Almost everywhere you go today, you can find CBD products. Cannabidiol, (CBD) is an abundant cannabinoid found in both hemp plants and marijuana plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is an intoxicating cannabinoid, CBD is not intoxicating. Marijuana contains more THC than CBD. The hemp plant contains far more CBD than THC.
Before the Farm Bill of 2018 was passed on the federal level, both marijuana and hemp were on the Schedule I Controlled Substance list. Before the Farm Bill was passed, it removed hemp from the list because it was finally recognized and accepted that hemp did not contain enough THC to cause intoxication. Marijuana remains illegal on the federal level.
There are rules applied to growing hemp and the production of CBD products federally. The hemp plants can not contain more than 0.3% THC, and neither can the CBD products that are made from the hemp. Hemp plants and CBD products that contain higher amounts of THC are considered the same as marijuana by the federal government. Hemp production and CBD products are regulated by the Department of Agriculture (DOA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What Is CBD Used For?
Throughout the centuries, hemp and marijuana, which are plant cousins, have been used by many cultures as medicine for numerous ailments. While research is still uncovering new benefits to be gained from these plants, many claims are yet to be proven. Among those that use CBD from hemp and marijuana, many believe their medical and mental conditions are helped by it.
Thus far, the FDA has only approved one CBD-based drug called Epidiolex. This drug is used to help control seizures in some forms of epilepsy. Since the drug was developed using CBD found in cannabis, further research continues to discover what other uses it might have in medicine. Until then, only the word of those that use CBD can be used to weigh the effectiveness it has in treating some conditions.
Some studies have also shown CBD topicals to be effective in treating inflammation and pain, although research continues. Among other things, CBD is said to be useful in treating post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) and anxiety. Many people also use CBD to treat their sleep disorders like insomnia and narcolepsy. Some people use it to help relieve eating disorders. People that are taking chemotherapy for cancer claim that smoking marijuana or taking CBD helps nausea they feel after treatments.
Besides the benefits people may receive from using CBD, there may also be relief from some side-effects that some over-the-counter and prescription medications may cause. Many CBD users claim the side-effects of using those other medications are reduced or absent. Most people that use over-the-counter or prescription medications can cause brain fog, drowsiness, and even irritability the next day. Some anxiety medications can cause some of those same side-effects.
Why Is CBD Sometimes Illegal?
Using CBD derived from hemp with 0.3% THC or less is already legal nationwide. Most US states follow these national guidelines for CBD products. However, in the 11 states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, you can have access to CBD derived from marijuana that has a higher THC content legally.
In 33 other US states that have medical marijuana programs, you may still be able to use CBD with higher THC content if you are a state card or certificate holder approved for their program. It should be said that in states where marijuana has been decriminalized or is still illegal, new legislation concerning marijuana is being considered all of the time. Marijuana and marijuana-derived CBD could be legal everywhere very soon. Until then, anyone can have access to hemp-derived CBD products.
In those states where marijuana has been decriminalized, if you are found in possession of CBD products with a THC content of more than 0.3%, you may only be charged a fine and get no jail time for a first offense. Depending on which state you are in, fines and penalties for a future possession could be more. Some states make possession of small amounts of marijuana or high THC CBD products a civil offense, and it won’t even go on your criminal record.
Unfortunately, in those states that still view marijuana possession very strictly, possessing CBD with high THC content may well be treated the same as marijuana. You could face hefty fines and even jail time for a first offense. Future offenses could be quite harsh.
Current CBD Laws In New Hampshire
As of now, the state of New Hampshire closely follows the guidelines set forth by the 2018 Farm Bill. That means CBD products from hemp that meet federal standards are legal. Marijuana for recreational purposes is still illegal in New Hampshire, however, small amounts of marijuana or CBD with higher THC content than 0.3% have been decriminalized for adults.
In June of 2019, the New Hampshire Liquor Commission reminded business owners that the state must follow federal laws when it came to the use of CBD in food and beverages. This is because the FDA has not permitted CBD to be used as an additive to food and drinks. Following this ruling, anyone selling products that had CBD as an additive in food or beverages removed them from their shelves.
In New Hampshire and nearby states like Delaware and others, it’s always important to read the labels on any hemp-derived CBD products you buy, whether in-store or online. The label on a CBD product should include a supplemental fact panel, including other ingredients. Look at the net weight and volume. Try to recognize the manufacturer or distributor name for quality. Read what the product is suggested for. Beware of extreme medical or mental benefit claims. Understand the difference between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. You should also look for the batch or date code because this means the CBD you are purchasing can be traced back to its original source.
Lastly, always consult with your personal doctor before you stop using any prescribed medication in favor of a CBD product. Only your doctor may be able to recommend whether or not a CBD product might be a proper substitute for medicines you are already taking or a medication they might more strongly recommend.