Is CBD Legal? Read This Before Buying The list of states approving medical or recreational use of marijuana and CBD keeps growing. Thirty-three states have passed medical marijuana laws. Twelve states have enacted CBD-explicit medical laws.
Is CBD Legal? Read This Before Buying
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Over the last few years, the demand for CBD products has skyrocketed, especially as a growing number of consumers seek all natural alternatives to common ailments such as poor sleep, anxiety, and chronic pain.
One of the first questions that people have in regards to CBD products is whether they’re legal or not. The short answer is yes, but only under specific conditions. CBD legality isn’t black and white. There’s a lot of gray area that causes a lot of confusion amongst those with a newfound interest in CBD.
Because there is so much misinformation about the legality of CBD, we’re here to help set the record straight. Here’s everything you need to know about whether CBD is legal or not, along with a list of five of the top CBD brands that meet all legal regulations.
Understanding Hemp vs. Marijuana
A lot of the confusion and misinformation comes from people not understanding that hemp and marijuana are two different plants. Therefore, the products made using compounds derived from each of these plants are also quite different.
Hemp and marijuana are two different varieties of the cannabis sativa plant. Both naturally produce CBD, along with other cannabinoids. Visually, hemp and marijuana look the same. However, the biggest difference is the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is the compound that causes people to get “high.” It’s known to create feelings of euphoria, and may cause confusion and anxiety. Hemp has a nearly non-existence amount of THC, with levels averaging below 0.3%. However, marijuana plants contain a much higher amount of THC, which can be as high as 30%.
Because marijuana has such a high THC content, which produces mind-altering effects, the plant is federally illegal in the U.S. along with many other countries around the globe.
Hemp-Derived CBD Is Legal
Understanding the difference between hemp and marijuana is crucial in understanding the legality of CBD products. Under the 2018 Farm Bill , hemp-derived CBD products are legal on a federal level. The bill removed hemp as a Schedule I substance and reclassified it as an “agricultural commodity.”
One of the most common misconceptions about this bill is that it legalizes all CBD products, regardless of whether the CBD was derived from hemp or marijuana. However, this isn’t true. According to the DEA, CBD is a Schedule I substance, which is illegal.
But, if the CBD is derived from hemp, and adheres to all of the regulations stated in the 2018 Farm Bill, then it’s no longer a Schedule I substance and is legal. In order for a CBD product to be legal, it must not only be derived from hemp, it must also:
● Contain less than 0.3% THC
● Must adhere to shared state-federal regulations
● Must be grown by a licensed grower
The bill also removed all restrictions on the sale, transportation, and possession of hemp-derived CBD products. This means that these products can be transported across state lines, as long as the product meets the above criteria.
Federal Legality Doesn’t Guarantee State Legality
Just because CBD is legal on a federal level doesn’t necessarily make it legal in all states. States can have laws that set forth further regulations, or ones that outright ban CBD products altogether.
Before buying any kind of CBD product, it’s important to check into any state laws that may be in place. For example, CBD products are considered illegal in Iowa. However, they are legal in neighboring states such as Illinois and Minnesota.
How to Confirm a Product’s Legality
Companies can advertise that a CBD product is 100% legal, but that doesn’t mean that what’s marketed is necessarily true. The only way to guarantee with total certainty that a product is legal is by reviewing the certificate of analysis (COA).
This is a document that’s created once a product has been tested by an independent third-party lab. A COA provides extremely detailed information about a product, including:
● Microbial contaminants (ie. mold, yeast, etc.)
Not only does a COA confirm the presence of these compounds, but it also provides a measurement. So when determining whether a CBD product is legal, you’ll want to look at the findings for THC. If the percentage is 0.3% or below, then the product meets all legal regulations.
If a product has a reading higher than 0.3%, or if a product doesn’t have a COA available, it’s best to steer clear.
Now that you know the ins and outs of the legality of CBD and how to determine if a product is legal, let’s take a look at the top 5 trusted CBD brands. These brands use the highest quality hemp-derived CBD and each product undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it meets legal regulations as well as quality, safety, and potency standards.
Top 5 Trusted CBD Brands
Penguin CBD products are powered by nature and inspired by earth. The company is run by a team of specialists from a variety of fields that work together to create quality CBD products. Penguin products are inspired by the calm, cool-under-pressure personality and lifestyle of penguins. The brand believes that everyone should be able to have a life that is balanced and chill.
All Penguin CBD products are made using GMO-free Oregon-grown hemp plants. These plants are raised and farmed without the use of pesticides or any other harmful chemicals.
Extract type : CBD isolate and broad spectrum (product dependent)
COAs : Lab results are available for each product on the Penguin website
2. Verma Farms
Verma Farms creates premium CBD products that are inspired by Hawaii. All CBD is sustainably sourced from the highest quality hemp plants grown throughout the United States that are grown without the use of harmful pesticides. Ingredients are carefully selected to ensure only the safest, highest quality options are used.
Though best known for their tropical paradise flavored collection of gummies, Verma Farms also offers a line of performance gummies that are uniquely formulated for improved recovery, sleep, and energy.
Extract type : Broad spectrum
● Pet products (oils and treats)
COAs : Lab results are available for each product on the Verma Farms website
FOCL is a premium CBD brand based out of Los Angeles and Denver. The team at FOCL (short for Focus) is passionate about wellness and obsessed with producing plant-based products that actually work.
Alongside its overarching belief in plant-powered wellness, FOCL has impressive third party testing standards and clearly does not cut corners in terms of quality. FOCL hemp is grown in the USA using organic and sustainable practices, and all FOCL products are non-GMO, THC-free and vegan. With fair prices and high quality ingredients, FOCL really is a go-to for all things CBD.
4. R+R Medicinals
As we routinely write about R+R Medicinals becoming one of the leading brands in the US, their gummies are no exception. They continue to impress by having created a 25mg gummy, available in both full and broad spectrum (THC-Free) with an amazing taste.
What’s even more amazing is that their gummies are USDA Organic, making them one of the only options available in that category worldwide! Furthermore, they’re completely Vegan, and they taste awesome, as they’ve partnered with a local candy manufacturer to create these delicious rings. So many other brands use artificial flavors, dyes, and other funky ingredients to achieve great tastes at the sacrifice of unnatural ingredients. R+R is truly delicious and a much more pure product.
20% off your first purchase with code: RRWORKS20 , 15% off all subscriptions!
5. Colorado Botanicals
Colorado Botanicals offers surprisingly affordable, premium, THC-free, broad-spectrum CBD with sustainability in mind. Their organic Colorado hemp is tested and uses no synthetic chemicals or potentially dangerous pesticides throughout the growing process. Although they’re yet to have any issues, their unique, vertically-integrated quality control offers multiple layers of protection.
Colorado Botanicals offers the usual range of hemp-derived CBD products, but their maximum potency is above and beyond their competitors.
Extract type : Broad spectrum
COAs : Lab results are easily accessible on each product’s page or their Lab Reports page
Bonus: Sunday Scaries
Sunday Scaries products are created to keep away the the impending doom of Monday that most people experience every Sunday. These top notch products are infused with premium CBD extract to calm the mind, improve your focus, relieve work pressure, and to reset your equilibrium so that you feel more balanced.
Sunday Scaries products deliver all of the whole-plant benefits offered by terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and minor cannabinoids. Whether you want to have a truly relaxing bath or want to partake in some delicious CBD candy, this brand has got just the product for you.
Extract type : Broad spectrum
COAs : Lab results are available for each product on the Sunday Scaries website
The legality of CBD products isn’t as clear cut as many people would hope. However, by understanding the regulations at the federal and state level, it should be much easier to navigate the ever-changing and ever-growing landscape.
Buying CBD products from reputable brands that embrace third party testing is the best way to ensure that you’re investing in a legal product. The five brands on our list are well known in the CBD industry and go above and beyond to meet legal, quality, and safety regulations.
Marijuana, Hemp, CBD Oil: What’s Legal and Where
Jan. 8, 2019 — As the legalized cannabis industry in the United States grows with nearly every election, consumers interested in these products have more and more options. But they might also have more questions, given the different sources of the products, the difference in federal and state laws, and the difference between those that make you high and those that don’t.
And November’s midterm elections, along with action by Congress late in 2018 to legalize hemp in the Farm Bill, brought even more changes to the landscape. Hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant with a negligible amount of the high-producing THC found in marijuiana.
Here is a scorecard of what’s legal and what’s not.
Marijuana & the States
Even though, thanks to the Farm Bill, hemp lost its status as a Schedule I drug – one that has no proven medical purpose and potential for abuse – marijuana did not. That means even though many states have legalized its use, the federal government still considers marijuana and CBD products derived from marijuana in almost any form to be illegal. But so far, federal law enforcement officials have not used their power to swoop in and shut down marijuana operations in states that have legalized it.
The list of states where medical or recreational use of marijuana and CBD is legal keeps growing. Thirty-three states and Washington, D.C., have passed medical marijuana laws (including 10 states and the nation’s capital where recreational and medical use is legal), says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Also, 14 states have enacted CBD-explicit medical laws.
And, according to Armentano, all cannabis products, including marijuana and medical CBD, are illegal in Idaho, South Dakota, and Nebraska.
What About CBD Products?
CBD products sold online run the gamut, from tinctures and creams, to gummies and pills, to coffees and teas. Most experts believe the Farm Bill makes it clear that consumers anywhere can legally buy these products if they’re made from low- or zero-THC hemp. But that could change if your state’s lawmakers explicitly act to ban them.
CBD products are often marketed as anti-inflammatories and pain relievers that can also help with insomnia and anxiety. Some strains of CBD are popular with parents of children with severe epilepsy.
Within days of the Farm Bill becoming law, the FDA issued a statement saying any hemp-based CBD product that is marketed as having therapeutic benefits or as a dietary supplement is illegal to sell unless the FDA has reviewed and approved it. Opening the marketplace, it seems, also opened the products to regulatory oversight.
And the FDA would still have authority over hemp products used as food, says Todd Harrison, an attorney and chairman of the Venable LLP law firm’s FDA group in Washington, D.C.
And what about buying CBD products online, especially if you are in a state where CBD is not legal or is restricted? There are more unknowns than knowns.
”I think there is very little risk for consumers,” says Harrison, especially if it is a CBD product made from hemp. “If you are buying CBD from marijuana, there might be a risk.” But, he says, “I don’t think the states are going to take action against the consumer.”
Jonathan Miller, JD, general counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, an industry group, says, “I’ve never heard of anyone being arrested for buying CBD online.” He has heard about store owners selling CBD products being cited.
What the New Law Means for Hemp
Industrial hemp has potential for food, medicine, and even car parts. And it’s been called a potential boon for Kentucky farmers looking for an alternative to their tobacco crops.
Industrial hemp can be grown only under specific conditions, such as in state pilot programs.
Under the new law, state governments, not the federal government, would primarily regulate the hemp products.
Hemp “will [now] be an agricultural commodity,” like wheat or oranges, Miller says. “It does not impact marijuana-derived CBD.”
The provision in the new Farm Bill, he says, clarifies “the legality of hemp-derived CBD.”
Even with the Farm Bill provision, state or local governments can impose stricter limitations, Miller says. Right now, about 15 states have “pretty strong pro-hemp CBD statues. All the rest are vague or silent.”
“It is going to bring some level of clarity to this market,” NORML’s Armentano says.
It will carve out an exemption for traditional hemp plants, defined as having a maximum of 0.3% of THC, he says. “Those are no longer defined as controlled substances.”
While the language implies that compounds derived from those plants and put into products would also be exempt, it’s not explicit, Armentano says, so gray areas remain.