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Is CBD Oil Legal to Consume?

Is CBD Oil Legal to Consume?

CBD is becoming increasingly popular across the country, but some gray areas regarding its legality remain.

If you're interested in trying CBD for its high potential impacts on your mental and physical wellbeing, you probably want to make sure it is legal first.

The good news is that CBD oil is legal at the federal level, but there are still some guidelines and regulations to keep in mind, especially regarding state-by-state regulations.

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of 113 known phytocannabinoids found within the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD can work with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS)–an internal communication network made up of cannabinoid receptors that help regulate biological functions and maintain balance within the body.

CBD can be extracted from plants and citrus fruits, like orange peels, which has the same chemical composition and similar effects. It is often used to help calm the mind, soothe tension, promote relaxation, and ease physical discomfort.

Is CBD Legal in the United States?

CBD–and cannabis in general–has had a long and tumultuous relationship with the U.S. legal system, so the current laws around CBD are still somewhat complicated.

Currently, CBD use is federally legal, but it cannot contain more than 0.3% THC content, and it also cannot be sourced from plants that have more than 0.3% THC content in its dry weight basis.

So, even if you’re using CBD with less than 0.3% THC content in its final form, it is still considered illegal if it was extracted from a cannabis plant with higher levels of THC.

What’s The Difference Between CBD and THC?

While CBD and THC are regarded very differently in the eyes of the current law, the two cannabinoids are actually quite similar in terms of their molecular structure. Just one small variation leads each bioactive compound to work differently within the body.

Both CBD and THC have 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms. However, there is a small difference in how these atoms are arranged.

THC’s structural arrangement allows it to bind directly with cannabinoid receptors in the brain known as CB1 receptors.

By activating CB1 receptors, THC is able to produce psychoactive effects, temporarily altering the mental state and causing the feelings associated with a high.

CBD, on the other hand, is not believed to bind directly with cannabinoid receptors. Instead, CBD plays a more subtle role within the endocannabinoid system by blocking enzymes from breaking down our body’s naturally produced endocannabinoids as quickly.

Endocannabinoids can bind with cannabinoid receptors throughout the nervous system to help trigger biological functions–without producing any psychoactive effects.

CBD may also play a role in modulating serotonin receptors.

CBD’s ability to interact with endocannabinoids and neurotransmitters explain how the cannabinoid can play a role in boosting mood, metabolism, soothing tension, promoting relaxation, and easing discomfort without altering the mental state or causing a high.

The Legal History of CBD

Because CBD can provide a number of wellness benefits without producing psychoactive effects, the government has loosened a lot of regulations around the cannabinoid. But, up until recently, little distinction was made between CBD and THC in terms of the law.

All varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant became heavily regulated in the 1930’s, including varieties such as hemp that have extremely low levels of THC.

Before the 1930’s, both cannabis and hemp were easily accessible, and showed promise as therapeutic agents. However, anti-cannabis propaganda largely tied to anti-immigrant and racist sentiments cropped up, and a cannabis tax was passed in 1937.

Cannabis and hemp cultivation became fully illegal in 1957. The two plants were further regulated less than two decades later, when they were both listed as Schedule I controlled substances in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.

While CBD was not explicitly named in the Controlled Substance Act, hemp and cannabis plants were the only ways to source CBD at the time, so this act effectively criminalized all CBD products at the time.

When Did CBD Become Legal Again In The U.S.?

State and federal laws began to reflect changing attitudes regarding cannabis and CBD in the 2010s.

The 2014 Farm Bill permitted approved research pilot programs and institutions to grow and study hemp. This bill was particularly important for the study of CBD, as CBD is most naturally abundant in the hemp plant. While the 2014 Farm Bill allowed a small amount of hemp growth to take place in the U.S., possessing CBD products was still illegal until the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill.

The 2018 Farm Bill defined hemp as any cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC content in its dry weight, legalized hemp production at the federal level, and removed hemp and hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3% THC content from the Controlled Substances Act.

With the passing of this bill, it became legal to possess CBD products as long as they were also derived from sources containing no more than the legal limit of THC.

It is important to note that at the federal level, cannabis plants and products with over the 0.3% THC content are still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance.

Is CBD Oil Legal in All Fifty States?

Alright, so CBD oil that falls within the legal THC limit is legal at the federal level, but what about state-by-state? This part gets a little tricky, as each state has its own set of regulations, and some states are updating or passing new cannabis laws pretty quickly.

The main thing to know is that nearly all states permit the use of CBD oil, and most states allow CBD products to contain small amounts of THC, with two exceptions.

Where Is CBD Use Restricted?

As of right now, there are two states with stricter CBD laws than what is seen at the federal level: Idaho and South Dakota.

Regarding the legal status In Idaho, CBD products are only legal if they contain zero THC content. This means that even a product with 0.1% THC content is illegal in Idaho.

And in South Dakota, CBD is still fully illegal. The state currently classifies CBD as a schedule IV controlled substance, and unauthorized possession is considered a felony. Outside of Idaho and South Dakota, most states have passed laws that align with the federal laws, or that are even more lenient.

So far, 18 states and Washington DC have legalized recreational cannabis use–meaning that even cannabis strains with a high concentration of the psychoactive THC cannabinoid are legal to possess. In all other states, limits on THC content within CBD oils remain.

Will CBD Show Up On A Drug Test?

Even in states where CBD is legal, you may be subject to a drug test through work or if you are an athlete.

While drug tests don’t specifically look for CBD, they do look for THC. And although the small amounts of THC legally allowed in CBD products are unlikely to show up on a drug test, it is possible, especially if you use CBD consistently.

All hemp plants contain low levels of THC content. And while some hemp-derived CBD products use an extraction method to remove all THC, there is always the possibility that some trace amounts of THC content remains due to extraction and testing inconsistencies.

The body can store both CBD and THC in fat cells, which can build in the body over time. When using CBD consistently, this build can help strengthen the cannabinoid’s soothing effects.

However, if your CBD product is derived from hemp and has even the smallest amount of THC, those THC levels can build as well and may eventually lead to a positive drug test result.

Peels Gives You CBD Without The THC

Whether you live in a state like Idaho that doesn’t allow any THC content in CBD products, have an upcoming drug test, or are simply sensitive to THC–there are plenty of reasons you may prefer a CBD oil that is truly 100% THC free.

Here at Peels, we ensure each batch of our freshly squeezed CBD oil is truly and completely 100% THC free. Because instead of using traditional hemp, we source our CBD from organic orange rinds.

Our cyclic terpene assembly process turns the aromatic terpenes naturally found in citrus peels into bioidentical CBD. Our CBD oil provides the same soothing benefits found in hemp-derived CBD. And because there is no THC in orange peels, there will never be any risk of THC in your CBD oil.

Peels CBD oil can be taken daily for its wellness benefits without risking a positive drug test, and it is fully legal at the federal and in every state that allows CBD–no matter how low the THC content restrictions are in your area.

At Peels, we are committed to supporting you on your wellness journey. Our products are rigorously third-party tested to ensure quality and consistency in each batch – so you can enjoy our citrus-sourced CBD, worry-free.


Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission | NIH

Agricultural Act of 2014: Highlights and Implications | USDA

Farm Bill | USDA