Is CBD Legal?
During the past decade, the push for legal marijuana (also known as cannabis) has snowballed into an international movement. Today, medical marijuana is legal in more than half of the United States and available recreationally in places like California, Washington, and Colorado.
With legal marijuana’s rising popularity, many people are considering the non-psychoactive effects of marijuana plants and hemp plants for medicinal purposes. In addition to THC (the psychoactive compound that causes marijuana’s famous “high”), cannabis offers hundreds of other natural chemicals, called cannabinoids, each with their own effects. Researchers are studying these compounds to learn more about their possible pharmacological usage.
Of the hundreds of non-psychoactive compounds in cannabis, cannabidiol — CBD, for short — is the most widely available and well-known. In recent studies and clinical trials, researchers have observed a spectrum of benefits from using CBD, including anxiety relief and pain relief. It’s also a proven treatment for people with epilepsy, minimizing their seizures.
Although CBD is available in a wide variety of products, CBD oil is the most popular. It can be vaped like typical e-cigarette juice when prepared with glycerol or it may be ingested. Vaping CBD oil leads to a calming effect that onsets immediately, while ingestion may take up to an hour to fully take hold.
While CBD oil is widely available online and head shops, many customers are left wondering: is it legal?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to CBD’s legality. It depends on where buyers live and their local laws. Let’s take a look at CBD’s legality federally and which states allow or disallow it.
Is CBD Legal Federally?
For some, it’s a surprise when they find out CBD is not legal federally. More than half of the United States allow some forms of marijuana as part of their local regulations, but the federal government classifies CBD similarly to cannabis.
Although CBD is not psychoactive and is not responsible for the “head high” that comes after using marijuana, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug. As defined by the DEA, Schedule 1 drugs have “no currently accepted pharmacological or medical usage and present a high potential for abuse to users.” This applies to the entire cannabis plant and any compounds derived from it.
However, these classification stands from decades ago before scientific research about cannabis went mainstream. Since marijuana’s classification went into effect, dozens of studies have concluded CBD is safe and useful for a variety of medical purposes.
As such, some forms of CBD are facing federal legality. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD-containing prescription called “Epidiolex.” Doctors prescribe Epidiolex for people with rare forms of epilepsy who do not respond to other treatments. Since the product made its debut in pharmacies across the country, it has been classified as a Schedule 5 drug by the DEA, defined as drugs with “the lowest potential for abuse or addiction.”
Additionally, the 2018 Farm Bill approved the federal legality of hemp farming, opening up more doors for widespread CBD legalization. With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, any CBD oil that is extracted from hemp (not to be confused with cannabis) is federally legal. That includes vīb products, because we source our CBD oil from non-GMO industrial hemp that contains zero percent THC. The Farm Bill’s protection does not extend to CBD derived from cannabis, which contains higher levels of THC than hemp.
In general, the DEA hasn’t made a priority of prosecuting CBD users or stopping the sale of CBD-containing products, but there are limitations as to where and how you can buy it due to its Schedule 1 classification.
Where is CBD Oil Legal?
States Where Marijuana is Recreationally and Medically Legal
As of this writing, there are ten states (not including Washington D.C.) in the U.S. that allow adults over the age of 21 to purchase marijuana recreationally. In the following ten states, CBD is legal and is widely available in dispensaries and dedicated shops:
Buying CBD oil for ingestion or vaping in these states is as easy as walking into a store selling it and showing I.D. You can also purchase CBD concentrates and vape oil online and ship it to addresses in these states.
States Where CBD Is Not Legal
Thanks to significant strides by the marijuana legalization movement, there are only three states in the nation that do not allow marijuana in any form — including CBD. In these states, you cannot purchase medical marijuana or marijuana-derived extracts:
- South Dakota
Again, since vīb CBD oil vape pens are made using hemp, our products are also safe and legal to buy if you live in those three states.
States Where CBD Oil is Legal Via Medical Marijuana
Most states with medical marijuana allow residents to purchase CBD with their medical card. When they go to dispensaries to get their products, they will have access to a variety of CBD products. These products are not available to the public, unlike the states where cannabis is recreationally legal.
Medical marijuana states (as of writing) include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
While these states allow the sale of CBD oil in their dispensaries, it isn’t readily available. States like North Dakota, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Arkansas boast medical marijuana laws but do not offer operational dispensaries.
Ohio belongs to this group, too. More than two years after putting medical marijuana laws into place, they have yet to meet their deadlines for operational dispensaries. To restrict CBD access further, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy ruled that all cannabis-derived products (including CBD oil) are illegal for sale outside of dispensaries.
States With Special Laws for CBD Oil
In some states where medical marijuana isn’t legal, state law nevertheless includes special regulations allowing CBD oil.
According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), at the time of this writing, the 14 states with dedicated allowances for CBD oil include:
Alabama: Legal for people with debilitating health conditions, as determined by their doctor
Georgia: Legal by prescription for medical conditions like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy
Indiana: Legal to buy and sell, providing the CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC
Iowa: Legal for patients living with debilitating health conditions
Kansas: Legally available for purchase, provided the CBD oil contains 0% THC
Kentucky: Allows state-sponsored hemp cultivation, which may be used to make CBD products
Mississippi: Legal for patients with epilepsy
South Carolina: Legal for patients with epilepsy
Virginia: Available by doctor recommendation
Wisconsin: Available by doctor recommendation
Wyoming: Legal for patients with epilepsy that do not respond to other treatments
Can I Vape CBD Oil Legally?
Ultimately, whether a person can vape CBD oil legally depends on where they live and where the CBD was derived. CBD extracted from hemp is legal in all fifty states, whereas cannabis-derived CBD is limited in many places. Pay attention to local laws before purchasing CBD and be sure to choose products that are not cause for legal concern, like our discreet, disposable and easy to use hemp derived CBD vape pens!