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Over the last few years, the demand for CBD products has skyrocketed, especially as a growing number of consumers seek all natural alternatives to common ailments such as poor sleep, anxiety, and chronic pain.
One of the first questions that people have in regards to CBD products is whether they’re legal or not. The short answer is yes, but only under specific conditions. CBD legality isn’t black and white. There’s a lot of gray area that causes a lot of confusion amongst those with a newfound interest in CBD.
Because there is so much misinformation about the legality of CBD, we’re here to help set the record straight. Here’s everything you need to know about whether CBD is legal or not, along with a list of five of the top CBD brands that meet all legal regulations.
Understanding Hemp vs. Marijuana
A lot of the confusion and misinformation comes from people not understanding that hemp and marijuana are two different plants. Therefore, the products made using compounds derived from each of these plants are also quite different.
Hemp and marijuana are two different varieties of the cannabis sativa plant. Both naturally produce CBD, along with other cannabinoids. Visually, hemp and marijuana look the same. However, the biggest difference is the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is the compound that causes people to get “high.” It’s known to create feelings of euphoria, and may cause confusion and anxiety. Hemp has a nearly non-existence amount of THC, with levels averaging below 0.3%. However, marijuana plants contain a much higher amount of THC, which can be as high as 30%.
Because marijuana has such a high THC content, which produces mind-altering effects, the plant is federally illegal in the U.S. along with many other countries around the globe.
Hemp-Derived CBD Is Legal
Understanding the difference between hemp and marijuana is crucial in understanding the legality of CBD products. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products are legal on a federal level. The bill removed hemp as a Schedule I substance and reclassified it as an “agricultural commodity.”
One of the most common misconceptions about this bill is that it legalizes all CBD products, regardless of whether the CBD was derived from hemp or marijuana. However, this isn’t true. According to the DEA, CBD is a Schedule I substance, which is illegal.
But, if the CBD is derived from hemp, and adheres to all of the regulations stated in the 2018 Farm Bill, then it’s no longer a Schedule I substance and is legal. In order for a CBD product to be legal, it must not only be derived from hemp, it must also:
● Contain less than 0.3% THC
● Must adhere to shared state-federal regulations
● Must be grown by a licensed grower
The bill also removed all restrictions on the sale, transportation, and possession of hemp-derived CBD products. This means that these products can be transported across state lines, as long as the product meets the above criteria.
Federal Legality Doesn’t Guarantee State Legality
Just because CBD is legal on a federal level doesn’t necessarily make it legal in all states. States can have laws that set forth further regulations, or ones that outright ban CBD products altogether.
Before buying any kind of CBD product, it’s important to check into any state laws that may be in place. For example, CBD products are considered illegal in Iowa. However, they are legal in neighboring states such as Illinois and Minnesota.
How to Confirm a Product’s Legality
Companies can advertise that a CBD product is 100% legal, but that doesn’t mean that what’s marketed is necessarily true. The only way to guarantee with total certainty that a product is legal is by reviewing the certificate of analysis (COA).
This is a document that’s created once a product has been tested by an independent third-party lab. A COA provides extremely detailed information about a product, including:
● Microbial contaminants (ie. mold, yeast, etc.)
● Residual solvents
● Heavy metals
Not only does a COA confirm the presence of these compounds, but it also provides a measurement. So when determining whether a CBD product is legal, you’ll want to look at the findings for THC. If the percentage is 0.3% or below, then the product meets all legal regulations.
If a product has a reading higher than 0.3%, or if a product doesn’t have a COA available, it’s best to steer clear.
Now that you know the ins and outs of the legality of CBD and how to determine if a product is legal, let’s take a look at the top 5 trusted CBD brands. These brands use the highest quality hemp-derived CBD and each product undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it meets legal regulations as well as quality, safety, and potency standards.
Top 5 Trusted CBD Brands
Penguin CBD products are powered by nature and inspired by earth. The company is run by a team of specialists from a variety of fields that work together to create quality CBD products. Penguin products are inspired by the calm, cool-under-pressure personality and lifestyle of penguins. The brand believes that everyone should be able to have a life that is balanced and chill.
All Penguin CBD products are made using GMO-free Oregon-grown hemp plants. These plants are raised and farmed without the use of pesticides or any other harmful chemicals.
Extract type: CBD isolate and broad spectrum (product dependent)
COAs: Lab results are available for each product on the Penguin website
2. Verma Farms
Verma Farms creates premium CBD products that are inspired by Hawaii. All CBD is sustainably sourced from the highest quality hemp plants grown throughout the United States that are grown without the use of harmful pesticides. Ingredients are carefully selected to ensure only the safest, highest quality options are used.
Though best known for their tropical paradise flavored collection of gummies, Verma Farms also offers a line of performance gummies that are uniquely formulated for improved recovery, sleep, and energy.
Extract type: Broad spectrum
● Dried fruit
● Pet products (oils and treats)
COAs: Lab results are available for each product on the Verma Farms website
FOCL’s Premium Full-Spectrum CBD Gummies are the easiest way to provide your body with overall wellness, whether at home or on-the-go. They not only taste like a treat, they’re also highly effective at relaxing the body and mind, and made with only the highest quality organic ingredients. With 25mg of Premium Full-Spectrum CBD in each gummy, they really pack a punch. They’re also vegan, non-GMO, and come in 3 delicious flavors (Sour Watermelon, Mandarin Orange & Tropical Punch). FOCL offers free shipping on every order as well as bundle pack options. Enjoy maximum relief with FOCL’s delicious Full-Spectrum CBD Gummies. Made with extracts from the whole hemp plant to give you the deepest possible benefits.
As we routinely write aboutR+R Medicinals becoming one of the leading brands in the US, their gummies are no exception. They continue to impress by having created a 25mg gummy, available in both full and broad spectrum (THC-Free) with an amazing taste.
What’s even more amazing is that their gummies are USDA Organic, making them one of the only options available in that category worldwide! Furthermore, they’re completely Vegan, and they taste awesome, as they’ve partnered with a local candy manufacturer to create these delicious rings. So many other brands use artificial flavors, dyes, and other funky ingredients to achieve great tastes at the sacrifice of unnatural ingredients. R+R is truly delicious and a much more pure product.
20% off your first purchase with code: RRWORKS20, 15% off all subscriptions!
Colorado Botanicals offers surprisingly affordable, premium, THC-free, broad-spectrum CBD with sustainability in mind. Their organic Colorado hemp is tested and uses no synthetic chemicals or potentially dangerous pesticides throughout the growing process. Although they’re yet to have any issues, their unique, vertically-integrated quality control offers multiple layers of protection.
Colorado Botanicals offers the usual range of hemp-derived CBD products, but their maximum potency is above and beyond their competitors.
Extract type: Broad spectrum
● Pet oil
COAs: Lab results are easily accessible on each product’s page or their Lab Reports page
Bonus: Sunday Scaries
Sunday Scaries products are created to keep away the the impending doom of Monday that most people experience every Sunday. These top notch products are infused with premium CBD extract to calm the mind, improve your focus, relieve work pressure, and to reset your equilibrium so that you feel more balanced.
Sunday Scaries products deliver all of the whole-plant benefits offered by terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, and minor cannabinoids. Whether you want to have a truly relaxing bath or want to partake in some delicious CBD candy, this brand has got just the product for you.
Extract type: Broad spectrum
● Bath bombs
COAs: Lab results are available for each product on the Sunday Scaries website
The legality of CBD products isn’t as clear cut as many people would hope. However, by understanding the regulations at the federal and state level, it should be much easier to navigate the ever-changing and ever-growing landscape.
Buying CBD products from reputable brands that embrace third party testing is the best way to ensure that you’re investing in a legal product. The five brands on our list are well known in the CBD industry and go above and beyond to meet legal, quality, and safety regulations.