Is CBD legal in the USA?

We are living in a massive transitional period regarding cannabis and the laws associated with cannabis use, cultivation and processing of the plant. While many sources quote that CBD is legal in the USA, this is not quite correct. In the article below we will discuss the legality of CBD, the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill as well as the future of hemp in the USA. But first, let us look at the history or roots of cannabis.

History of Cannabis

Cannabis has been used by both ancient and modern civilizations throughout the world for millennia. It was first documented by the Chinese around 3000BC and listed in their book of Pharmacopoeia as one of their most important medicinal herbs. Cannabis was used for centuries as an industrial resource and agricultural crop for centuries and only recently used by us as a recreational herb. People have used a variety of cannabis known as hemp to make rope, textiles, paper and even nutritional oil from the seeds of the hemp plant.

Around the mid-20th century, cannabis was banned across the globe and was initiated by the implementing of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 in the United States. Previous to this Act, hemp was a large industrial and agricultural crop used cultivated throughout the United States farming community. With the passing of the 1937 Act and the subsequent Controlled Substances Act of 1970, hemp was lumped with the psychoactive cannabis plant and heavy regulation and taxes made the farming of cannabis an impossibility.  

In recent years with the increase of state legalization taking place across the United States, we have seen US farmers lobbying the government to remove federal restrictions of the growing of hemp. In 2014 President Obama set the stage by passing the Agricultural Act of 2014 loosened the restrictions on hemp and thus allowing universities and state agricultural departments to start growing hemp for research purposes. Today, the 2018 Farm Bill signed by President Trump allows licensed farmers to cultivate hemp and transport the hemp across state lines.

Legalizing hemp in the U.S. could mean “doubling or tripling domestic cultivation within the next year,” Colleen Keahey, president of the Hemp Industry Association

What exactly is Hemp / Cannabis and Marijuana?

To be exact, they are all the same thing, cannabis sativa. Cannabis sativa is a genus of plant that is indigenous to Eastern Asia that is now spread throughout the world and now cultivated in most countries.  It is an annual herbaceous flowering plant that has many different names. Hemp is legally speaking cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC ( Tetrahydrocannabinol ) and the primary cannabinoid is CBD ( Cannabidiol ). CBD is non-psychoactive and does not produce euphoric effects that “marijuana” produces. Marijuana is a Mexican slang word for recreational cannabis sativa that is usually high in THC and usually low in CBD.

Previous to the 2018 Farm Bill hemp was classified as a Schedule 1 drug with no medical value and a lot of potential for abuse, similar to heroin and opium! With the transitioning of our laws and the adopting of the legalization of cannabis throughout America, we are finally seeing hemp being differentiated from recreational cannabis. The Farm Bill now allows each of the 50 states to decide whether CBD sales are legal or not as well as defining the differences between hemp and marijuana.

The US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) does not approve any food or dietary supplement that contains CBD , regardless even if the CBD is extracted from hemp. The reasoning behind this is because CBD is now an approved prescription drug approved by the FDA! In June of last year, the Fda approved their first CBD medicine known as Epidiolex and the FDA forbids such ingredients to be added to foods or supplements. Epidiolex is used to treat rare conditions of epilepsy and assist patients in reducing the number of seizures they experience.

So with the passing of the new 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and hemp-derived products have been officially removed from the Controlled Substances Act. Conditions of this also stipulate that legal hemp products need to be grown by licensed hemp farmers in accordance with state and federal regulations.

While hemp farming and production may be a boon for US farmers there are still many legal hurdles for CBD and hemp derived products. 

Legality of CBD products by State

Rules and regulations of CBD basically need to be looked at on a state-by-state level as well as consideration for a federal overview of CBD. You can easily find information about your specific states laws with a quick search.

The Future of CBD

Since 2015 the FDA has been cracking its whip on many companies producing and selling CBD based products. However this has not slowed down CBD products entering the market, in fact, we are seeing CBD as a huge driving force behind cannabis-based products from CBD oils through sprays and lotions. Most of the companies they are cracking down on are due to the unsupported health claims made by these people selling them.

With legalization sweeping the nation and easier access for researchers to access cannabis-based material to test we are seeing much evidence piling up about the medicinal properties of CBD. Many patients and people that have tried CBD products also swear by the medical and therapeutic value of this cannabis extract. Ironically, even though cannabis is still listed on a federal level as a drug with no medical value the FDA has approved its first cannabis-based medicine, epidiolex.

The “green rush” is by no means slowing down and we will see further growth in the foreseeable future of cannabis legalization and products derived from cannabis. CBD products are fast becoming the fad of the future just like fish oil and gluten-free diets were a few years ago. Even big companies like Coca-Cola are looking at hopping on the bandwagon of CBD.

“If you do not like cannabis, you will not like the future” – Anon

In summary, companies like us at Current Naturals who do not make claims that their products are approved or evaluated by the FDA, or claim that their products will prevent, or cure any diseases, operate under legal circumstances.

References:

https://www.consumerreports.org/marijuana/will-new-farm-bill-make-cbd-legal-everywhere
https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/psych-unseen/201901/now-hemp-is-legal-is-cannabidiol-cbd-legal-too