Is CBD Legal?


CBD can be derived from hemp or cannabis, which are both varieties of the cannabis plant. While hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states with various guidelines, CBD derived from cannabis isn’t legal according to the federal government and some of the individual states. The issue is the amount of THC that’s present in cannabis. Hemp produces a small amount of THC although it can be completely removed by various extraction methods.

CBD made from cannabis is legal in states that have legalized cannabis for recreational use. They include Colorado, Oregon, California, Washington, Alaska, Michigan, Illinois, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Nevada, and the District of Columbia. Twenty-two additional states have legalized cannabis for medical purposes beginning with California in 1996.

Most states approve the use of CBD derived from cannabis as long as it’s for medical use and compliant with other laws and guidelines. Three states have banned CBD regardless of its origin – Idaho, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

The 2018 Farm Bill (Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018) removed hemp from the list of controlled substances and reclassified it as an agricultural commodity. This resulted in the legalization of hemp in all 50 states as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC and its grown by a licensed grower. As a result of the law, CBD derived from hemp is not regulated as a controlled substance. The federal government will not allow CBD in food or health products, but it doesn’t focus on enforcement.

The current standard of less than 0.3 percent THC is not enough to get you high, and it’s not strong enough to result in a failed drug test. This doesn’t negate the concerns by some government employees, police officers, military service members, and others about the prospect of failing a drug test as a result of consuming CBD. The potential consequence of a failed drug test explains why some CBD product companies extract all traces of THC in their CBD products. Some industries, government agencies, and the US Military outright ban the use of CBD products, regardless if they are labeled "THC free" or not. Please consult with your employee handbook or supervisor if you have questions about the use of CBD products with your employment or service.

The FDA has begun taking steps to regulate CBD, and that includes deciding whether companies can add CBD to food, beverages and dietary supplements. Part of the FDA’s review is collecting input in public hearings from CBD manufacturers, researchers, farmers, and retailers. The process is expected to result in updates is how the FDA defines CBD and the specific guidelines for its use.

Many CBD manufacturers are hoping to see sensible guidelines for the development and marketing of CBD products. This will benefit the industry which has suffered with some misrepresentations regarding the dosages noted on product labels. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association is lobbying the FDA to regulate CBD similar to Vitamin C. That could include establishing guidelines like dosage levels for over-the-counter use.



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