The Legality of CBD & THC in the USA: All You Need to Know!
There’s a lot of confusion regarding the legal status of THC and CBD products in the United States of America. Let’s clear the air…
Whether you’re into buying CBD products like CBD oil or even looking to sell CBD coffee products – you must have clarity on its legal aspects.
What Is CBD?
As a chemical compound, Cannabidiol (CBD) comes with many medicinal and health benefits. CBD is obtained through the Cannabis sativa plant that consists of several hemp variants such as the marijuana plant. Industrial hemp, as well as marijuana, are derived from a common genus of cannabis plants. Although, these both aren’t the same and differ in terms of chemical properties and characteristics.
The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp
There are a variety of strains and species of cannabis plants. In order to broadly categorize these, the terms Marijuana and Hemp are used. The major difference between the two is the amount of THC contained in the plant. This forms the grey area where the legality is decided based on the source of CBD products.
Marijuana constitutes the cannabis plant variants containing THC in excess of 0.3%. THC is a psychoactive element and hence, the consumption of Marijuana results in intoxication.
Hemp constitutes the cannabis plant variants having less than 0.3% of THC. Such a low amount of THC means there are no psychoactive effects and hence, hemp-driven CBD products are used for medicinal purposes.
CBD versus THC: The Difference
CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are chemical compounds contained in cannabis plants. CBD is responsible for a wide range of health benefits and stress-relieving properties without affecting the psychoactive state of the user. On the other hand, THC is a hallucinogen and hence, it’s deemed to be illegal. Merchants across the United States are allowed to sell only those CBD products which are obtained from hemp. This is because hemp products have negligible traces of THC.
CBD and THC are cannabinoids and have the same molecular structure (30 Hydrogen Atoms, 21 Carbon Atoms, and 2 Oxygen Atoms). However, their formation differs, resulting in different properties from each other.
Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC Variants
As discussed, the growing, selling, and marketing of CBD oil products are considered legal only if they’re obtained from hemp. Other than that, every Marijuana-induced product is illegal. Thus, it’s pivotal to keep a check on the THC levels and quality of the source from which your CBD products arrive. As a merchant, it’s advisable to request regular lab reports of the CBD products showing their THC amounts. Also, there are several variants where hemp could mutate into Marijuana, resulting in buds having over 0.3% of THC.
The 0.3% of THC is related to a particular variant known as Delta-9 THC. Subsequently, Delta-8 THC has one chemical bond less than Delta-9 THC, making it tough for the DEA to spot the difference. As the Delta-9 variant comes with psychoactive effects, it’s categorized as a controlled substance, which gives legality to the selling of only hemp-derived products. However, Delta-8 variants have different chemical properties and no side effects whatsoever. It’s formed naturally in hemp and its selling is federally legal. Due to its lesser abundance as compared to Delta-9, most of the Delta-8 products are made via synthetic means or through isomerization.
The Legality of CBD in the United States
In the states wherein medical marijuana is legalized, the usage of CBD products is allowed for medicinal purposes and recreational uses. But, there are still some states where marijuana is strictly prohibited and yet the consumption of CBD is selectively allowed based on certain conditions.
As per the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp was removed from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act. As a result of that, hemp is allowed to be grown and cultivated legally in the United States. Also, CBD is legal in all 50 states but the laws still differ in every state. Here’s a state-wise list of the legality of CBD in the USA –
ALSO SEE – How to Get a High-Risk CBD Merchant Account for Payment Processing?
The Legality of Delta-8 THC in the United States
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, Delta-8 THC is legal due to its naturally occurring tendencies derived from hemp plants. However, the bill doesn’t mention anything about Delta-8, but only about Delta-9.
As per the latest ruling by the DEA in August 2020, all synthetic THC substances are considered controlled substances. This means that the THC element in CBD products must be naturally occurring and not synthetically made. The DEA’s latest ruling in August of 2020 stated that any synthetic THC is a controlled substance, meaning apparent THC in products must be natural.
The Farm Bill officially affirms that isomers of hemp-driven products are considered legal. Stakeholders of the CBD product industry and researching fraternities have interpreted this as a green signal for converting CBD into Delta-8 THC. However, this may result in synthetic ways of production, which is illegal. This is the exact confusion that’s forming a haze of doubt over the legality of THC. Here is the list of all 50 states and their legal status pertaining to THC –
How to Sell Delta-8 THC & CBD Products?
The CBD industry as a whole directly falls under the category of a high-risk business. This is because financial institutions and intermediaries like payment processing companies who join with CBD businesses are always under statutory regulations. This makes it very tough for CBD merchants to get a reliable payment processor for selling their CBD products.
But, why worry when Patel Processing is there for you? We provide the most efficient, trustworthy, and affordable high-risk payment processing services for CBD merchants.
Contact us for further details!