Is CBD Oil Legal in the U.S. and Canada?


Bethan Jenkins

June 26th, 2017

Policy


close up of a small capsule filled with a dark oil produced from the hemp plant as a medicinal marijuana concept

The cannabis plant is quite amazing. More than just a naturally growing herb that people choose to smoke for recreational and medical purposes, marijuana has recently risen to the surface as a potential cancer cure. Claimed to reduce pain, improve digestion and aid sleep (among many other things), ganja is said to have therapeutic benefits, of which patients are experiencing since the cannabis laws have been lifted in numerous states. However, there seems to be some confusion surrounding the topic of cannabidiol (CBD). Let’s expand on the subject.

What is CBD oil and what is it used for?

Cannabis oil is also referred to as cannabidiol (CBD). Extracted from hemp, cannabidiol (CBD) oil is one of 113 cannabinoids found in the plant. It is non-psychoactive and is contained in various medical marijuana products. These chemical compounds are secreted by the marijuana plant’s flowers. What makes CBD oil so unique is the fact that despite containing CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the highly active ingredient does not have the same effect. Unlike THC, CBD oil will not get you high. What it will do, however, is work well as an anti-inflammatory.

Some other uses of CBD oil include:

  • Cigarette Addiction Cure
  • Acne Treatment
  • Diabetes Prevention
  • Fibromyalgia Treatment
  • Anti-Anxiety Effects
  • Seizure Prevention
  • Insomnia Cure

Aside from being consumed in oils, CBD can also be consumed in extracts and crystals. The hemp-derived oil is legal in all 50 states, not to mention 45 countries. A safe alternative to conventional treatments, CBD oil does not contribute to changes in body temperature, blood pressure, or heart rate. Furthermore, there is no need for a patient to acquire a prescription to enhance their health with CBD products, which has a calming effect on the nervous system and brain.

Legal Status of CBD Oil in the United States

In the States, it is legal for individuals and companies to sell CBD oil, so long as it has been imported from outside of the country. Many companies around the U.S. are using the term “hemp-derived CBD oil” when selling their products since this extract is claimed to be legal in all 50 states. In spite of that, other sources say how CBD oil is only legal in 16 states, so far. All cannabis extracts are considered Schedule I substances. This clarifying rule has since been challenged in a court of law. Possession seems to be riskier than selling, with CBD products remaining on the shelves around the country.

The states in which CBD-rich marijuana oil is legal as of April 2017 are as follows:

  1. Alabama
  2. Georgia
  3. Indiana
  4. Iowa
  5. Kentucky
  6. Mississippi
  7. Missouri
  8. North Carolina
  9. Oklahoma
  10. South Carolina
  11. Tennessee
  12. Texas
  13. Utah
  14. Virginia
  15. Wisconsin
  16. Wyoming

Florida, Idaho,and New York are also said to be in the process of broadening their medical marijuana horizons. Still, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is somewhat dubious about certain companies claiming that the ingredients in their products are derived from the marijuana plant’s sterilized seeds and mature stalks, rather than the actual plant. However, if CBD is not included in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Drug Schedule, surely it should be legal, right? Technically, yes. On the other hand, anything derived from the plant, be it the seeds, stalks, leaves or flowers, is deemed to be “marihuana”. “Natural cannabinoids in hemp products are exempt from DEA enforcement” is what CBD oil advocates are saying. The truth is this legality is only relevant for natural THC.

Legal Status of CBD Oil in Canada

In Canada, CBD can be prescribed as medication and according to new laws, producers of the Schedule II drug can legally sell CBD oils to people who have not been prescribed cannabis-based oils by their doctor. It was just last year that the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) underwent these changes, following a Supreme Court ruling that spotlighted how patients should be able to treat their ailments with more than just dried marijuana. Canadian companies are still working hard to obtain licenses for the legal production of cannabis oils, with Peace Naturals Project Inc. in Ontario being the very first company to be granted the license.

As of August 2016, MMPR was replaced by the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). The ACMPR is addressing medical marijuana issues by making the process of acquiring marijuana for medical purposes less challenging. Marijuana restrictions have since been lifted in a Governmental effort to legalize, regulate, and manage access to cannabis and CBD products. What this means is that medically needy individuals who have been authorized to use cannabis for medical purposes by their health care practitioner can do so by registering with Health Canada, registering with licensed producers, or designating someone to produce the CBD oil for them personally.

FDA Warnings for False CBD Oil Claims

Although CBD oil is widely legal, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are cracking down on placebo products. Back in February of last year, the federal agency distributed warning letters to numerous companies who were actively selling and profiting from products that contained CBD. The reason for the FDA’s action was all down to false claims, with some of the products claiming to cure serious diseases. Not only did this raise concern that customers would refrain from visiting a doctor and taking prescribed medication in favor of the CBD products but also, the FDA discovered that some of the products were completely free from CBD, despite what the scrutinized companies were protesting in their promotional and marketing efforts.

Thorough testing of CBD products is helping the FDA to separate the real companies that are producing effective CBD medicines from the untrustworthy companies that are promoting/selling bogus products. Scientifically valid investigations conducted by the FDA revealed how unsuspecting customers were acquiring cannabinoid-free oil and supplements from companies who were not recognized in the medical marijuana industry. They included Michigan Herbal Remedies, LLC, Dose of Nature, Healthy Hemp Oil, and Cali Stores. The warning letters demanded that the companies being investigated must “take prompt action to correct the violations”.

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This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.

Bethan Jenkins

About Bethan Jenkins

Bethan is a full-time wanderluster, traveler, and digital nomad with 7 years of experience in the freelance writing world. She has mastered the art of beating jet lag and using hammocks as an office for content curation.


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