CBD Legality: Where is CBD Legal in the U.S.?
Is CBD Legal in your state? Get the answer and learn about the laws on CBD in each state.
Trying to figure out of CBD is legal or illegal? Confused by all the new CBD shops and products popping up? You’re not the only one!
This article goes over the federal and state laws on CBD oil and what you should know about buying CBD in your state.
You’ll learn how CBD-rich Hemp went from being banned to being federally regulated and how cannabinoids such as CBD and THC come into play.
Read all the way through and by the end, you’ll be able to explain to anyone if CBD is legal or not. Let’s start with what happened in 2018.
The 2018 Hemp Farm Bill
Until 2018, Hemp and Cannabis were essentially the same plant and federally prohibited. But in 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act, also referred to as the Farm Bill, defined Hemp as containing less than .3% THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.
The bill removed CBD and Hemp from the definition of marijuana and created regulations for Hemp farmers to legally cultivate the plant, effectively legalizing CBD-rich Hemp at the Federal level.
However, any Hemp cultivated must be done so under federal and state regulations by a licensed grower and contain less than .3% THC content to be federally legal.
The same day the Farm Bill legalized CBD-rich Hemp the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asserted in a press release that Congress had “explicitly preserved the agency’s current authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.”
The FDA and CBD
The regulatory authority of the FDA over CBD oil comes from the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). In this case, it’s specifically under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.
The FDA refers to compounds in approved medicines as Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients or API.
Since GW Pharma’s Epidiolex is the first and only CBD oil approved by the FDA for pediatric seizures, that makes it an API, which means the FDA, according to the FD&C Act, can regulate the substance to a certain degree.
The FDA’s most recent stance on CBD in 2019 has been to double-down on fear tactics in regards to the lack of research and potential health risks of CBD, mostly by citing claims from questionable studies.
The “fake science” controversy recently played out online after the initial study referenced by the FDA was published in April. Then in June, Forbes magazine published an exaggerative click-bait type editorial piece covering the study, which was met less than one month later in early July by a sharp rebuttal from leading online CBD think tank, Project CBD.
David Bienenstock, in a Leafly article, best summed up the exchange shortly after the Project CBD rebuttal saying,
“It’s 2019 and we still live in a world where one small study, on mice, with a highly questionable methodology, published in a marginal journal, with major flaws, leads to a clickbait media panic.”
This is essentially where the federal laws on CBD stand as we turn the decade. Meanwhile, the FDA is preparing a new regulatory framework for CBD-rich Hemp products, a billion-dollar CBD industry is booming.
While the FDA has sent warning letters to various CBD companies, the vast majority of CBD business has gone on unhindered.
That means that you won’t get busted at the federal level for CBD, but CBD companies might. To find out if you can legally buy CBD in your state, keep reading.
CBD Laws by State in 2020
At the state level, CBD laws vary. The vast majority of US states are changing their policies to allow CBD, but each state has different regulations and policies.
For example, in Colorado, both CBD and THC are legally available for adults, even as a food ingredient. However, south of Colorado, in Texas, only CBD oil is legal and only if it contains absolutely zero THC content.
t’s always best to familiarize yourself with your local state laws on CBD and cannabis to be safe. There are incredible resources available online to keep you up to date on all the nuanced laws as they change, as they are all changing very fast.
- National Conference of State Legislatures
- Marijuana Policy Project
- National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
Above are three great resources to check your state’s Hemp and cannabis-related laws. You can find visualizations that are frequently updated to help you find your state’s CBD policies.
CBD Sold Legally
As you can tell, when a substance such as CBD-rich Hemp goes from being prohibited to regulated, there are some kinks to figure out along the way.
Unfortunately, this leaves consumers vulnerable to an unregulated market rife with inaccurately labeled products that might not even contain CBD to begin with.
There are a few things you can do to determine the legitimacy of a CBD product or retailer that can keep you safe from tainted and low-quality CBD oil.
Always choose brands using CBD-rich Hemp cultivated in the USA. Hemp grown overseas is not subject to the same standards of safety regulations as it is in the USA. Foreign grown Hemp could easily be contaminated with potential toxins including heavy metals, mold, pesticides, chemical solvent residue, and more.
Always check for the COA, or certificate of analysis, which shows the third-party lab results that verify properties of CBD oil such as potency, cannabinoid profile, and screening of contaminants.
Each individual CBD product should be fully traceable to the source of extraction and in some states, such as Indiana, it’s required that CBD products include a QR code linked to batch numbers and corresponding COA’s.
You can verify a COA by assessing whether or not the lab conducting the analysis is compliant with “ISO 17025 standards”. You can verify this by checking that the lab is validated by at least one of three national regulatory organizations -
- Association of Official Agricultural Chemists
- The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia
- The U.S. Pharmacopeia
Everyone is trying to hop on the CBD trend and that means that there will be some unscrupulous retailers looking to make a quick buck on consumer vulnerability.
Make sure to always do your due diligence when shopping for CBD legally online.
420Beast CBD Brands
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You can learn more about the benefits of taking CBD and how to find the right CBD products for you in our other articles linked below.