Cannabidiol or CBD is just one of the more than 100 compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

CBD oils are oils that contain concentrations of CBD. And unlike THC or tetrahydrocannabinol that causes the sensation of getting “high” that is associated with marijuana, CBD is not psychoactive. It does target the body’s nervous system, but it does not trigger any altered state of consciousness. Meaning, it does not change a person’s state of mind when they use it.

Cannabis oil had been used in medicine for thousands of years. But during the 1930s, because of the concern over the dangers of abuse, the medical use of marijuana was permanently banned and using marijuana in whatever form was considered illegal. Yet even with the banning of cannabis, many still believed that CBD has many benefits to health. And until today, the benefits of CBD continue to grow and the world is now realizing its potential most especially in the field of medicine.

The Known Benefits of CBD Oil

More and more people are recognizing this CBD’s therapeutic benefits. Here at Complete CBD Wellness, we have written about how CBD is able to help people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and Fibromyalgia with their pain management. This chemical compound derived from cannabis is also a popularly sought after remedy for anxiety. The CBD-based drug Epidiolex has just been approved by the FDA. This drug is aimed at patients ages 2 and older that are suffering from two specific types of epilepsy. There are also recent studies that are looking into the potential of CBD as a co-treatment for certain types of cancer.

From anxiety to pain management to acne control to potential cancer treatment, CBD offers a lot of possibilities. In fact, most people who have tried cannabidiol to ease their anxiety and pains report an improvement in their lifestyle and little to no side-effects. Several studies also back these claims.

Is CBD Oil Legal in the U.S?

But despite all the good praises being sung for CBD, there are many questions about legalities. Is CBD oil legal in the United States?

Legalities concerning cannabidiol are confusing to say the least. CBD laws vary from state to state. And federal laws about cannabinoids differ from state laws.

However, there is a very important determinant: the source of the cannabidiol.

Why is the CBD Source Important?

CBD can be extracted from two cannabis plants: from hemp or from marijuana.

Both plants belong to the same species: cannabis sativa, but they are bred and grown for very different purposes. Hemp is grown for mostly industrial purposes like textiles, building materials, plastic composites, paper and biofuel. Marijuana on the other hand is mostly grown for its psychotropic properties. Marijuana has up to 30% THC content. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical compound that gives recreational marijuana users that high. Hemp contains only 0.3% or less THC and is practically impossible to get high off.

Cannabidiol sourced from either cannabis types has the same chemical structure though, so the effect on the body is the same.

It is important to know the source of the CBD oil because this determines whether cannabidiol is legal in your state or not. As of this writing, there are 46 states in the U.S. where CBD oil is legal for medicinal purposes. More detail regarding this is listed below. In most states, hemp-derived CBD oils with THC content that is less than 0.3% is the safest bet.

What about on a federal level?

As per code 7372, all plant cannabinoids which include THC and CBD are Schedule I drugs in the United States. This means that the federal government considers CBD illegal even though it is non-psychoactive. Anyone in possession of a Schedule I controlled substance is in violation of federal laws and can be arrested and prosecuted.

However, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had stated that arresting CBD product users is not a priority to them:

“They are not a priority for us … it would not be an appropriate use of federal resources to go after a mother because her child has epileptic seizures and has found something that can help and has helped. Are they breaking the law? Yes, they are. Are we going to break her door down? Absolutely not. And I don’t think she’ll be charged by any U.S. Attorney,” DEA spokesman Rusty Payne told news channel WTHR.

The 2018 Farm Bill

Many growers think that hemp is wrongly bunched together with marijuana and other substances like heroin, Ecstacy and LSD.

“There was tremendous biological understanding of the difference, but Congress was not making policy based on this—they were basing it on fear,” said John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the author of Marijuana: A Short History.

The 2014 Farm Bill allows for hemp to be grown. But farmers who would like to grow hemp must apply for a license and must be part of a state-approved hemp pilot program or research program.

In the new version of the proposed 2018 farm bill, the Senate has included an amendment that would legalize hemp production and eliminate the need for licensing when passed. This could lead to the complete legalization of hemp-derived CBD.

Where is CBD Oil Legal in The U.S.?

Here’s an overview of the legal status of CBD in each state as of January 2020 including any qualifications about the approved use cases for medical CBD.

State Hemp-sourced CBD for any use Marijuana-sourced CBD for medical use Marijuana-sourced CBD for recreational use
Alabama Legal Legal Illegal
Alaska Legal Legal Legal
Arizona Legal Undecided Illegal
Arkansas Legal Legal Illegal
California Legal Legal Legal
Colorado Legal Legal Legal
Connecticut Legal Legal Illegal
Delaware Legal Legal Illegal
Florida Legal Legal Illegal
Georgia Legal Legal Illegal
Hawaii Legal Legal Illegal
Idaho Illegal Illegal Illegal
Illinois Legal Legal Legal
Indiana Legal Illegal Illegal
Iowa Legal Legal Illegal
Kansas Legal Illegal Illegal
Kentucky Legal Illegal Illegal
Louisiana Legal Legal Illegal
Maine Legal Legal Legal
Maryland Legal Legal Illegal
Massachusetts Legal Legal Legal
Michigan Legal Legal Legal
Minnesota Legal Legal Illegal
Mississippi Legal Illegal Illegal
Missouri Legal Legal Illegal
Montana Legal Legal Illegal
Nebraska Illegal Illegal Illegal
Nevada Legal Legal Legal
New Hampshire Legal Legal Illegal
New Jersey Legal Legal Illegal
New Mexico Legal Legal Illegal
New York Legal Legal Illegal
North Carolina Legal Illegal Illegal
North Dakota Legal Legal Illegal
Ohio Legal Legal Illegal
Oklahoma Legal Legal Illegal
Oregon Legal Legal Legal
Pennsylvania Legal Legal Illegal
Rhode Island Legal Legal Illegal
South Carolina Legal Illegal Illegal
South Dakota Unclear Illegal Illegal
Tennessee Legal Illegal Illegal
Texas Legal Illegal Illegal
Utah Legal Legal Illegal
Vermont Legal Legal Legal
Virginia Legal Legal Illegal
Washington Legal Legal Legal
Washington, D.C. Legal Legal Legal
West Virginia Legal Legal Illegal
Wisconsin Legal Legal Illegal
Wyoming Legal Legal Illegal

The above information is up to date as of this writing. However, as laws change every now and then, it is very important to be aware of your own state’s laws regarding CBD use.

It is important to know what your local laws say about purchasing and using products with cannabidiol. The National Conference of State Legislatures website is an excellent source of detailed information about laws concerning CBD in different states. 

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