Is CBD Legal? The Current State of Hemp Regulations in the U.S.
*This post was originally published on June 4th, 2018. It has since been updated and republished on May 16th, 2019.
We get a lot of questions asking whether or not CBD is legal. People hear about the benefits of cannabidiol but are sometimes hesitant to purchase it out of fear of prosecution. As a result, too many folks lose out on the numerous advantages that CBD has to offer. Relief from chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, depression, arthritis, MS and Crohn's Disease are just a few of these advantages.
It’s a shame to see so many people pass it up because they think are afraid of consequence. We wanted to clarify the answer to the legality question for you. Hopefully, this will help to get CBD in the hands of those people who could benefit from it most.
So, is it legal?
Yes, ' hemp derived CBD products are 100% legal in all 50 states.
In fact, most CBD products are legal in the U.S. There are, however, a few stipulations that you should understand here.
It’s important to note that there are two overarching categories of CBD products—those derived from agricultural hemp and those derived from marijuana. Although both substances come from the cannabis plant, they have very different properties and affect the human body in different ways.
Distinguishing between the two is also crucial because each substance has different laws that apply to it.
What’s the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana CBD products?
CBD oil extracted from hemp has no psychoactive properties. It contains minuscule trace amounts of THC (the chemical in cannabis that gets you high.) So, you’re not going to get “stoned” or have any psychotropic effects by taking CBD products extracted from hemp. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Hemp derived products are known to help people feel more stable and balanced.
Hemp oil only contains, at the very most, 0.3% THC. Marijuana oil, on the other hand, can contain as much as 30% THC.
How Does This Affect CBD Laws?
Well, the difference is this: Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I narcotic. It’s been this way since 1970 when the U.S government passed the Controlled Substances Act.
Essentially, this means that the Federal Government has yet to recognize that marijuana has some medicinal purposes. So, although we’re seeing legalization take place in a number of states, it remains illegal federally.
For many years, hemp was classified as a Schedule I narcotic alongside marijuana, but is no longer.
A few recent changes have shifted the legality of hemp products in the U.S.
Recent Updates on the Legalization of Hemp
In February of 2014, former president Barack Obama passed his Agricultural Act, or what we call the “Farm Bill." This bill is concerned with a number of topics related to agriculture and farming in the United States. It touched on a wide variety of topics including dairy regulations, land preservation and SNAP distribution.
Most relevant to our industry, however, was a section about hemp regulations. The Act stated that farmers would be allowed to grow, distribute and market hemp as long as they obtained proper licensure within their state. It was primarily implemented to solidify legal research of agricultural hemp to study for the potential benefits of future use.
According to Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp is defined as any part of the cannabis plant with a THC concentration of no more than 0.3%.
In December of 2018 an updated Farm Bill was passed. At that point, it was a goal to get hemp to a level of normality, at least in terms of it being considered equal with other agricultural crops. One key implication is that hemp is no longer classified as a Schedule 1 substance.
This ultimately is what changed the industry as "The Farm Bill ensures that any cannabinoid—a set of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant—that is derived from hemp will be legal, if and only if that hemp is produced in a manner consistent with the Farm Bill, associated federal regulations, association state regulations, and by a licensed grower" (John Hudak, Brookings 2018).
Merkabah Labs CBD Products Are Safe and Legal
All of our are made in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill. They’re created with lab-tested hemp extract that is always at or below the required 0.3% THC. They’re also 100% organic, vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free. You can rest assured knowing you can safely use our CBD wellness products without the fear of any psychoactive effects, a "high", or fear of punishment. Each of our products are designed to help people light up the spirit & rejuvenate the body.
Take a look into more information on the 2018 Farm Bill here: https://www.farmers.gov/farmbill