Yes, cannabidiol (CBD) is “legal”, but the regulatory landscape of its enforcement is undergoing active development. Topical creams and salves that contain CBD can be purchased in some national drugstores in specific states. Manufacturers who produce their own oil products sell them online and ship to all states.
Most cannabis derivations fall under the Controlled Substances Act’s Schedule I umbrella, which claims they lack currently accepted medical uses and safety for use under medical supervision, and have a high potential for abuse. This contradicts the Department of Health and Human Services’ current stance, however, and as a result, cannabis products like CBD have been able to slowly work toward their current legal status.
Two acts of Congress, the 2014 and 2018 Farm Acts, eased restrictions on CBD. 2014’s Farm Act carved out an exemption from the Controlled Substances Act for “industrial hemp,” a type of Cannabis sativa that lacks marijuana’s psychoactive ingredients.
The 2018 Farm Act further expanded and clarified the provisions of the 2014 Act regarding hemp, and explicitly denoted CBD and other cannabinoid chemicals as legal hemp byproducts.
Laws in specific states can restrict elements of the production process. For a CBD product to enjoy nationwide legality, it must come from hemp, whether grown domestically or imported, rather than from a psychoactive strain of cannabis. Manufacturers must label the product as containing CBD.
If purchasing a CBD product, make sure it comes from hemp with a certified THC level of less than 0.3 percent.
CBD products made from psychoactive cannabis come with restrictions, but are also legal in some states. 31 states and the District of Columbia allow these products for qualifying patients with a medical reason. 9 states and the District of Columbia choose to allow recreational use of these products as well.