The idea that CBD could be illegal probably sounds like a funny notion. It’s a non-intoxicating, naturally-derived, plant-based compound, after all. However, when it comes to the FDA, complicated seems to be the name of the game.
As for the “Is CBD legal?” question, there are a few key things you should know in order to make an informed decision—both legally and medically.
In this article, we’re answering all of your burning questions about CBD’s legality. Keep scrolling for information on:
- Understanding Hemp vs. Marijuana
- CBD According to the FDA
- How to Buy CBD Legally
- Do You Have to be 18 to Buy CBD?
- What to Know Before Buying CBD
Understanding Hemp vs. Marijuana
Most people aren’t aware of the fact that hemp and marijuana are actually two different varieties of the cannabis plant. As such, the products derived from each of these plants are also going to be different.
This is where some of the confusion lies.
Both of these varieties (hemp + marijuana) produce CBD, along with hundreds of other cannabinoids. To the naked eye, hemp and marijuana plants look identical. However, the biggest difference is the level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) present. THC is one of the more dominant, well-known cannabinoids found in the plant, and it’s the compound responsible for cannabis’ intoxicating high.
Hemp has a practically non-existent (but still beneficial) amount of THC, averaging below 0.3%. However, marijuana contains a higher amount of THC, which can be as high as 30%.
Because marijuana has a higher amount of THC, the plant remains federally illegal in the U.S., along with many other countries around the world. Which leads us to...
CBD According to the FDA
In 2018, Congress passed the Farm Bill, making it federally legal to grow hemp. Thanks to this recent legalization of industrial hemp (along with the decriminalization of medical + recreational cannabis) new CBD products are appearing all over the place.
Because of this, hemp can now be grown legally in the eyes of the federal government. However, this is where it gets sticky; even though it's *technically* federally legal, it remains up to individual states to set their own policies on CBD. And, as the case may be, these policies tend to vary greatly.
To help clear the air, here are two updated maps of where CBD and Marijuana are legal, broken down state-by-state.Also, here’s a helpful guide from Americans for Safe Access on the distinct laws in each state.
It’s also important (and exciting!) to note that the list of states where medical + recreational marijuana and CBD is legal keeps growing, so make sure to check regularly if your state isn’t on the approved list just yet!
How to Buy CBD Legally
These days, you can buy CBD almost anywhere... but, that doesn’t mean that you should. Here are some things to look out for when you’re buying CBD:
- Make sure that there is 0.3% THC present in your CBD. If you purchase a CBD product containing more than 0.3% THC, it would be considered “marijuana” under federal law.
- Only purchase CBD products derived from hemp.
- Look for the lab report or batch report from the company you’re buying CBD from. These will provide a third-party report on what exactly is inside your bottle of CBD.
- Stay away from CBD companies that make illegal health claims such as, “Our CBD can help treat cancer,” and other unfounded statements like that.
Do You Have to be 18 to Buy CBD?
It depends on what state you’re in, what kind of CBD you’re trying to buy, and the company you’re buying from.
You have to be 18 (or older) to buy CBD products and, in some cases, you have to be 21.
CBD has been proven safe and effective, with minimal (if any) side effects. However, if you are a minor, you should talk to your legal guardians before making a CBD purchase—even if the website doesn’t specifically require proof of age.
Before You Go...
CBD is great! But legal CBD is better!
And we get it, it can seem confusing and overwhelming when you’re trying to determine what’s best for you and your health. We’re committed to providing the most accurate, up-to-date information… but we understand our limits as human beings. As such, we want to stress the importance of doing your own research, and being intentional about determining what is right for you.
Obviously, we’re big fans of cannabis over here. We wholeheartedly believe in the power of the plant and believe that all people should have full access to the benefits it generates. Over the coming years, we’re hoping to see big changes in the industry—especially when it comes to the legality and accessibility of CBD and marijuana products for everyone.
Head over to our Instagram for daily doses of CBD facts, new product launches, giveaways, and more @weareselene!