Unfortunately, the legality status surrounding CBD is muddled in confusion. People don’t know whether they can or cannot purchase these products in their state. Thousands of Americans are interested in getting relief through natural means, but don’t want to be in violation of the law. The problem is mainly in the term “CBD,” as it’s not descriptive enough to tell you if you can buy the product.
There are two different types of CBD-based products. They’re similar but have one major difference. One is psychoactive and the other is not. The psychoactive version is produced in the same way as the non-psychoactive version, but the manufacturers use a different starting material. The psychoactive side of these products is produced by starting with marijuana plant material. The non-psychoactive version is produced by starting with hemp plant material. Looking at the finished product, you would not be able to tell the two apart. Therein lies the problem.
Is CBD Legal in All 50 States
The simple answer is yes, hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states. CBD derived from marijuana is not legal in prohibition states.
One of the big problems is, there’s no non-invasive way to tell which family of plants the product came from. How can a DEA agent tell whether the products in question came from hemp or marijuana without confiscating them and testing them? They can’t.
This is a humongous issue that has caused many legal packages to be seized and many more to be confiscated, jacking up the price of CBD oil for everyone. I have always been of the opinion, innocent until proven guilty. I don’t know where I got that crazy idea from.
I understand that with probably cause or whatever, that products should be confiscated and investigated. But what defines probable cause? That is what I would like to see clearly defined in this industry. If a consumer calls the DEA and says, “Hey, I bought some CBD that I thought was hemp-derived, and now I’m high as a kite. It came from such and such a shop. My name is Blankity Blank, here’s my driver’s license number so you can identify me. I’m not just hating on the shop, I’m actually high.”
That would seem like probably cause to me. Obviously, that’s an extreme example and most people wouldn’t call at all and probably take to Reddit to share their experience. But practically speaking, what would be probable cause to raid a store and confiscate their supposedly hemp-derived CBD products?
Hemp-Based CBD Seized In Alaska
Here’s a news article reporting an event where these hemp products were seized from 10 Alaskan marijuana shops.
The reason the state gave the shop owners for their products being seized was that they didn’t follow the same protocol for tracking marijuana products. Well, hemp is not marijuana so I can see how the shop owners didn’t expect to have to follow the same seed-to-sale tracking process. But on the other hand, how can they prove it came from hemp if they didn’t document the whole process from seed to sale? But then again, why do they need to prove it came from hemp if they’re innocent until proven guilty? Wouldn’t the burden of proof be on the accuser?
There are no simple answers to these questions given the government’s obsession with treating cannabis like it’s the most dangerous plant in the world. If they would just make it legal, no strings attached, then trillions of taxpayer dollars could be redirected towards more beneficial means, like maybe feeding hungry people or upgrading our infrastructure. Heck, pick your cause, any cause and it will be money better spent then trying to police a natural herb that heals without any risk of overdose. That’s my opinion at least.
Using “Hemp” Labeling
Since some agencies are hellbent on treating marijuana like it’s public enemy #1, shop owners have started to take extra precautions. As a last ditch effort, they have resorted to labeling their products as “hemp” instead of merely CBD. While this does help products to reach their end destination safely, it causes another problem with the consumer.
When you order a product that you’ve picked for its cannabidiol content, getting a package of edibles or oil that says “hemp” can be kind of confusing. Hemp oil is a term that usually refers to hemp seed oil, which has minimal cannabidiol content. While the shift in labeling practices patches up one problem, it seems to create another smaller one. I think consumers would rather have strangely labeled packages than no packages at all because they were seized.
Many companies have taken to trying to patch up the miscommunication with consumers by answering their burning question in their FAQ section. I would venture out and guess that most people don’t read FAQs and would email or call a company before reading it, but I could be wrong. These FAQ pages are extremely helpful in learning about a specific company.
No two companies are the same in the wild wild west cannabis industry, so it’s important to read as much material on a company’s website as possible. Read the whole product description, the FAQ, and even a blog post or two. I like to learn as much as I can about the company who’s producing such an important product for my family.
7 Closing Thoughts
There are a few things I try to remember when thinking about cannabis issues. It keeps me from getting infuriated with the government and allows me to keep calm and carry on.
- Agency workers are just people carrying out orders. They have families to feed and are just doing their job. They didn’t make the law.
- Some people truly believe cannabis is a terrible drug and they think they’re helping clean up America. Being angry towards these people won’t help.
- Making cannabis legal nationwide is a commonsense answer to me, but common sense is not common. It’s relative to your personal life experience.
- Raising awareness and complaining are not the same. Try to have an impact. Don’t gripe and moan.
- At the end of the day, we’re all people trying to live out our beliefs and ideals. We should love each other as human beings first, then discuss our differing opinions.
- We must use our voice peacefully and strategically. It works.
- I love cannabis and am so grateful that it exists.
These are just some of the things I try to remember. I’m not perfect and do get angry from time to time. I hate to see people suffering when there’s a natural remedy that can help them live better quality lives. It grinds my gears and can make me lose my patience. But at the end of the day, losing my patience and level head isn’t going to help a thing. Staying level headed, writing impactful blog posts, and introducing more people to the wonders of cannabis will help turn the tide of public opinion.
As more people learn about the true nature of marijuana, the trend of legality will only pickup steam and there will be no problems with getting marijuana or hemp-derived products.