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Is CBD Oil Legal ?

Is CBD oil legal?

Over the years, research has shown that cannabidiol oil or CBD, which is derived from the cannabis plant, has many therapeutic benefits, including helping ease anxiety symptoms and even reducing acne. Yet, although CBD products only contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which means they are not psychoactive and will not make you high, people are still often afraid to give CBD oil a try out of fear they are doing something illegal. But is this a valid concern?

In this blog post, to clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding cannabis and hemp, we will dive into the topic of whether or not they are legal. Specifically, discussing their history, the regulations in place today, and if it is safe to buy these products online. 

The Legal History of Cannabis and Hemp 

The history of Cannabis and hemp

It may be hard to believe, but the United States' relationship with marijuana (1) and hemp dates back all the way to the Colonial Era. In fact, the production of hemp or the cannabis plant was encouraged by the government for the production of sails, rope, and clothing in the 17th Century. Yet, it wasn't until the 19th Century, when marijuana became a popular ingredient in many medicinal products sold openly in pharmacies.  To clarify, Cannabis is the plant which has 2 genomes; marijuana which is high in THC low in CBD and hemp which is low in THC and high in CBD and also used more so for industrial and commercial applications such as clothing, rope, paper products, building materials and more. 

After the Mexican Revolution in 1910, the recreational use of marijuana became quite prevalent in the country. However, because the drug became associated with the immigrants coming into the United States during this time, prejudice about the newcomers became associated with marijuana. Soon anti-drug campaigns were developed against "Marijuana Menace." As the Great Depression rolled in and massive unemployment developed, this only further increased public resentment and concerns about the potential problem of marijuana. By 1931, 29 states had outlawed its use, and in 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act was passed, which effectively criminalized marijuana, even though the New York Academy of Medicine provided extensive reports that marijuana did not induce insanity, violence, or lead to other drug use. 

Finally, in the 1950s, federal laws were set that provided mandatory sentences for drug-related offenses, although by the 1960s, the cultural climate had shifted to a more lenient attitude towards marijuana.

Yet, it was not until 1996 that the country saw a significant shift in public perception of marijuana with the passage of California's Proposition 215, which allowed the sale and medical use of marijuana for patients with cancer, AIDS, and other serious, painful diseases. However, this ultimately resulted in various issues between federal laws that criminalized marijuana and state laws that permitted marijuana in certain circumstances.

State and Federal Laws Regarding Cannabis

On a federal level, all hemp products and its derivative are legal yet marijuana use (2) remains illegal. This is because the federal government classifies marijuana, along with cocaine and heroin, as a Schedule I drug, however this is being reviewed and discussed currently to reschedule. (At the time this blog is being written)

State and federal legal status for cannabis and hemp

Yet, marijuana is legal in more than 33 states for medical purposes, and growing, as well as a growing number of State fully legal for recreational use, with California and Colorado paving the way. Consequently, there is a conflict between federal and state law that finds individuals in some states that use marijuana for medical purposes in compliance with state law while at the same time violating federal law.  And with the opposite dynamic of CBD being federally legal with some state having limited legal status and their own regulatory structure.

How Does This Conflict Work?

According to the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, federal laws control when state and federal law conflict. However, there is an exception to this law when it comes to the exercise of police powers. The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution generally delegates these police powers to the states. So what does this mean exactly? In simpler terms, even though states cannot prevent federal prosecution of their citizens who are using medical marijuana, they can eliminate state prosecution of their citizens by making such use non-criminal.

Long-Awaited Industrial Hemp Regulations

For decades, federal law (3) did not differentiate hemp from other cannabis plants, which were effectively made illegal in 1937. However, hemp is, in fact, quite different. Industrial hemp is defined as Cannabis Sativa L. and is required to be below a THC threshold of 0.3%, meaning that it is non psychoactive and cannot get you euphoric or high. 

However, these rules changed with the introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill, which allowed hemp cultivation and the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines for commercial or other purposes. This bill also puts no restrictions on the sale, transport, or possession of hemp-derived products, as long as the products and items are produced in a manner consistent with the law.

What About CBD Oil Products?

premium CBD consumption options

CBD products such as premium CBD tinctures, oils, gummies, CBD premium capsules, topical creams as well as CBD hemp oil for pets, have been reported by consumers to provide numerous benefits regarding their health issues such as inflammatory problems, chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety. Many studies have even shown that some CBD strains, pure tincture CBD, are popular with parents with children with severe epilepsy.(4)  The first FDA approved CBD product for epilepsy was released in June of 2018 called Epidiolex.

Yet, when it comes to purchasing these products, is it legal?

According to experts, the 2018 Farm Bill made it clear that consumers could legally buy premium hemp extracts (5), premium hemp extracts, if they were made from low (under 0.3% THC) or a THC free CBD oil. But it is important to note that this can one day change if the state's lawmakers explicitly ban them.  That said it is important to check with you State or Indian territory laws and regulations as each state has their own unique structure and status.

How to Take CBD Oil?

There are several consumption options one can take when choosing a premium hemp extracts; edible, premium cbd tinctures taken sublingually (place under the tongue for 1-2 minutes), capsules, vape/smokable or topical.  Each has its own attributes and application, condition or goals to address, different absorption rate and lasting time frame.  Also keep in mind that CBD and cannabinoids are fat soluble so it may take time for your body to absorb CBD’s effects as it accumulates into the body.  It is different for every individual and individual biology but giving your body 10 days to 2 weeks is not uncommon to experience full effects.  Of course benefits and positive experience can be felt before, many people feel immediate effects.
You can read more about this and more facts by reading this blog.

Verify Before You Buy Premium Hemp Extracts

Although consumers are allowed to buy premium CBD products legally, it does not mean that every single store that has popped up to sell CBD oil goods has your best interest in mind or will carry the best CBD tinctures. In truth, with the introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill, hundreds of stores now sell CBD oils, tinctures, and other CBD products, claiming they can help you achieve the results that you want. Unfortunately, this is just not true. That is why before you purchase a product you think is a premium hemp extract from just anyone, you need to do your research and confirm that it is indeed premium CBD products:

  • That are made from U.S. grown hemp

  • That are third-party tested

  • Containing less than 0.3% THC or a THC free CBD oil

For these reasons, if you are looking for the best CBD tincture, check out Eli Ruby today and let us show you our premium CBD products that were expertly crafted with quality in mind — providing you a better approach to CBD wellness is our passion.



  1. Alexander Campbell King Law Library | School of Law “Survey of Marijuana Law in the United States: History of Marijuana Regulation in the United States” Published: September 8, 2020.
  2. Criminal Defense Lawyer “Medical Marijuana and Federal Law” Author: Stacy Barrett, Attorney
  3. Brookings “The Farm Bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD: An explainer” Published: December 14, 2018 Author: John Hudak
  4. National Library of Medicine “Cannabidiol: pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders” Published: June 2014. Authors: 

    Orrin Devinsky, Maria Roberta Cilio, Helen Cross, Javier Fernandez-Ruiz, Jacqueline French, Charlotte Hill, Russell Katz, Vincernzo Di Marzo, Didier Jutras-Aswad, Willian George Notcutt, Jose Martinez-Orgado, Philip J Robson, Brian G Rohrback, Elizabeth Thiele, Benjamin Whalley, Daniel Friedman.

  5. WebMD “WebMD “Marijuana, Hemp, CBD Oil: What's Legal and” Published: January 8, 2019 Author: Kathleen Doheny.