By / April 3, 2019

How CBD is Faring Under the Breakthrough 2018 Farm Bill

Until last year, it had always been a strange time to be in the CBD industry. Aside from its widely known medical benefits, cannabidiol, or CBD, is essentially a substance from cannabis that does not get you high. CBD slowly rose to fame as anyone can easily get it from storefronts across the states which already made it legal. Its legality, however, was initially murky.

The legality of CBD

Where else will you find a product so deep in the gray area of its legality that you can see the Federal Drug Administration put it in the same category as heroin, while pet owners use it to treat their pets? While it was an essentially controlled substance, soccer moms sell it for a side hustle and professional athletes use it to treat their sore muscles. Others even use CBD to treat their anxiety, while some just take it for that needed boost through the day.

The relatively vague history of CBD’s legality actually made sense. Back in his administration, former U.S. President Barrack Obama signed the 2014 Farm Bill, which lets some states grow and cultivate industrial hemp as long as it is for research purposes. CBD is extracted from hemp, and as such is able to pass through the tiniest legal loophole.

hemp oil
CBD is legal if it is extracted from hemp. (Source)

CBD in 2019

This year presents an entirely different story for the wonder compound. In December 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill. Championed by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the 2018 Farm Bill effectively removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that hemp is now legal. Producing it as an agricultural crop is now free from criminal liability.

That development now merits the question, “What does this mean for CBD?”

Of course, this doesn’t mean that CBD is all in the clear now. Keep in mind that the Farm Bill made hemp an ordinary agriculture commodity. Under the new regulation, there is a provision that states that CBD is legal only if its sourced from hemp. Furthermore, hemp needs to be legally grown. Currently, there is still no state with an up and running system that is legal and compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill.

CBD oil
CBD products must first undergo FDA approval before it is deemed safe to consume or use.(Source)

Another thing is that CBD is now under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration.

This means that any CBD product must first undergo FDA approval before it is deemed safe to consume or use. Any CBD product that claims to have medical or health properties would be in violation of federal laws and regulations. With regard to this, John Hudak, author of Marijuana: A Short History, said that all the CBD products currently on the shelves will not be approved by the FDA at all.

So, where does this leave us and CBD? The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill is a step in the right direction. Although it may seem like another hurdle, it will be good for the industry down the line when the cogs finally shift to full gear.

(Featured Image by Jose Luis Sanchez Pereyra)

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