As CBD is derived from the cannabis plant many consumers are unsure of its legal status. Cannabis plants that contain high levels (up to 30%) of the intoxicating compound THC are often referred to as marijuana.
Marijuana use is legal if used as a component for treating a health condition in 38 states that have legislated medical cannabis programmes. Nearly 20 states have now legalized cannabis for an adult use market.
Although CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant, the particular plants that are cultivated for CBD extraction are not classified as marijuana they are classified as hemp plants. The reason a cannabis plant is called either marijuana or hemp is based on how much THC is present in the plant.
Any cannabis plant that contains no more than 0.3% THC is classed as hemp and any cannabis plant that has more than 0.3% THC is classed as marijuana.
THC and CBD are known as cannabinoid compounds. Within cannabis plants the cannabinoid levels can reach up to 30%. Marijuana plants have been specially bred to yield a very high % of THC. These plants have only tiny amounts of other cannabinoids due to the cross breeding focus on THC.
World leading genetics from Oregon have focussed on breeding cannabis plants with high yields of CBD and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids. As the CBD levels have risen the level of THC has lowered resulting in vibrant plants that do not make the consumer intoxicated.
Since 2018, as long as CBD is harvested from hemp plants it is federally legal across the whole of the USA. CBD is not intoxicating unlike THC. CBD has been recognised as presenting no risks to public health, is non-toxic, non-addictive and there is no evidence of the recreational use of CBD or CBD overdosing.