CBD Legal States in 2023
CBD products are making their way into our everyday lives, and many people love the holistic wellness benefits of their favorite CBD tinctures and the soothing relief of CBD topicals. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows companies to formulate wellness products with CBD, and CBD is legal on a federal level. But how does it play out state by state?
Every state has the ability to create its own laws, rules, and regulations, and they all treat CBD a little differently. CBD is likely legal to use in your state, but there may be a few state-specific rules you need to follow. Here’s how you can find relief in your state.
Is Hemp the Same as Cannabis?
Most people think about hemp and cannabis like they’re two separate plants. However, they’re actually the exact same plant. Hemp itself isn’t a different type of plant but a descriptor word for cannabis cultivated in a specific way.
Cannabis is a heavily regulated plant, although many states have significantly eased cannabis restrictions. Cannabis has a naturally high THC content, which produces psychoactive effects. Most states restrict cannabis use to people with special medical use licenses, although an increasing number of states allow adults to purchase cannabis for recreational use.
The term “hemp” is used to describe cannabis plants that are cultivated to significantly reduce their potential to produce THC, which makes the resulting flowers non-psychoactive. If cannabis were wine, hemp would be like grape juice. It all comes from the exact same place, but it’s treated differently.
Why Is Hemp Legal?
Hemp is a very important crop, and we need it for many things. It’s one of the most versatile plants in the world. Hemp is a sustainable alternative to synthetic materials or tree-derived materials like paper, rope, and textiles. One acre of hemp can produce as much paper as ten acres of trees, and the resulting paper can be recycled twice as many times as wood pulp paper.
Hemp seed oil is used for cooking and as a natural moisturizing ingredient in skin and hair care products. The seeds themselves are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Hemp products have a laundry list of practical uses, and it’s one of the most environmentally friendly ways to meet our needs.
The 2018 Farm Bill gave American farmers the power to grow the plant on a large scale by clearly defining what types of cannabis sativa plants would be considered hemp. A hemp plant is any cannabis plant that produces 0.3 percent THC or less by its dry weight.
THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabinoid regulated under the controlled substances act. It’s the one that alters your mind when you use cannabis products.
The miniscule amount of THC in hemp is not nearly enough to produce psychoactive effects, and THC content doesn’t impact the quality of industrial hemp. Farmers don’t need THC for hemp to be a valuable crop.
Since the Farm Bill changed the legal status of industrial hemp on a federal level, it opened the door for legalizing cannabinoids. Cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) are a natural part of hemp, and they aren’t restricted to specific limits under federal law. Hemp can contain as much CBD as it’s capable of naturally producing.
What Is a Cannabinoid?
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that can be produced by people, animals, and plants. The cannabis sativa family of plants produces more cannabinoids than any other living thing, which is why most cannabinoid wellness products are derived from these plants.
CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of over 100 cannabinoids that naturally occur within the cannabis plant. Each cannabinoid interacts with the body in a different way. CBD supports the body without causing psychoactive effects.
Everyone has a massive network of cannabinoid receptors called the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating nearly every important process, from the sleep/wake cycle to the way we experience physical tension. The human body makes its own cannabinoids that stimulate the system and provide support to our other systems.
CBD can also interact with these receptors and inspire them to get to work. It doesn’t change the body’s functions or override anything bodies would naturally do.
Rather, it just drops in to give the endocannabinoid system some heavy-duty encouragement. The benefits of CBD don’t come from CBD itself but from CBD’s supportive properties that can help the body reach a naturally balanced state.
Is CBD Legal in All States?
Technically, broad-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD is legal in all states. However, some states have restrictions on full-spectrum CBD products and other specific state laws. Most states have very specific laws regarding cannabis-derived CBD products, and they vary significantly.
CBD isn’t illegal on a federal level, but states have the ability to make their own laws, rules, and regulations surrounding the use of CBD. The majority of states allow people to purchase any type of CBD product as long as the CBD is derived from federally legal hemp.
It’s important to check your local laws before you purchase CBD products. Even in states where CBD is considered legal to buy, sell, and use, there are often some exceptions regarding THC content and forms of CBD.
Things change all the time. There may have been restrictions on CBD in your state that have been lifted over the past few years, or there may have been new regulations written into law.
CBD Legal States in 2023
There is a legal way to enjoy CBD in every state — just make sure you understand your state’s little nuances. As long as the CBD comes from hemp, it’s usually legal to use.
Here are the states where you can legally enjoy CBD:
- Alabama – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Alaska – Completely Legal
- Arizona – Completely Legal
- Arkansas – Legal with Additional Specifications
- California – Completely Legal
- Colorado – Completely Legal
- Connecticut – Completely Legal
- Delaware – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Florida – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Georgia – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Hawaii – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Idaho – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Illinois – Completely Legal
- Indiana – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Iowa – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Kansas – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Kentucky – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Louisiana – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Maine – Completely Legal
- Maryland – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Massachusetts – Completely Legal
- Michigan – Completely Legal
- Minnesota – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Mississippi – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Missouri – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Montana – Completely Legal
- Nebraska – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Nevada – Completely Legal
- New Hampshire – Legal with Additional Specifications
- New Jersey – Completely Legal
- New Mexico – Legal with Additional Specifications
- New York – Completely Legal
- North Carolina – Legal with Additional Specifications
- North Dakota – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Ohio – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Oklahoma – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Oregon – Completely Legal
- Pennsylvania – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Rhode Island – Legal with Additional Specifications
- South Carolina – Legal with Additional Specifications
- South Dakota – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Tennessee – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Texas – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Utah – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Vermont – Completely Legal
- Virginia – Completely Legal
- Washington – Completely Legal
- West Virginia – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Wisconsin – Legal with Additional Specifications
- Wyoming – Legal with Additional Specifications
In most states where CBD is completely legal, you need to be at least 21 years old to purchase CBD products. This rule usually doesn’t apply to things like CBD-infused lip balm, topicals, or skin creams. Age restrictions are usually enforced only for things like CBD oil or CBD products intended to be inhaled.
States like Oregon have very liberal CBD laws, where any person can purchase nearly any type of CBD product without restrictions, but that’s not the norm. Most CBD retailers keep CBD products over the counter or in a locked case.
CBD was originally illegal under Iowa law until the Iowa Hemp Act of 2019, which legalized topical CBD products and consumable CBD products, like muscle relief balms and CBD oil. CBD hemp flower and CBD vape cartridges remain illegal. Any hemp-derived product that can be smoked or inhaled is still banned in this state.
Idaho only allows CBD products with no trace amounts of THC. This means that full-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD is illegal. People can only purchase broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate products.
What Is the Difference Between Types of CBD?
It’s important to understand the difference between types of CBD because there may be restrictions in your state that prevent you from using certain types of CBD. Full-spectrum CBD is the only type of hemp-derived CBD that may be illegal in states with strict rules. Broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate are usually fair game.
Full-spectrum CBD is sometimes called whole hemp extract. It’s the extract from hemp flowers exactly as it exists within the plant. That means it can contain up to 0.3 percent THC. This isn’t enough THC to cause psychoactive effects, but it may not be preferable to use CBD products that contain THC.
CBD products containing any detectable levels of THC are illegal in a couple of states. If you live in a state where full-spectrum CBD is totally fine to use, you still may choose not to. Some people don’t feel comfortable using products that contain THC, and that’s perfectly fine. You have to do what feels right for you.
If your life circumstances require you to take a drug test (i.e. certain professions with mandatory testing or applying for a new position), you might want to avoid full spectrum CBD altogether. It’s very rare, but it’s possible that full-spectrum CBD can cause a false result for cannabis on a drug test. It’s more likely to
Broad-spectrum CBD is usually considered the best of both worlds. It’s almost whole hemp extract, except for one tiny detail. Broad-spectrum CBD contains everything the hemp plant contains except THC. The THC is isolated, and all detectable THC is removed from the extract.
You’re getting all the good stuff and none of the stuff you either don’t want or can’t have. You’re also able to enjoy more benefits from the hemp plant than just CBD.
CBD isolate is exactly what it sounds like. CBD is isolated from hemp extract and used all by itself. With CBD isolate, you can enjoy the benefits of CBD without the benefits of other cannabinoids, which can be a big sacrifice. Minor cannabinoids have tons of potential wellness benefits, and it would be a shame to sacrifice their potential.
Find the Relief You Need With CBD
CBD products like gummies and drops can work to support a healthy stress response, a calm mood, and restful sleep. CBD topicals like lotions and balms can provide targeted relief to aches and discomfort you might experience after a tough workout.
Both can work in unison to support your wellness inside and out. And luckily, CBD is legal in most states, although you may want to double-check your local laws for specific regulations. Shop the full collection of Muscle MX broad-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD products to find the relief you need.