To say that CBD being legal has created some controversy would be an understatement. With how popular CBD has grown to be over the last couple of years, it’s no wonder why everyone is freaking out about it. The FDA is cracking down, banks are getting much more strict, and customers are left with questions about traveling with CBD.
One of the biggest questions is, “Is CBD Legal?” We’ve gotten numerous questions regarding if CBD is legal and if you can travel with CBD.
Before we dive into whether or not CBD is legal or not, we’d like to educate the readers that don’t know what CBD is.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is one of over 100 known compounds found in the cannabis Sativa plant. The compound is present in both THC-rich strains of marijuana as well as in hemp. While these plants are both classified as cannabis, hemp produces only trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%) and high amounts of CBD, whereas marijuana is capable of providing both THC and CBD. The level of THC is an important distinction, as the lack of clarity on this subject is the source of a lot of confusion.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is created by extracting the compound from the industrial hemp plant and mixing it with a carrier oil to form a tincture. Most experts agree that the CO2 extraction method produces the highest quality CBD. Some manufacturers also prefer extracting CBD utilizing an ethanol method. Both ways are capable of crafting a safe and potent finished product when the CBD is thoroughly sourced. Thoroughly sourced means that it should come from clean soil and cultivated using sustainable and organic practices.
Along with CBD, other beneficial compounds can also make their way into the end product. These include some of the other lesser-known cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in the plant. When these other chemicals remain intact in a product, it is said to be “full-spectrum.”
Full-spectrum CBD (also called broad-spectrum ) is a popular choice among users who feel it encourages the entourage effect. The entourage effect is a theory that all of the compounds in cannabis work synergistically to produce the most favorable therapeutic outcomes.
CBD that has undergone processing to have these other compounds removed is called CBD Isolate. The CBD is completely isolated from all other chemicals and contains only pure CBD. There are many products produced by CBD isolate. Choosing between full-spectrum and isolate is a matter of personal choice.
Can CBD get me high?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid responsible for inducing the “high” that cannabis is known for producing. While there is no doubt that THC has incredible therapeutic applications, not everyone has access to medical marijuana. Additionally, not everyone wants to experience the mind-altering effects that come with using it. Since many people don’t want to have a “high” feeling, this is why cannabidiol (CBD) is an attractive option for many people. It’s also now federally legal to consume CBD without fear of nasty repercussions like fines or imprisonment. So, in other words, CBD doesn’t get you high as it is non-psychoactive.
Is CBD Legal?
Growing industrial hemp with the sole purpose of extracting high-quality CBD is currently backed by the federal government. In December 2018, the 2018 farm bill was enacted. Among many of its other provisions, it removed hemp (not cannabis) from the list of prohibited substances. Hemp is now a legal agricultural commodity, and so are the products made from it.
Some individual states have taken a different stance on this and have chosen to ban CBD products. You can always see which states CBD is legal.
Currently, CBD is still available to purchase and consume across the majority of the United States. In most places, products even appear to be available, although some cities have banned the sale of food containing CBD. “CBD cannot be lawfully added to food or be labeled a dietary supplement,” was stated by the FDA with their public hearing on May 31st, 2019.
How much THC can your CBD have to be Legal?
Although hemp and certain forms of CBD are federally legal, you need to understand what aspects to look for when purchasing a CBD product.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant. The hemp plant contains much smaller amounts of this psychoactive cannabinoid. To be considered legal, the industrial hemp must contain .03% or less of THC. Any more and the plant is classified as marijuana and has many different laws.
There is still much confusion between CBD vs THC, which makes the situation more confusing to a first time user. Federal agencies have started enforcing this 0.3% or less THC policy much harder. This extra layer of protection will, in turn, keep the public well informed and safe.
To conclude, it is legal by federal law to purchase and consume CBD, and there is no need to avoid the multiple health and lifestyle changing benefits that high-quality CBD may potentially provide. However, to remain in compliance with your regional laws, you should check your local legislation before your purchase.
Is it safe to travel with CBD?
Back in May 2019, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stated its policies surrounding products that contain CBD. According to the Huffington Post, as long as people traveling have forms of CBD that abide by the regulations in the farm bill, the TSA will allow it on an airplane.
One thing to keep in mind is that the people working at TSA are humans, and they go off of their instinct and judgment. Right now, it is hard for TSA employees to differentiate if a CBD product comes from marijuana or hemp and how much THC is in it. Labels can sometimes be deceiving, which is why Goat Grass CBD’s packaging is visible for TSA to read.
The TSA could potentially want to schedule testing, which will determine the level of THC in the product to decide whether it is federally legal or not.
In individual states that are making it more challenging to carry CBD and still illegal under state law, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) could refer the case to local and state officers. We recommend you know the rules of each state you’re traveling to and from before traveling with CBD.
Some CBD brands, like Goat Grass CBD, would be more than happy to provide a certificate of analysis which shows the CBD potency profile and all active ingredients.
We recommend holding off on traveling with CBD internationally, as this remains very risky with strict regulations in some countries.