Is CBD Oil Legal?

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2019 UPDATE!

Short answers: YES

President Trump signed the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 a proposed law to remove hemp (defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) from Schedule I controlled substances and make it an ordinary agricultural commodity. Its provisions were incorporated in the 2018 United States farm bill that became law on December 20, 2018.

Worried that buying CDB could come with legal repercussions? Put your mind at ease with this in-depth answer to the question, ‘Is CBD oil legal?’

The sky is falling…at least, according to the CBD industry. Thanks to the DEA, the industry, and its customers, have had to deal with a concerning question: is CBD oil legal? The answer is a bit more complicated than you might think. Keep reading for your complete guide to the current legal state of CBD oil.

While hemp oil is legal in all the states of the United States of America. CBD has been stigmatized because of it is sister strains as all of them come from the same plant. The plant is cannabis from which THC, marijuana, and weed stem. The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) has interfered. Rather than fighting with dangerous cartels burgeoning at the borders and elsewhere, they are taking up a fight against a legal and harmless industry, putting it in hazy waters.

From the customer and the seller of CBD, all are aghast at this prospect as their lives depend on it. CBD users use it to maintain their well-being not to get high (you cannot actually get high from it) and sellers’ income depends on it. It is banned in the USA or even some or many of its states, and the users and sellers will suffer from its ban. It will be like the Prohibition of the 1930s, users and sellers will try illegal means to get this stuff, and then what will the DEA do. They will blame the cartels (wake up DEA they are on a much higher game) and it’s us who will be suffering because of their wrongdoing.

Why meddle in the business of a harmless alternative medicine that acts as a pain reliever or painkiller without any side effects. Why don’t you guys ban Vicodin, a much more vicious painkiller than CBD? People just can be addicted to anything these days, even porn. DEA does not enact a band on them, but just harmless CBD.

Is cbd oil legal?

The short answer? It depends on who you ask. Marijuana has been used in herbal remedies for centuries. In recent years, medical marijuana and its derivatives, including CBD oil, have become increasingly popular as a supplemental medical treatment for cancer.

It’s not just for cancer patients, though – CBD oil has a number of surprising health benefits.

But before we ask the big questions – is CBD oil legal, can the police arrest you for possession, what is the meaning of life – let’s take a look at the ins and outs of CBD oil’s legality to see where we are now.

Is CBD Legal?

Full Spectrum CBD Oil 500mg

The truth is, the question, “Is CBD oil legal?” has always had a messy answer.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis and its derivatives are categorized as a Schedule I substance, which means they’re legally defined as a dangerous drug with no medical benefit.

That’s at the federal level. At the state level, individual states had begun to legalize psychoactive cannabis.

All that changed with the Farm Bill in 2014. Well, some of it changed.

The bill included a provision that allowed states with legal hemp laws to begin licensing growers for research purposes. The term research was broadly defined to include market research or sales of products related to hemp, including CBD oil.

Crucially, the government was also restricted from using funds to prosecute anyone involved in these programs.

Congress seemed to have answered, “Is CBD oil legal?” with a tentative yes.

Good news for the hemp industry, which could begin answering important questions.

THC vs CBD: Is either legal?


Legal CBD?

So, naturally, the DEA came along and made everything more complicated.

They’re nice like that.

On December 14, 2016, the DEA answered the question, “Is CBD oil legal?” with a definitive no. They added a notice to the Federal Register that they had begun the process of classing CBD as a Schedule I drug, alongside psychoactive cannabis.

What was the logic? According to the DEA, CBD oil was already illegal because it and all CBD products still contain trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive, illegal main ingredient in cannabis.

What made the classification different was that it included CBD-only products as well.

FYI: THC and CBD are not the same things.

What is a Schedule 1 Drug?

While we’re covering the semantics of, “Is CBD oil legal?” we should also talk about what a Schedule I drug is.

The DEA classifies certain drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs into five schedules that define their severity. Drugs are classified based on two key factors: acceptable medical use and abuse/dependence potential.

Schedule V drugs are considered the least harmful, particularly because they’re regarded as having the lowest addiction potential.

You can sense where this is going, right?

Schedule I drugs, where the DEA currently classes marijuana, are drugs with no acceptable medical use and a high potential risk for abuse. Other Schedule I drugs include LSD, heroin, ecstasy, and peyote.

Not exactly kiddie cough syrup.

So, is CBD oil legal? If you ask the DEA, you’re in for a firm no.

The Fight over CBD Oil

Naturally, the CBD industry was not pleased. Enough so that they sued.

According to them, Congress had already answered, “Is CBD oil legal?” definitively through the Farm Bill and the Appropriations Act.

Besides that, the DEA’s ruling would have a major negative impact on patients using CBD products for approved medical purposes and would throw a wrench in the booming CBD commerce.

More recently, the DEA issued clarifications, first doubling back and then stating that cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, fall under the CSA definition of marijuana.

So the DEA still considers CBD illegal under federal law. However, many states consider CBD legal and allow the legal sale of CBD products.

Are you confused yet? Don’t worry; it’s not a trick question.

CBD Oil Legal?

According to the DEA? Of course not, no way they overstepped their bounds.

According to the CBD oil industry? Obviously, yes, of course, they overstepped their bounds.

See where things get complicated?

Ultimately, whether CBD is legal depends on who you ask.

Some states consider CBD products legal, in which case supplement and health stores are legally allowed to sell these products, and you are legally allowed to buy them.

Others…well, you can buy it. Nothing is stopping you from how you want to spend your money. It just has the potential to turn into a rough day, legally speaking.

You’re the consumer. Make of that what you please.

Can the DEA Pass Statutes? Did They Pass a Statute At All?

The big sticking point is whether it is within the DEA’s power to pass statutes like this. According to the CBD industry, only Congress and state governments have the power to answer, “Is CBD oil legal?” by passing laws.

According to the DEA, the notice was never designed to be a statute in the first place – it was an administrative afterthought. After all, according to them, they’ve always considered cannabinoids to be illegal – the notice was a formality of putting it to paper.

Opinions are similarly divided as to whether the DEA’s rule was legitimate. Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) sides with the DEA.

Why? Because according to Armentano, the rule has nothing to do with law enforcement and is thus within the DEA’s power.

Especially because, according to Armentano, CBD has always been viewed as illegal by the federal government, as evidenced by Congress’s efforts to remove CBD from the Controlled Substances Act. The efforts, according to him, wouldn’t be necessary if the government viewed these substances as legal.



Where Are We Now?

The sky is not falling, for one thing.

It’s just a bit complicated, depending on where you are and who you ask.

2019 Update: The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was a proposed law to remove hemp (defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) from Schedule I controlled substances and make it an ordinary agricultural commodity. Its provisions were incorporated in the 2018 United States farm bill that became law on December 20, 2018.

CBD is Legal…Sometimes

Is CBD oil legal? It depends on where you are.

As we’ve stated, the federal government and the DEA view marijuana and CBD as illegal. However, 44 states currently have laws on the books that say otherwise.

How is that possible?

How is CBD Oil Legal at the State Level?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of over 100 cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. The one people usually want when they’re looking to get high is THC. Unlike THC, CBD is not intoxicating.

That’s why CBD products are typically covered in states where medical marijuana is legal.

In more recent years, some states have passed CBD-only laws. These legalize CBD products, including possession and use, for certain qualifying conditions. These are often limited to epilepsy and some nerve and muscle conditions, and can only be products with very low levels of THC.

CBD is Legal to Own, but Not to Grow

It’s worth noting, however, that most CBD-only states do not allow licensed dispensaries, home cultivation, or a supply infrastructure of any kind.

Yes, you understood that right. Patients are legally able to use CBD products for medical purposes, but they have no means to obtain them. They can use for medicinal purposes but not for growing themselves. Maybe they would have to get a license or something but yea they cannot grow it. They will be legally at the end of the line if they decide to do it. There will be no defense and nothing will work no matter what you try.

It doesn’t make sense the longer you think about it. Trust us.

It’s important to note, however, that you can’t be prosecuted for possession. For producers, it’s a strange, slippery slope – they cannot be arrested for possession, but technically they’re not allowed to grow it and don’t have legal protections.

However, even in the six states where CBD is fully illegal, and you can be punished with arrest, most law enforcement agencies don’t consider it a high priority in the grand scheme of drug problems.

The short version of the story? If you’re in a state that doesn’t consider CBD possession illegal (everyone except South Dakota, West Virginia, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and Indiana) you’re perfectly within your right to own CBD products, especially those with a very low percentage of THC.

If you’re worried, nothing will get you as far as a doctor’s note.

CBD’s Connection to Hemp

The legal jungle created by the DEA’s 2016 notice didn’t just force us to ask, “Is CBD oil legal?” It also forced us to consider the relationship between CBD oil and hemp.

What is Hemp?

Fun fact: hemp is one of man’s oldest domesticated crops. It’s related to cannabis – just not the cannabis we like to use for getting high.

First things first: there are many varieties of the cannabis plant. Hemp refers to the non-psychoactive varieties – that is, the strains with less than 1% THC. It’s genetically and chemically distinct from marijuana.

That’s why it gets into sticky territory when asking, “Is CBD oil legal?”

Is CBD Oil Legal? Depends on Where You Sourced It

Thanks to our old pal, the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp production is legal if it takes place for research purposes as part of an approved agricultural pilot program.

2019 Update: The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was a proposed law to remove hemp (defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) from Schedule I controlled substances and make it an ordinary agricultural commodity. Its provisions were incorporated in the 2018 United States farm bill that became law on December 20, 2018.

Remember, this stuff has such low levels of THC that it isn’t psychoactive.

That’s important for the industry because the DEA doesn’t consider hemp a controlled substance. And according to them, the relative legality of a product depends on where it is sourced.

Because by this logic, if you sourced it from a non-psychoactive plant, then it cannot be considered a controlled substance.

As a general rule of thumb, this means that products that may contain CBD are legal (presuming that they are not psychoactive) but CBD isolate products are another matter entirely. So hempseed oil is legal, but CBD oil may or may not be.

Before you protest that it doesn’t make any sense, remember that technically speaking, CBD oil and hemp seed oil aren’t the same things. Genetically and chemically, CBD and hemp are two different things.

So, in theory, you could derive CBD from hemp and be home-free. But there’s disagreement as to whether that’s even possible (the whole genetically and the chemically distinct thing gets to be a royal pain in the neck.)

cbd oil legal - svales of justice

So…Is CBD Oil Legal? And Is It CBD?

Well, if you’re in Washington state, Oregon, Colorado, and Alaska.

Wait, what?

Well, these are the four states in which adult-use cannabis is completely legal and regulated. So, ironically, if you buy in these four states, or from companies operating in these four states, you can be assured that your CBD product…actually contains CBD.

It’s kind of strange, isn’t it? Not that we’re complaining.

You can be sure that the CBD content claimed is the actual CBD content in the bottle because products sold from licensed cannabis retail stores have to pass state-mandated lab tests for purity and potency. Otherwise, they can be sizable.

Outside these four states, you have to put your faith in the retailer not to pull your leg. Also, you have to put your faith in them to not speak with an unfair generosity regarding their product.

Make of that what you will.

Buy Your CBD Oil

Good thing we’re based in Colorado. So, the short version of the story is, that we’re legally able to sell CBD oil, and you can have the assurance that our products are of high quality. It’s not just our quality assurance – it has the state’s approval.

Great news for us. Even better news for you is the cultivated CBD connoisseur.

Another great news is that the World Health Organization has given its blessing to CBD. They can make CBD legal in every state of the USA. How so you may ask? Well, they say that CBD’s effects are good, hence it should be legal.

We’re a Colorado company focusing on providing you with the highest quality CBD oils on the market. Because we don’t believe in settling for anything less – and we’re pretty sure you don’t either.

Our CBD products cover everything from oils to balms to crystals and capsules. Whatever form works best for you, there’s a good chance we carry it.

Our blog also covers a wealth of CBD topics. If you’re a total beginner with CBD oil, check out our complete beginner’s guide to CBD oil.


Disclaimer: The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this disclaimer. We collected this information from various sources for the convenience of our customers. The statements made regarding these products were not evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products is not confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information presented here is not meant as a substitute for information from health care practitioners. It is also not meant as an alternative to information from health care practitioners. Before using any product, you should consult your doctor and ask about the risk of interactions or complications.


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