Is cannabidiol (CBD) legal in the United States?
Out of the 100 molecular compounds inside cannabis, CBD is the most well-known, non-psychoactive component. In December 2016, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) implemented their rule regarding CBD and cannabis extract under a new drug code. With this ruling, the DEA previously claimed all cannabinoids, including CBD, as illegal Schedule I substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Many legal advisors and experts found the DEA’s ruling as an incredibly misleading characterization which eventually created a massive demand for a retraction or better clarification.
Because of a nationwide, public outcry, the DEA revised its rule which now recognizes CBD legal in the United States if it comes from parts of the cannabis plant not defined as marijuana described by the CSA, such as the mature stalk of the cannabis plant. The drug code revision currently lists Schedule I cannabis extracts as those that fall within the CSA’s definition of marijuana; it also states that any product - particularly CBD oil or hemp supplements - containing majority parts of cannabis excluded from their description is NOT an illegal substance.
Legal Status of CBD and the Agricultural Act of 2014
Both marijuana and hemp belong to the same plant family - Cannabis Sativa; the main distinguishing trait between the two is their Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels. During the Obama Administration, Congress passed the Agricultural Act, also known as the 2014 US Farm Bill, which carefully explains hemp opposite of marijuana based on its THC content. If the cannabis plant contains less than 0.03% THC, it classifies as industrial hemp. Congress’ decision also legalizes the cultivation of industrial hemp through state-regulated agriculture departments for hemp management and research.
The constitutional legality of industrial hemp implemented by Congress also guarantees that products created from hemp plants - including CBD oil - are legal because of their minuscule THC levels. Every state has its own unique rules to cultivate and manage hemp which why CBD is locally available in specific areas while others are limited to online suppliers. But regarding the federal law, CBD is legal to purchase, sell and consume throughout the United States.