CBD has been making the runs on prime time television and numerous talk shows. People are continuously on the chatter online, on YouTube, twitter, Instagram etc about CBD. To say that the miracle drug has taken the world by storm would an understatement at this point. But even with barrage of interviews and questions flying left, right and centre, people are still clueless when asked as to what the current stance of CBD is, especially in the United States of America.
The passing of the famed Farm bill in the congress although a much anticipated move, has left many citizens scratching their heads in vain over what is happening. The question of whether CBD is legal or not, is like casting a net onto the sea, in the attempt to gather all the fishes in it. The answer is not one that we can simply say with a yes or a no!
We are here to shed some light on the new act and what it means for hemp-derived CBD. We will also be looking into the situation on a worldwide scale as well, with other countries that had made CBD legal, long before America even stepped into the fray.
But before we dive into it head first, we shall start by standing by and attempt to wrap our heads around CBD
CBD: The Drug That The World Deserves, But Doesn’t Need
CBD, the prodigal Son who had been destined to make a mark on us all, comes from a humble marijuana plant. It isn’t alone though, as it is followed by hundred other such similar compounds which are called cannabinoids. The cannabinoids in the list include the likes of THC. THC is a compound that has been the sole reason for all the confusion and frustration among those who wanted to pass the Farm Bill in America. Keep a note of this troublesome compound as we will be looking into it further down the line!
Another reason for the CBD to lift off to fandom is how it is a class apart from the other cannabinoids. THC does well in acting as a relaxant, but fails to bring about any anti-inflammatory or therapeutic benefits. As a matter of fact,no other cannabinoids do not compare to the therapeutic attributes that CBD brings to the table!
The reason for the confusion among the masses began with the misconception that since CBD comes from marijuana, it is marijuana. The logic behind that thought is still missing. Sugar in tea, is not tea.
The culprit for the feeling of giddiness and intoxication is because of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. It is a strong psychoactive substance that brings about feelings of disconnect from the world and general psychosis; or as the stoners amongst us call it, being “high”.
CBD has no such strings attached to it. You can even take 3 times the recommended dose and the most that will happen is you feeling slightly sleepy or lethargic!
The War On Marijuana In The US: CBD Caught In The Crossfire
Since the far end of the 20th century movements had started to sprout up in United States of America which were in support of legalising marijuana. There was a trademark decision passed in 1996 in the state of California to decriminalize pot for medicinal purpose. Much later in 2012, The capital at Washington D.C and Colorado also passed ballot initiative to bring about the movement to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. If the question never crossed your mind as to why even was marijuana made illegal in the first place, then we are with you.
The reason was to incite a sense of Xenophobia. At the beginning of the 20th century, cannabis made its run and was a relatively lesser known drug. The Mexican revolution that picked up steam in the year of 1910 caused an inflow of Mexican immigrants. With the Mexican population came their culture as well. The tradition of smoking and inhaling marijuana was already a tradition there, the same way in which people have a habit of indulging in chewing tobacco in part of India.
But on the pretext of stopping the “growth” of Mexican culture and fearing that they will overwhelm their American culture, allegations and rumour began being inserted cleverly by the media saying it caused “blood lust” and violence. That wasn’t the last straw though. The term cannabis was replaced by a name that made it more English, called Marijuana. This was to bring a sense of foreignness to the drug and creating unrest to make it seem like it did not belong in the American society.
When the masses began being swayed by the evidence-less rumour and allegation, the state and their governments now had a reason to ban the cultivation, distribution and possession of marijuana or weed.
Now you can understand how uncalled for, the ban on cannabis and its derivatives. And yes….CBD is in the bag of derivatives. People were unknowingly robbed of this miracle drug as a result. Thankfully things have changed for the better.
The Historic Farm Act 2018
The unrest among the masses and their voices in supporting the use of medical marijuana and CBD could no longer be ignored. It was in 2018 that the bomb finally fused, and the United States Senate introduced the Hemp Farming bill which is aimed at making “hemp” a common agricultural commodity much like wheat and rice.
The Farm Bill was passed and officially made into an act in the month of December 2018. The passing of the bill meant that hemp and hemp derived products like hemp derived CBD were no longer classified under Scheduled I controlled substances.
This effectively means that CBD made from hemp is now legal nationwide not only state but at federal level as well. This means making Hemp derived CBD legal for production, distribution and possession irrespective of the quantity
However it wasn’t that anyone could grow and distribute hemp-derived CBD as they seem fit. The state would still heavily regulate and oversee the production of hemp in the state, but the state would have the authority over hemp grown in their jurisdiction and not Drug enforcement Administration (DEA).
Further, the percentage of THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol present in the hemp derived substances should not exceed the limit of 0.3%. If you are caught being involved with Hemp derived CBD beyond the stated 0.3% limit, then it is considered a federal crime and you will be tried in federal court and face possible prosecution.
Irrespective, this victory is considered to be a stepping stone in establishing hemp and possibly marijuana based products in the future.
Confusion Still Hangs In The Air
Different state have made different laws and which If you are not informed of, may get you in a world of trouble. This means that even though the federal law states otherwise, all the states are yet to be completely in line with the federal regulations laid down.
An example of how cluttered this is: The state of Colorado has made it legal to completely use any part of the hemp plant. However, hemp products with any amount of THC in it is considered illegal in the state of Texas.
So if you are somebody from California where medical marijuana has been made legal since 1996 and for recreational marijuana to be made legal since late 2016, and you end up being caught in Texas thinking that things are the same as in California, then you will be in for a harsh shock!
This is also why it is so important to keep yourself updated to what the state of situation are in the state you are travelling to.
There are government organisations like the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana laws that upkeep and maintain a database to keep citizens aware of the stance of various states against marijuana and hemp products.
Legality Of CBD Internationally
There are as many as 49 countries where CBD is deemed legal for use. These include the likes of China, India, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland and 43 others.
The Central government of Canada recently passed the Cannabis Act in July 2018, which effectively legalised recreational use of cannabis nationwide. This was bound to present a sense of competitive pressure on the Southern bordering country of America, persuading them to also enact the Farm Act in December the same year.
How To Stay Out Of Trouble When It Comes To CBD?
- First and foremost, make sure that you are aware of the origin of the hemp grown in the United states.
- Make sure you get a look at the certificate of analysis (COA) which tells you the result of third party lab results which checks the percentage of various ingredients in the hemp including the percentage of THC in it. The batch number on the COA should be a mirror opposite on the products labelling.
- When you are checking through the COA, also make extra sure that the third party labs are certified and meet the “ISO 17025” standards. This is a testing methods performed must also be approved by the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists, the U.S pharmacopeia, or the American herbal pharmacopoeia.
- Make sure that the report has the amount of CBD and THC present in the product, both dose wise and in total.
The Final Note
As you can see the answer to your question, of whether CBD is legal or not depends on where you live and the laws bounding it. Hemp has received the Green signal in many parts of U.S but the same cannot be said about Marijuana yet.
Be well read and informed to avoid running into the law red-handed!