Discussion over the legalization of CBD in USA

CBD has recently turned into a breakthrough in the world of herbal medicine. But, not everyone knows CBD’s real history that dates back to the middle of the 20th century. As the official information says, the Harvard University alumni Roger Adams was the first to unveil the healing properties of a Cannabis sativa plant in 1940. Following him, Dr. Mechoulam first identified the structure of the compound after six years. In further research, he detected the potential health benefits that CBD has.

CBD is getting popular rapidly for its natural healing qualities. But the question is whether it’s from industrial hemp or marijuana. Is it CBD or THC dominant? Does it contain more than 0.3% THC? Is CBD legal? This article will give you the vital answers to these questions as all these have close legislative relations with CBD. You‘ll know whether CBD is legal or CBD oil is legal, or CBD hemp oil is legal in all 50 states of America, or it is legal to use CBD products.

You’ll know what CBD stands for, the current legal status of CBD, the role of the US FDA, the difference between CBD & THC, what CBD does, and what you should do or don’t.

What Does CBD Stand For?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound derived from the cannabis Sativa plant- hemp that has obtained good fame in recent years for its therapeutic properties.CBD is the second most popular active ingredient of cannabis plants. Although CBD is a vital component of medical marijuana, it is extracted directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant. The cannabinoid derived from the marijuana plant is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is a medical component, which is similar to CBD. The key difference is that CBD does not cause any ‘high’ in the human body while THC does.

There are two types of CBD products available for health healing conditions- CBD oral and CBD topicals. CBD oral is to ingest or to take orally, which travels the whole body network before reaching the bloodstream. Sometimes, they might cause harmful effects or damage organs of the body, including the kidneys. But CBD topicals are designed and manufactured for external use only onto the specific areas of the body exactly where the pain is felt. These products work more accurately and are safer for use as they don’t penetrate directly into the bloodstream.

The list of CBD-infused products includes soft gels, gummies, capsules, creams, salves, balms, water-soluble CBD tinctures with Nano CBD, CBD pet tinctures, dried cannabis, CBD with melatonin, and CBD broad spectrum oil. CBD is mainly used in medicine to treat epilepsy, calm the nerves, to soothe pains, soreness and inflammation.CBD has natural inflammatory properties that help in managing chronic pain. This is one of the true health benefits and uses of CBD, a natural medical compound.

At present, there is much research for CBD’s anti-oxidative properties and its ability to alleviate the expansion of tumors.

Is CBD Legal? The Legal Status of CBD In 2021

is CBD legal

The industrial hemp that we use and marijuana are from the same genotype of cannabis plants. But the industrial hemp and marijuana are neither the same plants nor chemical compounds. Industrial hemp is legal to grow in the United States. But still illegal to grow in other countries.

Under the Agriculture Improvement Act from 2018, CBD is considered legal only when it contains less than 0.3% to zero tetrahydrocannabinol and gets in from industrial hemp. Moreover, the law brings out a clear-cut distinction between hemp and marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Administration asserts marijuana, unlike industrial hemp, as a dangerous substance, which has no valid grounds for having a legalized status.

CBD is easy and available in most parts of the United States, but its true legal status is unstable. To buy CBD products in the United States is legal. The 2018 Farm Bill made much progress in the legalization of CBD products by removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.

The Federal Farm Bill (the Agricultural Act of 2018) legalized and permitted the production and sale of hemp extracts with 0.3% percent or less THC. So, we can say that CBD is legal, CBD oil is legal, CBD hemp oil is legal, and it is also legal to use CBD products if there is 0.3% percent or less THC. But there are some rules that companies must follow to sell CBD like- CBD oil must contain not more than 0.3% THC. CBD oil is legal when it contains 0.3% to no THC.

Now many people involved in the cannabis industry demand that a CBD product is categorized as hemp under federal law so long as it contains less than 0.3% THC and is legal to possess and distribute. States legalizing medical marijuana also accept CBD products for medical and recreational use. There are some states where the use of marijuana is prohibited, but CBD is approved under special conditions.

The good news is that a Senate bill is seeking to complete a process to make by-products like CBD legal to use in consumable products such as foods, drinks, and other dietary additives. The Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act would liberate “hemp, hemp-derived cannabidiol, or a substance containing any other ingredient derived from hemp” from the restrictions that have blocked the arrival and enhancement of legal edible hemp products while the FDA has made regulations slow.

The bill also declares that federal officials can “establish labeling and packaging requirements” for hemp-derived products. The bill is assisted by the Consumer Brands Association, American Herbal Products Association, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, Hemp Roundtable, Vote Hemp, Oregon Farm Bureau, and National Industrial Hemp Council. The Alaska Legislature accepted and passed a bill that will set up a permanent industrial hemp project for the state and liberate or make legal for interstate commerce of Alaska-grown and manufactured hemp products. The initiative will replenish a state pilot hemp program established in 2018. The proposed legislation is waiting for the signature of Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Twelve growers of hemp received hemp licenses in S.D. when the crop comes back to the Great Plains state this year, as reported by the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR). The state agency said that three more licenses for hemp purifying or processing had been taken for granted to date. The awarded farming licenses as yet cover around 300 acres. The DANR said that the additional licenses are expected to be approved over the next month, July 2021, as farmers could see the potential for hemp production.

Is CBD Legal In All 50 States?

Is CBD legal in all 50 American states? And is CBD oil legal in all 50 States? These questions are basic for understanding if you can buy CBD without violating any laws. The answer is no. It is officially legal in all the states except for Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. In other states, you can buy CBD if you are 21 or more or if you can show a doctor’s medical prescription. Let’s know a little bit more about the states and laws.CBD or CBD hemp oil is legal in all 50 states, but the law is different from state to state. State laws declare the legality of what type of CBD product people can use and which one is prohibited.

At present, all 50 states have laws to legalize CBD with many restrictions. Though the federal government still considers CBD and marijuana in the same class, it doesn’t constantly enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA relaxed the regulatory conditions to allow researchers to organize and carry on CBD experiments. Nowadays, people can obtain CBD online without any medical cannabis license. So, the government’s position on CBD is a little perplexing, and it depends on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana.

Federal Legalities Among All 50 U.S. States

While 36 U.S. states and D.C. have legalized medical marijuana, the remaining 14 states have all passed laws allowing the use of cannabidiol (CBD) extract, usually in oil form, with minimal or no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). And it has been done often for the treatment of epilepsy or seizures in seriously ill children. As different states have varying regulations regarding CBD’s legal status, all the U.S. States are divided into four categories:

Dark Green, Emerald, Light green, and Grey.

  • Legal CBD is defined by the majority of states as a hemp extract.
  • THC concentration for each CBD product ranges from 0.3% to 0.0%.
  • Some states consider the purchase of CBD products with partial or full restrictions applied.

Dark Green: States (Cannabis and Related Products Fully Legalized)

In dark green states, all the products relevant to the cannabis plant are considered legal. These States accept both recreational and medical use of cannabis. Everyone who is aged 21 and more can buy CBD products there. Following are the dark green category states:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington D.C.

Emerald: States (Cannabis And Cannabis-derived Products Legalized Under Certain Conditions)

In these states, you can buy cannabis-related products for medical purposes only, but not for regular use. This means that you need to show your doctor’s prescription to buy one. The Emerald category states:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • West Virginia

Light Green: States (Only CBD Products Under Certain Conditions Legalized)

In these states, you cannot buy cannabis and related products. But you can purchase CBD only under certain conditions, like – if you are diagnosed with severe conditions, have a prescription, or have chronic pain. Besides, the maximum allowable percentage of THC for cannabis-derived products is added in the light green states and their laws:

  • Alabama – only in case of chronic conditions causing seizures
  • Georgia – maximum allowed THC – 5%
  • Indiana – maximum allowed THC – 0.3%
  • Lowa
  • Kansas – THC is not allowed.
  • Kentucky – maximum allowed THC – 0.3%
  • Mississippi – maximum allowed THC – 0.5%
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina – maximum allowed THC – 0.9%
  • Tennessee – maximum allowed THC – 0.9%
  • Texas – maximum allowed THC – 0.3%
  • Virginia –maximum allowed THC – 5%
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming – maximum allowed THC – 0.3%

Grey: States (Cannabis-derived Products Banned)

There is no industrial hemp pilot program in these states, and cannabis of all forms is highly restricted. The states are-

  • Nebraska
  • Idaho
  • South Dakota

The Role Of The U.S. Food And Drug Administration

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the name of a federal agency of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States. The FDA works to promote and protect public health. It also works for the management and control of food safety, regulating manufacturing and marketing, along with many other things.

The FDA has an increasing interest in the advancement of therapies and other consumer products produced from cannabis and its components, including cannabidiol (CBD). This growing interest extends the range of product categories such as products containing cannabis or cannabis by-products being marketed as human drugs, conventional foods, dietary supplements, animal foods and drugs, and cosmetics, among other things that the agency regulates.

Stakeholders are seeking to the agency for a clear conception of how FDA authorities administer these products, how to market them lawfully under these authorities, and how the FDA is executing its responsibility to protect public health and safety concerning such products. FDA realizes the potential benefits of cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.

FDA knows the ways how some companies are marketing products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The FDA also knows that such activities may be risky for the health and safety of consumers.

While the agency is committed to protecting public health, it is taking some steps to develop the effectiveness of regulatory pathways for the legal marketing of accurate cannabis and cannabis-derived products.

CBD in the United States is marketed and sold as an ingredient in food, cosmetics, and dietary supplements. CBD is also the prevalent element in the drug Epidiolex— the first and only FDA-approved prescription drug of strongly purified, marijuana-derived CBD in the United States.

The FDA is planning to take measures to provide more clarity regarding CBD use. And also thinking about regulating its products similarly to dietary supplements.

The FDA has several resources for handling cannabis and cannabis-derived products, like CBD. The agency wants to ensure access of the consumers and stakeholders to these resources in a centralized location.

In its update, the FDA restated that CBD and THC can’t be added to a food or marketed as a dietary supplement under current federal law. The FDA controls regulatory oversight of food, cosmetics, drugs, and other products that have CBD, THC, or the cannabis plant itself as an additive within its authority.


Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are both natural compounds got from the same genus of the cannabis plant. Both of them belong to the same molecular structure of 30 hydrogen atoms, two oxygen atoms, and 21 carbon atoms.

They have the same source of derivation and a similar molecular structure, yet they are two different compounds having different effects on the body. Both of them are cannabinoids, good for the body’s wellness and help reduce pain, seizures, and anxiety. THC is known for its strong psychoactive effects of feeling “high.” And for this main reason, smoking weed or taking marijuana can cause you to feel high.

But CBD doesn’t have this effect. This quality has made CBD safe for use. And for this, the FDA has approved CBD to use in different pain healing conditions, such as chronic pain, muscle pain, back pain, arthritis, soreness, and inflammation.

Marijuana and hemp are two main categories to define cannabis plants broadly. THC is the main element of each plant to differentiate them. Marijuana is loaded with THC and less CBD. On the contrary, hemp is high in CBD with up to 40% of extracts and little THC. Broad-spectrum CBD has 0.3%, or less THC. CBD isolate has no THC at all.

Federal law places much importance on the source of CBD products as one of them is legal (hemp) and the other (marijuana) is illegal.

What CBD Can Actually Do?

CBD is very good for natural health healing, especially for body pains. CBD may comprise up to 40% of the cannabis plant’s extract. CBD has some positive health benefits. It’s clinically proven that CBD can positively impact a person’s mental and physical conditions through the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is crucial for managing good health.

It can regulate your appetite, energy and balance, autonomic nervous system, immune function, stress response, metabolism, sleep, and more. It can help you feel calm, relaxed, and less anxious. It can even make you fall asleep. CBD is getting increasingly popular day by day for its great effect of reducing pain and inflammation. Many consumers are now using CBD and full-spectrum hemp to get a better night’s sleep, soothe exercise-induced inflammation, calm their mood, and have their balance.

The Dos and Don’ts of Buying CBD

So many products and brands of CBD may be a little overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. Let’s look at a few dos and don’ts to find the best hemp-derived CBD products for you. Assimilating CBD into your life is quite simple. The compound has plenty of soothing benefits. Before you make use of CBD products, there are a few things you should know about for your wellness.

The CBD industry is comparatively new. The compound is very promising and newsworthy, but there’s not enough scientific study to support it. So as a buyer, you should have extra carefulness while browsing for products as there’s a lot of misinformation about CBD products.

Here Are Some Simple Dos And Don’ts When You Go To Buy Your First CBD Product

Some dos of buying CBD:

  • Do research the brand’s practices carefully.
  • Do consider your daily routine.
  • Do learn about different product types.
  • Do read the product label sincerely.

Some don’ts of buying CBD:

  • Don’t assume all hemp-derived CBD brands are the same.
  • Don’t just go with the cheapest option
  • Don’t go for a one-size-fits-all option.
  • Don’t buy the first product you stumble upon.

Final Thought

Now the only thing left for you to perform is to order a hemp-derived CBD product and find it out. It’s essential to note that some products might take a bit of time to work for you while providing immediate benefits. Don’t lose patience and continue using the product consistently for your wellness. If the product adjusts to your routine well and gets you benefits from using it, you can conclude that you have found the right product.

By John H. Den

John H. Den dedicates all his time to educate people on why they should not suffer anxiety, stress, and depression when CBD can help them. He writes many articles about CBD and how to choose the best brands with high potencies. His work is an inspiration to many people, and he now receives many contracts from the top CBD brands because of his in-depth knowledge.

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