While only 9 states currently have legalized recreational marijuana, as an industry weed has had a huge year of growth. This is in large part due to the increasing popularity of products that contain CBD in them. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the hundreds of compounds found in the cannabis plant, and the potential it has shown in helping with pain, seizures and anxiety have made it a natural fit for medical and recreational weed alike.
The most commonly used form of CBD is CBD oil. Combining CBD extract with a carrier oil like coconut oil, it can be ingested or vaped, bringing a lot of variety. But because marijuana legalization is in such a murky situation with both federal and state laws to grapple with, CBD oil's legality can be hard to parse depending on where you are. Let's start with legality at the federal level.
CBD is suddenly everywhere — and it’s not hard to see why. It won’t get you high, has a good safety profile, and naturally treats dozens of conditions. But there’s a dizzying amount of choice out there, so we’ve ranked the 25 best CBD oils to help you get started. Whether you’re a rank beginner, or you’ve been experimenting with CBD for a while, we’ve got you covered.
Despite the many states that have legalized some or all forms of marijuana, federally the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to classify CBD as a Schedule I drug. Schedule I drugs are defined by the DEA as "drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." This is how not just CBD, but the entire cannabis plant is classified.
Pharmacology published a study in 2016 looking at medical marijuana for migraines, specifically in relation to its effects on serotonin, with very positive results. You’ll notice that neither study looked at CBD in isolation from other cannabinoids (which is an issue with a lot of research on CBD and pain). Truthfully, the research on CBD alone just isn’t sufficient to make any pronouncements about its effects on headache pain.
“All parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resins; but shall not include the mature stalks of such plant fiber produced from such stalks oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom),fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.”
This means that CBD oil products that are derived from these “not marihuana” parts of imported hemp plants are not federally banned, and the natural cannabinoids in hemp-derived products are exempt from DEA enforcement. While hemp cannot be legally cultivated in the U.S. except under state-regulated programs, hemp-derived oil has been a legal import in the U.S. for decades.
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