CBD.
Patients with intractable epilepsy must register for a hemp extract registration card to obtain and use marijuana extract that contains less than 0.3% THC and at least 15% CBD.
Patients who have “any diagnosed condition or disease determined by the practitioner to benefit” from the use of cannabidiol oil will have an affirmative defense from possessing CBD. The oil must contain no more than 5% THC and at least 15% CBD.
Any physician can provide a patient with a document that says the patient has cannabidiol to treat a medical condition. However, it is pending FDA legality.
Patients with intractable epilepsy are allowed to use hemp extract oil that contains less than 0.3% THC and at least 15% THC.
The FDA’s Legality of CBD
Currently, the FDA is in the process of researching CBD as a drug and as a dietary supplement and has not approved CBD on its own in any form as of yet. Further, they have approved a prescription drug that utilizes CBD as its active ingredient, Epidiolex; for severe epilepsy. As more clinical research becomes available, policies will begin to be formulated around CBDs uses.
For questions on the legality of CBD and how CBD can benefit you, contact the experts at CannaBizDepot.