Many people consider cannabinoid (CBD) a miracle drug. But the federal government considers it an illegal substance.
CBD has proven effective in treating a number of medical conditions, including seizures, pain and anxiety. Articles touting CBD have appeared in mainstream publications. For instance, the Washington Post that called it “the new ‘it’ drug.”
Robert Scott Bell is a homeopath and a leading voice for health freedom and healing liberty. He’s hosted his syndicated radio show for nearly two decades and has touted the benefits of CBD for years.
“Cannabinoids are proving to be both powerful and safe in reducing reliance on dangerous and addictive opioids, easing pain, anxiety and other, previously untreatable neurological disorders. CBD is invaluable in helping children overcome treatment-resistant seizure disorders and even shows promise for children on the autism spectrum,” Bell said. “My wife is alive today because of the pain and anxiety relief she received from CBD over the last 5 years from a dental injury that the FDA approved painkilling drugs could not touch.”
CBD is derived from cannabis. But since it’s generally processed from industrial hemp, it does not contain high levels of THC – the active ingredient in marijuana that makes people high. As a result, many people mistakenly believe CBD is legal. In fact, many mainstream articles claim it is “legal in all 50 states.” But the federal government begs to differ. In fact, the DEA considers CBD a schedule 1 drug and as such, you should be cautious if you purchase CBD oil locally, it is generally illegal across the country.
A drug called Epidiolex just approved by the FDA June 27, 2018, to treat seizures in a rare form of epilepsy is the only CBD product federally-legal, and then only with a prescription.
People in the cannabis industry who argue that CBD is legal over the counter rely on the “hemp amendment” in the 2014 farm bill. But the law only legalized hemp production for limited purposes. It “allows State Agriculture Departments, colleges and universities to grow hemp, defined as the non-drug oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis, for academic or agricultural research purposes, but it applies only to states where industrial hemp farming is already legal under state law.”
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Drug Enforcement Agency released a “statement of principles” to guide interpretation of the hemp section in the Farm Bill. It states, “The growth and cultivation of industrial hemp may only take place in accordance with an agricultural pilot program to study the growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp established by a State department of agriculture or State agency responsible for agriculture in a State where the production of industrial hemp is otherwise legal under State law.”
In short, the current federal law authorizes farming of hemp – by research institutions, or within state pilot programs – for research only. Farming for commercial purposes by individuals and businesses remains prohibited.
The definition of “commercial” remains murky and has created significant confusion.
The statement of principles also asserted that industrial hemp programs are limited to fiber and seed. It didn’t mention CBD oil or other edible hemp products. The DEA has interpreted that to mean they remain illegal. According to the DEA, CBD cannot be sold under any circumstances.
An Indiana TV station interviewed DEA spokesman Rusty Payne.
“It’s not legal. It’s just not.”
Payne says cannabis plants are considered a Schedule I controlled substance, and medicinal oils derived from cannabis plants are illegal according to two federal laws: the Controlled Substance Act and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. He said confusion s