We know the struggle: you’ve heard all about the amazing benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) oil and can’t wait to try it. But is CBD legal? That depends, but “mostly legal,” is accurate, although still not as definitive as you need in order to make a good decision about purchasing cannabidiol products. Let’s into the details of CBD legality.
It’s a particular patch of legal ground that leads to some rough going, and what should be a “yes/no” answer to a simple question gets expanded to include state-by-state consideration. A basic rule of thumb to get you through the maze of legality is this: purchasing CBD oil or isolate for your own use is highly unlikely to land you in hot water in most states.
Overall, in the USA, CBD derived from hemp is legal in 46 states. If you’re buying small amounts of CBD oil (e.g., a month’s supply), for your personal health, you’re most likely going to be fine. The legality of CBD oil may not be as important as the likelihood of you being arrested or prosecuted for buying or using CBD. The good news is that it’s profoundly unlikely for you to hit legal troubles due to CBD oil. Most states consider sales, possession or use of cannabidiol to be legal.
That said, it doesn’t hurt to consider general trends across the USA.
CBD Laws by State
As of this writing, you won’t have any trouble with CBD oil in these eight states, as CBD oil is legal no matter whether it’s derived from hemp or marijuana. These are Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Recreational and medical use of cannabis is legal in these states.
Thirty states legalize the use of CBD for medicinal purposes: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.
Note that Indiana is new to CBD legalization. The state legalized hemp products in March 2018.
You can still buy and use CBD products in Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota, although there’s a “use at your own risk” disclaimer for those states. They’re going forward, albeit slowly, with legislation to clear up the murky laws on their books. Kansas is moving towards legalization. Idaho lags, but is catching up, with 2018 seeing new legislation supporting CBD. Nebraska sits on the fence, but lawmakers plan to issue a clear statement about CBD oil later in 2018.
Why the Fuss?
People have long mistaken hemp and marijuana for each other. The two are members of the cannabis sativa family, but different strains. Think of the radical differences among all the varieties of roses as an analogy to the many differences between hemp and marijuana. The marijuana plant and hemp plant don’t look alike. They don’t have the same chemical composition, and they offer different benefits, too!
Hemp has vanishingly little tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana. “Psychoactive” refers to the ability of a substance, compound, or extract to change a person’s perception of reality, induce euphoria, or otherwise have some effect on someone’s mental state. Hemp and its extracts don’t do that.
Hemp has so many different uses it’s not within our scope right here to tell you about them in this entry, but for centuries, it’s been used in textiles. It’s well-known in rope-making, yielding a product that’s tougher, stronger, and more resilient than many steel products. Hemp has never been used to get high in its long history. That’s marijuana’s territory. In fact, many CBD vendors offer products with no THC whatsoever.
Hemp is loaded with cannabidiol, which strangely enough, inhibits the ability of THC to produce a high. That’s right—all the controversy is over a chemical compound that can’t get you high! It might seem like legalizing CBD would be a slam-dunk of common sense, but like all issues dealing with anything and everything that touches the cannabis plant, confusion abounds, and common sense hurtles out the window.
Just a Sampling of Benefits
If you haven’t really gotten into the nitty-gritty of what good CBD oil can do for you, consider that CBD oil is known to help over fifty maladies. Disorders treated by CBD include: