Is CBD legal?
We’re not lawyers or legal experts — meaning you shouldn’t take this article as legal advice. However, we’ve done our best to provide you with the most accurate information on the legal status of cannabidiol in the USA.
in this article, we’ll cover the current laws surrounding federal and state regulations of marijuana and CBD supplements — including its contradictions.
We’ll also cover the future of CBD based on past cases involving other (similar) natural health products.
What is the Legal Status of Cannabidiol in 2020?
As we speak, cannabidiol remains in the Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) — meaning it has no accepted medical use and carries a “high potential for abuse”.
However, this only applies to the cannabidiol sourced from marijuana plants, which also contains significant amounts of THC — the psychoactive compound in cannabis.
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD from industrial hemp is excluded from the CSA and thus has recently become legal on the federal level.
Companies are now allowed to grow, manufacture, sell, and transport hemp and CBD-rich hemp products across the states as long as they meet certain guidelines.
CBD from Hemp vs. Marijuana: Is There a Legal Catch?
Hemp and marijuana are both members of the Cannabis plant family, and both can yield an abundance of CBD.
Being the same species, hemp and marijuana are similar on many levels; inexperienced CBD users often confuse these two plants due to their visual similarities.
But at a chemical level, hemp and marijuana have striking differences.
While hemp is known to produce almost no THC (less than 0.3%), marijuana comes with an abundance of this psychoactive compound —reaching up to 30% of its dried weight.
Unless bred for specific purposes, marijuana typically comes with lower concentrations of CBD than hemp, which strengthens its mind-altering effects and is the main reason why marijuana remains federally illegal in the United States and many other countries.
Now that you’re familiar with the basic differences between hemp and marijuana, it’s time we elaborated on the legal status of cannabidiol depending on the source.
Legal Status of CBD Derived from Marijuana
CBD can be extracted from marijuana plants just as it can be extracted from hemp.
Some marijuana strains are bred to have high CBD concentrations — however, the THC content can vary dramatically, often exceeding the legal 0.3% limit.
In fact, the THC levels in marijuana can be as high as its CBD content.
Therefore, the problem with medical marijuana is that it’s not legal everywhere. In the United States, there’s a striking contradiction between the federal and state laws regarding marijuana-derived CBD.
Federal Marijuana Laws
Marijuana is listed in the Schedule I category of the Controlled Substances Act.
Despite having been legalized in 10 US states for medical and recreational purposes — and contrary to what modern science says about the benefits and risks of using cannabis — the possession, use, sales, and transportation of marijuana are considered a federal offense.
As the 2020 elections are coming closer, more candidates than ever are pulling out the federal legalization card, which may become the main subject of debates among politicians from both Democrats and Republicans. It looks that the legal status of cannabidiol may soon change again in favor of marijuana advocates.
State Marijuana Laws
As of 2020, there are 10 US states where Cannabis, including marijuana and hemp, are legal for medicinal and recreational use.
A total of 47 states have legalized marijuana-derived CBD only for medicinal purposes. The qualifying conditions may vary by state; some states are very liberal about the medical use of cannabidiol while others permit this compound only under highly specific circumstances (like an approved medical diagnosis).
Three states have taken a strong stance against marijuana-derived CB — Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dacota. Even hemp-derived cannabidiol is stuck in a legal grey-area in those particular states.
Where is Marijuana-Derived CBD Legal?
States with regulations that permit the use of marijuana-derived CBD for recreational and medicinal use: