What is CBD oil, anyway?
CBD (or Cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid that can be found in the cannabis plant. It’s a natural occurring chemical compound that can be extracted from the plant and mixed with a carrier oil (such as hemp seed or coconut) to create CBD oil.
CBD does not have psychoactive properties (like tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC) so it does not make you “high,” though it is commonly mistaken as so due to its association with the other cannabis plants with these properties. Instead, CBD has grown tremendously in popularity due to its wide range of health and medicinal benefits–such as providing relief from everything from physical pain to anxiety.
Is it legal?
Short answer: YES.
Up until December 20, 2018, hemp was categorized as a Schedule I illegal substance, inaccurately next to drugs such as heroin. This categorization made it federally illegal to cultivate, possess, or distribute the hemp plant or CBD derived from the hemp plant, with exceptions for certain portions of the plant. Hemp and CBD businesses in the past succeeded based on their ability to operate under the U.S. Department of Justice policy that allowed legitimate businesses to run under strict regulation in specific states that allowed it.
On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, or more commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, which officially took act on January 1, 2019. Included in the bill was the legalization of the cultivation and sale of hemp at the federal level, by removing its label as a Schedule I substance and therefore removing hemp fully from the Controlled Substances Act.
With its new legal status, analysts forecast that the hemp industry could grow to a $20 billion by 2022.
Learn more about the 2018 Farm Bill and legalization of CBD here.