Which States is CBD Legal

April 11, 2019

What is cbd – history – why illegal – the truth – xt – legality – sources –

As the growing demand for CBD products goes on a high with every passing day, it can?t be ignored that CBD products have always put us into doubt with not just one but many confusions. Be it the psychoactive effect doubt or the overdose doubt, be it the addiction thing or the fear of failing in a drug test,now become one of the best sought medication in recent times. This has been possible only after a lot of legal struggle. The struggle has been real & has seen a whole round of tough time altogether since it was discovered. CBD helps in a whole bunch of problems with proper scientific research in some cases, while in others, things are just in the preliminary phase. Problems like arthritis, epilepsy, seizures, hypertension, cancer related nausea & vomiting, pain relief, muscle strain, etc have seen a great deal of improvement since the arrival of CBD where people are getting quality benefit with a barricade on serious side-effects.

CBD was illegal for long due to various reasons but recently got legalised. However, many people are still unsure about the legal status of things when it comes to CBD products. They ask & want to know the states in which CBD is legal. We would hence help you with an answer here with proper shading on the reasons & explanations. This article is all the more necessary since it is the legal matters we are talking about Since it is the legality we are talking about, there?s a lot to be careful regarding. Let?s find out.


As the name indicates, cannabidiol is a derivative of the cannabis plant & industrial hemp. Although, cannabis is home to around 104 different derivatives, CBD & THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) have been the most popular phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced within the plant). While the latter infuses the consumer with a sense of ?highness? & intoxication, the former allows silence to make noise as it doesn?t take the user through the ?HIGH-way? route. But, given the family tree, it is still illegal in most parts of the world apart from a few countries where it is legal for either medicinal or both medicinal & industrial purposes. While the UK has legalized it of late, the US has legalized it under the limits of certain on-paper boundaries which make it accessible thanks to the US Farm BIll of 2018. The positive here is the fact that CBD can be derived from INDUSTRIAL HEMP in much larger quantity which is legal in most countries where cannabis cultivation for good has been accepted with mixed reactions mostly. Industrial Hemp has tremendous utility to say the least as it used in paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food & biofuel apart from gifting us with CBD.

This CBD is home to various remedies of which some have been proven while some are still awaiting confirmation as mentioned in the introductory part of the article. It is usually available as supplements, salves & oil. CBD is believed to catalyze or directly induce the cure of acne, epilepsy, sclerosis, pain relief, etc. & these are the reasons why its popularity is gaining momentum not just in the medical jargons but also amidst the classes & the masses.

But, the biggest challenge isn?t just one but many for CBD. the most important one is its relation of siblinghood with THC which often puts CBD in the wrong perspective for the people & they think that since it is a sister compound of THC, CBD also overpowers the senses of the user by inducing a high.


The history of cannabis is no less than a color book. It has seen it all from being regarded as a medical cure for various ailments to fulfilling the need of people like textiles, clothes, paper, etc. It has been there with the human civilization for a long time span of over 4000 years & stood strong till today. Despite regular setbacks, Cannabis always rises up to the surface. Chinese Emperor Shen Neng had a lot of faith in it & used to drink tea of Cannabis leaves regularly. He had accounted for the medicinal powers of cannabis & believed that Cannabis improves memory, gout, pain, etc in his text Pen Ts?au (English – The Herbal). Pen T?sau is so valuable in China that till today, Chinese medical practitioners go with it.

India has also believed in cannabis & it holds importance from religional, spiritual & medicinal perspectives. While its medicinal roles have been mentioned in the Atharva Veda, Bhaang – a traditional Indian preparation used in food & drinks was consumed by many, was believed to connect a person to religional powers where people saw positive visuals whilst asleep after having bhaang & as a matter of fact, it was considered positive. In the Atharva Veda, Cannabis has been mentioned as one of the five most important herbs in the ?Kingdom of Five Herbs? where it was accounted for its joy-giving & happiness enhancing herb. This was in the period between 2000 to 1400 BC.

The Romans are next on the history list which is linked to the period when they were aiming at empire expansion in North Africa, Europe & Asia. When in Asia, they found hemp in many of these regions as it had spread from China & India. A Greek physician named Pedanius Dioscorides accompanied them in this conquest & was keeping an eye on the thing of his interest – herbs. He has also accounted the wonders of Cannabis plant in his book Materia Medica. The book highlights 600 herbs from various regions of which cannabis was surely one. Thus, it gives us a clear idea that cannabis has been with humanity for a long time. It is believed to be discovered in China & India having spread through Egyptian, Arabic & African regions.

During medieval ages, i.e the 15th & 16th century, it was mandatory for farmers to grow hemp on their farms not just in England (15th century) but also in American colonies (16th century onwards). It was used to manufacture textiles, papers, clothes, ropes, etc.

After this span, Cannabis went on a sabbatical. The phytocannabinoid ? CBD was then discovered in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams & his team at the University of Illinois. But, since they had no surety onn what they had discovered, things were not shaped. It was Dr. Raphael Mechoulam who decoded its atomic structure & found CBD. It was discovered as a non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis. In 1980, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam made another claim based on a study that CBD helps in the treatment of epilepsy that concretized CBD as a medical herb. This made people feel interested regarding CBD.


So why was CBD illegal for this long despite having such rich history? – this is surely the question in your mind presently. A bit of time-travel is needed here. Let?s rewind looong back in 1930. (yes, your black & white imagination is rightly justified.)

Marijuana Prohibition made its way for the first time in 1930s. It was a highly controversial thing as one of the then top government official even admitted himself that all things about the prohibition were lies. Thus, it wasn?t pushed ahead with the same purpose that it should have meant to be. It was done to make easy arresting of colored people & anti-war activists. The harms of marijuana were introduced to people like the ?magic bullet theory? & it made is way into the comfort zones of memory that went on passing from generation to generation where people went on taming the misconception. The misinformation from these anti-marijuana smear campaigns led to fears whose roots went deep & misunderstandings in the minds of the common man that continue to exist even today can be blamed to this thing.

The ill-effects of marijuana became a part of high-end propaganda. There were harms but it doesn?t mean there were no benefits. There was a lack of awareness back then & the world wasn?t so globalised either. Thus, cannabis became the eventual villain.

CBD is derived from plants of the cannabis family. The negativity spread like fire & hence it was made illegal for the sole association with the cannabis family. Yes, it was thought to have abuse potential & due to relation with THC, it was banned.

Thus, it was nothing was nothing but a bit of misunderstanding preceded by some bad propaganda have made it tough for CBD.


Now that CBD & THC are standing neck to neck, it is important to have a discussion & explanation. We will first touch between marijuana & hemp following on other sections ahead as the main legalisation complication lies here. The key difference lies in the content of the cannabinoids in both plants. Hemp is intentionally grown for industrial & medicinal purposes & the content of CBD is high in it. THC content is as low as? 0.1-0.2% in some parts of the world. For America, it legal roads end at 0.3% of THC in hemp. As long as it doesn?t cross it, it?s safe. Marijuana is cultivated mainly for recreational purpose but has medical properties too. THC content matters here as more the THC, more the intoxication & hence CBD from marijuana wouldn?t be just less but will have high traces of THC too. THC is a psychoactive phytocannabinoid. Thus, it makes the user intoxicated & gets him/her high. This high is the reason why people enjoy marijuana so much & it is the same reason that has made marijuana an object of immense misuse. That?s why it has been declared illegal despite having medical benefits.

CBD from marijuana will induce the high effect on the user. It will make the person develop addiction due to the presence of THC in high content. We can?t undermine the fact that THC has a variety of medical benefits too but again, the high as well as the chances for developing addiction & dependance makes users look for other ways but for THC.

So, CBD from hemp has extremely low levels of THC which also goes undetected in tests if CBD is ingested in moderate dosage. This gives us the idea that the amount of THC carried by hemp is so minimal that it is only present like an ingredient.


Now onwards, you?ll remember for life that CBD is non-psychoactive unlike THC. It is surely a fact that marijuana causes a high & is also addictive. But, every coin has two sides & likewise, THC has a good side too apart from this addictive & intoxicating one. It is a home to medical benefits just like CBD. in fact, some CBD relief works better when a bit of THC is also there. THC was discovered after CBD, & has come a long way much before CBD with great speed & stood as a good painkiller. The problem was its triggering effect on the release of dopamine after entering the system in the ?pleasure areas? of the brain. The brain got relief & also some bit of easiness, but, regular release of dopamine made the brain more used to it & hence the addiction was developed.

It is a known fact that CBD & THC have many benefits ranging across multiple ailments & variety in treating both humans & animals. Given these properties, it is important to understand the mechanism of CBD?s operation in the first place. This in turn is an essential part of this article since without knowing the way things work, it would be a bit half-knowledge situation which is not advisable..

There are three different types of cannabinoids namely phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids & synthetic cannabinoids. While the first one includes those found in the cannabis & hemp plants, the second one is what we will cover here. The third category is of artificial cannabinoid which are synthesised in laboratory.

Each mammal?s body has a system of generating cannabinoids on its own which are termed as endocannabinoids or eCBs. The system is called the endocannabinoid system or ECS. The endocannabinoids include anandamide, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, etc. This entire system regulates homeostasis in our body & is responsible for appetite, pain, memory, immune system response, etc. The system runs on binding of the endocannabinoids or eCBs with the CB1 & CB2 receptors. These receptors are found throughout the body & the binding of the receptors & eCBs gets the job going. Our body? produces cannabinoids but not in lumpsum due to which the need for their presence in our body becomes all the more important. Here is where THC & CBD come into play. The CB1 receptors are influenced by THC while the CB2 receptors are influenced by CB2 receptors. It is to be noted that they don?t react with these receptors but influence their binding with eCBs. This way, the various functions are proceeded with by the body.

This is how THC triggers the release of dopamine in the brain?s pleasure centers, the brain remains at a risk of getting addicted to it. This happens with the interaction of CB1 receptors. Since, the CB1 receptors have no link with CBD, hence there?s no chance of release of dopamine & this is the reason why users feel neither high nor dependent on CBD. In addition to this, there are no withdrawal symptoms associated as well which make it completely safe & non-addictive. In fact, CBD helps to balance the neuroreceptor levels in this entire ECS system. If there?s too much receptors, CBD will balance it by lowering the receptor levels & if there?s low levels of it it will go ahead by increasing the levels of it. This leaves us with the realisation that the doubted villain of the story is actually the hero.


No wonder, the struggle has paid off due to the introduction of Farm Bill which has legalised industrial hemp in all of America?s 50 states. But, there are confusions regarding the status of CBD. CBD is not illegal in any state in the USA as far as it is derived from hemp with less than 0.3%, it?ll be considered as that of Marijuana derived CBD. There are four different zones that the states lie in based on the status of CBD & the Farm Bill categories:

  1. Friendliest States

These jurisdictions allow retailers to sell industrial hemp-derived products with full swing of the axe.


Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont & Wisconsin.

  1. Friendly States

In states with these jurisdictions, industrial hemp which is grown in compliance with the Farm Bill agricultural pilot program is entirely crossed out from the definition of marijuana.


The District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota & Oklahoma.

  1. Grey Area States

States where jurisdictions make clear prohibitions against the retail sale of industrial hemp based product but have exemptions in the law for the argument that hemp-derived CBD products are legal according to federal laws.


Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia & Washington.

  1. States with Concern

These jurisdictions have no explicit prohibitions against the sale of industrial hemp-derived CBD products. However, recent law enforcement actions or pronouncements raise the risk of the retail sale of industrial hemp-derived CBD products.


Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia & Wyoming.


With a proper knowledge on the legality of CBD in the states across USA, it is important to also know the quality of CBD that you are getting since it is isn?t just the legality status that matters for you but the quality as well. Hence, it is of utmost importance to keep in mind the following things while picking up your CBD product:

  1. How much THC the product has?CBD has been seen to have better effect due to the entourage effect of other cannabinoids too, specially THC. Thus, it is necessary to know the content of other cannabinoids too.If you?re a person who needs high dose of it, then CBD isolate based product is best for you because high dose CBD will make THC high in your body as well which might lead you to failing a drug test.
  1. Find products where the hemp?s cultivation place is listedColorado is known for the best hemp in the country & so is Kentucky. In the former, live on-site checking is performed by authorities from time to time which ensures good quality hemp & hence good quality CBD. When buying CBD products, you can see the place from where hemp has was used. In case it?s not mentioned, you can always ask the retailer or go through the website as there, you?ll surely have a clue.Also, refrain from out of the country brands since the products ingredients might not be in compliance with the ones down here. Don?t buy as there?s no surety in their quality.
  1. Ask for Certificate of AnalysisMost good companies & brand go transparent by lab reports from third-party labs to assure consumers of pure legal CBD without any contaminants. They are well aware that the field is new & people are As a consumer, you can always ask for it. In case the company doesn?t provide you with one or doesn?t have one, don?t buy since such a brand can?t be trusted.
  1. See the amount & compositionEvery CBD product will have the composition listed of the ingredients. This allows you to have a detailed knowledge on what you are having or buying & also your physician. This way you can even choose from full spectrum & broad spectrum CBD products as well as CBD isolate products.Some of them even mention the extraction process. In case the extraction method is mentioned, always go for the one where superficial CO2 extraction method is listed. That?s because this method ensures the best quality CBD extract free from contaminants. You might find the product a bit costly, but, there?s no compromise with quality here.


Hence, it is a reason for joy for all of us that CBD is a legal thing now due to the Farm Bill. It is hence now easier to buy it & use compared to previous ones. Though the state-law structure varies in all states, yet the silver lining is the fact that this way or that way, we are going to have our CBD product. But, before buying, we should all be careful regarding various things like presence of propylene glycol in vape pens which causes asthma & eye & nose irritation. Likewise, if you are on any sort of medication, then make sure you use it after proper consultation with the doctor as CBD & drugs go for a fight together in terms of metabolization in the liver where one of these two loses & hence the effect may be something which we never expected. The side-effects are not serious, but that doesn?t mean that we shall be completely free. After all, prevention is better than cure!

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