In 1996, California was the first state to adopt a medical marijuana program and in 2016 legalize cannabis recreationally, making CBD oil legally available. But those that want CBD oil derived from marijuana will require a prescription.
CBD Oil California: The Highlights
- Hemp cultivation has been legal since 2011 in California, 3 years earlier than hemp was reintroduced into America as a whole by Barack Obama, and seven years earlier than the 2018 Farm Bill amendment by Donald Trump.
- The 2018 Farm Bill exempts hemp from the definition of marijuana, meaning it is no longer a Schedule I substance and is legal for distribution.
- The changes to the 2018 Farm Bill still leaves a lot up for interpretation when it comes to CBD foods and beverages, as this will require regulation from different Californian departments which deal with the regulation of food products.
- CBD oil can be purchased without a prescription in California, so long as it is derived from industrial hemp and not marijuana.
- Because industrial hemp is exempt from the definition of marijuana, use of hemp-derived products does not fall under the category of medical marijuana or recreational marijuana. This makes it subject to different regulation practices and different laws.
Is CBD Oil Legal In California?
The short answer to this question is yes – CBD oil is legal in California. The longer answer is: it’s complicated. So long as CBD oil is derived from industrial hemp, it can be obtained in California legally without a prescription.
However, the changes to the 2018 Farm Bill also mean that CBD food products, such as gummies, CBD water, and CBD edibles, are not always legal. This is what makes the matter of CBD products in California complicated.
Before the Federal Government decided to sign the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD was considered a cannabis product. The changes in the 2018 Farm Bill essentially exempted hemp from the cannabis definition.
While this simply meant that CBD oil would be legal for distribution, it meant something else for CBD food products. Basically, for CBD edibles and beverages, manufacturers have to comply with Californian regulations for the manufacture of food products.
This change is extremely positive for consumers because it means they can purchase CBD oil without facing any kind of legal prosecution.
But for manufacturers of CBD edible and beverage products, the changes to the 2018 Farm Bill arguably complicated matters further. In any case, Californians can enjoy the now federally legal CBD market.
Understanding The CBD Boom: What Is CBD Oil?
CBD was first popularized for its remedial effects and the fact that it lacks psychoactivity. This was a revolutionary discovery for the medical marijuana industry, as psychoactivity was one of the biggest criticisms of the use of marijuana as medicine.
Essentially, CBD legitimized medical marijuana because it is therapeutic and it does not leave a person intoxicated. CBD also made medical marijuana available to THC-sensitive demographics such as the elderly and children.
CBD is a phytocannabinoid present in the marijuana plant, although it is much more abundant in hemp than it is in marijuana. This is why most CBD products are derived from industrial hemp.
The ECS plays a role in regulating many other systems in the body, from the central nervous system to the endocrine system to the integumentary system. The ECS touches almost every vital organ of the body. This is why CBD is used in the treatment of so many different medical ailments.
CBD Oil Benefits
CBD oil is celebrated for the many therapeutic effects it has for a multitude of different ailments. Some of the benefits of CBD oil include:
CBD targets many of the generalized symptoms that accompany many diseases such as nausea, inflammation, anxiety, and depression. It also helps to manage the proliferation of cancer cells, which is why many cancer patients use it as complementary medicine to their treatment.
Aside from having multiple therapeutic benefits, CBD is also used by many simply as a health supplement. It is an antioxidant and a sleep aid and may help regulate many other functions of the body.
California Cannabis Laws: A General Overview
Adult or recreational use of cannabis is fully legal in California under Proposition 64, the Adult Use Marijuana Act. This law took place in November 2016, giving Californians the ability to purchase cannabis products without a prescription so long as they are over the age of 21.
The Adult Use Marijuana Act also permits Californians to grow no more than 6 cannabis plants for personal use. Medical marijuana is available to people of all ages with a prescription under the terms of Proposition 215. This law took effect in 1996.
In terms of regulation, there are multiple different departments responsible for maintaining industry standards. Licensing, testing, distribution and retail sales are taken care of by the Bureau of Cannabis Control and the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Cultivation is regulated by the Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Department of Public Health manages all manufacturing procedures and regulations.
The 2018 Farm Bill also makes all hemp-derived CBD products legal across the U.S. Naturally, this includes California, although California’s liberal cannabis laws permitted CBD products before the signing of the Farm Bill.
How To Buy CBD Oil Online Legally In California?
Prior to the Farm Bill, consumers had to be very careful about CBD legality in their own state.
Before the Farm Bill, states decided their own laws about hemp, while the federal government maintained that it was a Schedule I substance.
That means Californians can purchase CBD oil from anywhere in the U.S. legally. This does not mean that consumers shouldn’t exercise some caution, as the industry remains more or less unregulated. Consumers should search for a reputable brand before purchasing CBD oil.
How Does The 2018 Farm Bill Affect California?
On first glance, it doesn’t seem like the 2018 Farm Bill affects California at all, other than allowing Californian hemp-derived CBD manufacturers to distribute their products all over the U.S. But unfortunately, it’s much more complicated than that.
The biggest implication of the 2018 Farm Bill is excluding hemp from any association with marijuana, thereby changing the inherent legal definition of hemp. This doesn’t mean that states are completely unrestricted in the manufacture and distribution of hemp-derived CBD products.
The use of industrial hemp as a source of CBD for food products, is, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), illegal. It is written in the CDPH’s FAQs:
“[A]lthough California currently allows the manufacturing and sales of cannabis products (including edibles), the use of industrial hemp as the source of CBD to be added to food products is prohibited.
Until the FDA rules that industrial hemp-derived CBD oil and CBD products can be used as a food or California makes a determination that they are safe to use for human and animal consumption, CBD products are not an approved food, food ingredient, food additive, or dietary supplement.”
It’s unclear whether the Farm Bill is going to override the CDPH’s position, but in any case, hemp has been excluded from any definition of cannabis. This creates epic legal complications in the definition of terms, and exactly where hemp CBD fits into the picture.
The other most important implication of the Farm Bill for California is the hemp insurance that is included in the legislation. Hemp farmers are now able to ensure their crop as if it were any other and for a state prone to natural disasters, this is invaluable.
CBD Oil California: The Final Word
California has always been a hub for cannabis in the U.S. It has earned its reputation as one of the most cannabis-friendly places on the planet.
Despite Federal restriction, the Californian government and people pioneered a more liberal approach to cannabis that literally rippled all over the entire globe.