The status of the legality of CBD across the United States can be really confusing because it seems like things are always evolving. The big question everyone is asking, is CBD hemp oil legal in all 50 states? The short answer is yes. But, while the answer is yes there is some baggage attached to that answer.
Marijuana and hemp are essentially two versions of the same species of plants from the genus Cannabis,they are each bred to have small genetic variations. Marijuana is typically grown to have high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a psychoactive chemical compound. Hemp, on the other hand, is bred specifically to have, at most, trace amounts of THC – and not enough to have any psychoactive effects.
More and more states have been taking the legalization of cannabis into their own hands, since there seems to be almost no progress regarding the rules and regulations at the federal level. Currently marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency, also known as the DEA. A Schedule I drugs are substances or chemicals that do not have an accepted medical use and have a high risk of abuse. Heroin, ecstasy, and LSD are some examples of other Schedule I drugs.
Any CBD oil that is taken from a marijuana plant is considered to be a Schedule I drug by the DEA. Even though the chemical cannabidiol is not psychoactive at all. In fact all other cannabinoids are non psychoactive EXCEPT for THC.
So what is the difference between the federal and state government regarding the marijuana laws? The U.S. Department of Justice has given states authority over their own legalization, saying in 2013 that “they will defer the right to challenge [state] legalization laws at this time.” However in 2018, the Attorney General Sessions came in with much stricter regulation policies, enacting the Marijuana Enforcement Memorandum.
How does this affect the legality of CBD Hemp oil in the U.S.? This question really boils down to where the CBD was sourced from. There are major differences between CBD sourced from industrial hemp and CBD sourced from a medical grade marijuana plant.
With the cannabis market exploding across the country, the confusion between hemp and marijuana is a growing issue. CBD is gaining popularity, and is taking the world by storm; but because of this, many retailers are labeling it under a wide range of descriptions.
Terms like cannabis oil, hemp oil, CBD oil and marijuana float around and cause confusion, because many do not know the difference. But whatever it may say on the label, there are major differences between products labeled as marijuana and those labeled as hemp.
Marijuana is the psychoactive and medicinal version of cannabis. Marijuana contains higher levels of THC which is associated with that “high” that people are always talking about. While there are strains of marijuana that contain high levels of CBD and and low levels of THC, this is typically not the norm.
Hemp is a strain of cannabis that is grown for the use of it’s stalks, seeds and fibers. Hemp is farmed on an industrial level and legally must contain under .3% THC. Hemp is not psychoactive and has a wide variety of uses.
Cannabidiol, or better known as CBD comes either from marijuana plants or industrial hemp plants. Under federal laws, marijuana is an illegal Schedule I drug, but the Controlled Substances Act, “does not define hemp; it merely exempts certain parts of the cannabis plant – stalk, fiber, and sterilized seeds (and preparations made from them) – from the definition of ‘marijuana.’”
Under the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp sourced products are legal; Section 7606 approved the cultivation, processing and sale of hemp for research purposes. Each state enforces the bill in different ways, however the 2014 Farm Bill appeared to maked CBD derived from hemp legal in all 50 states.
However the wide-ranging agriculture and food policy legislation known as the Farm Bill, passed by a vote of 86 – 11 in June of 2018 and contains provisions to legalize the cultivation, processing and sale of industrial hemp.