CBD has had a turbulent legal history in the United States, mostly because people associate it with marijuana. It is still somewhat of a taboo topic. That’s why I have compiled this helpful guide to familiarize you with the regulations governing the use of this cannabis compound on a national level. But because the CBD industry is ever-changing, make sure you verify its legal status in your state.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is a substance that is present in all strains of the Cannabis plant, and hemp is only one of them. In fact, CBD is merely one of several hundreds of cannabinoids that exist in cannabis. Another well-known cannabinoid is THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol.
As opposed to TCH, CBD is non-intoxicating, which means it doesn’t have a psychoactive effect on the user. On the contrary, CBD is a rather benevolent compound. It helps relieve pain and inflammation, reduces the risk of seizures, and lowers stress levels and anxiety.
Cannabis sativa is a plant species that has many subclasses. Marijuana and hemp are the most famous of them. However, many people don’t know that there is a stark difference between the two. Namely, hemp is the strain that contains 0.3% THC or less. The plant we know as marijuana has a higher THC content.
What Affects the Legal Status of CBD?
For decades, there’s been a lot of confusion about the legality of this compound. First, there are differences between federal and state laws. There are also legal variations when it comes to the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis, and in particular, the use of hemp and marijuana.
Is Hemp Legal?
Hemp was legalized with the passing of the Agricultural Improvement Act in 2018. Popularly called the Farm Bill, it removed hemp from the Controlled Substance List. That means we can now grow it for commercial purposes on Indian territory and all across the USA. With this change in law, the Drug Enforcement Administration no longer monitors hemp cultivation. It now falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. What that means is that hemp is legal. But the law is unclear whether that extends to CBD extracted from hemp.
So Is CBD Legal in the U.S. Today?
According to the Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration is in charge of the products that contain cannabis or some of its compounds. FDA has to approve these products as supplements, food, cosmetics, or drugs. Only then can manufacturers freely sell them across state lines.
For the time being, CBD is legal on a federal level if it derives from industrial hemp, which contains 0.3% THC at most. However, marijuana-derived CBD is still considered illegal federally.
However, all states retain the right to pass their own laws. Therefore, although approved on the federal level, CBD is still considered illegal in Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. These three states do not allow the use of any cannabis strain, neither for medical nor for recreational use.