Cannabis 101: Is CBD Legal? Understanding CBD's Legality
Learn/Cannabis 101: Is CBD Legal? Understanding CBD's Legality
If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you’re curious about CBD, the cannabinoid that’s creating quite a stir for potential benefits such as reducing stress, helping us sleep, and helping speed muscle recovery after workouts and exertion. Still, even as the medical uses of this plant-based compound are becoming increasingly clear, many of us still struggle to answer a simple question: “Is CBD legal in all US states?”
In today’s post, we’ll clear up any confusion and share some valuable information to help you get the most out of CBD. Especially if you’re traveling, you’ll want to be sure you have this important information on hand.
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Is CBD Legal? Discovery of a Powerful Medicine from Cannabis
CBD is short for “cannabidiol,” the second most prevalent cannabinoid—or “active ingredient”—found naturally in the cannabis plant. First isolated back in the 1940s, CBD was further studied by famed Israeli cannabis scientist Raphael Mechoulam, who was also the first scientist to identify the plant’s other major cannabinoid, THC. Mechoulam’s discovery also determined that CBD wasn’t intoxicating, better known as non-psychoactive. While this discovery could have opened the door to far wider research decades ago, CBD was largely ignored in clinical research for many years.
Fortunately, that’s changing. As we referenced a moment ago, a number of studies suggest CBD helps mitigate the symptoms of stress and related complaints. And a 2015 clinical review found that CBD can help reduce addictive cravings and behaviors. Next up was a CBD-based seizure medication. That approval helped pave the way for wider CBD legality.
Importantly, CBD can be derived from either cannabis or hemp. cannabis activists would point our attention to one of America’s most famous—and controversial—plants: Wild hemp.
Is CBD Legal? A Question of Parentage
The question of where CBD comes from is more important than you might think. That’s because it can be derived either from cannabis—legal for medical and/or adult-use in certain states—or from hemp. Because it contains so little intoxicating THC, hemp-derived CBD is fully legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.
So, where is CBD legal? Technically, it’s permitted in all 50 states, but some impose more stringent restrictions than others. To keep it simple, here’s an easy rule of thumb:
Adult-use Cannabis States: Any CBD product—whether derived from cannabis or hemp—is legal in any state that currently permits adult-use cannabis use.
All 50 States: Regardless of adult-use cannabis laws, all states allow sales of hemp-based CBD. This hemp-derived CBD is not administered under a state medical cannabis program and can contain no more than 0.3% THC.
“Marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law, except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state or federal authorities.”
According to the TSA, its screening procedures are focused primarily on security. But while TSA officers don’t search for illegal drugs, if an illegal substance is discovered during such a screening, TSA may refer the matter to law enforcement.
While the guideline outlined above does permit travelers to carry products containing hemp-derived CBD, it’s still important to check the laws of the state you’re traveling to for guidance.
Do you have other questions about CBD legality or whether CBD is legal in all states? Just ask! We’re always here to help!