Is CBD Legal?

Posted by Mallory Klein on January 15, 2021

We’ve made a comprehensive guide on the legality of hemp in the United States, so no matter where you live, you’ll know whether or not it’s legal for you to use cannabidiol and other hemp-based products. 

By now, CBD has been a major market in the United States and throughout the world for about a decade. And it continues to grow in popularity, as about 14 percent of Americans consider themselves hemp users who take CBD on a frequent basis. As the industry keeps evolving, we’re finding more ways to experience cannabidiol and other hemp compounds on our terms and in a highly personalized manner.

Yet, even as the industry is more popular than ever before, there are still a lot of people who are confused by it. Many people still don’t know whether or not cannabidiol is legal.  It’s hard to blame them. In the last century, our country has had a complicated legal relationship with cannabis, so most natural that law-abiding citizens may be hesitant to give hemp a whirl out of fear of legal penalty.

If you’re one of the people who doesn’t know whether or not CBD is legal, allow us to help.

CBD Legal Status, State-by-State

State Is CBD legal? Restrictions
Alabama Yes None
Alaska Yes No CBD-infused food/beverage allowed
Arizona Yes No food/beverage
Arkansas Yes No food/beverage
California Yes No food/beverage
Colorado Yes No baked goods
Connecticut Yes Food/bev must be registered
Delaware Yes Hemp grower must be affiliated with Delaware State University
Florida Yes Labeling is regulated
Georgia Yes No food/beverage
Hawaii Yes None
Idaho No Illegal in every form
Illinois Yes None
Indiana Yes Labeling is regulated
Iowa No Illegal in every form
Kansas Yes No food/beverage
Kentucky Yes CBD tea not allowed
Louisiana Yes Many product restrictions
Maine Yes OK only if CBD extracted from licensed Maine hemp grower
Maryland Yes Unclear
Massachusetts Yes CBD food/bev requires purity testing
Michigan Yes No food/beverage
Minnesota Yes No food/beverage
Mississippi Yes Must be at least 20:1 CBD:THC ratio
Missouri Yes Age 18+ only. Sales require state registration.
Montana Yes No food/beverage
Nebraska Yes No food/beverage
Nevada Yes No food/bev; CBD sales allowed in cannabis stores only
New Hampshire Yes Regulations coming
New Jersey Yes None
New Mexico Yes None
New York Yes No food/bev; purity testing required
North Carolina Yes No food/beverage
North Dakota Yes None
Ohio Yes None
Oklahoma Yes None
Oregon Yes Label regulations coming
Pennsylvania Yes No food/bev; label regulations coming
Rhode Island Yes Label guidelines coming
South Carolina Yes No food/beverage
South Dakota No Not legal in any form
Tennessee Yes None
Texas Yes Label guidelines coming
Utah Yes Registration required for sales
Vermont Yes Can’t combine CBD with meat or dairy. Maple syrup has its own rules.
Virginia Yes None
Washington Yes No food/beverage
West Virginia Yes No food/beverage
Wisconsin Yes No food/beverage
Wyoming Yes None

What is CBD?

First, let’s explain what CBD is for those who still aren’t sure. CBD, or cannabidiol, is the dominant chemical compound present in the hemp plant. The hemp plant belongs to the cannabis genus, which is also where marijuana comes from.

CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and used to formulate a wide range of products.  The reason for cannabidiol’s immense popularity is because of its unique properties that come from the role it plays in supporting the body’s endocannabinoid system. The body’s endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors that are located in just about every system of the human body, and that use CBD to regulate important bodily processes.

It’s important to note that hemp is not a psychoactive plant, and neither is cannabidiol in an isolated form. Marijuana, however, is psychoactive because it contains about 15% to 25% THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the compound that causes users to feel high.  Hemp only has about 0.3% THC that is naturally occurring in the plant material, and therefore will not cause mind-altering effects, even in high doses.

Is CBD Legal?

We know that cannabis has been a confusing issue in this country for a long time, with different states having their own laws, and with a long history of changing legal statuses.  Up until 2014, hemp was classified as an illegal substance because cannabis as a whole was criminalized decades ago. This meant that whether a person had hemp or marijuana, they would be subject to legal penalty.

Then in 2014, the United States passed a law legalizing hemp cultivation among farmers throughout the country, as long as the farm was registered with the USDA, and as long as the hemp was grown for research purposes. This allowed hemp farmers to finally grow their crops in a lawful manner.

During this time, a lot of research on CBD and other hemp compounds finally took place.  This allowed us to learn a great deal about the unique effects of cannabinoids, so the popularity of CBD began to grow. At last, in 2018, the United States passed the Farm Bill, which completely decriminalized the hemp plant and all of its derivatives.

According to the Farm Bill, hemp products are legal as long as they are tested to show they contain no more than 0.3% THC. As previously stated, only about that amount occurs naturally in hemp anyway. The law also stated that all individual isolated cannabinoids with the exception of THC are legal.

But, as you know, states have the right to create their own laws, which is why some states decided to restrict CBD or certain CBD products, while other states have simply chosen to adhere to federal law. Furthermore, some states allow recreational marijuana use, and therefore place no restrictions on cannabis or THC levels in general.

Also, keep in mind that if you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, you can legally buy products that have a higher concentration of THC from a licensed dispensary as long as you have a medical marijuana card.

Is CBD Legal in All 50 States?

Let’s take a look at each state’s laws regarding CBD and hemp.

  • Alabama: All hemp products are legal in the state of AL, but must contain a maximum of 0.3% THC.
  • Alaska: In AK, hemp is completely legal, but must contain a maximum of 0.3% THC.
  • Arizona: Hemp is totally legal throughout AZ, but must have no more than 0.3% THC.
  • Arkansas: AR allows hemp to be used freely throughout the state, but products cannot have more than 0.3% THC.
  • California: Because marijuana is legal in CA, hemp products can contain more than 0.3% THC.
  •  Colorado: In CO, marijuana is fully legal, so there are no restrictions on cannabis products or THC levels.
  •  Connecticut: CT allows cannabidiol to be used throughout the state as long as the products have a maximum of 0.3% THC.
  • Delaware: DE is another state in which hemp is fully legal as long as no more than 0.3% THC is found in a product.
  • Florida: FL residents can legally buy and use CBD that contains no more than 0.3% THC.
  • Georgia: All cannabidiol goods with a maximum of 0.3% THC are legal in GA, except for foods and beverages.
  • Hawaii: CBD products with a maximum of 0.3% THC are legal in the state of HI.
  • Idaho: CBD products are currently illegal in the state of ID.
  • Illinois: IL residents are free to use CBD products without restrictions.
  • Indiana: In IN, cannabidiol is legal but must have a maximum of 0.3% THC.
  • Iowa: IA allows hemp goods to be sold if they have no more than 0.3% THC and are not inhaled, which makes vapes and flowers illegal.
  • Kansas: The state law says that CBD products must be completely free of THC in order to be legal.
  • Kentucky: KY allows all hemp products that have a maximum of 0.3% THC, except for flower.
  • Louisiana: This state allows hemp to be used freely as long as it has 0.3% THC at most.
  • Maine: CBD goods containing no more than 0.3% THC are legal in the state of ME.
  • Maryland: In MD, CBD and hemp are legal but must have no more than 0.3% THC.
  • Massachusetts: Hemp is legal in MA but must contain 0.3% THC or less.  Foods, beverages, and supplements containing CBD are not legal.
  • Michigan: MI is another state that has banned foods and beverages containing CBD but allows all other hemp products with a 0.3% or less THC level.
  • Minnesota: In MN, cannabidiol products must contain a max of 0.3% THC and cannot come in the forms of foods and beverages.
  • Mississippi: MS allows hemp products that have 0.3% THC at most.
  • Missouri: MO allows hemp to be used, but it must contain no more than 0.3% THC.
  • Montana: MT has banned CBD foods and drinks but allows other products that have a maximum of 0.3% THC.
  • Nebraska: State law says that all hemp products are illegal.
  • Nevada: There are no restrictions on hemp in NV, as cannabis is fully legalized.
  • New Hampshire: NH requires that all cannabidiol products contain no more than 0.3% THC. Also, food and drinks containing cannabis are not allowed.
  • New Jersey: NJ is yet another state in which CBD is legal as long as it has no more than 0.3% THC.
  • New Mexico: Hemp is fine in NM as long as it has 0.3% at most.
  • New York: NY allows CBD products to be sold if they contain 0.3% THC at most. Foods and drinks containing cannabis are forbidden.
  • North Carolina: NC allows hemp to be sold legally as long as it has no more than 0.3% THC.
  • North Dakota: Hemp products with a maximum level of 0.3% THC are legal in ND.
  • Ohio: OH permits the sales of hemp products as long as they have no more than 0.3% THC.
  • Oklahoma: Hemp is legal in OK but must contain 0.3% THC at most.
  • Oregon: OR permits the use of cannabidiol and hemp that contains 0.3% THC max.
  • Pennsylvania: PA allows for hemp that has no more than 0.3% THC.
  • Rhode Island: Hemp is legal throughout RI, as long as the product has a maximum of 0.3% THC.
  • South Carolina: Hemp products with a maximum of 0.3% are legal in SC except for flower and vaping goods.
  • South Dakota: Hemp is technically illegal here.
  • Tennessee: In TN, CBD products are legal if they have at most, 0.3% THC.
  • Texas: Hemp is legal throughout the state of Texas but must contain a max of 0.3% THC.
  • Utah: Hemp goods with no more than 0.3% THC are permitted in this state except for foods, beverages, and smokable products.
  • Vermont: Hemp is legal in VT but must adhere to the 0.3% max THC rule.
  • Virginia: VA allows hemp to be sold freely, but the products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC.
  • Washington: Hemp products, except for food and beverages, are legal in WA as long as they have a maximum of 0.3% THC.
  • West Virginia: Hemp is legal throughout WV but must have no more than 0.3% THC.
  • Wisconsin: Cannabidiol is only legal in WI if you have approval from your doctor.
  • Wyoming: CBD is legal in WY but must contain no more than 0.3% THC.

Making Sure That You’re Using Cannabidiol Legally

On top of checking the above list to make sure that your state has legalized cannabidiol, there are some further steps you can take to ensure that you are using hemp legally. CBD is a pretty new market, and it’s not quite regulated yet, which means that there is always a small risk of unintentionally ending up with an illegal product. Adding to that, cannabidiol laws are subject to change both on a state and local level, so you need to be extra careful.

#1: Know Your Source

Only buy your cannabidiol from a trusted source, such as a reputable hemp distribution company, or directly from a known manufacturer. We do not recommend ever buying CBD from a convenience store or gas station, as the managers of these stores are less likely to research a product before putting it on their shelves or could be unsure of how to maintain high standards of quality when it comes to the cannabidiol that they sell. We also don’t recommend buying hemp goods from Craigslist or strangers on social media.

#2: Look at Lab Reports

Any legitimate company has all of their hemp tested by a third-party lab. This is the way in which the industry regulates itself and maintains high standards for production. These lab reports will give you an unbiased breakdown of the chemical compounds in the formula and will allow you to clearly see how much THC was shown to be found in the hemp extract used.

#3: Research a Company

Always research a company before buying from them to make sure that they manufacture cannabidiol products in a safe and legal manner.

#4: Check Your Local Laws Regularly

It’s important to be aware of the laws relating to hemp in your area. Check with state laws, county laws, and town laws, as legislators can choose to change the law regarding hemp at any given time. Some states enforce hemp laws more than others, but you should still be careful that you don’t end up at risk of legal penalty.

Now You Know

In almost every state, using cannabidiol is completely legal, which is good news for the majority of Americans who want to start using CBD to see what it can do for them. Still, it’s always important to check with your local government to see what the law currently says, and to make sure that you research a product before buying it to ensure that it does indeed come from hemp rather than marijuana and contains no more than 0.3% THC.