Is CBD Legal in the States – Are We Clear Yet?

There still appears to be some controversy on CBD and THC and what is legal in the States.  You often see such statements as:

“Buy CBD from us. Legal now in all 50 States!”


News today

But is this true? You have to wonder if these statements are accurate when you see headlines such as the following:

 “Tuscaloosa Alabama Drug Task Force targets sale of CBD oil.”

Let’s back track a bit.

Some Main Differences

Hemp CBD vs Cannabis CBD – They are both members of the cannabis family. There are significant differences, the biggest is Cannabis CBD contains significant amounts of THC (12% on average) which is responsible for the ‘high’ or euphoria, while the Hemp CBD contains little to no THC (0.3% or less).

Medical Cannabis vs Recreational Cannabis – Medical marijuana uses the whole unprocessed plant which contains the psychoactive compound THC and is prescribed with various amounts of the THC ranging from very low to high and is used for a host of medical conditions. At present, the FDA does not approve or recognize the plant as a medicine.

Recreational marijuana is used for recreation as the name implies, is usually high in THC, and is used without medical approval.

How Many States are There

There are 50 States (the United States also has sovereignty over 14 territories). Some people think there are 52. The District of Columbia is a federal district. The other area sometimes lumped in with the states is Puerto Rica. Puerto Ricans are by law citizens of the U.S. but as it is not a state, Puerto Rica does not have a vote in the United States Congress. Here, we will talk about the 50 states.

What is Legal

So to move on, let’s talk about Hemp CBD and THC and its legality in the States.

There are 15 states where the laws are specific – i.e. amount of THC in CBD oils, and specific conditions for which it can be treated. In a lot of cases, patients must register or have ID cards.

They are:

State:  Alabama
Conditions: Debilitating epileptic conditions, life-threatening seizures, wasting syndrome (muscle and fat tissue wasting away), chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, or any other condition resistant to conventional medicine
THC: Below 0.3%

State: Georgia
Conditions: Near death stage of cancer, ALS, MS, seizures, Crohn’s, mitochondria disease, Parkinson’s disease, Sickle Cell disease
THC: Oils below 5% with an equal amount of CBD

State: Indiana
Conditions: Resistant epilepsy
THC: minimum 5% CBD by weight; 0.3% or less THC by weight

State: Iowa
Conditions: Intractable (hard to control) epilepsy
THC: A non-psychoactive cannabinoid that contains below 3%, maximum 32 ounces and free from plant material

State: Kentucky
Conditions: Intractable seizure disorders
THC: None; only CBD

State: Mississippi
Conditions: Debilitating epilepsy
THC: Processed cannabis plant extract, or resin that contains 0.5% THC or less; more than 15% CBD or a dilution of the resin that contains at least 50 mg of CBD per ml

State: Missouri
Conditions: Intractable epilepsy that has not responded to three or more options from other treatments
THC: Hemp extracts 0.3% THC or less and at least 5% CBD by weight

State: North Carolina
Conditions: Intractable epilepsy
THC: Hemp extracts 0.9% THC or less by weight; at least 5% CBD by weight (must contain no other psychoactive substance)

State: South Carolina
Conditions: Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, or any other form of refractory (unmanageable) epilepsy not adequately treated by conventional medicine
THC: CBD or derivative of cannabis that contains 0.9% THC and over 15% CBD, or at least 98% CBD and 0.90% THC by volume that has been extracted from marijuana in a laboratory

State: Tennessee
Conditions: Intractable seizure conditions
THC: Cannabis oil with 0.9% or less as part of a clinical research

State: Texas
Conditions:  Intractable epilepsy
THC:  Cannabis with 0.5% or less and minimum of 10% CBD by weight

State: Utah
Conditions: Intractable epilepsy that has not responded to three or more treatments suggested by a neurologist
THC: Hemp extracts with 0.3% or less by weight and a minimum of 15% CBD by weight and contains no other psychoactive substances

State: Virginia
Conditions: Intractable epilepsy
THC: Cannabis oils with 0.5% or less and a minimum of 15% CBD or THC-A (non- psychoactive form)

State: Wisconsin
Conditions: Seizure disorders
THC: Levels of THC and CBD are not defined; allows for possession of CBD in a form without a psychoactive effect

State: Wyoming
Conditions: Intractable epilepsy or seizure disorders
THC: Hemp extracts with 0.3% or less and minimum 5% CBD by weight

States Legal for Medical Use of ALL CBD Products

Twenty-two states that fully legalize the Medical use of all CBD products derived from either hemp or Marijuana with doctor’s recommendation are as follows:

Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington.

States Legal for Recreational Use

Currently ,there are 9 States where the Cannabis plant, including both marijuana and hemp, are completely legal for recreational and medicinal use. These states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont (July 1, 2018) and Washington.

Four States Not Legal

Currently there are four states where marijuana and marijuana derivatives are illegal. They are:

Idaho (vetoed by Governor), Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Caution is recommended if using in these states.

Note: The Drug Enforcement Administration (FDA) stands by its position that marijuana and its derivatives remain illicit and that it is a Schedule 1 drug.

Tasty Cocoa – Hemp Chocolate! At tastyhempoil.com


Disclaimer:  This article does not constitute a legal or medical endorsement.  It is up to you to seek medical attention or advice of a medical practitioner. We strongly advise you to make sure CBD and medical or recreational marijuana is legal in your area of residence. See full medical disclaimer here.

Do you agree with this? Have there been any new changes in your state? Feel free to share any comments or new information below.



Mary Ann


  1. Wow!! You sure put a lot of work into that article.  I am from Canada and you likely know that on or around the middle of October Marijuana became legal right across the country.  However there is still a lot of confusion as to what is legal and what isnt.  Like I understand edibles are not while you can buy a pack of joints.  Its definitely going to take education.

    • Hi Dale. You are absolutely correct. Education is definitely a key point. I too am from Canada so yes, I am aware. But like you said, just because it is legal, not everyone will understand the implications. What is clear though is that a lot of people will make money from this. If you are interested, read my last article “Recreational Marijuana and the Gravy Train – who stands to gain.”

  2. Hi there What a confusing subject, what’s allowed where in which form!!! I notice at the end of your post you advise people to do their own homework too…. and no wonder. Different allowed levels of THC allowed in different states. Some states making it legal for recreational use, others not. It’s a minefield. I wonder when all states will legalalize cannabis both marijuana and hemp, for both recreational and medicinal use. How do people go about gaining certification of an illness to enable them to use either for medicinal use?

    • Thanks Ann for stopping by. It is a very confusing topic made more so by the powers to be and the FDA’s stance on legality. The only real ‘legal’ hope anyone has to get ‘certification of an illness’ is to either have their doctor on board or a clinic somewhere that has the authority so they can get a medical marijuana license. For example, in my case, my doctor was ‘old school’ and would not refer me. So I went to a clinic in Ontario and spoke to a medical doctor via skype, had documents with me and we talked for a good part of an hour. So it  really depends on who is willing to help you and the laws of the state/country you reside in.

  3. Hi. This is a very helpful article and I’m sure I will have to revisit it again in the future so that I can re check the facts you have posted as there is so much quality information on your site. In the U.K. CBD oil has also been made legal and at last the world is waking up to the potential health benefits of this wonder plant. Thanks again, Kenny

    • Hi again, Kenny. I know that sometimes we get information overload and we have to revisit in order to absorb what we are learning. I do the same. A previous person mentioned that CBD was not legal in Wales. What part of the UK are you from? 

  4. Hello Mary,

    With CBD’s now legal in all 50 states, this certainly simplifies the regulatory side of these alternative medicines. I have have a family member that has been using alternative medicines similar to CBD to treat cancer as she says the traditional method of treating it is just too terrible in terms of side effects.

    I have a question though, will these product be offered in a supplement form to be taken daily to prevent certain illnesses or is this primarily focused on treating diseases when they are already there?



    • Hello Richard. Thanks for stopping by. 

      Your family member, no doubt, has experienced some terrible side effects from traditional medicine. I hope the CBD is better for her.

      It is difficult to answer your question. Some day it may be offered as a preventative, the same as the one-a-day aspirin for patients with heart issues but one thing is certain, there still needs to be more a lot more research and blind clinical studies done. 

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