Many have experienced the benefits of Hemp CBD Oil (just type in #CBDtestimonials in Instagram to see for yourself). Some are big benefits (no more seizures!) others in smaller ways (feeling more calm, sleeping better and so on.) All of this with no psychoactive element — you are not getting high.
When we got into this, we wondered why this would be a thing. You have probably wondered the same. That the legality of Hemp CBD Oil even in question, given its benefits is odd. We thought it would be good to give some honest background about all of this.
Is Hemp CBD Oil Legal?
Normally a question like this would be answered with a yes or a no. You hear no, but you see CBD products at the convenience store — and you do not live in Colorado.
It this instance the answer is yes and no. We are going to break it all down for you, and give you background to make it make sense.
The first thing is that state and federal law conflicts which throws the whole thing into a maybe. Federal law needs to catch up with state laws legalizing the production and sales of Hemp CBD oil. The government is not coordinated with what is legal and not? Imagine that.
Good news! Earlier this year the DEA issued a directive stating the sale of hemp products will go unenforced at the federal level. Meanwhile, as you may have noticed, CBD is being sold all over the country.
The Backstory of Hemp
Hemp was farmed and harvested for hundreds of years here in the US. In fact, such American notables as Washington and Jefferson praised hemp as vital part of the American economy.
“Make the most you can of Indian Hemp seed. The hemp may be sown any where.” — George Washington
“Hemp is the first necessity to the wealth and protections of the country.” — Thomas Jefferson
In fact, taxes were paid in hemp for over two hundred years in colonial America. Quick fact: In some places in the 17th and 18th Century it was illegal NOT to grow hemp!
The Government Gets Involved
Then, in 1937 the Marijuana Tax Act was passed. This act criminalized the production and sale of marijuana. Not obviously the same thing as hemp, but maybe no one was paying attention.
Law enforcement had difficulty telling the difference between marijuana and hemp. Let’s face it, they do look the same, which is the big part of the problem. However one gets you high (marijuana) and the other helps you (hemp).
As a result, hemp was effectively made illegal as well. With that act, an industry that had employed generations of farmers ended. In a short span of time, hemp we have eaten, worn, used as medicine for thousands of years disappeared.
Fast Forward to the 70’s and Hemp CBD Oil
In 1970, the Marijuana Tax Act was found to be unconstitutional and repealed. It was then that marijuana was classified as a schedule 1 drug at the federal level. Meaning marijuana was in the same classification as heroin and LSD. Its sale and use carried the same consequences in the eyes of the DEA. Once again, marijuana and hemp were lumped together and both were classified as schedule 1 drugs.
Many states decriminalized marijuana possession in the 1970s. But it wasn’t until the 90s that things got REALLY interesting.
First, the endocannabinoid system in the body was discovered. It was literally found that your body produced and had a system for processing cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are also produced by the cannabis plant. Cannabis is simply the name of the plant that is both marijuana (with THC) and hemp (no THC).
More was learned about how the cannabis plant could be used to help with a variety of health issues. In 1996 California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana.
Over in England, Dr. Geoffrey Grey made history in 1998 by licensing his company, GW Pharmaceuticals, to grow a CBD-rich cannabis with little or no THC that could be used medically.
In the 2000s, many more states legalized the medical use of marijuana. Then in 2012, Colorado, the same state that saw the first arrests for marijuana sales and possession, became the first state to fully legalize recreational marijuana.
However, hemp was still in the dog house federally, lumped in, unfortunately with its THC containing cousin marijuana.
CBD Sales and Farming Hemp in America
Americans have been buying CBD oil online for over ten years from foreign companies. This benefited the American consumers using hemp CBD oil and the foreign companies selling it, there was a significant group that lost out — the American Farmer.
The passage of the Farm Bill in 2014 meant that American Farms, can participate and profit from the demand for CBD oil and hemp products in general. This is good news for the farming industry whose income is at its lowest point since 2006.
Most recently, the DEA, issued an internal directive. This directive states clearly that just because a substance contains cannabinoids (CBD) does not mean that it falls within the Controlled Substances Act’s definition of marijuana.
Products and materials that are made from the cannabis plant and which fall outside the CSA definition of marijuana (such as sterilized seeds, oil or cake made from the seeds, and mature stalks) are not controlled under the CSA. Such products may accordingly be sold and otherwise distributed throughout the United States without restriction… the dispositive question is whether the substance falls within the CSA definition of marijuana.
The future of Hemp CBD Oil
Things continue to be moving forward to clarify the status of hemp CBD oil at the federal and state level. The great news is that the future of hemp’s legality is actually a non-partisan effort. Hurray! Something we can all agree on.
The 2018 Farming Act contains language that, if approved, will remove hemp’s designation as controlled substance with the federal government and legalize the crop and all products associated with it under federal law.
And that will be good new for farmers, CBD users and our country.
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