The Legal Status of Cannabidiol (CBD): What You Need to Know


Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that has gained significant popularity in recent years due to its purported health benefits. However, the legal status of CBD can be confusing, as it varies depending on where you live and how the CBD was derived.

Here’s what you need to know about the legal status of CBD.

CBD Derived from Hemp

CBD derived from hemp is legal under federal law in the United States, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis). This is because the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and removed it from the list of controlled substances.

However, some states have their own laws regarding CBD, so it’s important to check your state’s regulations before purchasing or using CBD. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved CBD as a dietary supplement or food additive, so companies are not allowed to market CBD products for these purposes.

CBD Derived from Marijuana

CBD derived from marijuana is still considered a controlled substance under federal law, as marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug. However, some states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, which means that CBD derived from marijuana may be legal in these states.

It’s important to note that even in states where marijuana is legal, there may be restrictions on the use of CBD products. For example, some states require that CBD products be sold only through licensed dispensaries.

CBD in Other Countries

The legal status of CBD varies widely in other countries. In some countries, such as Canada and Uruguay, both marijuana and hemp-derived CBD are legal. In others, such as Japan and South Korea, all forms of cannabis are illegal.

In the European Union, CBD derived from hemp is legal as long as it contains less than 0.2% THC. However, some EU countries have their own laws regarding CBD, so it’s important to check the regulations in your specific country.

Medical Use of CBD

In addition to its use as a dietary supplement, CBD is also being studied for its potential medical benefits. The FDA has approved a CBD-based medication called Epidiolex for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

However, other CBD products marketed for medical purposes are not FDA-approved and are therefore considered illegal. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD for any medical condition.

Drug Testing and CBD

While CBD itself is not psychoactive, some CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC, which could potentially show up on a drug test. In addition, some CBD products may be mislabeled or contain other contaminants that could cause a positive drug test result.

If you are concerned about drug testing, it’s important to choose a CBD product that has been third-party tested for purity and potency. You may also want to avoid full-spectrum CBD products, which contain all of the cannabinoids and other compounds found in the cannabis plant, including THC.

CBD and Travel

If you plan to travel with CBD, it’s important to understand the laws regarding CBD in your destination country or state. In some places, even hemp-derived CBD may be illegal, and you could face legal consequences for bringing it into the country.

In addition, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has guidelines regarding traveling with CBD. According to the TSA, CBD products are allowed in carry-on and checked bags as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC. However, the TSA notes that the final decision on whether to allow a CBD product on a flight rests with the individual TSA officer.


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