This seemingly simple question has many people — from mainstream Americans to federal regulators — utterly confused.
Before digging into the details, the bottom line is that cannabidiol is federally legal in the United States, with consideration to its source.
Cannabidiol itself is not specifically listed on the United States Controlled Substances Act, the way THC and marijuana are. At the federal level, the Marihuana Tax Act defines ALL Cannabis sativa as “marihuana” and specifies all the parts of the plant that are prohibited: not surprisingly, that list includes the leaves and the flowers.
However, the politicians who wrote up the definition of “marihuana” included some provisions about what “marihuana” was not. Here’s what they had to say:
“The term ‘marihuana’ means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds, or resins; but shall not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.”
The key words here for us are “mature stalks” and “oil or cake made from the seeds” and “sterilized seeds.” Even though it’s a mouthful, the government draws a clear line in the sand as to what parts of the plant These “not marihuana” parts of hemp are the parts that we use to make our CBD hemp oil products.
But we’re not the only ones. These “not marihuana” parts of cannabis are what all hemp companies use to make their products — from hulled hemp seeds to hemp seed oil to hemp protein [cake made from the seeds] to hemp clothing and hemp concrete [fiber from mature stalks].
And while you can’t grow hemp in the US at the national level yet, importing hemp products — like fabric, rope and oil — has been legal for decades. Remember — the United States imports over half a billion dollars worth of hemp products from overseas every year.
Like many other hemp companies, we too import hemp oil from Europe. This hemp oil, naturally abundant in CBD, is what’s at the core of all our brands and products. It’s not an extract, it’s not part of marijuana; it’s a natural part of legal hemp oil, as inseparable from that oil as vitamin C is from orange juice.
As you can see, it’s a tangled legal web. However, it is encouraging to see more and more attention being paid to CBD by regulators, and we are confident that as they weigh the pros and cons of legality for consumers, businesses, and society, a clear, beneficial legal environment will eventually come to be.