Do I Need a Medical Marijuana Card to Buy CBD Oil?
As the push for the legalization of medical marijuana has intensified into one of the more popular topics of discussion in the United States, advocates have been putting increasing pressure on more states to legalize cannabis entirely. Currently, recreational marijuana is legal in only ten states , but as an industry, cannabis has had an incredible year of growth.
This incredible growth has got a lot to do with the increasing popularity of cannabidiol (CBD). The most popular used form of CBD is CBD oil, but there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the legality of these products.
Despite the fact that the majority of states have legalized some of, or all forms of cannabis use, on a federal level, the DEA still classifies CBD as a schedule 1 drug. This means that it’s considered to provide no accepted medical use and has a high potential for abuse. According to the law, this is how the cannabis plant as a whole, including CBD, is classified.
However, at the end of last year, the 2018 Farm Bill was passed which has legalized industrial hemp on a federal level. The act states that industrial hemp and its derivatives (including CBD) are now legal on a federal level. This development is a real game-changer for the CBD industry. But it has added a bit more confusion to the issues surrounding the legality of CBD oil. While cannabis-derived CBD oil is still not legal in all states, hemp-derived CBD oil is now fully legalized.
The Difference Between Cannabis-Derived CBD Oil and Hemp-Derived CBD Oil
Broadly speaking, in the botanical world, there are two kinds of cannabis – hemp plants and drug plants. This differentiation is also often referred to as marijuana and hemp. Both are cannabis plants, but they have very different purposes. Hemp plants are typically grown for fiber and seed oil, while drug plants include non-intoxicating CBD-rich plants and intoxicating THC-rich plants .
Hemp is Cannabis sativa, and marijuana is either Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa. Essentially, hemp is the well-known and legal term for cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC, and marijuana is the well-known and legal term used for cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC.
The main difference between drug plants and hemp plants is the resin content. Industrial hemp plants are low-resin plants, while drug plants are high-resin plants. Initially, the U.S. federal law defined marijuana in terms of its resin content. Here’s the definition of marijuana as encoded in the 1970 Controlled Substances Act (CSA):
“The term marihuana means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L. [sic], whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.”
So what does all this mean? Well, essentially, certain parts of the cannabis part, including “mature stalk” and “sterilized seed” were exempt from the legal definition of marijuana. Hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds of the cannabis plant.
Here’s what you need to understand about the difference between CBD that is hemp derived and CBD that is cannabis/marijuana-derived. Marijuana is harvested for its buds, which include psychoactive properties, like THC, which is known to produce stoned effects. Hemp, on the other hand, is harvested from the stalk and seeds of the crop. These hemp plants don’t contain enough THC to make anyone high. Ultimately, for cannabis to be considered as hemp, it should contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Is Hemp-Derived CBD Oil Legal?
Hemp CBD oil products are legal to purchase without a prescription throughout the U.S and in at least 40 other countries around the world. Essentially, provided that products are made from oil that has been extracted from hemp and not marijuana, you are able to buy it in all 50 states without a doctor’s recommendation or medical marijuana card.
It all boils down to the difference between hemp and marijuana, as explained above. While THC and marijuana are prohibited under federal law, CBD isn’t specifically listed under the Controlled Substances Act. Since the definition of marijuana according to federal law (as stated above), excludes the oil extracted from the seeds, as well as the mature stalks of the plant, hemp CBD is classified as legal. This means that CBD products that are hemp-derived/originate from these parts of the plant aren’t prohibited under federal law.
In 2018, President Trump passed the 2018 Farm Bill , which effectively removed hemp from the list of schedule 1 substances and reclassified it as an “agricultural commodity.” According to the new bill, the law states that if the CBD is derived from hemp and adheres to the below regulations, it’s removed as schedule 1 substance and is considered legal:
- The hemp has less than 0.3% THC
- The hemp adheres to the shared state-federal regulations
- The hemp is grown by a properly licensed grower
The 2018 Farm Bill also withdrew restrictions on the sale, possession, and transportation of hemp-derived CBD products. This means that hemp-derived CBD products can be transported across state lines as long as it adheres to the regulations above.
Is Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil Legal?
This is where things get complicated again. Since marijuana-derived CBD originates from a plant that is still classified as illegal, things are not that straight-forward.
In states where the use of recreational marijuana is legal, like California and Colorado, marijuana-derived CBD is obviously also legal. However, in some states, marijuana is only legal for medicinal purposes . In these states, you are only allowed to use medical marijuana/marijuana-derived CBD under certain conditions, meaning that you would need a medical marijuana card to purchase CBD oil. In other states, marijuana is strictly prohibited, and thus, so is marijuana-derived CBD oil.
There are currently 15 states where cannabis – including both hemp and marijuana – are completely legal for both medicinal and recreational use. These states are:
- New Jersey
- South Dakota
If you are lucky enough to live in one of these states, you are legally allowed to buy any kind of marijuana and CBD products, regardless of where it is derived from.
There are currently 47 states (including the above 10), where marijuana-derived CBD oil is legal for medical purposes. The specific regulations vary from state to state, but most states allow the use of medical marijuana for a broad range of conditions. However, there are those states that set specific requirements for approved use. For instance, the CBD must contain less than a certain percentage of THC, or the patient must suffer from a specific condition .
The specific requirements for a person to use marijuana-derived CBD vary from state to state. Before purchasing CBD oil in any of these states, you are encouraged to research the regulations. In one state, chronic pain may qualify you to obtain a medical marijuana card, and in another state, it may not. This is why it’s important to look into the specific laws for each state.
Final Thoughts: Do You Need an MMJ Card to Buy CBD?
Ultimately, what you should understand from this article is that the legality of CBD oil and whether you will need a medical marijuana card to purchase these products, all comes down to where the CBD is derived from. If the CBD oil is derived from hemp, you are legally able to buy it throughout the United States without a medical marijuana card.
However, if the CBD oil is marijuana-derived things are a little more complex. Unless you live in one of the states where recreational marijuana is legal, you will need a medical marijuana card to purchase marijuana-derived CBD oil. At the end of the day, it’s all about where the CBD oil originates from.
Do you need a medical marijuana card to buy CBD oil? You're not alone if you've been asking yourself this question! Here, we explain all!
Where To Buy CBD Oil
Are you looking to buy CBD-rich oil? Finding the right CBD oil can be a daunting task, especially if you are a newbie. There are many ways of acquiring your Cannabinoid (CBD) oil. You can purchase the product online, from brick and mortar store, co-ops, dispensaries, and natural herbalists. CBD oil products can be made from extracts of either hemp plants or Marijuana Plants. Depending on your preferred mode of ingestion, the hemp-extracted oil is available in a range of applications including tinctures, topicals, vaporizers, vape pens, transdermal patches and as infused edibles. Read More
Raw CBD oil is exactly what it sounds like. Once the oil has been extracted, the oil does not go through any more processing and does not get filtered. Raw CBD oil can be green or dark in color because it often contains phytochemicals, chlorophyll, and raw plant material. Raw oil may contain impurities leftover from the extraction process.
Decarboxylated CBD oil means that the CBD will be more active in the body. Decarboxylation is when the oil is heated up to change the chemical components and “turn on” the CBD. This process improves the efficacy and potency of the oil making it easier for the oil to have an impact on the body. Decarboxylated oil is often brown or darker in color.
Filtered oil has been through the most processing. Generally, filtered oil has been decarboxylated and then even further refined by filtering out the phytochemicals and plant materials. This makes the oil gold in color which is often considered the highest quality compared to raw or decarboxylated oil. Filtered oil is commonly referred to as “gold” CBD oil and is very popular among consumers. It also tends to be the most expensive, but this isn’t always the case.
One of the important question people will ask regarding CBD oil is whether it is legal to purchase. A vast majority of CBD oil is extracted from hemp which is a non-psychoactive compound that contains none or very low concentration of THC, hence considered as completely legal and separate from cannabis marijuana regulation and authority. Many states and countries around the world are changing their laws to legalize the use of medical marijuana. CBD hemp oil products can be shipped to 40 countries (including all 50 states of America) while those from marijuana plants are not legal in many states, nor can they be shipped across most state lines.
The vast majority of CBD products are sold online. Buying online is a quick, convenient and secure way of having your hemp oils and other CBD –based products delivered straight to your door. Whenever you buy products online, chances are the vendor is not just going to offer just one particular product but a variety to choose from. You can choose from different variations laid out in front of you and have the advantage of comparing prices of various merchants. Basically, you will quickly understand the landscape of a consumer market at the tap of a finger. The other great thing about buying online is that you can do research by going through reviews or social media to see what that particular provider’s reputation is. If it happens that a particular vendor has many different complaints from different people that should definitely raise a red flag. If you want to purchase the product online, it is advisable to first study on your own the potential benefits of the oils before you go ahead to make the order. Beware of certain products that claim to be the perfect cure for everything. Any online store that promises to give you miracle oil that cures each and every problem is most likely a rip-off.
There is a growing number of medical cannabis dispensaries offering CBD-rich products in the U.S. Most physical dispensaries are required to operate under state health and safety standards set by law. The state conducts background checks on owner and staff, and dispensaries must meet security requirements and strict licensing guidelines. When buying hemp-based CBD oil (low in THC or/and CBD) you will not need a card, however, to purchase cannabis plant-based CBD oil patients need to be certified by a doctor who is part of their continuing care, and who’s registered with the state’s medical-marijuana program. That, however, applies only to those living in states that have passed medical marijuana laws. It is important for one to visit the dispensaries and get as much information as to whether their products have been tested and undergone clinical trials.
Brick and Mortar Stores
You can purchase CBD and hemp oil in specialty retail stores – over the counter (i.e. nutrition stores and smoke shops). Physical stores offer buyers the ability to see the products before they purchase as well as gives them the chance to actively engage with store associates by asking questions and learning about other products that they might be interested in. When you are looking to choose a reputable and high-quality CBD retailer, it is also important to inquire about the product’s third-party test results. This way, you will be assured that you are getting a high-quality and safe product as reputable companies will invest in such tests to gain the trust of their customers.
Manufacturers are free to sell what they consider as the best form of hemp oil CBD extract. This being the case, there are a lot of companies taking advantage of the CBD oil demand thus are making products that don’t contain enough or any CBD at all. All they care about is making profits by sourcing the cheapest CBD oils they can find on the market.
It’s important to research in order to purchase the right product. Always use personal discretion when making purchases both in-person and online. Further, don’t always go for the cheap products but instead be willing to pay the price for a quality product. If you want to reap the benefits of excellent quality, then you have no choice but to pay a substantial amount for it. Also, remember to check labels for any indication of the ingredients that make the product making sure it is hemp oil CBD. Any product that comes without a label or indication of ingredients is illegal and potentially dangerous. Even though no regulation exists, it is always good to take measures to ensure your own safety.
Looking where to buy CBD Oil? CBD Oil can be derived from hemp or cannabis and is available online and in dispensaries. Learn more here.