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Is CBD Oil Legal in the US? The Legal Status of CBD in 2021

Table of Contents

For a number of years, there was a lot of focus on medicinal marijuana and its potential legality. The hemp plant is actually used for a number of medicinal purposes. Aside from hemp oil and medicinal marijuana, CBD oil is also gaining a lot of popularity recently. Extracted from the hemp plant, CBD oil is used for a variety of health issues that includes pain management. Because it is somewhat ‘new’ in its popularity, many people question “Is CBD oil legal”? The answer isn’t necessarily an easy one. Let’s take a closer look at some of the details questioning if CBD is legal in all 50 states.

Map of CBD Legality in All States of America in 2021

*Map is current on 03/11/2020, check actual information about State Cannabis Program here.

Is CBD Oil Legal? 

At the federal level hemp oil is very much legal and has been for many decades. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that the DEA began to question the legality of hemp because of its trace amount of THC. At that point, it was determined that all synthetic forms of THC would be illegal. Natural THC can only be deemed illegal if it is directly extracted from marijuana. The loopholes come into play as people question the definition of what ‘marijuana’ actually details. Does this include the seeds? Does it include the plant resin?

Legality Depends on the Source of the CBD

CBD is one of the cannabinoids extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD oil is made from the stalks and stems of the hemp plant. This is where the exclusion from the law comes into play. By definition, legal parts of the hemp plant include:

  • Fiber from the stalks
  • Oil made from seeds

THC is another cannabinoid extracted from the cannabis plant and is the one that is psychoactive (produces a high). The confusion arises from the fact that CBD and THC are derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant, but they come from different varieties. Cannabis Sativa has two common varieties: marijuana and hemp. CBD for CBD products is extracted from the hemp plant variety, while THC is derived from the marijuana plant variety. Both Cannabis Sativa plants produce CBD, along with hundreds of other cannabinoids.

The national laws, in effect, created two definitions of Cannabis Sativa for purposes of separating the psychoactive THC and the non-psychoactive CBD. The first law was the 2014 Farm Bill which defined two different strains of cannabis. One is regular cannabis (marijuana), and the other is industrial hemp.

The bill made it legal for farmers to grow industrial hemp without needing a Drug Enforcement Administration permit. The Farm Bill also allowed for the transportation of and research on industrial hemp. However, to be legal, the hemp plant could only have 0.3 percent THC or less. It did not address hemp extracts.

To further clarify the definitions and restrictions in the Farm Bill, Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill). This bill made it clear that industrial hemp and its extracts are legal. On a federal level, CBD oil is currently legal as long as it is made from CBD extracted from industrial hemp. However, the 2018 Farm bill left it up to each state to pass its own laws concerning the production, sale, transportation, and use of CBD.

CBD Products Legality

Where it gets very confusing at the state level is that CBD is extracted from both the marijuana and industrial hemp plant. Some states allow the use of CBD oil from any plant source, meaning CBD from the marijuana or industrial hemp plant is legal. These states allow the recreational and medical use of CBD.

Some states only allow the use of CBD from marijuana for medicinal or therapeutic purposes, and patients need a doctor’s permission. Other states do not allow any CBD obtained from marijuana to be sold or used.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one CBD product, and it is a prescription drug used to treat epilepsy. It is federally illegal at this time to market CBD by calling it a dietary supplement or by adding it to food. However, many states with laws permitting the consumption of CBD do allow CBD to be added to food and drinks.

To remain legal as a producer or a consumer, it is important to always adhere to state laws and to federal laws that are not addressed by state laws or when transporting CBD products across state lines. Interstate commerce is controlled by federal law.

Since cannabidiol is not listed within the Controlled Substances Act, it is believed by many that CBD oil legal in all 50 states is a true fact. Let’s break down the findings state by state.

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

* If you don’t find your state please look at the spreadsheet below with all 50 states.

Full Chart of CBD Legality in All States of America

Here’s an overview of the legal status of CBD in each US state, as of January 2021.

  Marijuana Derived Hemp CBD    
State Recreational Usage Medicinal Usage Both Legislation
Alabama Illegal Legal Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients with some conditions
Alaska Legal Legal Legal
CBD is fully legal for adults over the age of 21 and approved minors. Info
Arizona Legal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients suffering from specific conditions
Arkansas Illegal Legal Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients suffering from specific conditions
California Legal Legal Legal
CBD is fully legal for adults over the age of 21 and approved minors
Colorado Legal Legal Legal
CBD is fully legal for adults over the age of 21 and approved minors
Connecticut Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients suffering from specific conditions
Delaware Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD with less than 7% THC is legal for qualified patients, and research
Florida Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD with less than 0.8% THC is legal for patients suffering from specific conditions
Georgia Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD with less than 5% THC is legal for adults over the age of 21
Hawaii Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients suffering from specific conditions
Idaho Illegal Illegal Unclear
Is composed of no more than three-tenths percent (0.3%) THC by weight; is composed of at least fifteen (15) times more cannabidiol than THC by weight; contains no other psychoactive substance. More info
Illinois Legal Legal Legal
Hemp-derived is fully legal, while marijuana-derived is allowed for qualified patients only
Indiana Illegal Legal Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC is for patients suffering from specific conditions
Iowa Illegal Legal Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD with 3% or less THC is legal for Neurologist-prescribed patients. More here
Kansas Legal w/ Conditions Legal w/ Conditions Legal
CBD is fully legal, so long as it contains 0% THC
Kentucky Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
CBD is legal for patients who are part of a specific clinical trial
Louisiana Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients with specific conditions
Maine Legal Legal Legal
CBD is fully legal for qualified patients or if advised by the doctor
Maryland Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived is legal for patients suffering from specific conditions
Massachusetts Legal Legal Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for registered patients
Michigan Legal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for doctor-approved patients
Minnesota Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD (ex. Flower form) is legal for physician-approved patients
Mississippi Illegal Legal Legal
CBD use is legal in research for the treatment of medical conditions
Missouri Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC is legal for qualified patients
Montana Legal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients suffering from specific conditions
Nebraska Illegal Illegal Unclear
CBD is only legal for patients participating in the state’s clinical trial. More info
Nevada Legal Legal Legal
CBD is fully legal for adults over the age of 21 and approved minors with a medical card
New Hampshire Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients with a physician-certified registration card
New Jersey Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for approved patients
New Mexico Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for approved patients
New York Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients with a physician-certified registration card
North Carolina Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD with less than 0.9% THC and greater than 5% CBD is legal for Neurologist-prescribed patients
North Dakota Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients suffering from various conditions
Ohio Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients suffering from specific conditions
Oklahoma Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients suffering from specific conditions
Oregon Legal Legal Legal
CBD is fully legal for adults over the age of 21
Pennsylvania Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients suffering from one of any 17 specified conditions
Rhode Island Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients with a Rhode Island Registry ID
South Carolina Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived with less than 0,9% THC and greater than 15% CBD is legal for Neurologist-prescribed patients
South Dakota Illegal Legal Illegal
CBD is viewed separately from marijuana and is fully legal if FDA-approved. More info
Tennessee Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD with less than 0.9% THC is legal for intractable patients
Texas
Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD with less than 0.5% THC is legal for intractable patients who previously tried 2 other FDA-approved drugs
Utah Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived with less than 3% THC and greater than 15% CBD is legal for Neurologist-prescribed patients
Vermont Legal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients suffering from various conditions and adults over the age of 21
Virginia Illegal Legal Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients with any doctor-suggested condition. More info
West Virginia Illegal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for “seriously ill” patients
Wisconsin Legal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived CBD is legal for patients with disorders
Wyoming Legal Legal w/ Conditions Legal
Marijuana-derived with less than 3% THC and greater than 5% CBD is legal for Neurologist-prescribed patients
Washington Legal Legal Legal
CBD is fully legal for adults over the age of 21 and approved minors; however, rights differ between adults and patients (see law here)

Is CBD Legal in All 50 States?

As we have seen, there are a number of different laws and regulations when it comes to CBD oil. Each state has taken advantage of its ability to determine what will happen in their own state, despite federal law making CBD oil legal at their level. In order to make CBD oil legal in all states, there is a lot of work that would need to be done. Many states have already taken the necessary steps to make these products anything but legal. Some seem to be far more liberal than others when it comes to a person using CBD for chronic pain or any other condition. This potentially shows that a number of states just aren’t educated on CBD oil and its potential benefits for a number of conditions.

If you are looking to use CBD oil you may want to look into your state’s legal terms. You could end up making a mistake with the purchase or use of a product. Always be sure to do your research and determine if medical documentation is necessary. Many companies are more interested in selling products that they don’t market their products properly. Many companies will sell CBD oil with the impression that it is legal to purchase and use everywhere in the United States. This is not the case. There are legal risks involved with using these products if you don’t know what you are obtaining.

Alabama

One of the first states to legalize CBD oil, Alabama passed a law back in 2014 that made it legal to use CBD for medicinal purposes. Any person using CBD oil as a treatment option for a medical condition cannot be punished for it. The Law is named ‘Carly’s Law’ after a young girl who utilized CBD oil.

Alaska

Alaska state law has said that doctors have the ability to recommend CBD oil and other related hemp products to their patients. They do not currently have the ability to prescribe it. Otherwise, Alaska follows the federal guidelines that are in place relating to the ability to buy CBD oil for sale.

Colorado

Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana. It is extremely progressive at a legislative level. CBD oil is very much legal in Colorado whether you are looking to sell it or obtain it for medicinal purposes.

Georgia

Georgia is taking a much more conservative stance than many other states have been when it comes to making CBD oil legal in all 50 states, including their own. The lawmakers in Georgia are remaining very resistant to legalizing cannabis in any form. There have been some moves to potentially make CBD oil legal but for now, the process is at a standstill. It is clarified by the state that CBD oil is legal at a federal level. It is up to Georgia to determine what their take will be moving forward.

Indiana

Just this year the clarification in Indiana was reassessed. Governor Eric Holcomb signed a bill that legalized cannabidiol as long as the THC levels in the product were low enough to meet requirements. No more than 0.3 percent of THC can be found in a legal product. It took over a year to come to this clarification. Each batch must be tested before it is available for sale.

Allowed

Iowa acknowledges that CBD is legal from a federal standpoint. However, the state has also said that it will be interesting to see what happens on a state level. Iowa currently supports the stance that the legal definition of marijuana includes any part of the cannabis genus.

Kentucky

Kentucky determined that CBD is to be excluded from the definition of marijuana back in 2014. It is legal for patients that have written approval from a physician.

Maine

CBD oil is legal in all parts of Maine. You can legally purchase and consume a CBD oil-based product as long as it contains less than .3% THC. You currently do not need medical documentation that outlines what you will be using the product for. 

Mississippi

Mississippi was the fifth state to make CBD oil legal. Currently, the law states that these products are legal for use relating to some disorders. Other ailments like chronic pain do not fall under the umbrella of legality.

Missouri

Missouri has current legislation in place that makes cannabis oil legal in their state.

Nevada

Currently, Nevada allows the consumption of CBD in their state. However, farmers in the state of Nevada cannot grow hemp at a commercial level. Imported products that are low in THC can be sold in the state. The products must be made from the seed or stalks of the hemp plant. Leaves and flowers are not permitted.

North Carolina

Selling and obtaining CBD oil in North Carolina is legal thanks to the Farm Bill of 2014. The DEA has acknowledged that CBD that is sourced from the industrial hemp plant is legal.

Oklahoma

CBD oil is very much legal in the state of Oklahoma. It is easily obtained over-the-counter in many parts of the state. You can also purchase it online for medicinal purposes. Industrial hemp is utilized here thanks to its lack of THC. House Bill 1559 clarified the differences between CBD and marijuana.

South Carolina

On April 2, 2014, there was a law passed in South Carolina that made the sale and use of CBD oil legal. Additional testing is needed prior to being sold in the state of South Carolina.

South Dakota

South Dakota voters have approved two ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical purposes on November 3, 2020. Cannabis in South Dakota will be legal for both medical and recreational use on July 1, 2021.

Tennessee

A bill was passed in 2014 that made CBD-specific cannabis oil legal. This legality was only provided to patients who had medical approval diagnosing them with some disorders. The use of the CBD had to be part of a clinical research study. The bill was quite ineffective so in 2015 a law was passed making it legal for people in Tennessee to travel outside of state lines to obtain the oil.

Texas

There are a very narrow set of circumstances that allow you to legally use CBD oil in Texas. You must be prescribed CBD by a doctor for a serious medical condition if you are questioning whether or not is CBD oil legal in Texas.

Utah

Utah tends to be on the more conservative side when it comes to certain topics. For the past few years, Utah has come out of their shell a bit and have attempted to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. The current plan for CBD oil in Utah is to allow its production. However, this process will be strongly governed and controlled by the state of Utah moving forward. It looks as though the final verdict on cannabis will be decided within the next year or two.

Virginia

Virginia has one of the most conservative CBD oil laws. Patients with severe forms of some disease have a legal defense when using a CBD product that is over 15% CBD and under 5% THC. However, purchasing the product is still considered to be illegal. It looks as though some steps in the right direction are taking place. A lot of work still needs to be done in order to make CBD oil legal in all 50 states, including Virginia.

Washington

Washington has not yet taken individual action to clarify if the consumption of hemp products is legal in their state. They currently are following the federal guidelines that are in place. This is promising. Many states that are opposed to the use of CBD oil took it upon themselves to clarify their stance. The fact that Washington DC has allowed federal law to dictate their current opinion on CBD shows that they may eventually make it legal.

Wisconsin

CBD products of all kinds can be freely distributed throughout the state of Wisconsin. This determination was made back in 2014 thanks to the Farm Bill that made hemp cultivation and usage legal. Since then, Wisconsin has backed this law and allows THC-free products to be sold.

Wyoming

Wyoming was the 16th state to legalize CBD hemp oil. This occurred in July of 2015 as part of House Bill 32. The bill was approved by a 53-7 vote. Wyoming strongly supports the legal use of CBD.

Summary: States With Their Own Laws

Contrary to popular belief, CBD is not legal in every state because each state has a Controlled Substances Act. CBD must be legal at the federal and state level for it to be legal in the state. States have the final say on CBD legality. For example, the state law may say it is not legal to consume CBD for recreational purposes, so it is not legal despite the federal law.
Following is a list of states by legal status for possession as of January 2021 for hemp-derived CBD. Notice that some states exclude some specific products as legal CBD products.

Also, remember the CBD laws can be changed at any time. If buying, possessing, using, or selling CBD, it is important to always stay current on the CBD laws in the relevant states.

States allowing hemp CBD product possession

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
    Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Virginia
  • Vermont Washington
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

States allowing hemp CBD product possession with exceptions

  • California – no food or supplements
  • Indiana – no smokables
  • Maine – no food or supplements
  • Massachusetts – no food, supplements, or smokables
  • New York – no food or supplements
  • Tennessee – certified seed and no smokables
  • Texas – certified seed and no smokables
  • South Carolina – no raw hemp without a license
  • South Dakota – no smokables

States requiring hemp registration/license or having no CSA exemption

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Kansas – (must contain no THC)
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

CBD is illegal

Idaho

Sources

  1. https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-medical-marijuana-laws.aspx
  2. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis
  3. https://harrisbricken.com/cannalawblog/hemp-cbd-across-state-lines-kansas/
  4. https://www.buscherlaw.com/state-hemp-legality

*Information above should in no way be interpreted as professional advice or legal counsel. The information provided in this table is based on independent research and, although we will try to update it as often as possible, the information may not always be accurate. If you notice that any of the information above is out of date, please notify us via email info@cbd.market and we can update the information accordingly.

By Alex Malkin

Alex Malkin is a CBD enthusiast, researcher, and the editor-in-chief at CBD.market. He's also the author of the book "CBD: A Door to Better Health" and a certified nutrition-and-wellness specialist.

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