The legality of CBD in the US varies from state to state, but at the federal level, CBD is mysteriously classified as a Schedule I drug despite its sourcing. According to the federal government, Schedule I drugs are substances or chemicals with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, marijuana, and ecstasy. However, CBD can be purchased as a dietary supplement throughout the country despite the FDA’s official stance that CBD isn’t a supplement. The landscape of CBD legality in the US is exactly as confusing as it reads; that squirrely, perplexing itch at the back of your brain is cognitive dissonance, and it’s an entirely normal reaction.
Before purchasing any CBD product in these states (aside from the 8 mentioned above) you must have a medical prescription issued by a certified medical doctor. Each state has a particular concentration of THC it allows to be present in a CBD product, with the percentage ranging from 0.3% – 8%. (See details in table 1.1 below). Even though the legal situation seems to be shifting in a positive direction, if you are in any of these states, it is very important to be aware of the state’s laws towards CBD.
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According to the U.K. surgeon general (1999), mental health is the successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and providing the ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity. The term mental illness refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders—health conditions characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior associated with distress or impaired functioning.
Note that the federal definition of hemp requires that it contain less than 0.3% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the euphorigenic component of cannabis. And while the terms “cannabis” and “marijuana” are often used interchangeably, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 specifically excluded the mature stalks of the cannabis plant used in industrial applications — essentially hemp — from its definition of marijuana.
In response to the FDA’s historic decision, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced in September 2018 that it had removed Epidiolex from Schedule I classification, a category reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value. Henceforth, Epidiolex would be considered a Schedule V drug, the least dangerous designation under the Controlled Substances Act.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of dozens of non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Cannabidiol, and all the other cannabinoids, were patented by the United States Government in 2003 as neuroprotectants and antioxidants (Patent No. 6,630,507). Cannabinoids are characterized by their ability to act on the cannabinoid receptors that are found throughout the body. CBD and other cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that display potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. They can promote the body’s healthy regulation of the central nervous, immune, and endocannabinoid systems.
There are concerns that a handful of less-than-reputable companies are tarnishing the industry as a whole. For years, the FDA has been sending warning letters to companies selling CBD while making unsubstantiated health claims. According to the FDA, one company had claimed on its website, “Scientific research by doctors have shown it (CBD) actually kills cancer cells and provides a protective coating around our brain cells.”
Even though hemp contains virtually no THC, the answer to the question, “Is hemp oil legal?” is not that simple. As of 2019, CBD derived from hemp is legal nationwide at the federal level. This includes all hemp-derived CBD products like oils, edibles, and ointments. However, some states have laws on CBD from hemp that are restrictive. In some states, CBD derived from marijuana is completely legal; but in most states, its legality depends on a number of different factors and conditions.
Relief may come in an unexpected form: Mitch McConnell. The Republican Senate majority leader has introduced new legislation, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which would remove hemp from the DEA’s Controlled Substances Act (CSA). It also would allow for commerce, which clears up the confusion and varying interpretations of the 2014 Farm Bill. A vote is slated for this fall.
Thirty minutes later, I was surprised by how subtle the effect was. While I expected a hazy nodding-off effect similar to melatonin's, the oil simply relaxed my body ever so slightly—my heart stopped pounding against my chest, my legs stopped kicking beneath my sheets, my mind stopped racing. I wasn't sure if it was the oil or the late hour, but eventually, physical relaxation gave way to mental relaxation, and I drifted off to sleep.
^ Alonso, J.; Angermeyer, M.C.; Bernert, S.; Bruffaerts, R.; Brugha, T.S.; Bryson, H.; Girolamo, G.; Graaf, R.; Demyttenaere, K.; Gasquet, I.; Haro, J.M.; Katz, S.J.; Kessler, R.C.; Kovess, V.; Lepine, J.P.; Ormel, J.; Polidori, G.; Russo, L.J.; Vilagut, G.; Almansa, J.; Arbabzadeh-Bouchez, S.; Autonell, J.; Bernal, M.; Buist-Bouwman, M.A.; Codony, M.; Domingo-Salvany, A.; Ferrer, M.; Joo, S.S.; Martinez-Alonso, M.; Matschinger, H. (2004). "Prevalence of mental disorders in Europe: Results from the European Study of the Epidemiology of Mental Disorders (ESEMeD) project". Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. 109 (420): 21–27. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0047.2004.00327.x. PMID 15128384.
Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, Severity, and Comorbidity of Twelve-month DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of general psychiatry. 2005;62(6):617-627. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.62.6.617.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Rockville, MD.
Various strains of "medical marijuana" are found to have a significant variation in the ratios of CBD-to-THC, and are known to contain other non-psychotropic cannabinoids. Any psychoactive marijuana, regardless of its CBD content, is derived from the flower (or bud) of the genus Cannabis. Non-psychoactive hemp (also commonly-termed industrial hemp), regardless of its CBD content, is any part of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not, containing a ∆-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry-weight basis. Certain standards are required for legal growing, cultivating, and producing the hemp plant. The Colorado Industrial Hemp Program registers growers of industrial hemp and samples crops to verify that the dry-weight THC concentration does not exceed 0.3%.
Recent testing of cannabis products from Los Angeles marijuana dispensaries showed over 90% of tested products to contain HIGHER than normal contaminants and pesticide levels, despite organic claims. (The USDA National Organic Program does not certify organic claims on marijuana, and it’s actually not a legally permitted claim on these products.- FYI, I’m an certified IOIA, Independent Organic Inspectors Association organic processing inspector.) There’s no intrinsic difference between high-THC cannabis and low-THC cannabis that somehow renders one clean and one heavy with contaminants. As with every other crop, it is a matter of soil conditions, growing conditions and horticultural inputs.
* Serious mental illness is a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders) resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. Examples of serious mental illness include major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
In addition to acting on the brain, CBD influences many body processes. That’s due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which was discovered in the 1990s, after scientists started investigating why pot produces a high. Although much less well-known than the cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory systems, the ECS is critical. “The ECS helps us eat, sleep, relax, forget what we don’t need to remember, and protect our bodies from harm,” Marcu says. There are more ECS receptors in the brain than there are for opioids or serotonin, plus others in the intestines, liver, pancreas, ovaries, bone cells, and elsewhere.