If you’re reading this from someplace in the United States of America, CBD is legal to possess in the eyes of the federal government.
Pretty simple, right?
Across its cities, prairies, and amber waves of grain (and now vast fields of hemp plants) the laws on CBD are being written a little differently depending on your state.
This can be confusing—especially if you’re wondering how CBD can fit into your life.
We’ll break down what to keep an eye on, how that fits into the bigger picture, and how we’ve come to find ourselves at such an interesting chapter in the story of CBD.
Hemp Has Been Federally Legalized
In December of 2018, the U.S. government signed into law the Agriculture Improvement Act, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill. This carried with it huge implications for hemp industries because it finally allowed for the plant to be grown widely.
States like Kentucky, Colorado, and South Carolina got to business quickly, incentivizing farmers to propagate the versatile crop. With an increase in access to quality hemp, U.S. CBD companies exploded.
Now, you’re allowed to enjoy CBD in all 50 states.
For a lot of people, CBD’s legal status was a long time coming. Hemp was poised to be a billion-dollar industry in the early 1900s. Known for its textile strength and high yield, it was even considered as a building material for cars (with its fibers testing at strengths many times higher than steel).
But with the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, growing the crop became prohibitively expensive, while also putting hemp under the same umbrella as cannabis.
It wasn’t until 1980 that the research of Dr. Raphael Mechoulam yielded paradigm-shifting results about the power of CBD: they figured out that it had a measurable, repeatable impact on people suffering from seizures.
But the work wasn’t widely publicized. Public opinion at the time was still very anti-cannabis, and the reputation of one plant loomed over another.
Why Is Hemp and CBD Legal?
This all changed in 2012 when a mother looking for a way she could help her daughter gave CBD a chance. The daughter was Charlotte Figi. She had her first seizure at three-months-old, and by the time she was six, she experienced 300 seizures a week. With the use of CBD, her seizures dropped dramatically, falling to two or three a month.
Her story captivated the industry. It even captivated the U.S. government and pharmaceutical manufacturers. In 2018 the FDA approved Epidiolex for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy. The active ingredient in it is CBD isolate.
What’s an isolate? It’s pure cannabidiol, derived from the hemp plant’s oil. When it’s first harvested, it’s with a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes. This includes THC, which is at .03% or under, but still very much present.
This oil undergoes an additional chemical process, to separate the cannabidiol particles from the minor cannabinoids like CBG and CBN. The result is a superfine, flavorless, odorless powder that can be worked into topicals, tinctures, and now, even pharmaceuticals.
Can I Buy CBD in My State?
Chances are, if you go to your nearest Supermarket, you’re going to find something with CBD in it, and chances are you’ll find that product in the Personal Care aisle. Big chains, like CVS, Kroger Inc., Albertsons, and Whole Foods have all started carrying products infused with CBD.
They focus mostly on topicals, so if you’re new to CBD and are especially interested in something like a hand creme or body lotion, you can find it on the shelf. At the moment, online sales are where most of the CBD action takes place.
Online there’s a much bigger selection, and you’re going to get better deals going this route, especially since a lot of companies offer free shipping if you live in the U.S.
But, different states have different restrictions, so it’s important to keep up to date. South Dakota, Iowa, and Idaho all passed legislation declaring CBD illegal. A lot of states have restrictions about CBD being sold as a food or beverage, and in the state of Delaware, you have to be specifically affiliated with the state university if you plan on growing it as a crop.
In short, this is all really new for a lot of states. As people learn more about hemp and assess if CBD’s right for them, you’ll see the market expand further. Perhaps it won’t be long until you see tinctures in the store.
Am I Allowed to Travel with CBD?
As of January 2020, the TSA guidelines tell us that consumers can travel with CBD products as long as they contain no more than .03% THC.
While this is all well and good in the eyes of the federal government, it’s a good idea to double-check the regulations of wherever you’re traveling to. Feeling stir crazy and ready for a cross-country drive? Maybe skip Mount Rushmore and avoid Sun Valley.
Flying internationally can also be tricky. Even though cannabis and CBD are legal in, say, Germany, it’s recommended not to fly into the country with CBD—in the off chance your bag’s inspected and your CBD is confiscated, tested, and found to contain more than .03%, you could be in a little trouble.
The good news is that once you’re there you can stock up. In fact, most countries worldwide allow hemp and CBD to be used. Paraguay? You bet. Slovenia? Yes. Slovakia? Not quite. And in Norway, you’ve got to have a prescription.
As with anything travel-related, a little research beforehand pays nice dividends.
What Are the Regulations of CBD?
People who know a lot about the government have described the FDA’s stance on CBD to be cautious. Scientific research on CBD just hasn’t been incentivized on a wide enough scale until recently, and until those more long term studies are finished, they’re not ready to give the all-clear.
Here in California, it’s illegal to package CBD as food, beverage, or dietary supplement. Essentially, the state is following the FDA rules and regulations. According to law, CBD hemp-based products can be only sold through licensed California facilities if the products are properly regulated.
At CBDfx, our top two priorities are customer care and compliance. We work super hard to ensure that every product you get from us is not only up to code but sourced from the highest quality, organic, non-GMO, no-pesticide, farm-raised, sun-loving hemp around.