Is CBD Oil Legal?

One of the biggest questions surrounding CBD oil is “is CBD oil legal?”

There is no short answer to this simply because the legal status of CBD oil varies all over the world. In the UK, for example, it carries the same Class B status as cannabis does, ie. if you are found to be in possession of it, the substance will be confiscated and you could be arrested.

cbd-oil-legalHowever, in the USA, there are currently fifteen states that have decriminalised CBD oil for medical purposes. Legal rulings regarding the legalisation of high-CBD, low-THC oil has mainly been driven by high profile cases concerning children suffering from illnesses whose condition has improved significantly from CBD oil.

On top of this, cannabidiols can be extracted from two plants – marijuana and industrially grown hemp plants. Marijuana has high amounts of CBD but varying amounts of THC – and is subject to many regulations.

Hemp-derived oil, however, is considered to be a dietary supplement, and therefore, legal. Hemp CBD oil is available to be distributed, sold and used freely in most countries. It contains CBD, but little to no THC – the psychoactive element – therefore in the eyes of lawmakers – poses no threat to the populace.

In an unprecedented move – and in such a relatively short space of time – a group of states have changed their legislation regarding the use of CBD oil derived from marijuana.

From 2014 to 2015, the following states have all introduced bills and adjusted age old laws which mean that more studies will go in to the research of cannibidiol’s efficacy in treating neurological disorders including autism and epilepsy.

Map of cannabis legislation by US state
Map of cannabis legislation by US state

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Idaho and New York have also weighed in on the issue, investigating cases where children of severe illnesses are benefiting from taking the drug.

Elsewhere, there seems to be a lot of interest being drummed up to widen the legalisation of cannabis and cannabis oil. In the UK, a recent petition saw hundreds of thousands of signatures demand the legalisation of cannabis. Apart from the benefit to sufferers of epilepsy, cancer, autism and a range of other illnesses, the legalisation of the drug will have huge economic consequences. If cannabis was decriminalised in the UK, it could bring in £900m in taxes every year, save £400m on policing cannabis and create over 10,000 new jobs.

For a plant whose derivatives have been used for thousand of years for its medical properties, the benefits seem to be outweighing any negatives – and cannabis advocates are optimistic for what the next few years hold.