CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of the active components of the cannabis plant. It is the second most predominant cannabinoid in cannabis and hemp after delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While cannabis and hemp are varieties of Cannabis sativa L., they have varying levels of cannabinoids like CBD and THC. Generally, cannabis has a higher concentration of THC than hemp. THC is the psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis that causes intoxication. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, and those found in medical cannabis are believed to be effective in treating a handful of health issues. Some of the medical benefits include the management of chronic pain and anxiety and also improving heart health. CBD is commonly used for cancer management, management of neurodegenerative disorders, management of mental health, and mood-related conditions. Some also believe that it promotes optimal skin health and boosts human immune function.
CBD exists in three forms, namely broad-spectrum CBD, full-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds found in cannabis plants except for THC, while full-spectrum CBD has all the components of cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC. CBD isolates contain purely CBD with no other compounds from cannabis plants, including THC. Widely used CBD products include edibles, topicals, capsules, oils and tinctures, and vape juices. Oils, tinctures, and vape juices are presented as CBD-infused liquids, while edibles come as ingestible CBD products. Topicals are typically ointments and are applied to the skin, while capsules are produced as CBD-containing pills.
The 2018 Farm Bill, commonly known as the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, removed CBD products and hemp from the federal list of controlled substances. The delisting changed the legality of CBD on the federal level. Consequently, under this Act, it is legal to produce, purchase, and use CBD products in the United States, provided they satisfy certain conditions. One of such conditions is that the CBD must be derived from hemp and must not contain more than 0.3% THC. In California, CBD is also legal. As such, residents can purchase and use products containing CBD.
Yes. Assembly Bill (AB) 45, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in October 2021, legalized CBD in California. The state considers CBD oil sourced from hemp and cannabis as legal for medical and recreational uses. Before the enactment of AB 45, California prohibited infusing CBD derived from hemp in foods, beverages, and dietary supplements in compliance with federal laws regarding CBD. Although enforcement was not strict, it was illegal to produce, purchase, or use edibles containing hemp-derived CBD. The approval of this Bill now permits hemp-sourced CBD to be included in dietary supplements, foods, and beverages in California. The state's marijuana laws allow edibles containing cannabis-derived CBD for recreational and medical purposes.
Assembly Bill 45 is the most recent state law in California about legalizing and regulating CBD. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry sponsored this bill which was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 6, 2021. This bill permits the cultivation of hemp intended for CBD production in California and its sale upon meticulous testing and the satisfaction of regulatory requirements.
AB 45 requires the California Department of Health (DPH) to develop regulations on the sale of CBD-based products within the state. While this might take some time, the DPH must prepare a report to the state legislature and governor on or before July 1, 2022, stating the required measures to allow the incorporation of hemp-sourced CBD into the cannabis supply chain. The bill prohibits the manufacture or sale of hemp products with more than 0.3% THC, in line with the 2018 Farm Bill. It requires all CBD-infused food and dietary supplement manufacturers to register with the DPH and demonstrate that the plant parts used in manufacturing are from a state that has already established an industrial hemp program.
AB 45 stipulates that dietary supplements, foods, and beverages produced and sold in California are not contaminated by including hemp-derived CBD once they meet the specified requirements. However, the bill forbids distributors, sellers, and manufacturers from misleading the public with false statements on product labels regarding the health benefits of consuming their CBD-based products. It equally prohibits the manufacture and sale of inhalable CBD products until the state enacts a tax on such products, except if they are intended for sale outside California.
Any person 21 years or older can possess CBD in California. However, as of November 2021, the state has no established possession limits on CBD oil or other CBD products. To use a cannabis-derived CBD oil in California, a person under 18 years requires a medical card. However, they need parental/legal guardian consent and a doctor's recommendation to obtain such a card.
Doctors can only recommend CBD oil or other CBD products (hemp or marijuana-derived) in California and cannot prescribe them despite being one of the states where medical marijuana is legal. Essentially, no one needs a doctor's prescription to use any CBD products legally in the state. California treats CBD as a non-prescription medicine, and the state's marijuana laws permit anyone of legal age to purchase and use it.
CBD oil has been proven to relieve chronic pains and symptoms of anxiety in California. Also, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD-containing drug known as Epidiolex for treating certain seizures in the U.S. These include seizures associated with Dravet syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in medical patients who are at least one year old.
Currently, California does not require a license to sell CBD oil products, and anyone can buy them from any retail outlet within the state. However, the Department of Public Health (DPH) does not permit unlicensed retailers to sell foods, beverages, and dietary supplements containing CBD. California requires hemp growers and processors to obtain licenses to cultivate and produce hemp.
Senate Bill 153 mandates hemp growers to obtain the requisite license to farm hemp in the state and requires them to register with their counties' agricultural commissioners. License applicants must provide their names, addresses, and other contact information during the application process. Growers can only use approved hemp cultivars to grow hemp. As such, SB 153 requires them to provide information on the cultivars they intend to use and where they will get the seeds. Senate Bill 566, otherwise known as the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, authorizes industrial hemp production. However, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is still developing a program to administer this Act, including licensing.
Distributors of CBD products in California must be aware of the state's labeling rules regarding the products they sell. The labeling requirements for cannabis products advised by the California DPH in 2019 also apply to CBD products. Typically, a CBD product label in the state must have a primary panel and an informational panel. The primary panel holds the CBD product identity, net weight or volume, and the universal symbol for all cannabis products in California. The primary panel is usually seen on the display side of a CBD product. The informational panel is any other label on a CBD product that does not bear the product weight, identity, or the California-regulated cannabis universal symbol. The information displayed on this panel includes the date of packaging a CBD product for sale, the manufacturer's or cultivator's name and contact information, and the UID number. The Unique Identification Number (UID) is obtained via the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace system. This panel also contains CBD content percentage, instruction for use and any preparation needed, allergens (if applicable), and government warning statements for cannabis products. The information on CBD products labels provides details on the content, safety, and potency of such products and helps users to make informed decisions when buying them.
In California, a CBD product label must not bear any image that can attract children or contain any false or misleading information. The label of an edible product containing CBD must not include a picture of the product. Also, no CBD product label must display unproven health claims, such as claims on the ability of such a product to treat medical conditions not corroborated by scientific agreement.
In California, CBD oil and other CBD products are publicly available in vape shops, dispensaries, wellness centers, and most retail stores. However, buyers are encouraged to be careful and consider many factors before buying CBD oil or any product containing CBD in the state. When shopping for CBD products in California, buyers should always ask to see third-party lab results before making such purchases. Any credible CBD product manufacturer will provide reports that their products have the advertised level of CBD and are free of contaminants.
Generally, there are many unknown brands selling CBD oil and products with little or no CBD. As such, due diligence is essential when purchasing one. Californians can also shop for CBD products online. It gives them the chance to access a more comprehensive range of CBD products from different retailers.