Is CBD Legal? What You Need to Know
The demand for CBD is at an all-time high because it can be used as a natural treatment for many chronic
conditions. With this demand, there has been an increase in the number of states in the U.S. where the
marijuana-derived compound is becoming more popular in Kentucky, Colorado, and California.
While the increasing acceptance of CBD is a step in the right direction, the future still remains unclear.
The federal and state laws stipulate different requirements in different jurisdictions. As a result, there are
a lot of people who are still afraid of using CBD. Instead of taking advantage of the benefits of CBD,
most people end up wondering whether or not CBD is legal.
CBD is legal in all 50 states, but the legality is circumstantial. Whether or not CBD can be considered
legal or illegal depends on some factors, all dependent on the laws applicable in the state. All 50 states
agree that CBD is obtained from marijuana or hemp.
CBD from Hemp vs. CBD from Marijuana
A lot of people can tell the difference between full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. However, regarding
the legality of CBD, another major difference is whether it’s derived from marijuana or hemp.
An important difference between these two lies in psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) amount that’s
produced by both plants.
Both hemp and marijuana belong to the cannabis family. For this reason, they have some characteristics
in common. However, an important difference between these two lies in psychoactive
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) amount that’s produced by either of the plants.
Marijuana can have as high as 30% of THC, while hemp has no more than 0.3%. This means it’s
virtually impossible for you to get high with hemp, but you can get high with marijuana.
There are no psychoactive effects associated with hemp, and in most jurisdictions, there’s no legal issue
behind the use of hemp. In fact, products derived from hemp are legally available in stores and industries
across the country. On the other hand, the legality of marijuana is another thing. This is one of the reasons
why it’s important to determine the origin of CBD when it comes to the legality issue.
Hemp-derived CBD Legality
If you have CBD derived from hemp, then it’s legal. It’s important that we underline the importance of
the hemp-derived concept. The purchase, sale, or possession of hemp is legal in all the 50 states across the
U.S. because it has no psychoactive effects.
Hemp has been confused with marijuana in many cases. In fact, there’s a lot of stigma on CBD derived
from hemp. Legally, however, this type of CBD is legal, and you should not have any problem with the
Marijuana-Derived CBD Legality
CBD derived from marijuana doesn’t enjoy similar luxuries with the law. Given that it’s derived from
marijuana that’s rich in THC, even in isolated form, this form of CBD is considered a byproduct of
There are states where this form of CBD is legal but illegal in others. Some states that have specific laws
for this type of CBD, while there are also states where the issue of CBD remains a delicate discussion.
In light of the politics behind CBD, consumers are often left in a state of confusion. In fact, there are
states where both types of CBD are legal. It’s expected that by learning from these states, this might set
the trend for a nationwide discussion about the legality of CBD.
States in Which Recreational Use of CBD is Legal
At the time of this posting Cannabis is legal in 9 states for recreational use, both from hemp and
marijuana. The states are Maine, Colorado, California, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and
Massachusetts. If you’re in any of these states, you should know that you don’t need a prescription to use
any form of CBD legally.
States Where Medicinal Use of CBD is Legal
46 states have currently approved the use of CBD for medicinal use only. However, keep in mind that
even though it’s legal to use CBD in these states, the law might differ from one state to the other. There
are 17 states that have different legislation for the THC level present in CBD and the conditions for which
CBD can be used for treatment.
To be on the safe side, make sure you read on the specific legislation for the relevant state. The 17 states
are as follows: Wyoming, Virginia, Utah, Wisconsin, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Iowa, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.
Apart from these 17 states, the other 29 have completely legalized the use of CBD for medicinal
purposes, whether it’s from hemp or from marijuana.
Neighboring Puerto Rico and Guam have also approved the use of CBD products, but only for medicinal
Other than the 8 states where the use of CBD is fully legalized for recreational and medicinal purposes,
you must have a medical prescription from a certified doctor for you to purchase any CBD product in any
of the 46 states mentioned.
Each of these states has a specific concentration of THC that’s allowed in a single CBD product. The
concentration varies from 0.3% to 8%. While there’s a lot of politics around the use of CBD, it’s
important to understand what the law stipulates in your specific state, so you don’t find yourself on the
wrong side of the law.
States Where CBD is Still Illegal
CBD derived from marijuana is legal in 46 states with different instances, while marijuana-derived CBD
is still illegal in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Idaho.
Take note that in these states, marijuana-derived CBD is actually legal. However, the law is not very clear
on this. As a result, you will still come across businesses that sell CBD, and patients who use CBD here.
While the benefits of CBD are clear for all to see, if you are in any of these states it’s important that you
are very careful about the products you are using.
Interest in CBD keeps growing over time, and there’s a lot of hope that shortly that CBD will be
completely legal in all 50 states. However, making predictions of the future is not easy, especially when
we look at the fact that there’s always a lot of politics involved in passing some of these legislations. The
best that CBD enthusiasts and researchers can do is to keep educating those around them about the
benefits of using CBD and create awareness.
CBD Isolate vs. Whole-Plant CBD
Whenever you’re shopping around for CBD, you will come across terms like isolate and full-spectrum.
What these terms mean is how the formulation of the CBD product you are looking at is made. A CBD
isolate is simply the CBD molecule in isolation. Whole-plant CBD, on the other hand, has other
compounds that are derived from the cannabis plant.
There’s a raging debate in the industry at the moment as to whether one of these variants is more effective
than the other. However, this debate can only be settled through research, but there’s not much being done
on that front.
Some scientists think that there really is no difference between either of these extracts because once it’s in
the body, it will process the substance individually. Other scientists believe that the full-spectrum type is
the best option.
Those who choose the CBD to isolate like Cannula skin care products believe it’s easier to keep the dose
in check. Besides from a manufacturing point of view, it’s also easier to maintain the purity of the CBD
Using the CBD isolate means that the same content of CBD is applied in all the batches being produced.
When in isolation, studies have shown that CBD might be more useful when applied on the skin. This
helps reduce inflammation and the production of sebum. There is, however, no assertion as to whether the
impact of CBD isolate would be the same if it’s taken orally, or if it’s taken for conditions that aren’t
Some scientists believe that products from full-spectrum CBD could be more useful, especially if you
look at things from a health point of view. There might be some light benefits of using CBD as an isolated
molecule, but there are other active compounds needed for the plant to deliver optimal results.
Some of the compounds needed include terpenes and cannabinoids which eventually provide the distinct
aroma that’s associated with CBD products. The role of the active compounds in CBD is to modulate the
effects of one another, thereby reducing the side effects that are associated with either of the constituents.
At the same time, these compounds effectively enhance the effects of each other. Therefore, this is one of
the main reasons why choosing a full-spectrum whole plant extract is a good idea.
There are studies that have actually supported this theory, proving that a full-spectrum CBD extract is
more effective in the treatment of inflammatory conditions than the pure CBD molecules, especially when
they are administered internally.
That being said, it’s important to mention that the effect of a specific CBD product will often vary
depending on the type of terpenes and cannabinoids found in the formula. It’s, however, not necessary to
have a high level of THC in the CBD product. There are some medical conditions or instances that
demand the presence of THC to achieve the perfect results. Getting relief for nausea and pain are just
some of the examples. Generally, however, hemp provides all the benefits that you can get from cannabis
and so much more.
Legality of CBD Products without THC
The legality of CBD products is generally a grey area. In fact, things are not as very clear as media folks
try to make them sound. It can be very complicated. In the media, for example, there’s the notion that
CBD is completely legal in all the 50 states. However, this is simply an attempt at overly simplifying the
law, whose current status doesn’t stand as stated.
There are products that are produced from the seeds and stalks of the hemp plant which are legal and have
been legal for a very long time. Hemp seeds are present in some of the salads that we eat. The difference
here lies in the fact that the mature seeds and stalks don’t have a lot of CBD in them.
The 2014 Farm Bill allowed farmers to consider growing high-CBD hemp strains, from which most of the
popular CBD products we have today are derived. This bill further encouraged each state to champion
pilot research programs that would oversee the cultivation of industrial hemp that has no more than 0.3%
The contradiction, however, comes in when it comes to the understanding of the law between different
agents of the government. This is because each state seems to be coming up with their own unique laws
regarding the legality of CBD, and some of the states are extremely strict about their laws. Washington,
for example, was one of the first states that legalized the use of recreational marijuana. However, it’s
important to note that Washington doesn’t allow industrial processing of hemp for human consumption.
For more information on our Industrial Hemp farm, or to speak to a representative, contact Blue Forest Farms today.