CBD Oil Legal Status in the US: A Comprehensive Guide

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 400 compounds found in marijuana that is not psychoactive. Learn about its legal status across different US states.

CBD Oil Legal Status in the US: A Comprehensive Guide

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the more than 400 compounds found in marijuana, and it is not psychoactive. In the United States, 36 states and DC have legalized medical marijuana, while 14 states have passed laws that allow the use of CBD extract, usually in oil form, with little or no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This extract is often used to treat epilepsy or seizures in seriously ill children. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), hemp extract must contain less than 0.9% THC by weight, at least 5% CBD by weight, and cannot contain other psychoactive substances.

People who hold the DHHS caregiver registration letter can carry hemp extract outside their homes. The history of cannabis in the US has been a difficult one. In the 1920s, several states banned its use, eventually leading to a federal ban on its use under any circumstances for several decades. It was only in the 1970s that regulators began to consider its medical applications and started implementing medical programs across the country.

CBD was not recognized as a medicinal agent for quite some time, and regulators saw all forms of cannabis as a medicine, including hemp. Recently, the federal government passed a bill that clearly differentiated between hemp and marijuana, arguing that hemp cannot produce the psychoactive high inherent in marijuana. This bill removed hemp from the list of restricted substances, giving people open access to it for the first time in more than 80 years. However, each state has its own laws to make in response to this federal change, and some are much slower than others.

To understand why CBD has so many uses and benefits, it is important to understand what it is and how it works. CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it is just one of the more than 400 compounds found in cannabis. Cannabinoids are a unique class of compounds not exclusive to cannabis; they can also be found in plants such as echinacea or helichrysum, but none as abundant as cannabis. Cannabinoids are classified by their ability to interact with a specialized system of receptors and hormones in the body called the endocannabinoid system.

In contrast, cannabinoids that come from plants such as cannabis are called phytocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system is a regulatory system that indirectly controls a variety of processes in the human body by either increasing or reducing them. This is why compounds like CBD have such a long list of benefits and uses. By working through the endocannabinoid system, CBD offers a wide variety of benefits to the human body.

It is used to regulate stress response, promote sleep, regulate metabolism and even reduce pain signals sent to the brain. Thousands of scientific studies have been published that highlight CBD's benefits for specific conditions or define its safety. This has led to an increased acceptance of CBD as a health supplement around the world. The marijuana plant has had a long and challenging history with respect to legal status in the US and other countries around the world.

To this day, it is still banned in most countries. As times change and more people begin to understand its usefulness, laws gradually begin to review its status country by country. In 1936, The Geneva Traffic Convention was a treaty aimed at prohibiting worldwide cultivation, manufacture and distribution of cannabis products; this treaty also included coca and opium. In 1970, The Controlled Substances Act was passed in the US which banned marijuana in all forms of use including medical use.

Regulators face a big problem with cannabis: some of its compounds are powerfully medicinal while others cause consumers to become high. Change is slow and complicated when it comes to cannabis laws; they are different at federal and state levels and can differ significantly from state to state. Some states allow CBD only with medical approval while others are completely legal; you can even buy products at corner stores, gas stations and vending machines without needing a dispensary. In some states you can still be arrested and jailed for carrying CBD oil with you; however as laws continue to evolve around cannabis more states are beginning to recognize its medicinal value.

Jane Engwall
Jane Engwall

Unapologetic pop culture lover. Hipster-friendly zombie aficionado. Incurable bacon buff. Passionate problem solver. Incurable student.