Does CBD Count as a Controlled Substance?

Marijuana products, including CBD, are classified as Schedule I controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and are therefore illegal under federal law. This means that any cannabis plant with more than 0.3% delta-9 THC is considered a controlled substance and is subject to the same restrictions as other drugs. Employers, for example, respect guidelines set by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which include screening for THC, but not for CBD. The London-based subsidiary of GW Pharmaceuticals was the first to market CBD as a dietary supplement. Most hemp-derived CBD oil products available today contain concentrations of CBD by weight of less than 5%, compared to Epidiolex, which contains ≥ 99% CBD.

However, based on a clear reading of the Farm Bill, it should not be reasonable to assume that Congress intended to declare illegal any legal hemp-derived CBD product containing less than 0.3% delta-9 THC in its final form. CBD products can currently be purchased online, without a prescription, and at specific cannabis dispensaries in most parts of the country, despite the fact that CBD is currently considered a Schedule I controlled substance by the United States. This complexity is due to intricate and conflicting regulations at the federal and state levels, court rulings that have not been resolved, confusion regarding the definitions of cannabis and hemp, pending legislation, and the FDA's position on CBD as a drug and not as an ingredient of a dietary supplement. When you read the CSA, the word “cannabidiol” or “CBD” doesn't appear anywhere, neither in the code of federal regulations nor in enacting legislation. The recent approval by the FDA of Epidiolex (CBD) as a treatment for certain pediatric seizure disorders will result in the programming of CBD and will likely alter the FDA's application of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C), which to date has been adopted mainly in the form of letters from warning. Hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived CBD each have their own unique regulatory status and subsequent legal implications. This combination of cannabis compounds is also key to understanding how the Annex I classification applies to CBD products.

But what if CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids are derived from a legal source, such as the other 25 plant species that contain levels of cannabinoids or industrial hemp?.

Tori Clar
Tori Clar

Subtly charming internet scholar. General music aficionado. Avid beer buff. Evil music expert. Lifelong food advocate. Award-winning beer practitioner.