In practice, selling CBD seems to be legally riskier than possessing it. The DEA’s priority seems mostly to concern commercial violations; most cases involved smoke shops and non-cannabis vape stores selling CBD cartridges. In 2015, police seized CBD cartridges at a vape store near Milwaukee, but the store owners were never arrested or charged. (A 2014 law made it legal for patients to possess and use CBD oil in Wisconsin, but the law did not make it legal to sell.) That same year, police in central Florida arrested the owner of a local smoke shop chain for selling CBD products.
“The DEA makes it clear they don’t have to explicitly list anything as a controlled substance as long as a substance is intended for human ingestion, not approved as a drug by the (US Food and Drug Administration), or is structurally or pharmacologically similar to another controlled substance,” he told Leafly. “This DEA rulemaking change doesn’t make it any more illegal” than it previously was. The new rule “was an administrative change,” Armentano added. “It has nothing to do with law enforcement.”
Generalized pain, for instance, has dozens upon dozens of high profile research and clinical studies that have been carried out in universities and laboratories around the globe. One of the most well-publicized of these studies took place back in 2008, in which results determined that “cannabinoid analgesics (pain relievers) have generally been well tolerated in clinical trials … with acceptable adverse event profiles (meaning acceptable effectiveness for practical use).