The wave of the future
Imagine you’ve just completed a tough training session and are having a few CBD gummies as part of your post-workout recovery snack. You’re already looking forward to using a salve on your muscles which later and you’re excited about a new tincture you found that’s going to help you fall right to sleep. You think you’re in the clear because of the 2018 Farm Bill that decriminalized hemp and allowed the way for the CBD market to begin cropping up everywhere. Then, just like that, the local fuzz swoops in out of nowhere are issuing you a citation, or worse, arrest you, for possession of a controlled substance.
Here’s another frightening reality that happens often. Farmers in Kentucky and Oregon grow hemp legally for production into CBD products. But when they ship their products through states like Oklahoma and Idaho, their truck drivers are arrested for drug trafficking.
This sounds like a scary dream, but the truth is, that in many states, CBD legality is still a major issue. Even with the influx of CBD products, there’s not a ton of clarity when it comes to the legality of CBD products.
So, what gives? Let’s break it down piece by piece so you know just where you stand, no matter where you live in the country.
Laws are confusing on purpose
Confusion about the legality of CBD goes back decades. With the recent emergence of the CBD market, there are more questions than ever. A 2018 Farm Bill lifted a federal ban on hemp production, removing its controlled substance label, confusing both advocates and naysayers alike.
Marijuana and hemp are both derived from the cannabis plant. Many archeologists think that cannabis was one of the first plants early humans cultivated, making it one of the original herbs early humans used for medicinal uses. Within the phytochemical makeup of cannabis plants, there are a variety of chemicals known as cannabinoids. Some of these chemicals are psychoactive, which result in a feeling of being high when you smoke or ingest them. Other cannabinoids aren’t psychoactive, so the only results from ingestion are therapeutic and medicinal.
An important distinction for everyone to remember is that marijuana is high in THC. THC is the chemical, which makes a user, feel high. THC content varies wildly. This relates to the cultivar, the variety of the plant and how it was grown and harvested. Depending on the strain, THC can account for as much as 40% of the total cannabinoid content. Recall that hemp is also cultivated from the cannabis plant. Its THC content is very low in comparison - typically around 0.1-0.5 percent. Hemp is high in CBD, and the CBD oils that are processed out of a hemp plant are legal as long as they contain no more than 0.3 percent THC.
That bears repeating because it can mean the difference between what’s legal and what’s not in your state. So long as the CBD product you use has 0.3 percent THC or less, it’s completely legal. That’s great news for advocates of CBD, who laud its ability to help with everything from muscle cramp to anxiety, sleeplessness and depression.
How to stay safe
A giant caveat here is that most states haven’t changed their laws to reflect the 2018 Farm Bill. That means that in your city or state, local law enforcement might still be following pre-2018 laws.Speaking of laws, a crisscross road of confusion awaits anyone trying to get a clear understanding of state-by-state CBD laws. And the worst part is they’re likely to continue to change.
Here’s the sticky part of the Farm Bill and what it means for advocates like yourself.
• If a product claims to offer therapeutic benefits, CBD is still subject to local regulation even though it’s considered legal under the federal umbrella.
• Federal laws say that adding CBD oil to food products like gummies is the same as prescription drug use. So, without the written consent of a doctor, it’s illegal to ingest.
• But local and state laws have decided that’s not relevant in their areas, which has created contradictory regulations for advocates and consumers.
CBD products are cropping up everywhere from local coffee shops to dispensaries and even in health food stores. You can find CBD in mineral waters, like tinctures, salves, and balms. While many advocates of CBD fully believe in its ability to help with a variety of ailments, there’s still a ton of confusion about whether it’s legal to own and possess. Even for those who carefully follow cannabis-related legislation, this is something of a gray area. As with most laws in the US, different jurisdictions have different levels of criminality for cannabis and CBD. The best thing to do is to brush up on your own state and local laws, not federal legislation. Knowing your rights in your area will help product you against unfair harassment. Make sure your CBD gummies have 0.3% or less of THC and keep yourself safe.