Is CBD Legal?
This can be a tricky question to answer, and you will likely get different answers from different sources. It's more accurate to say that CBD is currently in a legal grey area. The FDA has acknowledged that CBD has medicinal value, but it's still considered illegal by the DEA. Cannabis is still a Schedule 1 narcotic, which means it has no recognized medicinal value. Public support for medical cannabis is at an all time high, so many states have continued to expand their legalization laws despite it remaining federally illegal. This becomes even trickier with CBD, because this particular molecule can be find in industrial hemp plants, echinacea, and hops! This has created confusion amongst regulators and consumers, so it's best to always check your state laws before purchasing CBD.
Where Can You Buy CBD Products?
If you live in a state where recreational cannabis is legal, you can buy CBD products in pot shops if you are over 21 and have a valid ID. If you live in a state with medical cannabis, check your local laws about the requirements of getting a medical card. Each states requirements will be different, but you will need to get a prescription from a doctor in all cases.
If you don't live in a legal cannabis state, you can still purchase purchase hemp-derived CBD products online. Companies will ship CBD tinctures, capsules, and other products directly to your door. You are not required to have a medical card because these CBD products contain less than .03% THC, which is the federally mandated legal limit. Keep in mind that even hemp derived CBD still contain trace amounts of THC. If you think you might take a drug test in the future, CBD products can cause a positive drug test.
What are reputable sources of Hemp- Derived CBD?
Buying hemp-derived CBD online can be overwhelming, because there seems to be an infinite number of companies springing up. CBD is still expensive, so you should definitely find a trusted source to buy from to ensure you don't get ripped off. Due to the grey area CBD laws, there is little regulation in the hemp CBD industry. The quality from one company to the next can vary greatly, so proceed with caution when you decide to buy some online. Luckily there are a growing number of honest companies who make quality CBD products online and in stores around the US. Here are a few things to look for on hemp-derived CBD producer to make sure you are buying a quality product:
Third party test results: Only buy from companies that post test results from a third party. This can include potency, pesticide, and heavy metal reports.
Credit card processor: Credit card processing is a massive issues across the hemp and cannabis industries. Many CBD companies have to use high risk processors because major credit card companies won't work with them. High risk processors are often off shore companies which can results in higher failure rates. When in doubt ask the company you're purchasing from if you can send a check or use another form of payment.
Health claims: Never buy from a company that claims their products treat or cure any illnesses. The FDA has recently cracked down on companies for making ANY claims about CBD's health benefits. We have yet to know the true medical benefits of CBD, because it is restricted to research under federal law.
CBD content: Check the third party test results to make sure the products contain the amount of CBD the claim to have.
Cost: CBD is still expensive. This is partially due to the risky nature of the business, and the lack of regulation. Start with a sample product before purchasing large amounts. You may have to try a couple companies before you find something that works for you!
CBD From Medical Cannabis versus Hemp
As I mentioned above, you will need a medical card to purchase medical CBD derived from cannabis. Everyone will have a different opinion about whether CBD from hemp or cannabis is superior. CBD is an organic molecule, and if extracted properly, it won't matter where it comes from. CBD cannabis strains will contain higher amounts of THC than hemp, because medical strains don't need to meet THC limits. Check with your state to learn more about quality sources of CBD.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing I have written should be used as medical or legal advice. My opinions come from working in the legal cannabis and hemp CBD industry. I aim to provide you with as much accurate information as possible, but always check local laws before purchasing CBD products.