When shopping for hemp CBD products, you may find yourself wondering if CBD products are even legal in your state because your state is not one that has legalized marijuana use. Today we’re going to touch on why hemp CBD products are legal and why you don’t need to worry about using products from reputable brands and sources.
Hemp CBD Products: Why Hemp CBD is Legal
If this is your first time visiting our blog, take a moment to read over our article entitled “What is CBD Oil“, this should give you a better understanding of CBD and it’s origins.
Now, why is hemp CBD a legal product even when your state has not legalized marijuana?
Simply put, it’s because hemp is not marijuana.
Cannabis is a family of plants. Within the cannabis family, there are cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants.
Marijuana can come from plants in either of the two cannabis families, however, hemp can only come from the cannabis sativa family.
Cannabis plants contain compounds called cannabinoids, the two that we know best are CBD and THC.
THC is what produces the “high” that people seek from smoking marijuana, however, CBD produces similar effects to THC without the psychoactive properties.
The typical marijuana plant has between 15 and 40% THC content where hemp plants have THC content of 0.3% or less.
This difference in the chemical composition of each plant means that while both provide similar health benefits, one does so without the psychoactive effects that render marijuana use “addictive” by the powers that be.
Is CBD legal?
This is an incredibly complicated question to answer. Many eCommerce websites and brick and mortar stores will claim that CBD is legal in all 50 states, but this isn’t exactly true. It is still a bit of a gray area, and you must look at the question from several different angles.
Federally, industrial hemp was recently (2018) made legal to grow and sell when the 2018 Farm Bill was passed.
There was an earlier farm bill (2014) that also made it legal for certain farmers to grow industrial hemp, primarily if it was for research purposes. Obviously, this is fairly constraining. The new Farm Bill is far more beneficial to the hemp — and CBD — market.
This is a bit trickier as each state has its own regulations around cannabis products. Some states have legalized marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes. These states have the most lenient and clear laws around CBD.
Other states have made marijuana and CBD legal with a medical prescription from a licensed doctor. In these states, CBD is technically not legal if you do not have a prescription.
Yet other states have not legalized cannabis at all. In these states you cannot even purchase it with a prescription.
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has designated (almost all) CBD — and all cannabis — as Schedule 1 drugs. According to the DEA’s definition, “Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.” It seems very odd to put CBD in the same classification as heroin, but strangely it is.
In September of 2018, the DEA took some Cannabidiol off this list. The newly rescheduled drugs include “finished dosage formulations” of CBD with THC below 0.1%. These will now be considered Schedule 5 drugs, as long as the medications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You will see the irony in this when you read the next section.
While this is the first time the agency has removed any type of cannabis from Schedule 1, it is not a full win for Cannabidiol. Currently, only Epidiolex (mentioned in an earlier section as a treatment for some forms of epilepsy) satisfies the requirements. The hope is that the change could eventually affect other CBD formulations.
It is important to note that even Schedule 5 drugs are illegal without a prescription. The DEA says Schedule 5 drugs have a low potential for abuse. They are generally medicines such as pain relievers and antidiarrheal medications.
Despite the current designation of most CBD formulations as Schedule 1 drugs, a spokesperson for the DEA recently said that because we are in an “opioid crisis,” the DEA is not looking to enforce the laws around Cannabidiol. CBD is extremely low on their priority list.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The FDA has not approved CBD for use in any medicine, supplement or food product, with the exception of Epidiolex as mentioned above. This is not a gray area at all. CBD is not approved by the FDA.
The Uses of Hemp Vs Marijuana
In short, hemp plants are mostly grown for industrial use where marijuana is grown for recreational and medicinal use. What do we mean by industrial use? The hemp plant is surprisingly multi-functional. Some of the uses of the plant include:
- Use in paper production
- Use in the production of clothing
- Use in building materials
- Creation of biofuel
- Use in edible products
- Production of hemp oils
More recently, as more people have discovered the health benefits of CBD, more and more hemp plants are being produced for the sole purpose of creating CBD based health products.
Looking For Quality Hemp CBD Products?
If you’re looking for quality hemp CBD products from a reputable source, we encourage you to take a look around our En-Live-En store online and shop some of our favorite and most trusted hemp CBD products brands.