The legal status of cannabis, in general, is fast being broadened and liberalized in most countries around the world. Basically, CBD is the new “avo on toast” but there is a lot of confusion as to the legality of CBD oil in many countries, states or districts. The legality of CBD consumption can be dependent with whom you ask, and it is not as easy as answering in a nutshell?
Countries such as the United States of America, Netherlands, Portugal, Canada, United Kingdom and many others are pushing the boundaries of cannabis regulation and adopting new frameworks for cannabis processing, manufacturing and consumption. Cannabidiol ( CBD ) is extracted from the cannabis sativa plant, the same plant that has long been known to be a gateway to harder drugs. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) still lists cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug with no medicinal value and potential for addiction.
Since California changed their cannabis state laws in 1996, allowing adults access to medical marijuana, over half of all US states have broadened both medical and recreational cannabis laws. At the beginning of this year, California legalized the entire cannabis market, both for medical and recreational use. It’s now as easy to buy a dime bag of weed as it is to buy a bottle of Budweiser. However, this does not mean CBD is legal in all states and is regulated under certain laws, bills and regulations.
The 2014 Farm Act is often cited as evidence that CBD derived from industrial hemp is legal, however, this is simply not the case. CBD has not been classified as legal on a federal level. Many people in the cannabis industry claim that a cannabis product with less than 0.3% THC is classified as hemp and is therefore legal to possess, consume and distribute. State and district laws vary widely, for instance, in Massachusetts you can legally grow marijuana at home as an adult, but it is illegal to grow hemp unless with the required state license. In California, it is legal for an adult to grow up to 12 plants at their home, regardless of CBD or THC content. It is always best to check your current state laws if consuming cannabis, as there have been many sad prosecutions and fines imposed on unsuspecting patients in many states.
In the United Kingdom, the Misuse of Drugs Act covers almost all cannabinoids as illegal unless under license, however, it does not include CBD. In 2016, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) clamped down on distributors selling CBD oil with claimed medical benefits. Although legally CBD can be sold throughout the United Kingdom as a nutritional supplement if no medical claims are made. The UK Home Office also states that cannabis oil can contain no more than 0.2% volume THC.
THC for decades has always been the thorn in the side of cannabis. Governments are fast closing up loopholes with regards to CBD as its become very popular among citizens in the last few years. The old outdated cannabis laws from around the world are being cautiously addressed by many governments to introduce a fair and regulated framework for a plant that has thousands of uses. The industry now evolved to a point where CBD is sold as e-liquids for vaping, creams, candies and several other forms. It is almost as if companies who sell vape without CBD, are considered “traditional vaping companies”. Today, online vape shops like SmokingThings still sell a variety of non CBD products.