Is CBD Oil Legal in 2020? The Legal Status Of CBD In All 50 States

  • January 9, 2020
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Is it legal to buy CBD oil in my state? This article gives you a state-by-state guide on how to legally purchase CBD oils and other hemp-based products.

Is CBD legal in all 50 states?

It is quite impossible to discuss the legal status of cannabidiol (CBD) oil in any region without making reference to its origin, the cannabis plant. The cannabis or weed plant contains a varying concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes which can be used as a yardstick to determine if CBD oil is legal in your state. One of the oldest ways to determine the legal status of CBD in your state is by the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the final product.   

The earliest forms of CBD use; i.e. in Chinese and Roman medicine were attributed mainly to the presence of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) until recently when more research data proved otherwise. Although highly effective in pain relief, THC has been shown to elicit psychoactive effects, thus limiting the use of cannabis-based products. CBD, on the other hand, provided users with several health benefits without having to worry about the possibilities of failing a drug test or dealing with a tampered brain function.

Generally speaking, all products containing more than 0.3% THC are regarded as illegal in several parts of the world, including Europe and the US. This law has served to guide the nature of products released by the cannabis industry. In lieu of the terms of this law, full-spectrum CBD products can contain limited to zero concentrations of THC, other cannabinoids, and terpenes. 

There have been several discussions aimed at understanding the possible interaction between other members of the cannabinoid family and cannabinoid receptors. The outcome of these discussions formed the opinion of people and countries about the legal status of CBD oil in their region. Since CBD oil is associated with the cannabis plant and there is a likelihood of containing varying concentrations of THC, it is important to make sure all products pass through an intense screening process to meet the set standards. 

Before now, the bulk of the activities of the hemp plant have been linked to the presence of THC, thus leading to its ban in several regions of the world, including the U.S. Although this ban is still very much active in some parts of the world, there is a growing interest in how it can be made legal in all 50 States of the U.S. 

These moves include but are not limited to the following:

  1. The approval of epidiolex (the first CBD-based prescription drug)
    • The FDA has recently approved the use of epidiolex (the first CBD-based prescription drug) for the treatment of seizures and epilepsy.
  2. Reclassification of CBD
    • The DEA has also reclassified CBD derived from the cannabis plant with a concentration of 0.1% THC as a Schedule V drug.
  3. Removal from the list of banned substances in the 2018 farm bill
    • This allows a user to travel with CBD and the approval of CBD for sporting activities by WADA.

What States can you buy CBD oil legally?

The Federal law has passed agreed to the legalization of CBD oil for medicinal and recreational use in all 50 states of the US even though the states have the final say in what is obtainable in their region. 

Data gathered from research has shown that the state adoption of CBD legalization has been divided into four main categories, namely, the green states, the amber states, the amber-red states, and the red states.

The green states

The Green states are locations where you can use CBD oils for both medical and recreational purposes as long as you meet the minimum age requirement (18 or 22 years). The list below gives a summary of the green states and the year the bill was passed into law.

  • California (1996) 
  • Alaska (1998) 
  • Washington (1998)
  • Oregon (1998)
  • Maine (1999)
  • Colorado (2000) 
  • Nevada (2000)
  • Vermont (2004)
  • Michigan (2008)
  • Washington DC (2010).
  • Massachusetts (2012)
The amber states

In these states, the sales of CBD oil is only limited for medical use only. These states may require that you submit a medical marijuana card and prescription from a certified medical marijuana expert or doctor before being attended to. These states include the following;

  • Arizona (2010)
  • Arkansas (2016)
  • Connecticut (2012)
  • Delaware (2011)
  • Florida (2016)
  • Hawaii (2000)
  • Illinois (2013)
  • Louisiana (2016)
  • Maryland (2014)
  • Minnesota (2014)
  • Missouri (2018)
  • Montana (2004)
  • New Hampshire (2013)
  • New Jersey (2010)
  • New York (2014)
  • North Dakota (2016)
  • Ohio (2016)
  • Oklahoma (2018)
  • Pennsylvania (2016)
  • Rhode Island (2006)
  • Utah (2018)
  • West Virginia (2017)
Amber Red States

The amber-red states limit the use of CBD oils to only CBD products. In these regions, CBD oils must be used for a specific reason such as epilepsy. The other commonly encountered laws in these regions may include THC concentration between 0.1% to 0.3%.  These states include the following;

  • Alabama 
  • Georgia 
  • Indiana 
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

The laws guiding the use of CBD oil in these states may differ; thus, we suggest you visit the official site for each state for more information.

What state is cannabis illegal?

The use of cannabis is illegal in red states. In these states, the use of CBD oil is highly prohibited even though they are yet to release an official statement why this is so. These states include the following;

  • Idaho
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota


Please note that the list published in this article can change at any time hence the need to always confirm the legal status of CBD oil in your preferred location before making a purchase. This will go a long way in keeping you updated about the latest laws guiding the use of CBD oil in that region. You can also consult with your CBD expert or physician on how to use your favorite CBD product. 

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