In 1970, the U.S. government passed the Controlled Substances Act, a statute that regulates all cannabis, including industrial hemp. However, the definition of marijuana was lifted from the existing 1937 statute and adopted without any change. This definition excluded certain parts of hemp — sterilized hemp seed, hemp fiber, and hemp seed oil — from regulation.
And now, onto the thorny issue of legality. The simple answer to the question is yes — if it is extracted from hemp. The 2014 Farm Bill established guidelines for growing hemp in the U.S. legally. This so-called “industrial hemp” refers to both hemp and hemp products which come from cannabis plants with less than 0.3 percent THC and are grown by a state-licensed farmer.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a phyto-cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. However, it does not cause the same psychoactive effects as other naturally occurring cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC). CBD induces feelings of sleepiness and tranquility, making it suitable for insomnia and other sleep disorders; CBD can be used to alleviate symptoms of epilepsy, diabetes, and anxiety disorders, as well. Legality is an issue for some; all 50 states have laws governing the sale, possession, and use of CBD, and they vary significantly (see the table below for a full analysis).
When it comes to buying CBD oil, you must be exceedingly cautious because there is a tremendous amount of misinformation and outright deceit within the industry. Many online resources may try to mislead you for profit or other disingenuous reasons. For instance, some Cannabidiol oil companies advertise that their products contain a specific concentration of CBD (displayed in either percentages or milligrams (mg). However, independent research has shown that many of these sellers and their products do not live up to their claims as their products contain far less CBD than they state in print. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to specific companies in 2016 because their products were found to contain far less CBD than advertised.