Many new to cannabis may assume that CBD must be derived from illicit marijuana strains and also assume that this limits legal access to cannabidiol to folks in more liberal areas of the nation such as CO and WA. However, CBD oils are also able to be derived from hemp strains of cannabis and are available to legally purchase in all 50 U.S. states and around 40 other countries. These oils are sold as “hemp finishing products” and contain an imperceptible amount of the regulated cannabinoid THC. They are derived from a process utilizing the “commercial” or “industrial” hemp plant.
These strains of commercial hemp are very low in naturally occurring THC and relatively high in naturally occurring CBD. Due to the lack of THC in these hemp derived oils, and the fact that they are derived from industrial hemp plants, the products made from them are able to be sold and shipped in the United States and many other countries that currently accept hemp imports. While you cannot legally buy THC oil online, you can purchase CBD rich hemp oil that is legally devoid of THC as a neutraceutical.
The growth of hemp remains illegal on a federal level in the United States, but ironically, the U.S. is the worlds number one importer of hemp and hemp products. The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill took the first steps to giving domestic hemp its own distinction and classification under U.S. Law, separate from Marijuana, which the CSA makes no distinction between currently.
The 9th US circuit court of appeals ruled in 2004 that the naturally occurring cannabinoids in hemp do not fall under DEA regulation when sold as nutritional supplements or what are referred to as “hemp finishing products”. Hemp, internationally refers to varieties of the cannabis plant that have less than .3% THC dry weight present in samples, where plants over .3% are considered “marijuana” by most international certifications for hemp strains. So while these hemp based CBD products have a very miniscule amount of THC in them, they are fully legal in all 50 states when sold as nutritional/dietary supplements.
For further clarification on legal status of hemp based CBD, scroll down the wiki page here. CBD is not a scheduled substance in the U.S. when derived from approved nonpsychoactive “hemp” varieties of Cannabis. By contrast, all cannabinoids derived from marijuana plants, are scheduled substances in the U.S. For a more detailed description of the legal climate surrounding CBD rich hemp oils, see our sister site here. For more detailed information, as well as links to a couple of legal interpretations by attorneys, check our FAQ page here.