Gavel on a wooden thing used in court with cannabis leaves background

The effectiveness of CBD toward the health and wellness of people is undisputed. It is strongly backed by years of scientific research efforts across the globe. This explains why the cannabinoid is now infused in various mainstream products such as gummies, topicals, vape oils, balms, etc.

However, like any other substance that is purported to have health benefits, there are questions on the legal standing of CBD. While most people understand how it works, they seem unaware of the legal environment in which it exists. No need to worry. In this article, we will focus on the legality of CBD in depth. Read on.

What is CBD?

Is it quite hard to imagine anyone who has not heard anything about CBD in this time and age? Over the years, the substance has managed to gain mainstream attention and recognition. As a result, it now features prominently in the shelf spaces of restaurants, dispensaries, retail outlets.

However, for the benefit of the doubt, we shall explain what CBD is to a man who hasn’t heard about it. To be brief and precise, CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is one of the dozens of chemical molecules that make up the cannabis Sativa plant. It is crucial to note that CBD is non-psychoactive.

This implies that exposure to it does not affect the brain’s cognitive functions. CBD’s non-psychoactive nature is in sharp contrast to its cousin delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, which is widely known for causing users to experience an unusually ‘high feeling.’ CBD’s popularity is mainly due to its therapeutic uses. The substance is an effective remedy against a host of medical conditions and ailments such as pain, anxiety, depression, acne, addiction, cardiovascular issues, etc.

Types of CBD

It is also important to highlight that CBD exists in three main types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. These are described briefly below.

  • Full-spectrum

This is a type of cannabidiol that features all the constituent chemical compounds of the cannabis plant, such as terpenes, THC, and other cannabinoids.

  • Broad-spectrum

Broad-spectrum CBD features all the constituent components of the cannabis Sativa plant, except THC. The psychoactive compound would have been chemically removed from the substance.

  • Isolate

Isolate CBD is a pure form of cannabidiol that does not have any other compounds of the cannabis plant.

How is it Made?

Of course, users would like to know how CBD is manufactured. The cannabinoid is extracted from hemp cultivated in line with federal regulations. There are many types of CBD extraction methods used in industry but carbon dioxide extraction and solvent extraction are the main methods.

These are explained in depth below:

Carbon Dioxide Extraction

This one is the most common technique used in the manufacture of CBD. During the process, hemp is placed in a pressure chamber filled with carbon dioxide gas. It is then pressurized, turning the carbon dioxide into liquid. The liquid absorbs all the hemp flavors and oils to create a blend of cannabidiol and carbon dioxide.

This mixture is finally pumped into a chamber where carbon dioxide is converted into a gas, leaving behind a potent CBD extract. Carbon dioxide extraction is considered the gold standard in the CBD manufacturing g industry.

Solvent Extraction

As its name suggests, methods use powerful solvents such as ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, or butane. The hemp is mixed with the solvent, allowing it to dissolve. After some time, the mixture is heated, allowing the solvent to evaporate, leaving behind rich in cannabinoids.

Is CBD Legal Federally?

is cbd-legal

Undoubtedly, the rise of CBD to mainstream popularity has been trailed by a significant amount of interest by the legal fraternity. And to be blunt, the cannabidiol still hovers in a legal grey zone. Federally, the use of CBD is legal but under a strict set of conditions. In the United States of America, cannabidiol is governed Farm Bill, formally known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

According to this piece of legislation, the use of hemp-derived cannabidiol is legal as long as its delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content does not exceed 0.3% by dry weight, which is the federal cap. The Farm Bill regulates the THC content in CBD and stipulates the conditions under which it should be produced. It mandates that legal CBD should only be derived from hemp obtained from licensed growers.

In other terms, cannabidiol, whose THC content is below the federal limit but was manufactured using hemp sourced from unlicensed growers, is illegal. Therefore, in short, federally legal CBD has THC content below 0.3% and was produced from hemp grown under federal guidelines.

Which States are Legal for CBD?

It is worth mentioning that even though CBD is legal federally, a significant number of states are still synchronizing their regulations to reflect federal guidelines. As a result, it is vital to highlight some states where using the cannabinoid is legal, while it is illegal in some.

The usage of CBD is legal in the following states:

Alabama, Virginia, Washington, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, New Hampshire, New Jersey Colorado, Connecticut, New York, North Carolina Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Texas, Utah, Vermont Nebraska, Nevada Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, West Virginia Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.


CBD came to mainstream use fairly recently. Therefore, the legal environment around it is still evolving. While it is federally legal, users should note some states in which the substance is still considered illegal. As a result, it is paramount to do due diligence and familiarize yourself with the CBD laws and regulations that are effective in your area. It will help you avoid falling out of line with the authorities as much as the use of the cannabinoid is concerned.

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