Is CBD Oil Legal? The Legality of Cannabidiol as of 2019

CBD oil has become quite popular especially when it comes to medicinal purposes because of the claimed benefits it has but is CBD oil legal?

There are various US states and some countries that have already accepted such benefits for different medical conditions.

However, not all states and nations consider it legal.

There is still quite a complexity on the legality of the use of CBD oil.

Take it from my experience.

Is CBD Legal in the United States of America?

Yes, and No! If the CBD oil is from hemp plant then it is legal without a prescription, if it’s from other cannabis plants then it is not legal. In short, CBD oil without THC is legal to use and buy.

“Is CBD oil legal?” It is probably one of the most common questions one has probably asked when thinking about CBD oil or considering using any CBD oil products.

I am not an exemption here because I have asked the same question before.

If you want to use CBD oil for medicinal purposes or recreation, you want to be sure of the legality of CBD oil in your state or country.

If you don’t know the answer to that question you have or isn’t sure of the legality of using CBD oil in your area or just want to know about the laws and regulations concerning the use of CBD oil, this article will be a great help to you.

CBD from Hemp vs. CBD from Marijuana

First, before you start researching about the legality of using CBD oil in your state or the country where you currently reside in, you have to understand both the similarities and differences between CBD oil derived from Hemp and the CBD oil extracted from marijuana.

Both hemp and marijuana are part of the cannabis family. As such, both these plants have characteristics that are quite similar to each other. However, there is a crucial difference between hemp and marijuana, and this is the amount of THC or the psychoactive Tetrahydrocannabinol present in the CBD oil derived from each plant.

Hemp contains only a small amount of THC, usually no more than 0.3 percent. On the other hand, marijuana has loads of THC amount on it, which can range from 10 percent to 30 percent.

In short, hemp has very low THC content, which means it can’t get you that psychoactive feeling of being “high.” On the other hand, the high amount of THC in marijuana can get you that psychoactive “high” effect.

Since hemp only contains small traces of THC, CBD oil derived from hemp are often legal in some state laws and is widely available in various types of industries. However, marijuana doesn’t have the same level of legality.

In short, the source of a CBD oil is crucial in determining if the product is legal in your state or country.

Legality of CBD Oil Derived From Hemp

If you are asking if CBD oil derived from hemp is legal, then you get “yes” as the answer. The keyword you have to remember is “hemp-derived” CBD oil.

Since CBD oil that was extracted from hemp contains only tiny traces of THC, it will have no psychoactive effects. Since this is the case for hemp-derived CBD oil, the sales, purchase, and possession of such products are considered to be completely legal in all of the 50 states.

However, there is still some confusion between hemp and marijuana, so much so that the stigma on the use of this product is still present and widespread.

But when you think of the legality of CBD oil, hemp-derived CBD is completely legal, and you can enjoy any product with hemp-derived CBD oil in it without any problems with the state law.

Legality of CBD Derived from Marijuana

Compared to CBD oil from hemp, marijuana-derived CBD oil doesn’t have the same luxury in terms of state laws and regulations. This kind of CBD oil is derived from marijuana, which contains high levels of THC.

Even in its isolated form, CBD oil extracted from marijuana is still considered as a THC-rich marijuana product.

As such, it is judged accordingly.

There are some states that have already legalized the use of CBD oil derived from both hemp and marijuana. However, there are still states that consider it and other products that contain marijuana-derived CBD as completely illegal.

However, in most states, the laws in regards to the use of CBD oil can be very specific.

29 States That Fully Legalize the Use of CBD Products for Medicinal Purposes

The 29 states that have already fully legalized the use of CBD oil and other CBD oil products for medical use include: Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, Montana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Dakota, New York, Oregon, Ohio, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Washington, and Vermont.

In addition, the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam also consider the use of CBD oil and other CBD oil products as completely legal on the medical side.

17 States That Have Specific Laws on the Use of CBD Oil for Medicinal Purposes

  1. Alabama

In 2014, the “Carly’s Law” was signed by the Governor of Alabama, allowing a favorable defense against CBD possession prosecution for people who have epileptic conditions.

Since marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, physicians are also not allowed to prescribe medical marijuana. However, a prescription of CBD oil for people suffering from epilepsy can be obtained through the University of Alabama for an epileptic condition.

In 2016, the Governor signed “Leni’s Law” that would cover the use of CBD oil by people who experience seizures.

  1. Georgia

In 2016, the State approved a law that allows the use of cannabis oil for medical purposes only but with strict regulations. CBD oil, which is legal for medical use, shouldn’t contain more than 5 percent of THC and can be used just for specific conditions.

Approved conditions include ALS, sickle cell anemia, seizure disorders, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and mitochondrial disease. This year, PTSD has been included in the approved conditions for CBD oil in Georgia.

However, the law doesn’t deal with the manufacture or extraction of oil, the THC content, purchase, and shipment.

  1. Texas

The governor of Texas in 2015 signed a law that allows the use of CBD oil for treatment of people with intractable epilepsy. However, it only allows CBD oil that contains 0.5 percent of THC and can only be used for at least 10 percent of the patient’s treatment regime.

The bill also requires approval or signatures from two certified specialists before a patient is allowed to have CBD oil as part of his or her treatment.

  1. Tennessee

In 2014, the Tennessee Governor signed a law that has allowed the use of CBD-containing cannabis oil in research and clinical studies for the treatment of people suffering from intractable seizures. However, allowed CBD oil products should only be those that contain no more than 0.9 percent of THC. The law also requires that such a process should be supervised by a practicing physician at a university that has a college or a school of medicine.

On 2015, the Governor has also signed another law that allows the use of CBD oil containing as much as 0.9 percent of THC. However, CBD oil should be obtained legally in the US, and outside of Tennessee.

  1. Oklahoma

In 2015, a law was passed in Oklahoma that allows the use of CBD oil that contains no more than 0.3 percent of THC for the treatment of individuals with severe epilepsy conditions.

In Oklahoma, patients are allowed to buy marijuana or CBD oil from licensed dispensaries or grow cannabis on their own. There is also a special exception for those who are under 18, which is the prescription for medical marijuana should be signed by two licensed physicians and a parent or a legal guardian.

Approved conditions for CBD oil or medical marijuana in Oklahoma will be based on the recommendation and approval of a physician.

While it is entirely open on the legality of medical marijuana, the Oklahoma Governor has just recently adopted a rule that made dispensing smokable marijuana, or those in the plant, dry leaf, and flower form, illegal. However, a few days after, a new draft was released reinstating smokable marijuana.

  1. West Virginia

In West Virginia, it is quite hard to purchase CBD oil or marijuana legally even for medical usage. You will be subject to the approval by a commission first depending on your medical condition, chronic or debilitating illness. Other approved conditions for medical marijuana in this state may include anorexia, cachexia, wasting syndrome, seizures, severe nausea, PTSD, and refractory generalized anxiety disorder.

  1. Wisconsin

In 2014, the Wisconsin Governor signed a law, the Lydia’s Law that allows physicians to provide a patient a letter or documentation that states that the particular individual is using CBD oil for the treatment of seizure disorders. However, the CBD oil should not have any psychoactive effect.

In 2017, the same Governor amended the bill, broadening its reach by changing “seizure disorder” to “medical condition.”

  1. South Carolina

The South Carolina Governor in 2014 signed the Julian’s Law that allows an individual to have a written certification signed by a licensed physician that states that he or she has been diagnosed with the permitted conditions for medical CBD use in the State. Such conditions include Dravet Syndrome or severe myoclonic epilepsy in infants and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

Patients can legally use CBD oil for such treatments given that it contains no more than 0.9 percent of THC and at least 15 percent of CBD.

  1. South Dakota

In 2017, the governor of the State signed a law adding CBD oil to the list of controlled Schedule IV substances. This particular law has also eliminated CBD oil from under the definition of marijuana. However, it specifies that in order to use CBD oil for medical purposes, it has to be approved by the United States FDA.

  1. Wyoming

In this State, you can only purchase CBD or medical marijuana, as most people call it if you have a prescription as well as a marijuana card. In addition, you can only buy CBD products from a licensed dispensary.

Other states that have specific laws on the use and possession of CBD oil or marijuana include Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and Utah.

States Where Use of CBD Oil Is Legal For Recreational Use

Aside from medical grounds, CBD oil is also used for recreational purposes. However, you have to know the laws in various states that have already legalized the use of CBD oil and other CBD products for medical usage, which are not necessarily applicable in this case.

As of 2018, there are only eight states where, cannabis plant as a whole, which includes hemp and marijuana, is considered completely legal for both medicinal and recreational use.

These eight states are California, Alaska, Maine, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, Washington, and Oregon.

So, if you are in one of these states, you don’t have to worry about breaking the law as you can legally use CBD oil for whatever purpose you want. You don’t have to have any prescription for buying CBD oil either.

States Where the Use of CBD Oil Is Illegal

Out of the total 50 states, 46 have legalized the use of CBD oil and other CBD products for medical use or for both medical and recreational use. However, there are still four states remaining that still consider CBD oil and other CBD products as completely illegal.

These four states are Kansas, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Idaho.

Other Countries Where CBD Oil Is Legal

In most countries around the world, the legality of using CBD oil depends on several factors. A person is often allowed to use CBD oil under a prescription from his or her doctor. Most of the legislation only legalizes the use of CBD oil for medical purposes and only if it is derived from hemp and not from marijuana. The main distinction of legal CBD oil is that it contains THC not more than 0.2 percent. Most countries that consider the legal sale of over the counter CBD oil and other CBD products without a prescription have that 0.2 percent or 0.3 percent THC content stipulation. It is especially the case in most European countries.

Countries, aside from the United States that consider using CBD oil derived from hemp mostly for medicinal usage include:

  1. Austria

There is no other question. If you are in Austria, you can legally purchase and use CBD oil and other similar products.

  1. Brazil

While marijuana is considered illegal in Brazil, the possession of CBD oil and other CBD-containing products are decriminalized. As such, you can still get away with using hemp-derived CBD oil.

  1. Canada

In Canada, no law has been passed to legalize the use of cannabis products. However, there are some shops that are already selling CBD products, and you can also buy overseas. The good thing is that, on October 17, 2018, a law is in the works that will make cannabis products legal.

  1. France

In France, there is still a gray area when it comes to CBD oil. However, it is not entirely considered illegal, which is why people can get away with it. If you are in France, you can still buy CBD products online or bring it from other countries.

  1. Germany

There are also no strict regulations on CBD oil in Germany. As it is not deemed illegal, people in Germany can freely order or import CBD products from other countries. There are also other individuals who are saying they can buy CBD oil from dispensaries.

  1. Japan

CBD oil and its use are completely legal in Japan, especially for medical usage.

  1. Italy

CBD oil usage in Italy is tolerated by the government. However, they are already working on the legislation of cannabis or CBD sale and use.

  1. Netherlands

In the Netherlands, there is no strict law or regulation in using CBD oil. While hemp extracts and products are technically illegal, there are still sales of CBD oil and other CBD products that are being tolerated, given that they are no more than 0.05 percent.

  1. Peru

In Peru, possession of marijuana is tolerated especially in small amounts only. It is safe to believe that CBD is likely fine as well.

  1. Monaco

While marijuana products are considered illegal in Monaco, small quantities are being tolerated by the law. It means that CBD oil can be freely purchased or imported.

  1. Portugal

In Portugal, laws with regards to marijuana and CBD are quite easy. In 2001, the country already decriminalized all kinds of drugs. So, using CBD oil in Portugal won’t get you any trouble with the law.

  1. Spain

Cannabis or CBD oil is technically illegal in Spain. However, the government is not entirely hard on enforcing their rules.

  1. Slovenia

While marijuana is illegal in Slovenia, possession of the products is decriminalized.

  1. Switzerland

In Switzerland, THC is considered illegal. However, since CBD doesn’t contain huge traces of THC and won’t have the same psychoactive effect, it is not subject to the Swiss Narcotic Acts. You can legally purchase or sell any cannabis product that contains less than one percent THC.

  1. Sweden

The CBD in Sweden is not yet classified. However, Sativex, which is a combination of CBD and THC, is a prescription product available in the country and is often used for severe plasticity relief for people with multiple sclerosis.

  1. United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, CBD is combined with delta 9 THC for a formulation of an oral-mucosal spray. It is a prescription drug that helps relieve severe plasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. This product is often used when other anti-spasmodic drugs are not effective.

It is still quite blurry when it comes to the legality of CBD oil in other countries, and this is mainly because of the lack of specific laws and regulations that deal with it.

Some other countries that you can consider using CBD oil is legal include: Argentina, Belgium, U.S. Virgin Islands, Wales, Uruguay, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Scotland, South Africa, Paraguay, Netherlands Antilles, Lithuania, Malta, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland, Guam, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Iceland, Latvia, Belize, Bulgaria, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, England, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, and Georgia.

Countries Where CBD Oil Is Illegal

While there are already a lot of countries that have embraced the benefits of CBD oil especially for medical uses and have made the product partly or completely legal, there are still some countries that consider its use and possession as illegal.

Such countries where CBD oil is illegal are the Bahamas, China, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Russia, Turkey, and the Philippines.

China, for one, is very tough and unforgiving when it comes to drugs. They have set some laws and regulations on marijuana as well as CBD.

Just like in the Philippines, it is also too risky to try bringing CBD oil or any other product that contains CBD in the country. It is also illegal to import CBD oil in New Zealand and whatever CBD they have in the country is greatly controlled.

Also, the Dominican Republic is quite harsh with its laws against marijuana. It is because it doesn’t recognize or consider CBD any different from other cannabis products.

In Belgium, the same tough laws apply to the use of CBD oil. There are even reports that people get jailed for CBD oil possession even for medical usage.

Israel also considers all products of cannabis to be completely illegal even if they are one of the leaders when it comes to research on medical cannabis.

The legal status of CBD oil is quite complex and is constantly changing. There is an increasing number of states and countries that have accepted the safety and efficacy of its use especially when it comes to medical purposes.

Asking “is CBD oil legal?” and doing research on the laws and regulations in terms of using CBD oil in your area should be done before buying or using any CBD product. There’s actually nothing wrong with curiosity as long as it’s also for your convenience.



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