Though the attitudes surrounding the use of the cannabis plant have relaxed over the last several years, it’s even more so now with the passage of the Farm Bill. Marijuana and its derivatives have been federally illegal since 1937, but some states have passed their laws legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana. Between the legalization in states, the illegal federal status, and rules found in a 2014 Farm Bill – the status of cannabis derivatives like CBD oil can be confusing. 

CBD is non-psychoactive and has many reported benefits – but the water surrounding its legal status is murky at best. Let’s learn more about the future of CBD oil and what the battle for legalization means for the consumer. 

The Future of CBD Oil 

Where We Are Now 

The Justice Department under the Trump Administration has been very clear – marijuana and its derivatives are still a Schedule 1 controlled substance. This is evident in raids over the past few years that have targeted suppliers and distributors of CBD oil, even in states where marijuana is considered legal. 

The legality of CBD oil and hemp oil production has been a contentious topic for both marijuana advocates and proponents. In 2004 The Ninth Circuit of Appeals rejected the DEA’s attempt to ban hemp for food commerce, but that ruling did not affect CBD derived from hemp or other cannabis strains. Hemp can be imported into the US, but due to the plant’s quality, any CBD oil legally extracted from hemp is not considered as therapeutic as CBD extracted from the flowers and leaves of the plant. 

Thanks to the 2019 Farm Bill, American farmers can cultivate hemp for CBD oil production, if the THC level of the plant is less than 0.3 percent. That means CBD must be extracted from the seeds and stalks of the plant and not the flowers or leaves leaving CBD consumers with a lackluster product that won’t have many benefits. On top of that, the Farm Bill has been interpreted differently by regulatory agencies and the DEA still insists the Farm Bill does not allow the production of hemp for CBD oil – another aspect in confusion. 

Where We Go from Here 

The future of CBD oil is cloudy, but there are some signs of hope. A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Washington dubbed the Congressional Cannabis Caucus submitted a pack of bills in March 2017 addressing several concerns about marijuana reform, including the manufacturing, distribution, and personal use of CBD oil. The future of CBD looks like it’s trending in the direction of eventual legalization but when that occurs is a mystery to all.