Is CBD legal?

In many parts of the country, CBD exists in a legal gray zone.

 If you're confused about whether the CBD products flooding your city or town are totally above board, join the club. CBD is at the center of a complicated legal morass that's in constant flux. Here's what we currently know -- and what's accurate -- at the date of publication. 

This story discusses substances that are legal in some places but not in others and is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You shouldn't do things that are illegal -- this story does not endorse or encourage illegal drug use. 


What federal law says about CBD

The federal government recognizes two forms of the plant Cannabis sativa: hemp and marijuana. Hemp is the least processed form of the cannabis plant and contains high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD -- the compound in cannabis known for its medicinal properties -- and traces of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis that causes a "high." 

Marijuana, on the other hand, is increasingly being bred to contain higher levels of THC -- sometimes upward of 30% -- and lower levels of CBD -- an average of less than 0.2%, according to research

In 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka the Farm Bill) legalized CBD that is derived from hemp and contains no more than 0.3% THC (by dry weight). CBD that comes from the marijuana plant remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act since the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. In DEA parlance, that means the administration believes it has "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse."  


The Farm Bill also created regulations for hemp farmers, which means, "that any cannabinoid—a set of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant—that is derived from hemp will be legal, if and only if that hemp is produced in a manner consistent with the Farm Bill, associated federal regulations, association state regulations, and by a licensed grower," according to the Brookings Institute, a non-profit public policy organization. 

In other words, if a CBD product contains the legal amount of THC but wasn't grown by a licensed producer according to federal regulations, it's still illegal. 

The day the Farm Bill was signed into law, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement clarifying that Congress had "explicitly preserved the agency's current authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and section 351 of the Public Health Service Act." 


Because CBD is also an approved prescription drug (Epidiolex), the FDA still considers CBD a drug ingredient, which means it cannot be marketed and sold as a dietary supplement with therapeutic properties (or even shipped across state lines) without first going through the FDA's drug approval process -- regardless of whether the products are derived from hemp. 

So, what about all the CBD pills, oils and edibles currently on the market that claim to fight anxiety, decrease pain and curb the spread of cancer? That's what the FDA is currently trying to figure out. 

None of these products have been proven to be safe or effective. The FDA has the power to give CBD the green light and the agency is currently considering whether to do that. They held a public hearing on May 31, 2019, and opened a docket for public comment through July 16, 2019. 

In the meantime, it's unclear whether the FDA will crack down on violators. According to the FDA, the agency considers many factors when deciding whether or not to initiate an enforcement action, including agency resources and the threat to public health. 

What state laws say about CBD

Although hemp-derived CBD is now federally legal, many states and cities are updating their laws and they're not always in line with federal regulations. 

For instance, Colorado recently made it legal to use all parts of the hemp plant as a food ingredient, whereas products with any amount of THC are still illegal in Texas.

The best way to determine if CBD products are legal in a specific state is to become familiar with local cannabis laws. 

Organizations like the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Marijuana Policy Project and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws maintain databases -- and interactive data visualizations -- like the one below that make it easy to see what's going on in each state, but for the most up-to-date information, should check the state's criminal code or agriculture department.

 

Data obtained from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Last updated June 25, 2019. Lokal_Profil/Creative Commons license

Finding approved CBD products

With federal and local cannabis regulations still being worked out, finding CBD products that have the lowest legal risk requires a bit of leg work. Experts recommend being diligent about checking product labels and manufacturers' websites for any product to understand. 

Here's what to look for:

  • Origin of hemp: Look for products made from hemp grown in the United States. Hemp grown overseas puts are at the mercy of that country's production rules and regulations -- or lack there of. 
  • Certificate of analysis: This document, also called a COA, shows the results of independent lab testing that checks for things like potency (see below) and contaminants. The batch number on the COA should match the number on the product's label or packaging. Some states make it easy to find this information. For instance, Indiana requires that all CBD products include a QR code on their label that allows users to download the COA to their phone.
  • Testing methods: When reading the COA, make sure the lab doing the testing meets "ISO 17025" standards. The testing methods should also have been validated by one of three national regulatory organizations: the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, or the U.S. Pharmacopeia. 
  • Potency: The COA should also confirm that the product contains the amount of CBD and THC listed on its label -- both in total and by dose. 

If a manufacturer doesn't have this information or isn't willing to share it, avoid their products. Not only could you be technically breaking the law by buying it, but research also shows that it's common for CBD products to be mislabeled, meaning they could be getting more THC than you bargained for or too little CBD to make the product effective. For The best CBD for dogs try https://BoulderCBDPets or https://CBDPetsHub.com from Boulder Colorado.

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CBD in cannabis could reduce psychosis risk from high strength skunk, study shows


Cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical derived from the cannabis plant, can counteract the effects of high strength "skunk" strains and may help to reduce the risk of serious mental health conditions like psychosis, according to a new study. 

After using scans to study the effects of different strains of cannabis on the brain for the first time, the team from the University College London said boosting levels of CBD could act as a “buffer” to ill effects.

They found that strains with the same level of THC, the chemical which causes users to get “stoned”, but higher CBD caused less disruption to parts of the brain linked to addiction and psychosis.

Users also reported a reduction in feelings of being high and experts said this lent support to using high-CBD strains for medicinal uses.

“Over the last two decades, rates of addiction and psychosis linked to cannabis have been on the rise, while at the same time stronger strains of cannabis with more THC and less CBD have become increasingly common,” said Dr Matt Wall, lead author of the study which was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

He added: “We have now found that CBD appears to buffer the user against some of the acute effects of THC on the brain.”

Cannabis contains hundreds of chemicals known as cannabinoids, with THC (tetrahydrocannabidiol) being the most abundant in modern strains followed by CBD.

In the UK, where recreational cannabis remains illegal and medicinal use in its infancy, the prevalence of skunk has been blamed for London having the highest rates of psychosis in Europe.

Meanwhile CBD oils are increasingly sold in health shops for an array of ailments despite limited evidence, thanks in part to decades of prohibition.

 The UCL trial used MRI scans to study activation of different parts of the brain after using two strains, equivalent to a “skunk” strain with low CBD and a higher level.

It found that the low-CBD "skunk" strain disrupted signals from neurons in a region of the brain called the posterior cingulate and this led to users reporting feeling more stoned.

There was also interference in the network of neurons which underpin emotional and sensory information, known as the salience networks.

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Disrupting these areas has been linked to addiction and psychosis, but CBD helped alleviate this and could point to a protective or medicinal use.

“If CBD can restore disruption to the salience network, this could be a neuroprotective mechanism to explain its potential to treat disorders of salience such as psychosis and addiction,” said Professor Val Curran.

 He added: “We have now found that CBD appears to buffer the user against some of the acute effects of THC on the brain.”  

Cannabis contains hundreds of chemicals known as cannabinoids, with THC (tetrahydrocannabidiol) being the most abundant in modern strains followed by CBD.

In the UK, where recreational cannabis remains illegal and medicinal use in its infancy, the prevalence of skunk has been blamed for London having the highest rates of psychosis in Europe.

Meanwhile CBD oils are increasingly sold in health shops for an array of ailments despite limited evidence, thanks in part to decades of prohibition.  

It found that the low-CBD "skunk" strain disrupted signals from neurons in a region of the brain called the posterior cingulate and this led to users reporting feeling more stoned.

There was also interference in the network of neurons which underpin emotional and sensory information, known as the salience networks. 

Disrupting these areas has been linked to addiction and psychosis, but CBD helped alleviate this and could point to a protective or medicinal use.

“If CBD can restore disruption to the salience network, this could be a neuroprotective mechanism to explain its potential to treat disorders of salience such as psychosis and addiction,” said Professor Val Curran. 


CBD for Pets. CBD Oil for dogs, CBD for dogs

Table of Contents


  • Why You Should Consider Giving CBD To Your Dog or Cat
  • Benefits of CBD Oil for Pets
  •  Is CBD Safe for Pets? 
  •  CBD Dosage for Pets 
  •  Are there Side Effects?  
  •  How Much do I Give my Pet?  
  •  How to Administer 

 


Why You Should Consider Giving CBD To Your Dog or Cat


You may have heard friends talking about how much CBD has helped their pet, or perhaps a veterinarian has suggested CBD usage for a particular ailment your pet has developed. If you are considering buying CBD for your pet, it is helpful to know what it can and cannot do, what the benefits and risks are, and how it affects your pet and their health first. 

Dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system just like humans. While the system of receptors is not as diverse and widespread in your pet, the same receptors affecting mood, sleep, and joint function and pain relief are present. This means that your pet can benefit from CBD, just like humans do. CBD can help your pet with a broad variety of ailments. Just like in humans, it might not work for every pet, but the therapeutic effects are often visible in a much shorter time frame. For the pets that respond favorably to CBD supplementation, the effects can be life-changing. 


Benefits of CBD Oil for Pets


Cannabidiol remedies can be used in pets for many of the same ailments that humans use them for. Here are just some of the things that CBD can help with: 

  • Appetite 
  • Anxiety and mood
  • Pain 
  • Energy levels
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Inflammation 
  • Anxiety and mood
  • Hip dysplasia or arthritis
  • Tumors or growths
  • Improved quality of life


Is CBD Safe for Pets? 


Yes, CBD is considered generally safe for both dogs and cats, with a low risk of any side effects, most of them minor. Even the American Kennel Club has recommended CBD usage, and is currently sponsoring the largest CBD study of its kind at Colorado State University. Countless veterinarians have recommended and even prescribed cannabidiol for a wide range of ailments that pets suffer from. Any risks from CBD usage for your pet are very small, while the benefits can be enormous.

The most common side effect reported is excessive sleepiness or lethargy. If your pet experiences a noticeable decline in activity levels, try using a smaller dose. Different ages, sizes and even breeds can react more sensitively to CBD oil. It is not recommended to give cannabidiol to puppies or kittens younger than three months of age.

Dogs have a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors than cats. CBD is well-tolerated by all dog breeds, with the larger breeds (German Shepherd, Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Labradors) more responsive to higher or more frequent CBD doses than the smaller breeds (Terriers, Chihuahuas, Spaniels, etc). More active or "working" breeds may also need higher CBD dosages to see the best therapeutic effect. As with any medication or supplement, consult your veterinarian if you have questions or concerns about CBD interaction with any other medication your dog may be taking. 

Cats can also benefit from CBD usage, especially those with age-related decline in movement or behavior. Despite their smaller size, cats often require a larger cannabidiol dose than dogs by body weight to see the most benefits, as they have less endocannabinoid receptors. Cats are typically less likely to take CBD on treats or administered directly by mouth, so you may need to add CBD drops to their water dish and monitor dosage by how much they drink. As with dogs, if your cat seems sleepy or lethargic after eating or drinking CBD oil, consider reducing the amount and monitoring their results. CBD has no known toxicity level to any breed of cat, and its safety is well-tested.


CBD Dosage for Pets


You will need to make sure that your pet has a dose that is safe and effective. You must carefully control the amount of THC in their dosage. You should avoid giving your pet so much CBD that their energy levels or mood are negatively affected. You only want to give enough to get the medicinal value, excess cannabidiol is unlikely to be beneficial. For most pets, you should start with just ½ dropper of total CBD oil per day, and possibly less for very small or sensitive breeds. For larger and active breeds, you may raise the dosage to several droppers per day, depending on how quickly they react and what your veterinarian recommends. CBD Pet cannabidiol oil contains extremely small amounts of the THC cannabinoid, which can be unhealthy to pets in large doses, so there isn't a risk of "overdosing" animals using CBDPet, which is batch-tested to ensure THC levels remain far below 1%.


Are there Side Effects? 


Some CBD side effects are possible for your pet, but they are not extreme. The most common side effect that you will see in your pet is sleepiness. If your pet seems to be too drowsy after their treatment, simply reduce their dose. If you have a pet with high anxiety levels, the sleepiness may help with calming your pet down. If your pet has a sensitive stomach, too much CBD at once can result in vomiting, especially if not taken with food. If your pet seems drowsy, tired, or unsteady, try reducing their CBD intake before discontinuing use. Consult your veterinarian if you think your pet is having a negative reaction, or their sleep seems to be affected. 


How Much do I Give my Pet? 


With cannabidiol, less is more. You will want to start with the lowest dose possible. If this does not work, you can always go higher, but you should seldom need to use more than 3-4 droppers-full per day. You will want to make sure that your pet is responding positively before increasing their CBD dosage. As we learn more about pet endocannabinoid system, dosing standards for pets will change, but a good rule of thumb is to start with ½ dropper of CBDPet oil per day, and adjust accordingly.


How to Administer 


There are several ways that you can administer cannabidiol oil to your pet. Some pets will let you put the oil dropper in their mouth directly. Most animals (especially cats) you will need to instead add the drops to food or water. CBD oil drops can be added directly to daily pet food, or put directly on treats. Our CBD oil for pets is in a base of natural hemp oil and has a fairly neutral taste, so even picky pets will typically ingest CBD if given the proper delivery method.

The vast majority of pet owners who have tried CBD for their furry friend have found positive benefits, and we hope you will do the same. If a trusted friend or veterinarian has recommended CBD Pet to you, we hope you try it out and see how much CBD can do for your pet. We are happy to answer any questions you have (though our support staff are not veterinary doctors, so be patient) and offer a 90 Day Guarantee on all orders of CBD Pet placed through our website.



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