The murky legality of CBD extracts

More and more people are turning to CBD extracts to treat what ails them. From children with seizures, to those with cancer and chronic pain, its medical benefits continue to grow. However, the legal status of the compound remains confusing, at best.

This is true even though the DEA recently issued a clarification to its December clarification. In its most recent statement, the Drug Enforcement Agency said that CBD is “found in the parts of the cannabis plant that fall within the CSA (Controlled Substances Act) definition of marijuana, such as the flowering tops, resin, and leaves.” Even though Cannabidiol is not listed on the Act’s Drug Schedule.

Bear in mind that even though they are a federal agency, organic CBD oil and other similar products are legal 44 states. This figure includes the 28 states where medical marijuana is legal and 16 states have passed CBD-only laws. These laws legalize the possession and use of CBD products for certain conditions. It does not, however, allow the use of cannabis products that contain higher levels of THC. CBD-only laws also usually limit the legal possession and use of CBD products to children with epilepsy, as well as some nerve and muscle afflictions, as well.

That leaves only six states, Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Indiana, and West Virginia that still consider every part of the cannabis plant, including CBD, to be illegal. However, those that allow CBD-only products do not allow licensed dispensaries, home cultivation, or any other supply infrastructure. In other words, you can have it, but good luck getting it legally.

Adding to this confusion is that hemp products, including hemp capsules, are legal. Therefore, a CBD product’s legality depends on where it is sourced. By these laws, hemp is cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight. In fact, hemp oil has been a legal import to the United States for decades.

Moreover, there are only four states where you can be absolutely sure that the CBD content claimed on the label of the product is the actual content in the bottle. They are Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. They are the same states where adult-use cannabis is legal and regulated. This coincidence is due to the fact that the CBD products are only available in licensed retail cannabis stores and they must pass state-mandated lab tests in order to assure their purity and potency. In fact, if these products do not go through state testing, they can be seized. Therefore, if you are not on one of those states, you have to take the manufacturer’s word that the label is true.

Regardless of its legality or lack thereof, it is not likely that the DEA, or any other police type agency, is going to start raids over a non-psychoactive product that can be clearly seen to be curing children with severe epilepsy. Not only that, but it is available to purchase both online and at many retail health stores across the nation.