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CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)

CBD Oil Prescription FAQ: Legal Issues, OTC Risks and Access Concerns

Peter Dalton

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CBD Oil Prescription FAQ: Legal Issues, OTC Risks and Access Concerns
  • Hemp-based CBD was legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • Some states require consumers to register for the use of CBD.

CBD is a substance that can be found almost anywhere right now. Everything from bath salts to candy to anti-aging creams seem to have it inside, but the most common form that it is found in is CBD oil. The legal issues surrounding CBD’s use are a little complicated still, but that hasn’t stopped companies from getting involved while the industry is still new.

In 2018, the latest version of the Farm Bill passed, which made it possible to cultivate Cannabis sativa L. plants that have under 0.3% THC, which is hemp, legally. After this new bill, CBD oil was no longer considered a controlled substance, allowing the market to boom substantially.

However, the only hiccup in this bill is that it gave the Food and Drug Administration the right to regulate any cannabis-based product, covered under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. There are many companies that state that their products are legal across the US, but that isn’t necessarily true.

The Legality of CBD Oil

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of the compounds found within the cannabis plant, and it can be extracted from either hemp or marijuana. Hemp naturally contains very little (if any) THC, which is the psychoactive substance that creates the feeling of being “high.” The fact that it contains THC at all is part of the reason that the substance has gone through so many problems through the years.

Through the last few years, cannabis research has started to improve, which is why the public knows so much about the benefits that CBD can offer. For the most part, this substance is considered a safe and easily tolerated substance, and it can be purchased in both online and in physical stores.

Even though trace amounts (0.3% THC) of THC are permissible, the actual policy on this amount can vary between states. In Idaho, no THC can be found in a CBD oil at all for it to be legal, while Georgia states that up to 5% THC can be found in a CBD oil to be considered legal.

Is A Prescription Required?

Presently, a total of 33 states have established medical marijuana laws, requiring local citizens to apply for a medical card to gain access. However, with the rest of the states, CBD oil is available to consumers, and the requirement for prescription varies by state.

To make this matter somehow more complicated and confusing, there are some states that allow consumers to easily get CBD products throughout the state. However, others may require registration with the program, which is a lot like the medical marijuana programs implemented in states where legalization is growing. If the state has a CBD oil registry, then the user typically has to be suffering from one of the qualifying conditions to get CBD.

There are multiple states that only allow CBD products to be made available that have been approved by the FDA. However, the only medication presently approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, which treats two specific types of epilepsy in children.

Ultimately, the laws on CBD are changing substantially, and mostly vary by state. The best way to find the requirements for CBD purchase is by contacting the local health department.

The FDA’s Stance on CBD

So far, the only substance that is technically approved by the FDA is Epidiolex, which was created by GW Pharmaceuticals. The product had gone through substantial testing at this point, leading the authority to state that it is safe and effective. However, other forms of CBD have not received the same type of review from the FDA.

Considering that the federal government has not legalized cannabis, research on the substance is minimal, at best. Without this research, the FDA has been hesitant and even unwilling to approve any product that has cannabis. They haven’t even approved cannabis to be used as a supplement or food additive, preventing these products from safely being distributed in a public setting.

One of the ways that the FDA has already approved CBD to be included in cosmetic products, but only if the company follows a substantial number of regulations. Basically, the legality of CBD through the FDA entirely depends on how the products are labeled, and there are many companies that do not follow these regulations. For instance, CBD products cannot make any specific health-related claims.

Until the FDA chooses to approve CBD oil as a supplement or as a widespread medicine, regulating the market is next to impossible. Without any oversight or even scrutiny from the FDA, manufacturers are simply left to create their own low-quality oil that do almost nothing and could even pose a threat to the health of consumers. For any consumer that is interested in using CBD, research the company.

Buying CBD Over-the-Counter

Finding CBD oil online is rather easy, considering the many companies that distribute it through their own online marketplaces. Some states, however, allow consumers to buy it in drugstores like CVS and Walgreens. However, since the FDA has strict guidelines about the CBD products they allow to be advertised and sold in this capacity, most of the stores only stock topical remedies that follow current regulations.

More liberal states have specialty stores that allow for the sale of CBD as well, and convenience stores are joining the bandwagon, too. However, the reliability of these products may not be what a consumer would expect from generic or off-brand companies. Always make sure the company that is selling the CBD product you’re interested in is legitimate.

Getting Access to CBD

Ultimately, the ability to actually get ahold of high-quality CBD depends on the evolving regulations and the policies of the state. Many people are able to easily access CBD oil through online or retail store locations, but these widespread sales are an indication of how necessary it is for consumers to learn more about the companies they buy from.

Learn about the rules and regulations for the sale of CBD in the state you reside in to make sure no laws are being violated and you get the product that you need.

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