Is CBD oil legal? The question lingers on the lips of so many who hope to find healing with this plant compound. Athletes, medical patients, and even your elderly neighbors have been gravitating toward CBD oil for muscle relaxation, anti-inflammation, anxiety reduction, and overall general well-being.
Hemp-based CBD only contains trace elements of THC, the active compound in marijuana that is responsible for the psychoactive “high” of marijuana. It can be sourced from hemp plants (Cannabis sativa) or from marijuana strains (Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica) that have been developed to contain higher levels of CBD.
According to Elizabeth Moriarty, formulator of Superior CBD, there is no difference between the CBD found in hemp and the CBD found in marijuana. She explains:
CBD is CBD. It’s obtained from Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica, and the level of THC in the given plant is irrelevant to the nature of CBD — cannabidiol — as a phyto-compound. In both legal language and common parlance, the term “hemp” simply means that there is less than .3 percent THC by dry matter weight in the plant, and the term ‘marijuana‘ means that there is .3 percent or more THC by dry matter weight in the plant.
Although CBD is full of health benefits and lacks any of the concerns that come with medical marijuana, the powers that be are still trying to hold the public back from this substance. Recent rulings have only made the issue more confusing.
Getting The Facts Straight: Is CBD Oil Legal Or Not?!
CBD is primarily sourced from hemp, which has been selected to be high in CBD. Hemp-based CBD is legal in the United States, but there are some qualifications when it comes to selling the substance.
“The law allows use of materials from hemp, which is Cannabis sativa; however, it must be grown and processed outside the United States in order to legally ship it anywhere within the country” Moriarty explains. “If the hemp, is grown in the United States, any derivative of that hemp, such as CBD or even hemp milk, can only legally be sold within the state in which it is grown.”
Proper extraction of high-quality hemp oil contains all the potent health support of the whole hemp plant, without any side effects of the “high.” The low percentage of THC contained in hemp oil contributes to producing an “Entourage Effect,” which is the synergistic effect that occurs when various compounds of the plant are used to provide the plant’s full health benefits. It’s important to note that 90 percent of CBD products sold in the United States contain CBD isolate, rather than highly concentrated whole plant extracted hemp oil.
Hemp is a natural CBD powerhouse, having been bred to contain high concentrations of CBD and low concentrations of THC. Research shows that CBD helps reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, separating hemp further from marijuana. That means that any paranoia or anxiety that can sometimes be symptoms of medical marijuana are negated by CBD’s powerful medicine.
CBD oil derived from hemp is really easy to access. If you live in the U.S., Germany, Italy, Spain, or U.K., you can legally order hemp CBD oil online, and have it delivered to your doorstep for immediate use! Just be cautious, since all CBD products are not created equal. There are a few key factors you should look out for when choosing between CBD oil products that affect the quality of the product.
Moriarty explains some key steps in the production process:
All cannabis pulls heavily from the soil and possess terroir, like wine. The interaction with the elements and the soil critters and pests and disease, all bring response in the plant. These responses are embodied in the form of constituent compounds, perhaps higher levels of one terpene or another, or other desirable cannabinoids.
Moriarty goes on to say that the ideal way to obtain CBD is “via supercritical CO2 extraction of organic hemp, which simply means that we are able to obtain an oil that is very highly concentrated with CBD from a legal source, given that the plant itself has the required minimum THC content.”
Hemp CBD Oil Is Legal — But What About Marijuana-Based CBD Oil?
In December of 2016, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), published a rule that all cannabis extracts, including CBD, are considered illegal Schedule 1 substances. This groups anything that comes from cannabis, including some forms of CBD, in the same group as heroin — a dangerous substance with no medical properties. However, this ruling only refers to CBD oil derived specifically from marijuana.
“Legally, any product of marijuana is considered to be marijuana. Therefore CBD derived from marijuana falls under the same regulations as marijuana.” Thus, the DEA’s ruling puts CBD oil from marijuana in the same precarious state as medical marijuana. The DEA considers CBD oil derived from marijuana and medical marijuana illegal under federal law, but many state laws clearly state that hemp derived CBD is legal.
Thus, marijuana-based CBD laws vary from state to state. All the states that consider medical marijuana and recreational marijuana legal, automatically consider CBD oil legal, whether it’s derived from marijuana or hemp. And according to 16 other states that don’t support medical or recreational marijuana, CBD oil derived from Cannabis varieties is legal as well. These states include Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Virginia. So in all these states, citizens are getting both marijuana-based and hemp-based medical marijuana online, as well as in medical marijuana dispensaries, and have no legal problems.
Is CBD oil legal? Yes, CBD from imported hemp is legal in all 50 states.
Hemp-Based CBD Vs. Marijuana-Based CBD
Moriarity has noticed that medical marijuana dispensaries are trying to put down hemp CBD oil, citing it as less effective option. These false claims, says Moriarty, is the only way such dispensaries can compete against hemp-CBD, which is cheaper (since the plant isn’t loaded with THC), and can be ordered online. “This misinformation focuses on the quality in the phytocompound [of CBD], when it’s really the same thing, whether it comes from marijuana or hemp. CBD is CBD; it’s a phytocompound.”
And because cannabis sucks up toxins from the soil more than other plants, it’s important that it be grown organically. At present, there is no third party certification system for high-THC marijuana, however low THC cannabis-hemp- qualifies for organic certification.
Moriarty, who uses hemp-based CBD herself, obtains the CBD used in Superior formula from certified organic Cannabis sativa grown in Europe. This makes Superior CBD an absolutely legal, certified product in the U.S. The CBD is then processed using supercritical CO2 extraction.
Due to our use of concentrated CBD, our product is not eligible for USDA NOP Organic certification, says Moriarity. It’s a decision that falls under the USDA, regardless of the legalities, and that the CBD concentration is hemp-derived.
“So, although we use exclusively certified organic and wild crafted ingredients,” explains Moriarty, “there is no auditing system in place, so neither our product nor any other that uses concentrated CBD may legally use the word ‘organic’ on the front panel. ”
Recently, an organization tested dispensary products claiming to be organic medical marijuana, but testing showed more contaminants and pesticide residues than are found in average non-organic vegetables,” says Moriarty, who is also a certified organic processing inspector with the Independent Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA).
The Hemp Industries Vs. The DEA
The DEA’s December position statement about CBD is confused and likely illegal. According to Robert Hoban, managing partner at the Hoban Law Group, “The DEA doesn’t have the authority to make a law and schedule controlled substances without an act of congress.”
Hoban’s law firm represents the non-profit trade group Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and two other companies, which filed a lawsuit in January 2017 challenging the DEA interpretation of the rule. According to the opening brief, filed on April 3rd, HIA and its co-plaintiffs charge the agency of not only abusing its authority but also making a ruling when they have no authority to do so.
In April, DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg stated that as long as they follow the section governing industrial hemp in the Farm Bill, his agency won’t go after hemp farmers. This solves the first part of the lawsuit, but it does not include “materials or products” excluded from the CSA’s definition of marijuana, like industrial hemp.
On June 2nd, the DEA announced that they’re standing firm on its drug code on “marihuana extracts.” They are currently seeking to have a federal lawsuit, filed by the hemp industry, dismissed. In the brief’s primary arguments, the DEA claims the petitioners aren’t eligible to challenge the DEA because they didn’t participate in the rule-making proceedings, and that doesn’t affect their activities. The also assert that the hemp petitioners erred in their argument that the rule conflicts with the 2014 federal “Farm Bill.” On these grounds, they are trying to prove this case is invalid.
Critics of the DEA and Big Pharma believe the enigmatic ruling could be a tactic to keep tabs on the competition, making it exceedingly hard for dietary supplements and independent companies to thrive.
The history of Big Pharma Vs. The People has a seasonal predictability. The threat of criminalizing CBD is part of an old tradition of favoring the pharmaceutical industry, and it’s plans to cash in on the public. Big Pharma has often hijacked medicinal solutions for patenting, as witnessed by the story of GW Pharmaceuticals, a British company that is trying to patent CBD compounds and sell it as a lab-produced drug. In a show of ultimate hypocrisy, the US government holds a patent on cannabis plant compound that it claims to be illegal.
Is CBD Oil Legal? A New Bill May Make All Forms Of CBD Oil Legal
On January 27, 1017, Republican Virginia Rep. Griffith H. Morgan introduced legislation to reschedule Cannabis under the federal Controlled Substances Act in accordance with State Law, and specifically excludes cannabidiol from the definition of marijuana. This law would pertain to CBD oil derived from Cannabis sativa containing 0.3 percent THC or less. Thus, it doesn’t consider CBD oil derived from hemp to fall under the regulations that govern marijuana.
Meanwhile, as this saga continues, those searching for pain relief and healing can safely turn to hemp-derived CBD oil, one of the finest natural forms of medicine in the world.
Linda Miriam Aziz-Zadeh is a freelance writer and editor who is passionate about preserving the natural beauty and wonder of our bodies, this planet, and the world. She is the cofounder of a health and wellness digital marketing firm.
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