Nowadays cannabidiol (CBD) products are becoming common in the pharmacies, local grocery stores, supermarkets, online shopping platforms, etc. This creates a lot of doubt among people because it is derived from the hemp plant which is a type of cannabis plant that is illegal in the USA. Usually, people associate cannabinoids like CBD with marijuana, its possession or use is unlawful in many US states because of the presence of psychotropic THC. This article intends to clear up these doubts and to give you a good understanding of the legality of CBD across the US.
The Confusion About Hemp-Derived CBD
CBD is the abbreviation of cannabidiol. It is one of the many phytocannabinoids naturally found in the hemp plant. THC and CBD are the two major cannabinoids in both marijuana and hemp plants, they are isomers, i.e. they have the same chemical formula. But their molecular structures differ; this is the reason for the difference in their effects, i.e. THC is psychotropic, while CBD is not. It is also the reason for many of CBD’s therapeutic and medical effects that made it a primary ingredient in many health and wellness products.
There are mainly three varieties of cannabis plants, they are cannabis sativa, cannabis inidica, and cannabis ruderalis. Federally legal CBD products for medical and therapeutic purposes like CBD oil are made from hemp (cannabis sativa) strains that have less than 0.3% of THC, this concentration of THC does not produce the psychotropic effects associated with THC. This is very much dictated by the federal level regulations established by the US Farm Act of 2018 that legalized the cultivation of hemp plants for therapeutic and medical purposes.
The Legality Of Hemp And Hemp Products
In 2018 the congress passed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the “Farm Bill” and it was signed into act by the end of 2018. It went into effect in 2019 and legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp for medical and research purposes with the caveat that the THC content must be less than 0.3%.
The 2018 US Farm Act removed hemp from the list of prohibited substances and expanded its commercial cultivation on a federal level. However, there is a catch, the states have an equal say in the legality of hemp-derived products including CBD, and they are still illegal in some states. So, there is a gray area between the federal and the state level CBD regulations, and this creates much confusion for the customers and the vendors. Moreover, these federal regulations are under the jurisdiction of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and not the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The Legality Of Different Forms Of Cannabidiol (CBD)
The US Farm Act of 2018 grants the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) authority over the regulation of products made using cannabis or compounds derived from it, and this includes all CBD health and wellness products. These products come under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and the Public Health Services Act. According to this act, any dietary product containing CBD is not eligible for interstate commerce. Listed below are the main stipulations regarding the sale of CBD products under this act.
- CBD food products and supplements can be sold only within the state of origin.
- CBD supplements cannot be sold across the state lines.
- Products that have the label of “active hemp extract” can be sold in 50 states bypassing these regulations.
- Products that have medical effects but not marketed as food or supplements are exempted from these regulations.
Cannabidiol (CBD) State Laws
As mentioned earlier, according to the US Farm Act of 2018, states have equal say in CBD laws. Due to this, each state has its laws regarding cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, sales, and possession of CBD products. Because of this discrepancy between the state and federal level CBD laws, the legislatures of many states are amending their existing narcotics laws. Besides, in most states, CBD can be legally used for medical or research purposes.
- According to many state narcotic laws, legal CBD is the one extracted from the hemp plant.
- Legalized and industrially cultivated hemp plant strains can contain up to a maximum of 0.3% of THC.
- Even though CBD is federally legal, in a few states, it is still partially or fully restricted.
So, before buying CBD products for therapeutic or medical purposes, it is important to make yourself familiar with the CBD laws of the state that you are residing in. Also, check the product label and ensure that the THC content is less than 0.3% and ask for the third party lab certification to confirm this before making a purchase.
Carrying CBD On The Plane
With the federal level legalization of CBD, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) allows passengers to carry FDA approved CBD products that are in line with the Farm Act regulations, i.e. THC content must be less than 0.3%. However, you must also ensure that the state you are traveling to permits CBD within their boundaries; otherwise, you could get into legal trouble.
We hope that the details shared in this article clarified your doubts about the legality of cannabidiol (CBD) across the US.