The Legal Status Of CBD In 2020
The legality of CBD and hemp continues to evolve as the years go by. The unprecedented wave of legalization over the last decade is still expanding. More and more states are loosening their regulations, while in many other places legislation is still being adjusted. Access to CBD is slowly becoming easier, but the legal status is still hazy for a majority of us here in the US. Those who are interested in CBD and hemp products in general can likely expect this trend to continue, meaning there is plenty of news to keep an eye on.
The Legal Status Of CBD
As of 2020, it’s still a bit complicated to answer the question of whether or not CBD is specifically legal. The truth is that it both is and isn’t according to different government organizations. At the federal level, CBD is considered a controlled substance by the DEA as it’s considered to be a derivative of marijuana. This fails to recognize that most CBD is extracted mostly from hemp, which is legal and distinct from marijuana, but is nevertheless classified the same. The DEA maintains that cannabinoids are a controlled substance, therefore blanketing CBD, THC, and all other hemp-derived substances under the same restrictions.
Despite this, most states in the US do allow CBD in some measure with the exception of Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, Indiana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. In the thirty-three states that have permitted medical marijuana, CBD is protected, while sixteen other states have permitted CBD even though medical marijuana is not currently allowed. In most states where marijuana is legal for recreational use, CBD is equally as permitted. These states include Alaska, Washington, Colorado, California, Nevada, Maine, Vermont, Michigan, and Massachusetts. Illinois just legalized it on January 1, 2020.
Hemp, The Farm Bill, & CBD
Much of the current confusion comes from the way CBD is extracted. Thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp is now considered legal and distinct from marijuana, though products like CBD often sit uncomfortably between the two. The DEA continues to argue that CBD and other cannabinoids qualify as controlled substances when extracted from the flowers, resin taps, or leaves of the cannabis sativa plant. Therefore, in order for CBD to qualify as legal, it must be derived from other parts of the plant.
Another result of the Farm Bill is that products made from cannabis sativa with a THC content of 0.3% or lower are considered hemp, and therefore legal across the US. This means that some CBD products, such as CBD isolates, are legal almost everywhere but full-spectrum and broad-spectrum oils are not. This technicality also leaves room for many products to be labeled as “CBD Oil” without actually containing the cannabinoid itself. In states with stricter regulations, it’s become almost common for hemp-seed oil, which contains absolutely no cannabinoids, to pass as CBD among unwary consumers.
The Bottom Line
While CBD at the federal level continues to be a bit paradoxical, access to legal CBD largely depends on the state you live in. As more states push for recreational use of marijuana, it’s likely that CBD will carry on alongside its success or failure. Full-spectrum and broad-spectrum oils may not be available for everyone, but CBD isolates should be relatively easy to purchase online everywhere if it isn’t stocked in any stores. Just be sure to look for true cannabinoids, and be wary of hemp-seed oil trying to pass as CBD.
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