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Is CBD Legal in All 50 States? The Current Situation

Is CBD legal in all the 50 states?

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of over hundreds cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis plants. 

It has gained popularity in recent years as for its potential health benefits.

However, CBD can be very confusing when it comes to its varying legal status in different states despite being legal federally in the United States.

The legality of state hemp or hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) was not directly affected solely by the 2018 Farm Bill. While the Senate version intended to legalize hemp at a national level, the final Farm Bill granted the power to legalize hemp to each state.

This article will provide you with a clear and updated guide on CBD legalization by state. Here’s what you’ll learn in this article:

  • The difference between federal and state laws on CBD
  • The difference between hemp and cannabis-derived CBD
  • The factors that affect CBD legality, such as the source, type, amount, use, and user of the product

Federal vs State Laws on CBD

A gavel and the scale justice in front of the American flag

The first thing you need to understand is that there are two levels of laws that affect CBD legality in the US: federal and state laws. Federal laws apply to the whole country, while state laws vary from one state to another.

In 2018, the federal government passed the Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and hemp-derived CBD at the federal level. Hemp is defined as cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is another compound found in cannabis plants that causes psychoactive effects or a “high”.

However, the Farm Bill also imposed some conditions and regulations for hemp and hemp-derived CBD products, such as:

– Hemp must be grown by licensed producers who follow federal guidelines

– Hemp products must be tested for THC levels and other contaminants

– Hemp products must comply with the rules and standards of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The FDA is the federal agency that regulates food, drugs, cosmetics, and dietary supplements. The FDA has not approved CBD as a drug or a food ingredient, except for one prescription drug called Epidiolex, which is used to treat rare forms of epilepsy. This means that CBD products that claim to treat or cure any disease or condition are illegal at the federal level. It also means that CBD products that are added to food or beverages are illegal at the federal level.

However, state laws can be more restrictive or lenient than federal laws when it comes to CBD products. Some states have followed the federal law and legalized hemp and hemp-derived CBD products, while others have banned them completely or imposed additional restrictions. For example:

  • In Alabama, hemp-derived CBD products are legal for all purposes, as long as they contain no more than 0.3% THC
  • In Idaho, hemp-derived CBD products are illegal for any purpose, unless they contain no THC at all.
  • In California, hemp-derived CBD products are legal for medical purposes only, and cannot be added to food or beverages

As you can see, state laws on CBD can vary widely and may change over time. Therefore, it is important to check the latest laws and regulations in your state before buying or using CBD products.

Hemp vs Cannabis-Derived CBD

The second thing you need to understand is that there are two types of CBD products: hemp-derived and cannabis-derived. Hemp-derived CBD products are made from hemp plants, which contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Cannabis-derived CBD products are made from cannabis plants, which contain more than 0.3% THC by dry weight.

As we mentioned earlier, hemp-derived CBD products are generally legal at the federal level but may still be illegal in some states. Cannabis-derived CBD products are illegal at the federal level but may be legal in some states that have medical or recreational cannabis programs.

Medical cannabis programs allow patients with certain qualifying conditions to use cannabis products with a doctor’s recommendation. Recreational cannabis programs allow adults over a certain age to use cannabis products for personal use without a medical reason.

Some states have both medical and recreational cannabis programs, while others have only one or none at all. For example:

A gateway sign for Colorado
  • In Colorado, both hemp-derived and cannabis-derived CBD products are legal for medical and recreational purposes
  • In Texas, only hemp-derived CBD products are legal for medical purposes only
  • In Nebraska, neither hemp-derived nor cannabis-derived CBD products are legal for any purpose

As you can see, the type of CBD product you use can affect its legal status in your state. Therefore, it is important to know the source of your CBD product and whether it is derived from hemp or cannabis.

Factors That Affect CBD Legality

A woman making a confused gesture

The third thing you need to understand is that there are many factors that can affect the legality of CBD products in your state. These factors include:

  • The source of CBD (hemp or cannabis)
  • The type of product (oil, gummies, capsules, etc.)
  • The amount of THC in the product
  • The intended use of the product (medical, wellness, etc.)
  • The age and medical condition of the user
  • The location and jurisdiction of the user

These factors can change the legal status of CBD products in different states. For example:

  • In Florida, hemp-derived CBD oil is legal for all purposes, but hemp-derived CBD gummies are illegal for any purpose.
  • In Georgia, hemp-derived CBD products are legal for all purposes, as long as they contain no more than 0.3% THC, but cannabis-derived CBD products are illegal for any purpose, unless they contain no more than 5% THC and are used by registered patients with certain medical conditions
  • In New York, hemp-derived CBD products are legal for all purposes, but cannabis-derived CBD products are illegal for recreational purposes, and can only be used by registered patients with certain medical conditions

As you can see, these factors can make CBD legality very complex and confusing in different states. Therefore, it is important to do your own research and check the latest laws and regulations in your state before buying or using CBD products.

Conclusion

CBD legality is a complicated and evolving topic in the United States. Hemp-derived CBD products are generally legal at the federal level, but not always at the state level. Cannabis-derived CBD products are illegal at the federal level, but may be legal in some states with medical or recreational cannabis programs. Many factors can affect CBD legality, such as the source, type, amount, use, and user of the product.

The bottom line is that you need to be careful and informed before buying or using CBD products in your state. You should always check the latest laws and regulations in your state and consult with a doctor or a lawyer if you have any doubts or questions.

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