Is CBD Legal?

There’s a widespread belief that CBD is an illegal substance that has effects similar to marijuana. However, if this were true, why would there be advertisements for CBD all over your state?

CBD is legal throughout the United States as long as it’s created and sold using the proper methods and channels. Let’s look at some of the legalities of CBD and how those might impact you. 

Important Federal CBD Laws

It’s true that at one time, CBD was illegal. However, the laws surrounding CBD have been slackening for several years. The most notable law to date is the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also called the Farm Bill. It was signed into law at the end of 2018, and has opened pathways for industrial hemp farmers and CBD sellers across the nation.

The Farm Bill officially removed industrial hemp from the list of banned controlled substances. This significantly expanded the reach of hemp’s commercial cultivation. It enabled the mass production of the product throughout the U.S. with guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Previously, it had been monitored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

This doesn’t give full legality to all CBD products derived from hemp, but it does enable the FDA to play a greater part in the production of CBD products. The FDA still doesn’t label CBD products, however (more on that later). 

With the backing of the Farm Bill, CBD has taken a more prominent place in alternative medicine. It’s legal to sell CBD if it falls into one of the following categories:

  • The CBD is sold online using USDA-approved hemp.
  • The CBD contains less than 0.3 percent THC.
  • The CBD is sold in dispensaries where cannabis products are legal, and the sale of these products follows state guidelines.

This makes it possible for consumers to access CBD no matter where they live.

Important State CBD Laws

You’ll also want to check out your state’s CBD laws. They may take a different stance on CBD products, most notably in the way CBD must be cultivated, distributed, manufactured and sold. They may also have unique possession laws by which you’ll want to abide. For example, some states have laws against crossing state borders with CBD, even if it was obtained legally.

Other states may not have a problem with possessing CBD, but will not allow products to be processed, distributed or sold. Understanding these laws can help you enjoy your CBD without worrying about legal consequences of any kind. 

How CBD Differs From Marijuana

To understand the legality of CBD, you’ll want a clearer view of how it differs from marijuana. It starts with the way the plants are cultivated. CBD is typically derived from industrial hemp, which contains little to no THC. Cannabis oils and other marijuana products are derived from other hybrids of cannabis that are high in THC.

It’s the THC in some CBD products that has created so much controversy among CBD users. THC has psychoactive properties. It’s what makes you high. When the THC is removed, though, you’re left with cannabinoids like CBD that can affect your brain positively.

Now that research is growing on CBD, federal and state lawmakers are being made aware of these differences, and the legislation has been changing.

The FDA’s View of CBD

After the Farm Bill of 2018 was passed, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they would eventually become more involved in the production of CBD. Once it was taken off the DEA’s list, it became the responsibility of the FDA to monitor and regulate. 

However, the FDA did not immediately jump in and start monitoring CBD production. In fact, the FDA still has not taken part in controlling CBD. It remains under review as the FDA furthers its research and determines whether or not they will begin regulating CBD production throughout the United States. 

They have commissioned several studies on CBD to determine whether or not it is a useful form of medicine or if it’s just another health supplement. With time, they will likely get more involved in the production of CBD, which is a very good thing for CBD producers. It will protect consumers and shut down seedy CBD companies. 

Consumers Should Use Discretion

Because of the lack of regulation from the FDA, it can be hard to know if you’re getting a quality CBD product when you purchase it online. It’s easy for a seller to come up with a product, slap a label on it that says “pure CBD” and sell it to you at a high price. Unfortunately, there’s no one to hold them responsible if the products are not as potent as they claim to be.

Therefore, all buyers should use discretion when purchasing CBD products online. CBD manufacturers should be using third-party lab testing facilities to publish potency information about the products they sell. Request and read these lab results to make sure you’re buying CBD that is what it says it is. That's why our lab results are available right on the Penguin CBD website.

As always, it’s important to consult a doctor who is familiar with CBD oil before trying it for yourself.