In the United States CBD is federally legal for use provided it was derived from legally grown hemp plants with a THC content less than 0.3%.
However, some State laws are still confused about the legality of CBD sale and possession. Notably, Idaho and Nebraska still have an unclear status on the legality of CBD, even when derived from hemp plants with < 0.3% THC.
In many countries in the world, including the EU and the UK, CBD is legal. In many more countries, CBD is approved for medical use. In some countries, CBD remains illegal and possession is punishable by law.
It’s important to know the legality of CBD in your state, country, or jurisdiction!
Is CBD Oil Federally Legal?
Short answer: Yes, provided the CBD is derived from hemp plants with < 0.3% THC content.
In detail: Until very recently, CBD was included under the broader category of ‘marihuana’ in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which is classified as a schedule 1 drug (an illegal narcotic).
The only exception to this rule was if CBD had been extracted from hemp seeds, or the stalks of hemp plants – however, this is very impractical due to the low concentrations of CBD in these parts of the plant.
The 2014 Farm Bill legalized the cultivation of hemp plants for research purposes only. Many vendors were confused by the Bill, believing that this meant that the sale of hemp-derived CBD was federally legal. It was not, and the FDA soon released a statement to clarify the situation.
Four years later, the 2018 Farm Bill specified that CBD was federally legal – provided it was derived from hemp plants, not from ‘marijuana’. According to the FDA, ‘hemp’ is:
“The plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Confusingly, while hemp-derived CBD is now federally legal, CBD-containing pharmaceuticals (like the drug Epidiolex, which is prescribed for seizures) remain Schedule V controlled substances. Schedule V is the lowest level of control, but require prescriptions for purchase.
Is CBD Legal in All 50 States?
Short answer: Yes.
In detail: The 2018 Farm Act in the United States classified CBD as federally legal, provided that it is produced from hemp plants with < 0.3 % THC. However, individual States are still allowed to make their own regulations.
Some States still have unclear laws regarding CBD’s legality or have conditions regarding its sale.
|California (not allowed in food and drink products).||Idaho||Nebraska|
Hemp-derived CBD is legal for sale and purchase, but it may not be added to food, drink, or cosmetic products.
Hemp-derived CBD is legal, provided that it contains ZERO THC.
Recent legislation legalized the sale and purchase of CBD. However, smokable CBD is banned and growers cannot grow hemp plants in this State.
According to the Attorney General, the only CBD that is currently legal in Nebraska is FDA-approved Schedule V Epidiolex. However, a new Bill (LB 659) aims to decriminalize the sale and use of CBD products in this State.
The State has not yet ruled on the legality of CBD products. In February 2019, a CBD store-owner was arrested and charged with drug crimes. His appeal was denied.
FDA-approved Epidiolex is legal when prescribed by a doctor for seizures.
Countries Around the World Where CBD is Legal
Please be very careful if travelling with CBD to other parts of the world. In some countries, anything derived from Cannabis plants is considered an illicit drug and may be punishable by law.
Countries where CBD is definitely legal:
United States (in most states, provided CBD comes from legal hemp plants*)
Almost all European Union countries (except Sweden)
*If your country is not mentioned here, please check the laws before attempting to import CBD products!
Countries & jurisdictions where CBD is scheduled as a medication and requires a prescription for use:
For all other countries, it is highly recommended that you first read up on the legality of CBD and cannabis-derived products before travelling there or trying to import any CBD products.
Countries Where Importing CBD is Definitely Illegal
In some countries, arriving with CBD oil on you is considered to be drug trafficking and is subject to extremely harsh penalties – including life imprisonment or even the death penalty!
United Arab Emirates
Please stay informed and travel safe!
We’d like to improve this blog post! Do you know the legal status of CBD in your country? Please send us an email and let us know!
Citations and Supporting Literature:
 Kramer, M. (2019). Is CBD Legal In Your State? [Interactive Map]. CBD Hacker [online]. Available at https://www.cbdhacker.com/is-cbd-legal-in-your-state-interactive-map/
 Thorne, G. (2019). California Just Got Closer to Allowing CBD in Foods and Licensed Cannabis Facilities. Canna Law Blog [online] Available at: https://www.cannalawblog.com/california-just-got-closer-to-allowing-cbd-in-foods-and-licensed-cannabis-facilities/
 Betsy. (2019). Sen. Lee: Zero-THC CBD oil would remain legal under HB 122 as amended. IdahoPress.com [online] Available at https://www.idahopress.com/eyeonboise/sen-lee-zero-thc-cbd-oil-would-remain-legal-under/article_49f2fddf-7f8a-52eb-9f40-95ffb2e1021a.html
 Hemp Industry Daily (2019). Louisiana legalizes hemp farming, but bans smokable hemp and limits CBD sales. Hemp Industry Daily [online] Available at: https://hempindustrydaily.com/louisiana-legalizes-hemp-farming-but-bans-smokable-hemp-limits-cbd-sales/
 Wiltsey, E. (2019). Bill would redefine what CBD oil is under Nebraska law. 1011 Now. [online] Available at https://www.1011now.com/content/news/Bill-would–506138401.html
 Hemp Industry Daily (2019). North Dakota court says CBD status not a ‘matter of great public concern’. Hemp Industry Daily. [online] Available at https://hempindustrydaily.com/north-dakota-court-cbd-status-not-great-public-concern/
 Bormann, T. (2019). ATTORNEY GENERAL RAVNSBORG CLARIFIES QUESTIONS REGARDING INDUSTRIAL HEMP AND CBD (Cannabidiol) OIL. Attorney General Office of South Dakota. [online] Available at https://atg.sd.gov/OurOffice/Media/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?id=2167