Think the federal government might let you buy CBD oil to help with that migraine? Think again. According to new rules finalized at the end of last year, CBD oils and products are just as illegal as THC products in the eyes of the federal government.
Last December, the DEA released a finalized rule classifying marijuana extracts as Schedule one substances separate from marijuana but equally illegal. In addition to removing any doubts in the minds of marijuana companies and consumers as to what the status of CBD products are in the eyes of the government, the regulation received intense criticisms from medical marijuana and drug reform advocates alike for a variety of reasons.
While THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, is typically the chemical causing an outcry among marijuana detractors, last year’s rule dealt with another cannabinoid found in the marijuana plant: cannabidiol. Also called CBD, cannabidiol is one of the main cannabinoids found in marijuana flowers and products. While CBD and THC typically co-occur, there is an essential difference between the cannabinoids: THC is intoxicating, while CBD is not.
The distinction over THC’s ability to intoxicate, in addition to the explicit mention of tetrahydrocannabinol in the language of the Controlled Substances Act, has led to a slew of misunderstandings and misinterpretations about what is legal and what isn’t when it comes to cannabis legislation in the United States.
While December’s announcement resulted in public outcry, the action itself was simply the finalization of a rule proposed in 2011. Recognizing the need to bring marijuana regulation in the US into better compliance with international regulations, the rule established a distinct entry code for marijuana extracts like CBD oils within the federal schedules of controlled substances. While there is a host of UN countries with federally legal marijuana, according to the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, cannabis and its different extracts are tracked separately.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the problems with the DEA’s new rules arise when states begin to legalize medical marijuana, recreational cannabis, and all of the products therein. As concentrates and extract products become mainstream, more Americans than ever are looking for ways to buy CBD oil and products.
Due to CBD’s potential for hundreds of therapeutic applications, CBD oils and other products rich in cannabidiol are sought after by medical marijuana patients for everything from reducing seizures, to reducing inflammation, and even alleviating anxiety.
Unfortunately, due to confusion on the DEA’s guidance regarding marijuana products, manufacturers often mislabel marijuana products as CBD-only products. Even worse, some of these cannabis companies are shipping their marijuana products across state lines under the mistaken belief that CBD products are completely legal.
As the DEA’s rule established, as a derivative of marijuana, CBD products are considered to be Schedule I substances. That means shipping these products across state lines violates both federal law and Justice Department guidance currently enabling legal marijuana markets to operate within state lines.
Unfortunately, without the rescheduling of marijuana, those hoping to challenge and change the federal government’s current stand on CBD’s legality are in for a tough fight. Because of the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, for a truly “CBD-only” oil or product to be declared legal, other laws need amending.
If you’re wondering “Is CBD legal?”, wonder no more! While you can’t take our products across state lines, using CBD and marijuana is legal in the state of Nevada. When it comes to making sure that you have access to the CBD ReLeaf you need, our premier medical and recreational marijuana dispensary is located conveniently near the Strip—call us or stop by to become a patient or learn more about our products!