Cannabis-derived products are one of the hottest trends nowadays in the consumer industry. Sales of products containing CBD are growing exponentially, such that experts are of the view that the market of CBD can grow to 22 billion by 2022. Which is why it might seem every celebrity, influencer and big name brand is touting the benefits of CBD, with new products coming to market faster than we can keep up with. And so we can see that CBD is everywhere, but it has a very ambiguous legal status due to its association with the Cannabis plant. Let's explore the legal status of CBD in the United States just a bit further.
What is CBD?
CBD or Cannabidiol is a natural extract obtained from the Cannabis plant. Many people and researchers believe CBD has very potent healing properties that may help in managing various health concerns such as inflammatory responses of the body, pain and depression.
CBD has become very popular because although it is obtained from the Cannabis plant, it cannot get or make the user feel “high”. Unlike the primary psychoactive element of the Cannabis plant THC. CBD is considered safe for consumption if the amount of THC is within that category of being considered substantially low. We’ll get into how that percentage plays a part in how industrial hemp is regulated to ensure adherence to a low or near negligible amount of THC.
The Legal Status of CBD
CBD that is derived from the hemp plant is considered legal at the federal level. No matter where you obtain CBD from it gives the same results, but we mentioned "hemp" not marijuana as it is not legal under the federal law. The Farm Bill passed in December 2018, removed the hemp plant from the list of controlled substances and re-classified it as an agricultural commodity.
The 2018 Farm Bill states that CBD must be obtained from a Hemp plant and it should not contain more than 0.3 % of THC. Because CBD is not intoxicating, this is the reason the legality surrounding it is more relaxed compared to marijuana’s THC content. CBD obtained from hemp is legal in almost every state, but rules regarding its use may vary from state to state.
Why was CBD not always legal?
The answer to the question is that previously there had been a lot of confusion between marijuana and hemp plants. The legislators could not understand the distinction of hemp from marijuana; which is why marijuana and all the associated derivatives, compounds, and related plants were considered illegal in the United States.
But as more and more research was conducted on CBD, it became evident that it was beneficial for many health concerns but not useful for getting “high”. Both plants contain CBD, but hemp is more preferred as it has significantly less amount of THC as compared to marijuana.
The legal scenario around CBD is not very clear yet and changing rapidly both at the state level as well as the Federal level. If you are interested in buying CBD products in your state, it would be best to use your judgement regarding the purchase, and for guidance, you should also contact and discuss with your healthcare provider. It is also advisable to buy CBD from reputable brands that have a certificate of analysis (CoA) of the product.