If you’re in the market to try Cannabidiol (CBD) for the first time, there are a few things you should know before you make your first purchase. All CBD products are not created equally, nor are they all legal everywhere. What CBD products are made from is an issue. CBD products are among the fastest-growing sales in the country.
Before 2018 when when the was passed on the federal level, CBD products from hemp and marijuana were still illegal in many states. When the Farm Bill was passed, it removed hemp from the Schedule I Controlled Substance list nationwide. Marijuana remains illegal on the federal level still, although many states have chosen to legalize it or at least decriminalize it.
Even though hemp is now legal to grow and CBD products can be made from it, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still regulates it. CBD is legal federally when it comes from hemp plants and the CBD products made from them can not contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is because THC can cause intoxication when the level is higher. CBD does not cause intoxication, which is why it was finally legalized nationally.
There is a difference between hemp and marijuana, even though they are plant cousins. They share the same cannabinoid compounds, but not in equal amounts. Marijuana is higher in THC. Hemp is higher in CBD. These compounds seem to hold promise when it comes to medicinal treatments. Researchers believe that THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids work better together than alone. This is referred to as the entourage effect.
What Is CBD Used For?
Even though research and studies continue as to the effectiveness of CBD as a potential medicinal treatment for numerous conditions, some studies have shown it to be helpful to treat some things already. Seizures caused by some forms of epilepsy have one FDA approved CBD-based drug available called Epidiolex. It appears to help reduce or prevent seizures in some patients.
CBD has also shown promise in reducing inflammation in conditions such as arthritis. When inflammation is reduced, it can help to lessen pain. Many of those that use CBD products claim it helps to treat many of their ailments. Post-traumatic stress syndrome is a common issue among those that have served in the military or those that have endured other traumatic situations. They believe CBD helps them to cope with the condition better. Those that suffer from anxiety say it helps them too.
Sleep disorders are another common problem that many have trouble with for varying reasons. Narcolepsy, insomnia, and bad dreams are thought to be helped using CBD. As many that deal with sleep disorders know, over-the-counter sleep aids and prescription sleep medications can often cause grogginess and confusion the next day. Those that use CBD for help sleeping report they have few or no side-effects.
Why Is CBD Sometimes Illegal?
CBD products that come from hemp and contain 0.3% or less THC are legal everywhere in the USA. What can make CBD illegal in some states is when it is derived from marijuana and has a higher THC content. In 11 states, marijuana has become legal for medical and recreational use. You can use marijuana-derived CBD products in those states.
At least 33 states now have medical marijuana programs. If you are approved for a medical marijuana program, you can have access to marijuana-derived CBD from that state. Medical marijuana program rules vary state by state. One common requirement is you must have a recommendation from a doctor stating your medical condition could be helped by CBD with higher THC content than 0.3%. If approved, you will be issued a state card or certificate that allows you to get your CBD, usually from a state dispensary.
Even in those states that have decriminalized marijuana, marijuana-derived CBD is still illegal. If you are found in possession of marijuana or CBD with a higher than 0.3% THC, you may not go to jail or have it placed on your criminal record, but you could still have to pay a fine for a first offense. Future offenses could have stiffer penalties, but they are different from state to state.
In the states where marijuana is still illegal and has not been decriminalized, you could face fines, jail time, and have the offense placed on your criminal record unless you are enrolled in a medical marijuana program. Some states still deal with marijuana possession strictly, and they usually treat CBD products with a high THC content the same.
Current CBD Laws In Delaware
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal to purchase in Delaware by anyone. You can buy them in local stores that sell them or you can purchase them online. Since marijuana is still illegal in Delaware, CBD-derived from marijuana that has a higher THC content than 0.3% is not legal for everyone. Delaware was the 16th state to have a medical marijuana program. If you are approved for the program, you can access CBD with a higher THC content. There is a one-time application fee of $125 for the medical marijuana program in Delaware.
Delaware has decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, so if you are found in possession of a small amount of CBD with higher than 0.3% THC, you will face a civil infraction or a misdemeanor charge for a first offense. These penalties are similar to those in other nearby states like Rhode Island.
When you are looking to buy CBD products made from hemp, it is good to know what you are actually getting for your money. Don’t buy CBD products that make wild claims concerning treating medical conditions. Even though CBD is used for medical conditions, treating some seizures is the only medical claim thus far that is supported by the FDA. You want to read the label carefully before you make a purchase to ensure you are getting a high quality CBD product.
You will want to make sure the product has been checked by a third-party lab. If the product was extracted using the CO2 extraction method, that is a good sign also. This extraction method does not require any extra solvents or heat. It means the CBD will be more pure and potent.