CBD products derived from marijuana are illegal on the federal levle, but are legal under some state laws. CBD Products derived from Hemp (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Make sure you check your state’s laws and anywhere you plan to travel for the legality of CBD. Do note that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved and may contain inaccurate labeling.
CBD Oil: Laws and Legality of Its Use
In recent years, the use of CBD oil for pets has dramatically increased. From oil supplements to chew treats, you can find different types of CBD products that you can give your pets.
The main reason for this is because CBD oil obtained from hemp has been proven safe and effective for treating a wide range of veterinary problems. And, its use is completely legal in many states.
But because its legality is relatively new, many pet owners are still confused about the extent of its safety and legality in the US. Hopefully, the following information on CBD laws can help shed some light.
CBD Oil Overview: Description and Uses
It’s important to note that the legality of CBD oil revolves around the product’s main purpose and uses.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive chemical obtained from hemp. CBD oil is primarily a formulation of ingredients that contain and release CBD when metabolized in the body.
In its medical description, CBD is an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, anti-convulsive, and anti-anxiety agent. It is prescribed for human and pet use because both humans and animals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS).
How CBD Works
CBD mainly affects the body’s ECS, which is composed of a type of neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids. These neurotransmitters specifically bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.
CBD works by binding with the cannabinoid receptors to increase and strengthen ECS’ functions. The ECS influences body functions and processes such as energy balance, stress response, inflammatory response, analgesia, and temperature regulation.
All these functions continue to work as long as cannabinoids like CBD continue to circulate throughout the system. Cannabinoids can be naturally produced in the body, but when the body is in a state of illness, imbalances occur.
When there is an imbalance, the ECS will need more help in order to keep up its functions. And that’s where CBD oil supplements come in. With CBD supplementation, the ECS is able to work optimally and help keep the body in a state of balance or homeostasis.
CBD supplementation helps the body recover or cope with illness in a more natural way. It aims to eliminate the need for using synthetic drugs in treating illnesses. This is why CBD Oil is commonly prescribed as a natural health supplement and a safer method of managing pain, fever, and anxiety.
CBD vs. THC
The legality of the use of CBD oil and CBD products is also based on its distinction from THC.
CBD is different from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), but both are types of cannabinoids. Both also work on the ECS to affect body functions.
CBD and THC are different from each other in terms of their:
Effects On Your Body
One main difference between the two is their psychotropic effects. CBD is non-psychoactive, so it doesn’t cause psychotropic effects.
CBD also doesn’t cause side effects, so it’s safe even when taken in large quantities. This is what makes CBD oil one of the safest options for treating a variety of health problems.
THC, on the other hand, is a psychoactive cannabinoid. It interacts with a chain of cannabinoid receptors that are different from those that interact or bind with CBD.
The stimulation of these receptors leads to psychotropic effects in the brain and body. A number of side effects such as red eyes, dry mouth, delayed responsiveness, and memory loss are also associated with THC.
Source Of CBD
Another difference is their source. CBD is sourced from hemp—a plant that contains different types of cannabinoids except THC. CBD is almost always obtained from the CBD dominant hemp plant.
Different Medical Uses
CBD and THC also have different medical uses. CBD is indicated for a wider variety of problems or symptoms, but THC has a more reserved list of medical indications.
CBD is used for treating or managing the following conditions:
- Osteoarthritis and other joint disorders
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety disorders
- Psychotic mental disorders
- Decreased appetite
THC can be used, but not commonly, for treating the following conditions:
- Muscle spasticity
These differences in effects, sources, and medical uses are what distinguishes CBD as a safe treatment option compared to THC.
Legal Use of CBD Oil for Pets
Because animals also have ECS like humans do, they can also benefit from the use of CBD oil. However, the legal use of CBD oil will depend on what brand or formulation is used.
The use of CBD oil and other CBD products for pets is only legal if the formulation used contains less than 0.3% THC. Anything than contains THC at more than that amount is illegal.
Other than that, other characteristics that make CBD oil legal are the following:
- It should be sourced from non-GMO hemp plants.
- It should not contain artificial ingredients that are harmful to health.
- It should be made from safe ingredients (e.g. terpenes and krill oil).
- It is manufactured in accordance with FDA standards.
Buy CBD Oil Products from Trusted Brands Only
To make sure that the CBD oil and CBD products you give your pets are legal, you should only buy from trusted brands. Your pets’ vet will know which brands are safe and legal, so it’s important to stick with the brands in your vet’s prescriptions.
The advantages of buying from a known and trusted brand include:
- The formulation of ingredients are regulated and approved by the FDA.
- The products are guaranteed safe and effective.
- The formulation is guaranteed to contain less than 0.3% THC.
- The products will not cause harmful side effects.
The problem with buying CBD products from unapproved sources is that the products you buy may not follow the right formulation. It may contain THC that is more than allowed, and may thus cause unwanted effects.
Also, the purchase and use of non-FDA approved products can lead to other legal problems. For example, if you buy CBD products which contain an unexpectedly high amount of THC, you might get in trouble if THC is illegal in your state.
Laws on CBD Oil in the USA
In the USA, the laws on use of CBD oil may vary from state to state. Though the number of states legalizing the use of medical CBD is increasing, there are still some that prohibit the use of such products.
Also, with the passage of the Farm Bill of 2018 which expanded the legal cultivation of industrial hemp, the specifics of the legality of CBD in different states have become more complex.
That is why it’s crucial that you understand the laws on CBD use in your state and also in other states (if you frequently travel or move).
States Where CBD Oil is Legal
Before you take or give your pet CBD oil, you must understand that some states may legalize such hemp-derived products specifically for medical use. To help you out, the following are the states where CBD is legal:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
All in all, there are 33 states where the use of CBD is legal for medical use. CBD oil is completely legal in these states. Even under DEA description, CBD oil is not a prohibited drug.
States Where CBD Oil is Restricted or Illegal
In a few states, CBD and other similar hemp-derived products are yet to be considered legal. These locations include:
- South Dakota
Special Laws on the Use of CBD Oil
There are some states with special laws regarding the use of CBD oil. The following are states with special requirements for allowing legal access to medical CBD:
Legal access to CBD is limited to state-sponsored clinical trials and to those with debilitating medical conditions stated under Leni’s Law.
Legal access to CBD can be granted only to patients with a number of medical conditions and the dosage is limited to 20 ounces, with less than 5% amount of THC and an equal or greater amount of CBD (more than 5%).
The manufacture, sale, and possession of CBD oil is legal, provided that the amount of THC in each formulation is strictly below 0.3%.
CBD oil can only be medically allowed in limited amounts for those suffering severe chronic conditions.
CBD products are only allowed to be purchased and possessed by adults provided that they contain absolutely 0% THC.
CBD is medically allowed through prescription only. Cultivation of hemp is also only allowed if it’s state-sponsored.
CBD can be medically allowed only for patients with severe epileptic disorders provided that the formulation has 15% CBD or more and has less than 0.5% THC.
- North Carolina
CBD is only medically allowed for patients with intractable epilepsy provided that the formulation contains 10% CBD or more and less than 0.3% THC.
- South Carolina
CBD is only medically allowed only for patients with severe epileptic disorders provided that the formulation has less than 0.5% THC.
Only CBD from hemp with less than 0.9% THC can be considered for medical use and can be prescribed only to patients with intractable epilepsy.
CBD is medically allowed only for those with intractable epilepsy and provided that the formulation has more than 10% CBD and less than 0.5% THC.
Legality of CBD oil use has recently expanded from epilepsy only to any medical condition provided that treatment is only given with medical certification.
Legal use of CBD oil has expanded to any medical condition aside from seizure disorders, but only with medical certification.
CBD may be legally received by patients with severe epilepsy that don’t respond to other forms of treatments. The CBD must be obtained from hemp only and should have less than 0.3% THC.
With the new 2018 Farm Bill, the CBD laws in all states may continue to change or expand. Also, it’s safe to safe that these laws and special considerations weren’t made with CBD’s use for pets in mind.
To make sure of the legality of giving CBD to your animal companions within your state, it’s recommended that you always consult with your vet.
Laws on CBD Oil in Other Countries
The use of CBD oil has been recently legalized in other countries. However, their laws on CBD for human use may be different from those involving animal applications.
Here’s a list of countries where CBD is legal:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- Puerto Rico
- Republic of Slovenia
- South Africa
- Virgin Islands
- United Kingdom
Many countries impose strict limitations to the legal use of CBD, so it’s crucial that you look further into their CBD laws if you plan to travel there while your pet is under CBD treatment.
Implications of Increasing and Expanding CBD Laws
The expansion of CBD laws and the increase of states and countries that legalize CBD may imply a number of things:
- That CBD Oil is now more clearly distinguished from THC.
- That CBD’s medical use is now starting to be recognized worldwide.
- That there will be an increase in medical CBD products in the future.
- That there will be increased cultivation and production of hemp.
More and more people now realize that CBD is potent yet safe. Many are beginning to trust the use of CBD in treating illnesses in both humans and animals—and that marks the possible beginning of a medical revolution.