Just as coffee comes in innumerable flavors, from mild to intense, to very strong, the Cannabis Sativa plant, can be bred, to contain minimal amounts of THC, the chemical that gives you a narcotic high) in which case it is referred to as Industrial Hemp, (i.e., 3 percent or less of THC) to marijuana that approaches an astounding 37 percent THC level.
Is it legal
But that still doesn’t answer the question: Is Hemp Legal?
- As the U.S. Department of Justice reported in the Federal Register in 2003, the FDA first deregulated hemp with no THC, from Federal Jurisdiction.
- Following that policy, in 2018, President Trump signed a Farm Bill that allowed cultivation and sale of hemp with up to a .3 percent concentration of THC.
After that, we are off to the races as far as the hemp bandwagon, and while Hemp, and hemp products such as CBD oil, it is up to the various states whether they have hemp products would still be illegal in their jurisdiction.
THC levels hard to test
Compounding the complexity is that many police departments, who routinely arrest people for marijuana offenses, do not have sophisticated labs at their disposal to check small amounts of marijuana.
- In Texas, for example, the 2019 Legislature legalized the same amount of THC. Still, many prosecutors across the state indicated they would stop prosecuting small busts for marijuana because they didn’t have the lab capacity to adequately test whether a product confiscated in a bust by police, exceeded the .3 percent THC threshold or not.
The example of dry alcohol jurisdictions
As one website put it, in trying to clarify the status of Hemp and CBD oil, just as prohibition ended 80 years ago, yet, hundreds of cities and counties in the U.S. continue to deny residents the legal ability to imbibe in alcohol, so too, the jury is up to in the air in many states as to be able to buy hemp products such as CBD Oil.
For example, there are nearly 27 states where you might need a medical prescription to be able to buy CBD oil legally. To get around regulations, some CBD oil, such as several that are found on Amazon, is aimed at pets.
FDA cracking down
- While the FDC generally takes a hands-off policy on products such as CBD oil, it is rigorous when it comes to making medical claims for the benefits of CBD.
- In October of this year, the FDA issued a joint warning letter to an online CBD seller that was touting CBD oil for teething pain, earaches, autism, attention deficit disorder, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- In addition to its concern, the FCS cited Federal Trade Regulations that it is unlawful to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease unless the advertiser possesses competent and reliable scientific evidence, the claims are valid.
The oil may come from illegal sources
Another concern of the FDA is that CBD Oil produced from non-hemp sources is still unlawful and controlled. But here too, it takes sophisticated and expense lab tests to be able to determine the actual cause of CBD Oil.
Vaping a concern
- Another concern of many state and federal regulators is vaping. As of October, over 1200 vaping related incidents and 26 deaths have been reported to the Center for Disease Control.
- Now called EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury), health officials and regulators expressed concern that that Vaping, particularly with CBD oil, is virtually unregulated territory.
- There may be multiple causes for the health issues concerning vaping. Still, the CDC has noted that their preliminary investigation showed the vast majority of the vaping-lung problems are likely related to the fact the majority vaped substances with THC in them.
- While research rapidly continues, most medical experts have concluded that humans have a relatively low tolerance for vaping THC within their lungs.
- And the vaping lung problems are also giving many legislators, who have generally taken a hands-off approach to THC in any form, to take a second look.
Don’t vape with THC
- In early October, the FDA warned vapers not to use any product that contains CDC, and in the summer of 2019, both New York and Michigan lawmakers passed a law to outlaw flavored vapes.
It is becoming increasingly clear that due to the vaping problems, legislatures are increasingly wary of CBD oil, and many of the states that now do nothing to restrict either e-cigarettes or CBD oil, may go the prescription route, or reverse themselves and provide a complete ban.
- Besides making unsubstantiated medical claims, another cause of concern is that there is very little clinical research on Hemp Guide and CBD products.
- Harvard says the most documented example is that of assisting epilepsy patients but says the bottom line is that CBD oil is not a cure-all for everything.
- Medical researchers point out the relatively few studies are no accident. A typical drug company such as Phizer may spend around $2.7 billion to get a new drug off the ground, but then once it’s approved, they get a patent on the drug, worth many billions more.
- In the case of products such as CBD oil, there are no Phizers, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, or Eli Lilly. Instead, CBD oil is sold by small retailers and manufacturers who may individually have a million dollars worth of sales or less.
- Also, there is no patentable product. Manufacturers may claim otherwise, but CBD oil is CBD oil.
- There is nothing unique that would allow a manufacturer to sponsor a multi-million dollar research study, find a unique substance that cured disease and reap billions as a result.
- Pretty much, all that is currently known about CBD oil is all that will be found in the future.
- It is recommended that you try CBD oil for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Just be sure you talk to your doctor about it first and use it as a supplement cautiously.
- It may help. But above all, don’t vape it. It’s not worth the risks.