Medical Malpractice

Is CBD Legal? U.S. Laws, State Regulations, Restrictions and Exceptions for Cannabidiol, Hemp and Other Cannabis Derived Extracts (Updated 2022)

What Are the Differences Between Cannabis, Marijuana, Hemp, CBD, and Hemp Extract?

When one enters the world of CBD, marijuana, and hemp extracts for the first time, they’re immediately confronted by an overwhelming amount of information to digest and consume. To make things easy, let’s break down the array of marijuana-related products into two distinct categories: psychoactive and non-psychoactive.

In a general sense, the term ‘psychoactive’ refers to the euphoria one experiences after consuming a marijuana product. With this notion in mind, cannabis and marijuana, and all their derivatives, such as CBD and CBG, are the go-to supplements to soothe pain, reduce anxiety, improve appetite and promote an overall sense of well-being.

Conversely, non-psychoactive supplements provide no euphoric effects. As a result of their mild chemical profile, they are regularly used within the general population to treat inflammation, arthritis discomfort, stress, and anxiety. Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabigerol (CBG) and hemp extract produce therapeutic effects without breaking the 0.3% THC threshold mandated by U.S. law. Once a manufacturer surpasses a 0.3% THC threshold in their supplement formulation, a medical prescription is needed before the initial purchase, unless otherwise stated by a patient’s state laws.

More specifically, the core difference between hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-extracted CBD lies in the amount of THC contained within their chemical profile. In general terms, cannabis-based products use much more THC in their final product compared to hemp-infused adaptations.

Is CBD Federally Legal in the United States of America?

Luckily for us, CBD currently holds the title of being legal on a federal level. As previously stated, supplemental products require a 0.3% THC threshold to retain their legal status. If a product surpasses the federally instated THC limit, it falls within the category of ‘illegal’ or ‘legal with a prescription,’ depending on the patient’s state of residence. With a THC content of 0.3% or less, the patient does not experience euphoric-like side effects after consumption but rather a myriad of positive side effects, such as a calm mind, reduced inflammation, relieved pain, and an elevated mood.

What Are the Core Differences Between Hemp-Based CBD and Marijuana-Derived CBD Products?

Although the beneficial effects of hemp-based CBD and marijuana-based CBD are almost identical, subtle differences between the compounds differentiate their usage and medical application. Hemp-based CBD, for example, typically contains higher amounts of CBD within its formulation. However, marijuana-based CBD contains higher amounts of THC — the psychoactive component derived from the marijuana plant — within its chemical profile. However, the synthesizing process manufacturers use to make an easily digestible product makes both supplements suitable for every patient’s needs and expectations.

Is CBD Legal in All 50 U.S. States?

Given the positive effects and therapeutic implementations of CBD and CBD-like products, you would think the nation would accept its usage with open arms. However, CBD does not have nationwide legal status. As of 2022, CBD is legal, or legal with restrictions, in 47 of the 50 states that encompass the U.S. Although legislators and activists are working around the clock to make CBD legal within all 50 states, Nebraska, Idaho, and South Dakota reject the idea of using CBD for medical needs or recreational experimentation.

Which Government Entity Regulates CBD Products in My State?

The government branch that dictates whether CBD products are legal is the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). However, the legal process becomes muddled when we see legislation that makes a supplement legal on a state-wide level, but illegal to own or purchase on a federal level. To make these laws easy to understand, keep this fact in mind: federal laws surpass state laws. If, for example, a CBD-derived product holds legal status at a state level, the DEA may investigate the production and distribution of the product from a federal perspective. Fortunately, CBD products have legal status in most states within the U.S.

How Can I Tell if My CBD Oil or Cannabidiol Product Is Legal?

Put simply, if your CBD product contains a THC threshold of 0.3% or less, your product is legal to own and purchase, and you cannot be charged with possession. In 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act stated that products containing 0.3% THC or less should become legal for customers across the nation. Although the laws and regulations regarding CBD aren’t perfect, they’re a step in a positive direction for marijuana and CBD enthusiasts alike.

What Is the Age Requirement to Buy CBD?

One of the tricky legal situations associated with CBD is the age requirement that vendors have for someone to attain their medicine. In most states, anyone over the age of 18 can purchase a CBD-infused product by showing a valid form of identification. However, certain areas require customers to present a form of identification indicating they’re 21 years of age or older. Before making a purchase, familiarize yourself with your state’s laws and legislation regarding CBD products.

Is Delta 8 THC Legal?

For patients and customers who desire a mildly intoxicating effect with their CBD medication, Delta-8 THC CBD provides the best of both worlds. However, unlike traditional CBD and CBG supplements on the market, Delta-8 CBD borders on the lines of legality. However, the good news is that Delta-8 CBD is legal on a federal level if its THC content remains below 0.3%, but when it comes to local laws and stipulations, users need to research their state’s view on Delta-8 variations. In states like California, Delta-8 falls within the natural compounds found within the CBD spectrum, allowing vendors to use upwards of 0.3% of the ingredient without surpassing the lines of legality. With that said, some states have strict guidelines that prohibit patients from using CBD supplements that contain Delta-8 as one of its main ingredients. As of 2022, here are the states where Delta-8 is illegal to purchase or manufacture:

          • Alaska
          • Colorado
          • Delaware
          • Idaho
          • Iowa
          • Montana
          • Nevada
          • New York
          • North Dakota
          • Oregon
          • Rhode Island
          • Vermont
          • Utah
          • Washington

Delta-8-THC, also known by its scientific name, tetrahydrocannabinol, was formulated to combat the price crash of U.S. hemp, creating an entirely new therapeutic strain. The beauty of Delta-8 products is that it provides the beloved benefits of traditional CBD and CBG while creating a mild euphoric experience that rivals marijuana ingestion. Although the effects of Delta-8 and marijuana are similar, Delta-8 is gentle and mild compared to standard THC.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil vs. Broad Spectrum CBD Oil: Are They Legal?

For newcomers to CBD, it’s easy to get confused when hearing the phrases “full spectrum” and “broad spectrum” in conversation. Although the two phrases are used to describe similar chemical profiles, each compound has a subtle variation that differentiates the two compounds: THC.

THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, is used within full-spectrum supplements, giving the user stress relief, pain reduction and a calm mind. On the other side of the coin, broad-spectrum medicines use all the cannabinoid compounds found in full-spectrum CBD without including THC in its final formulation.

While both compounds are considered legal under federal law, any product with a THC content that surpasses 0.3% is considered illegal, or at the very least, only available with a doctor’s prescription in progressive states. However, patients will be glad to know that the therapeutic effects of their beloved CBD and CBG are relatively the same, regardless of whether the label shows ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘full spectrum.’

Is It Legal to Take CBD Oil if It Has THC in It?

Yes, but only if your state has decriminalized THC use. One of the critical milestones in legislation related to marijuana and its derivatives is allowing manufacturers and customers to harness the healing power of THC within certain limitations. The next time you pick up your favorite CBD or CBG brand, look at the label and find the THC content within the formulation. If your product contains a total THC level of 0.3% or less, your product is not only legal to own and ingest, but it also incorporates the curative power of the cannabis plant.

Are Hemp-Derived Terpenes Legal?

Unlike Delta-8 CBD oils and cannabis variants, hemp-derived terpenes are entirely legal to own, produce and ingest. The reason for this is because terpenes extracted from hemp do not contain the psychoactive component found in marijuana — THC. Feel free to use hemp-derived terpenes to alleviate fungal issues, viral loads, excessive inflammation, and pesky parasite issues.

Although various pathways are positively influenced by hemp-derived terpenes, the core modality of delivering its therapeutic effects occurs through the sensory output from its aroma. Let’s face it: marijuana products are notorious for their potent and enticing smells, and many organic farmers and florists use the scent released from the plant as a natural pest repellent. Terpenes provide powerful aromatic benefits, as well as medically significant effects within the system after consuming the product.

Do I Need a Prescription to Use or Buy CBD?

While the federal government doesn’t mind if you use CBD without a prescription, your state’s laws may say otherwise. Certain states require patients to have a prescription from their doctor before purchasing a marijuana-derived CBD product with a THC content of over 0.3%. While laws and legislation are constantly evolving and changing, here are the states that require a prescription for marijuana-extracted CBD as of 2022:

        • Arkansas
        • Connecticut
        • Delaware
        • Florida
        • Hawaii
        • Louisiana
        • Maryland
        • Minnesota
        • Missouri
        • New Hampshire
        • New Mexico
        • North Dakota
        • Ohio
        • Oklahoma
        • Rhode Island
        • Utah
        • West Virginia

Users must remember that these states only require a prescription for marijuana-derived CBD, and any product that comes from hemp with a total THC content of 0.3% or less does not require a medical prescription from a physician.

Where Can I Legally Buy CBD Oil and Other CBD Products?

With the legalization of CBD products came a plethora of ways to buy CBD online and in-person wherever you are! To make the purchasing process easier to examine, let’s split the domain into two categories: online and in-person vendors.

With billions of individuals online each year, it’s essential to know how to receive your medication from an online manufacturer. Although each patient and user have their favorite brands and distributors, various elements comprise a reputable dealer’s operation. For starters, never purchase CBD products from an online vendor that doesn’t go through the additional effort of guaranteeing their product’s purity or manufacturing scheme.

The process of creating a high-quality CBD supplement is a delicate dance, requiring extensive man-hours, testing, product sourcing and ensuring the purest chemical extractions. Secondly, look for products with a stamp of approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) across their label. The USDA stamp lends credence to the purity and safety of the supplement, giving you peace of mind knowing that you’re consuming reputable products. Organic CBD oil is by far the purest form of CBD you can get.

For in-person shops, always look for vendors with state-licensed certificates. These certificates give customers and patients the wherewithal that their products came from reputable manufacturers that abide by the quality regulations set forth by the USDA and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Conversely, while it borders on the lines of cliche, use word-of-mouth reviews from friends, coworkers, digital forums, and online platforms to ensure the vendor has a history of living up to their customers’ expectations.

Am I Allowed to Drive After Taking CBD?

An interesting note regarding the euphoric effects of CBD is how the chemical interacts with motor functions and the mental faculties required to operate a vehicle safely. Put bluntly, can you drive a car after taking a CBD dose? The answer is “it depends.”

While studies showed that the effects of CBD – even at high dosages – does not negatively influence one’s ability to operate a vehicle, more research needs to be conducted surrounding its effects on the nervous system. Also, since the purity and THC content of CBD products is challenging to verify during a routine traffic stop, it’s best to wait until the effects of your dose wain before driving a vehicle.

Can I Drive with CBD Oil or Other Hemp Derived Extracts in My Car? What About Flying?

Even if driving after taking a dose of CBD is a gray area, it’s perfectly OK to drive with the supplement in your car. Unlike other products, such as regular marijuana and alcohol, that become illegal once opened in a moving vehicle, CBD’s mild profile doesn’t raise any red flags from law enforcement officials.

However, each patient’s state laws regarding motor vehicles vary, and driving with specific substances, such as Delta-8 and Delta-9 variants, will more than likely earn you a violation. To stay safe, leave your products at home and never use your automobile as a secondary storage space.

When it comes to flying, however, the laws are a little tricky. As a rule of thumb, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents prohibit passengers from flying to their destinations with liquids surpassing 3 ounces in volume. Although CBD oils are legal to carry on flight as long as their THC profile remains below the coveted 0.3%, TSA removes any liquids beyond a 3oz volume — even water. Many individuals find ways around this rule by carrying a vape pen containing CBD in a cartridge or bringing a bag holding CBD-infused gummies. However, use these techniques at your own risk and abide by all the guidelines given by your TSA agent.

When Did CBD Become Legal?

To conclude, it’s essential that we discuss the birth of CBD usage and what caused the massive shift in society that cast marijuana and all its derivatives in a positive light. For starters, the notorious associations of marijuana that spread through the 50s, 60s, and 70s no longer influenced the minds of young children, and scientific research on the plant was no longer considered taboo.

In fact, the history of CBD began in the 40s when a Harvard-educated chemist named Roger Adams pulled the magical compound from a marijuana specimen. Although Adams pioneered the exploration of marijuana from a clinical application point of view, the man who brought the plant’s medicinal profile to light was Dr. Raphael Mechoulam in 1963.

Dr. Mechoulam’s detailed anatomy regarding the structure of CBD gave medical researchers the curiosity and motivation to drop their preconceived notions and discover the hidden properties that made marijuana appealing. Fast forward to 2022, and we see new data that shows 14% of Americans report using CBD products, with 40% of the userbase relying on its properties to alleviate their pain, reduce anxiety and help them fall asleep each night. In so many words, CBD is here to stay and to ignore its beneficial properties — both from a medical and recreational view — is unwise. If you’re tired of suffering from debilitating issues stemming from stress, arthritis, inflammation or restlessness, CBD can help restore normality to your life once more.


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