Convoluted Cannabis: Understanding the Legality of CBD

Posted by Desiree Jones on

-   The nuances of the legality of cannabinoids and what that means for the CBD industry.

Whoa, isn’t cannabis illegal?

That might be your first thought when you see CBD being openly sold in the United States.

However, the legality of cannabis is more subtle than that.

Here’s what you need to understand to know why CBD products are legal in the United States.

Is Cannabis Legal?


The genus of plant, Cannabis, remains illegal under federal law and is considered a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

However, the 2018 farm bill added nuance to the legality of cannabis plants.

According to the USDA, the bill declassified hemp varieties of cannabis that contain less than 0.3% of THC.

The move has additionally opened up pilot programs to begin the rollout of the new standards.

Moreover, the farm bill started the process of ensuring hemp crops under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection plan, or WFRP, which protects hemp farms up to $8.5 million.

What does this mean for the legality of CBD?

Is CBD Legal in the United States?

CBD is legal in the United States when it is grown in a hemp plant.

Hemp plants are those varieties that have 0.3% THC, or less, on a dry-weight basis.

The CBD produced by cannabis varieties with THC amounts higher than that limit remains illegal, however.

So, the legality of CBD depends largely on its origin source.

Key Things to Remember About Legal CBD

Since CBD is legal, and still a relatively new product on that market, here are some key things to remember about it.

  •       CBD will not get you high. Some people report feeling more relaxed or less anxious, but the psychoactive effects are minimal.
  •       CBD is often found in topicals such as creams, lotions, balms, salves, soaps, shampoos, and patches.
  •       CBD is an edible product. It’s a fat-soluble molecule that blends easily with food products; however, water-soluble products have more recently been brought to market in specialized powders.
  •       CBD will not make you fail a drug screen. They test for THC, the psychoactive compound found within cannabis.
  •       Medical claims about the effects of CBD are spurious, at best. Though plenty of research indicates the potential of cannabinoids, the FDA has not yet supported the claims of CBD producing medical benefits.

The next time you see CBD on the shelves, you don’t have to remember everything you’ve learned in this post.

The most important thing to remember about CBD, is that it is legal.

If you found this article useful, share it with your friends so they can learn more about CBD while you remember where you read this useful guide!

By Nicholas D. 

Professional Cannabis Writer and Content Creator

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