The short answer: Yes, CBD is legal, but… under very specific conditions.
As of 2020, there are a total of 47 states (including the 8 states mentioned above) where marijuana-derived CBD is legal for medicinal usage.
States Where Marijuana-Derived CBD is Legal for Medicinal Use
Liquid carbon dioxide and ethanol come with distinct advantages. Carbon dioxide is very efficient at stripping cannabinoids from plants, but it must be kept at cold temperatures — -70 degrees Fahrenheit — to stay liquid.
The first thing you need to know is that our bodies make their own natural versions of these compounds called endocannabinoids.
The FDA has only approved one drug made from CBD: an epilepsy medication named Epidiolex. No one knows for sure how it works, but Cheer and other researchers suspect that Epidiolex tweaks how much calcium can get inside of our nerves.
The math that’s fueling the CBD green rush
Without going too far into the particulars, our nerve cells use calcium to carry those electrical pulses throughout the body. If a nerve cell has too much calcium, it will fire electric pulses at too fast a rate, which can cause a state of distress called excitotoxicity.
That’s not entirely accurate. CBD won’t intoxicate you, but from a neuroscience perspective, CBD is absolutely psychoactive, psychotropic or whatever adjective you want to use to say that it affects the mind and behavior. CBD just affects you differently than THC.
Why you shouldn’t assume CBD is a cure-all
Cannabis is abundant in the wild — meaning an outdoor hemp field is one gust of pollen away from accidentally breeding marijuana.
This paradox is one of many in America’s long history of both utilizing and criminalizing cannabis. As marijuana, cannabis has been a tool for relaxation, as well as an element of mass incarceration — but also for medical benefits, like to fight the side effects of cancer chemotherapy.