The world of cannabis and CBD has always been a little murky when it comes to the law. With different rules in countries around the world and different regulations in each state, it can be tricky to know what is and isn’t legal. And let’s face it, the rules also keep changing over time.
In the USA, the important thing to remember is that regardless of what state you are in, you do not need a prescription to get cannabidiol (CBD) oil. You can just walk into a store and buy it there.
Like many things in life, understanding the legalities of CBD in the United States is not particularly straightforward. Still, with a little explanation, you can keep your mind at rest that you are getting a safe and effective product, legally.
CBD and Cannabis
The cannabis plant is made up of many compounds, such as cannabidiol or CBD, and THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol). One of the principal differences between these two compounds is that THC can make you high when it is taken, and CBD won’t. It is, therefore, due to the THC in cannabis that it was illegal for such a long time.
Now that scientists can separate the different compounds in the cannabis plant, those countries and states that wish to do so can apply different rules to each combination – or cannabinoid, and this had led to distinctions in the law between hemp, marijuana, and cannabis.
What Are the Differences Between Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana?
Although the terms cannabis, hemp, and marijuana often get used in the same context, they actually have three different meanings to them, and this is important when it comes to the law.
Cannabis is the name of the family of the cannabis plant – Cannabaceae, and under this umbrella comes all kinds of cannabis.
Marijuana is a group of strains of cannabis that have high levels of THC and therefore, will make you high if you consume it. It is marijuana that is illegal in many states across the USA and also many other countries around the world.
Hemp consists of several varieties of cannabis which, although it has some levels of THC present, has levels that are so low that you cannot get high by taking it. Federal law in the US states that cannabis must have a level of 0.3% THC or less (by weight) for it to be classed as hemp.
The FDA, the Legalities, and the Farm Bill
In the USA, it is the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) that is responsible for control over the legal status of cannabis and its derivatives. The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Pub. L. 115-334 – known as the 2018 Farm Bill has recently changed the legal status of some cannabis and hemp products.
The Farm Bill stipulates that cannabis plants and its derivatives with less than 0.3% THC (made from hemp) are no longer controlled substances according to Federal law. However, the FDA still has the power to regulate these products.
Some states, however, have passed laws that allow for the recreational use of marijuana – meaning that cannabis with higher THC levels, can be legally bought and consumed. It is, however, essential to remember that you cannot carry these products into other states where they are not allowed.
Individual state laws regarding the status of cannabis and marijuana can quickly change, so it is essential that you check what the state law says before you try to buy it.
What Is Medical Marijuana?
Scientists have discovered that for some people there can be health benefits to taking some of the compounds that are found in cannabis.
Some of the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant can have therapeutic effects for certain people, and this can include THC.
This has meant that certain medications that are derived from cannabis have been passed as medication – known as medical marijuana.
According to the DEA (US Drugs Enforcement Agency) and the Controlled Substances Act, medical marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. This means that:
The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
These mean that a physician cannot prescribe medical marijuana. It can only, therefore, be ‘recommended’ by a medical marijuana doctor.
‘Prescription’ or ‘Recommended’?
There are several health issues that some research – both anecdotal and scientific – suggests that can be helped with not only CBD but also THC- and more importantly, a combination of the two.
Due to the fact that the DEA classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, physicians cannot prescribe it to you. What they can do, however, is to make you a recommendation.
A recommendation, instead of a prescription that stipulates how the medication should be taken, doses, and other instruction, is a piece of paper that allows you to get your medical marijuana from a dispenser legally.
This means that physicists can prescribe medical marijuana to their patients without risking their license or reputation.
If you think that the therapeutic properties of medical marijuana could benefit you, you will need to, therefore, find a medical marijuana doctor who can give you this recommendation.
It is important to remember, however, that to buy CBD rich products (with no THC), you will not need a prescription or a recommendation.
CBD Products and Where to Buy Them
A testament to the popularity of CBD in the world at the moment is the fact that there are tons of CBD products available to buy legally.
Some people prefer to use the sublingual drops of CBD oil, whereas others prefer to eat their CBD in edibles like gummies or baked goods.
You can also get capsules that allow you to swallow your CBD in one go, CBD drinks, and CBD vapes. Each ‘delivery method’ has its pros and cons, but deciding on which one you use is all about what you are taking it for and your personal preference.
CBD products can be bought in two main ways – either in a local store or in an online store. You should ensure that you are getting them from a reputable seller, however, so that you can be sure that you have got a product that is safe and legal in the state where you are.
Getting Legitimate CBD
The CBD industry is booming, and unfortunately, this means that there can be some people who are out to make a quick buck. Some of these people will sell products that aren’t what you are expecting – sometimes having no CBD in, and sometimes higher than legal levels of THC.
It is, therefore, vital that you know some of the best ways to protect yourself from getting unsafe or illegal products. You can do this by:
- Buying from reputable websites like CBDMall
- Using brands that have been recommended by friends or others
- Checking that the product has a Certificate of Analysis from an independent lab, giving you a breakdown of the compounds in the product – and verifying that this matches the labelling
For those who aren’t familiar with the laws surrounding cannabis, knowing where you stand regarding CBD and medicinal marijuana can be a little confusing. As rules change according to what state you are in – and over time – it is essential that you always check what the law is wherever you are – especially if you are traveling interstate.
To buy CBD products in the USA, however, it is easy to remember. You don’t need to have either a prescription or a recommendation, and there are more and more places where these products are available.
It is important, of course, that you ensure that you are getting legitimate CBD so that you are taking what you think that you are – and staying within the law.
We are still only at the beginning of seeing the benefits that cannabidiol can have for us. With such a wide range of products available, there will be something to suit everyone. Those two seems all about buy tips, Can these two be combined into one