cbd oil in california

CBD Oil in California: Is It Legal?

For many farmers and manufacturers, CBD is the “Gold Rush” of our century. Therefore, it’s quite fitting that the “Golden State” has become a pioneer in North America’s brave new hemp industry. 

Can You Get Cannabidiol In Cali? – Legality Of CBD Oil In California

California has always had a strong association with cannabis, so it’s no surprise Sacramento lawmakers take a relaxed stance on CBD. It’s currently legal for Californians to buy, sell, and use CBD oil for recreational and medical purposes. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) also offers a permit program to help farmers legally cultivate hemp.

Although California takes a liberal stance towards CBD oil, that doesn’t mean every hemp product is legal. Indeed, there are a few notable CBD restrictions that Cali residents should be aware of. Californians must remain well within the law if they want to avoid paying pricey penalties.

Like Oregon and Colorado, California has built up a reputation as one of America’s most “weed-friendly” states. Indeed, California was one of the first states to adopt a medical marijuana program in the mid-1990s. In 2016, Californians went one step further and fully legalized recreational cannabis for adults. Today, anyone over the age of 21 could legally buy, grow, or use cannabis in California.

This law also extends to hemp and marijuana-derived CBD goods. Unlike many other states, California allows residents over 21 to buy CBD oils, tinctures, and creams with THC above 0.3 percent. This gives Californians a comprehensive array of products and strains to choose from.

Anyone who is going to use marijuana CBD goods should remember that California has strict possession limits. Currently, adults can only have up to one ounce of marijuana buds at any given time. It’s also illegal to have more than eight grams of cannabis concentrates at home.

However, there are currently no possession limits on hemp-derived CBD goods. Just remember that these products must contain ≤ 0.3 percent THC to meet the federal definition of “hemp.”

What’s The Difference Between Hemp CBD vs. Marijuana CBD?

If you’re new to the CBD world, you’re probably wondering why we have to separate “marijuana CBD” from “hemp CBD.” After all, don’t both of these products contain the same chemical (i.e., cannabidiol)?

Yes, both of these items have heavy traces of the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD, which is why they emphasize “CBD” on their labels. However, that doesn’t mean marijuana and hemp-derived CBD oils are identical.

The main difference between these goods has to do with another compound known as THC. Short for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the infamous cannabinoid that gets users “stoned.” 

While hemp and marijuana are both a part of the cannabis genus, they don’t possess the same traces of THC. Indeed, hemp naturally produces low THC and high CBD. Although some marijuana strains could contain higher-than-average CBD percentages, most tend to have elevated THC levels.

Under the 2018 US Farm Bill, hemp plants must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC to be considered federally legal. Plants with higher THC concentrations are considered “marijuana” under federal law. As far as the US government is concerned, marijuana is still a Schedule 1 substance.

Since recreational marijuana is legal in California, customers can purchase both hemp and marijuana-derived cannabis at state-run dispensaries. Choosing between these products depends on what kind of experience customers are looking for. In most other states, however, CBD products must come from the hemp plant to be considered legal.

Is Smokable Hemp OK In California?

Now that CBD hemp is legal in the USA, more customers are interested in smoking well-cured hemp buds. While these hemp flowers are similar in appearance and aroma to many marijuana strains, they only contain ≤ 0.3 percent THC. Hence, hemp smokers can experience the effects of terpenes and cannabinoids like CBD without worrying about getting “high.”

Although California doesn’t have laws explicitly governing smokable hemp, recreational marijuana is legal in the state. So, if people could smoke marijuana in California, it makes sense that the government should allow hemp smoking.

However, just because cannabis smoking is legal in California doesn’t mean you can light a joint anywhere you choose. In fact, it’s only legal to consume cannabis in a private dwelling. 

Also, you should never bring cannabis into any of California’s National Parks. Since these parks are considered federal territories, they don’t recognize California’s cannabis laws. If park rangers catch you with cannabis, you could face severe punishments.

Despite California’s lenience on CBD oil, it’s still illegal to buy, sell, or use edibles that contain traces of hemp CBD. According to the California Department of Public Health, farmers and manufacturers aren’t allowed to add hemp-derived CBD to edibles, drinks, or infusions. This edibles ban also includes pet foods.

Recently, CA’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the state will not change this ban unless the FDA revises its stance on using CBD in edibles. The FDA currently says there’s not enough scientific evidence that suggests it’s safe to use CBD in foods. 

To make matters even more confusing, “cannabis edibles” are legal in California for residents over 21. As long as these foods have no more than 100 milligrams of THC per package, they are allowed under California’s cannabis laws. Also, since CBD oil is legal for adults in California, residents could make edibles at home.

Recently, CA lawmakers attempted to pass AB 228 to lift the current ban on CBD hemp edibles. At this point, however, it’s unclear whether this bill will make its way into law. Until California relaxes its stance on hemp-derived CBD edibles, residents should avoid purchasing these products online or in-store.

Does California Allow CBD Vape Cartridges? 

California made big news in the vaping community in 2020 when Governor Newsom signed SB 793 into law. Under this new law, vape shops in California can no longer sell various tobacco-infused products, including e-cigarettes, e-juice cartridges, and vape pens.

However, this new law didn’t explicitly target CBD vape products. While it might get more challenging for Cali vapers to find some CBD products, it’s still legal for residents over the age of 21 to buy CBD e-juices.

Customers need to understand that SB 793 doesn’t make it illegal to buy or use vaping products in a private setting. This law is only targeted at retailers who sell prohibited tobacco-infused products. As long as you’re over the age of 21, you can legally vape e-juices or pens at home.

What’s California’s Policy On Medical CBD? 

Also known as the Compassionate Use Act, Proposition 215 allows patients with qualifying conditions and registered caretakers in California to own and grow medical marijuana. MMJ patients in California also enjoy easy access to many medical-grade CBD goods at state-run dispensaries.

To qualify for California’s medical marijuana program, patients first need an official note from a registered physician. There are many qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in California, but here are a few of the most common:

  • Glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • Anorexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic migraine
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms or chronic pain

After patients obtain a doctor’s approval, they have to apply for an official card at the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP). These cards allow patients to purchase medical-grade marijuana and CBD without paying sales tax. Medical marijuana cards also allow patients to legally possess eight ounces of dried marijuana and six mature cannabis plants.

For more info on California’s medical marijuana program, be sure to research the MMICP’s official website.

When It Comes To CBD, Cali Is Pretty Chill

Aside from its current ban on CBD edibles, California is one of the most lenient states for hemp and marijuana-derived CBD. Whether you want CBD for recreational or medical use, you shouldn’t have an issue finding a wide assortment of products in dispensaries, vape shops, and health food stores. Californians also have the option of buying CBD oils, tinctures, and capsules online.

As a final warning: please research your chosen company’s lab reports before buying any CBD product. Since the FDA does not oversee the CBD industry, most hemp companies invest in third-party lab screenings to maintain quality control. For your safety, avoid any CBD businesses that refuse to share third-party lab results.

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