Cannabidiol (CBD) products are popular and widely available across the United States. But their legal status remains confusing for many people. The legality of CBD largely depends on what kind of cannabis plants it’s sourced from — marijuana or hemp.
Hemp is a legal variety of cannabis that contains no more than 0.3% THC, the main intoxicating component. Meanwhile, marijuana typically contains significant (10-30%) THC amounts and is federally illegal.
To help you get a clearer picture of CBD’s legality, I’ll explain the legal status of hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD in every state.
Table of Contents
- Hemp-Derived CBD is Federally Legal
- Territories & States With Legal Hemp-Derived CBD
- Legal Status of Marijuana-Derived CBD
- Summing Up
Hemp-derived CBD is legal federally and in all 50 states (although Idaho only allows 0% THC products). Meanwhile, the legality of marijuana-derived CBD depends on the laws of each state and can be fully legal, medical use-only, or illegal.
Hemp-Derived CBD is Federally Legal
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, a CBD-rich variety of cannabis that contains no more than 0.3% of THC, its main intoxicating ingredient. Thanks to this bill, hemp-derived CBD products are federally legal in the United States. That’s excellent news for CBD enthusiasts because almost all CBD products are sourced from hemp rather than marijuana.
Although each state has the power to make its own laws, almost all have chosen to align with federal law, meaning CBD products are widely available nationwide.
Territories & States With Legal Hemp-Derived CBD
Hemp-derived CBD products containing up to 0.3% THC are legal in Washington D.C. and all 50 states. However, you can only buy CBD products with 0% THC in Idaho. That means full-spectrum CBD is unavailable, and you can only get products containing CBD isolate (pure CBD) or a broad-spectrum formula with no traces of THC.
In addition, hemp-derived CBD is legal in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
Legal Status of Marijuana-Derived CBD
Generally speaking, you don’t need to worry about the legality of marijuana-derived CBD because most CBD products are made from hemp.
However, some people prefer CBD products with higher THC levels (above 0.3%), especially for therapeutic uses like chronic pain relief. In that case, you need to look for CBD products made from marijuana.
The legal status of marijuana-derived CBD is more complicated and can fit into one of three categories:
- Legal for recreational use
- Legal for medical use
- Completely illegal
Territories & States with Legal Marijuana-Derived CBD for Recreational Use
Adult-use marijuana is legal in Washington D.C. and the following 22 states, which also makes marijuana-derived CBD products legal:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
Marijuana-derived CBD is also legal in Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Keep in mind that more states are legalizing adult-use marijuana every year, so this list is likely to expand.
States with Legal Marijuana-Derived CBD for Medical Use
In addition to the above states, you can access marijuana-derived CBD products for qualifying medical conditions in the following states. In most cases, you will have to obtain a medical marijuana card.
Keep in mind that some of these states have specific stipulations for the THC content of marijuana-derived CBD products and the conditions they can be used for:
- Georgia (only CBD oil with below 5% THC and at least equal CBD)
- Iowa (less than 3% THC)
- Kansas (only CBD oil with less than 5% THC)
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina (no more than 0.9% THC and only for qualifying epilepsy conditions)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (only CBD oil with no more than 0.9% THC and for specific conditions)
- Texas (no more than 0.5% THC)
- West Virginia
States Where Marijuana-Derived CBD Is Illegal
In the following states, marijuana-derived CBD is illegal for all uses:
- Idaho (but working on a medical cannabis bill)
Hemp-derived CBD is legal and easily accessible across the United States. I’ve bought CBD products in multiple states, including Washington, Florida, and Nevada, without any issues. So if you’re interested in standard, low-THC CBD products, you have nothing to worry about.
But if you’re looking for marijuana-derived CBD products with over 0.3% THC, the legality varies in every state. The good news is that more states are legalizing medical and recreational marijuana every year. So even if your state has limited access right now, that’s likely to change. Follow the news to stay current with any new marijuana legislation.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.