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Is CBD Oil Legal?

CBD oil has been a hot topic in recent years in the United States because of its wellness effect. CBD infused products have also been making a buzz especially in coffee shops and specialty cafes. CBD coffee is fast becoming popular. Recently, the NYC health department descended upon restaurants and coffee houses that offer CBD oil and CBD laced products. But despite a recent crackdown (January 2019) that banned food establishments from using CBD oil, they continue using it and adding it to their food. The nagging question is: Is CBD oil legal?

Is CBD oil legal? It depends who you ask and where you are. The use and sale of CBD oil is legal in 11 states, including Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Michigan, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, for adults over 21 yrs old. In some of these states it is also legal for minors with qualifying cards. CBD oil is legal in Maine but you cannot sell it as a ‘food’ item. In Idaho marijuana-derived CBD oil is illegal. Also, in North Dakota marijuana-derived CBD oil is available only to qualifying patients; while sale of hemp-derived CBD oil, regulations depend on each city. For the rest of the 38 states, hemp-derived CBD oil is generally legal; while marijuana-derived CBD oil is available only to patients with medical cards.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is an oil-based preparation made from CBD. CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a chemical substance that is extracted from the cannabis sativa plant. It is known to have healing properties against common ailments, including headaches, migraines, insomnia, stress, and anxiety. This is the main reason why CBD oil has become so popular, because of the wellness it offers. There are two main sources of CBD — hemp and marijuana.

Hemp is a plant the can be legally grown, transported, and sold in all 50 states, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. Before the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was classified alongside marijuana and heroin under the Controlled Substances Act, as addictive and subject to abuse. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, including all other products derived from hemp. This includes CBD oil. But the problem arises because of marijuana. Unlike hemp, marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law. You cannot plant, transport, sell, or possess weed, under federal law. This includes CBD oil, and marijuana-derived CBD products. If you get caught with possession, transporting, or selling it is a federal offense.

What is the difference between hemp-derived and marijuana-derived?

The basic difference between hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD oil is in their corresponding THC content. THC, which stands for tetra-hydro-cannabinol, is the active ingredient in weed (marijuana) that gives you the ‘high’. A dry batch of weed would contain somewhere up to 25% THC. Because of the ‘high’ that you get from THC — it is addictive — there is much controversy surrounding CBD oil and CBD-infused products that are marijuana-derived. Marijuana (THC) is still classified under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, which means that marijuana has a high potential for abuse with no currently accepted medical use. In contrast hemp-derived CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC, both the full spectrum and isolate variety.

Hemp-derived full spectrum CBD oil differs from isolate CBD oil largely because of 113 other cannabinoids and terpenes in the full spectrum variety. Isolate CBD oil is the pure (99%) or refined variety. The desired wellness effects of CBD in isolate CBD is more focused and concentrated. On the other hand, the effect of full spectrum CBD oil is described by users as the ‘entourage effect’. All the healing properties of CBD is bundled together, creating a wellness bouquet of sorts, including relief from depression, anxiety disorder, and muscle fatigue.

The greatest advantage of full spectrum CBD oil is its availability across borders. Full spectrum CBD oil can be sold and bought in all 50 states as a dietary supplement or as a medicine, in pharmacies and health shops. You don’t need a prescription to buy it.

But before you dive into it and throw all caution to the wind, it’s important to remember a couple of things. One, know what type of CBD oil your are getting. You don’t want to get caught crossing state lines with marijuana-derived CBD oil in your pockets. That would constitute a federal offense. You’d may be taken in for drug trafficking. Then, there’s the FDA. The FDA prohibits sale of CBD oil and CBD products both as a drug and as an ingredient in dietary supplements without its patent approval. But there are ongoing discussions to clarify these issues and relax regulations because of the high demand for CBD oil and CBD products in the market today.

Yes, it is legal to take, buy and use CBD oil. It is also legal to sell it.

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