The government announced that CBD is a schedule one drug. Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration put a notice in the Federal Register where it reclassified cannabis extracts, including CBD, as Schedule 1 drugs. That means CBD belongs to the same category with heroin. However, DEA published another notice to clarify that this reclassification applies to extracts from just some parts of the cannabis plant. These are parts that make marijuana fit in the Controlled Substances Act. Nevertheless, people still sell and buy CBD openly in stores and online.

What The Announcement Meant

Schedule 1 drugs do not have any accepted medicinal value or use and they have a high abuse potential. The announcement by the government that CBD is a schedule 1 drug, therefore, means that it doesn’t have an accepted medical use currently and it has a high potential for being abused. Unfortunately, the decision and the announcement by the government came after experts had proven that hemp from which CBD is derived has less than 0.3% to 1% THC. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Until the announcement, companies that sell CBD have been operating on the basis that this cannabidiol does not cause the high feeling that is associated with THC. In 2001, DEA had made a similar attempt to ban hemp products. Nevertheless, lawyers have always argued that DEA has no power to come up with a statute. In fact, they refer to the classification as a misguided and ignorant move. That’s because CBD helps people and putting it in the same category with heroin is frankly absurd. Only Congress has the power to do so. On the other hand, DEA argues that it established a regulation to enhance compliance with the international drug treaties.


Contradictory Laws

The first submission of the proposal for this rule was made in 2011. In 2012, Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use. The new reform, however, ripped across the US. Washington D.C and 28 states have cannabis programs. Additionally, the U.S government brought another amendment on the 2014 Agricultural Adjustment Act or Farm Bill. This bill legalizes the cultivation of hemp for pilot programs, provided that the plant doesn’t have more 0.3% THC. Thus, the Farm Bill allows for the cultivation, production, and marketing of hemp products that do not have THC.

Consequently, there are many stores and e-commerce sites that sell hemp extracts that don’t have THC. CBD products are among such products and they can easily be bought online and in some local stores across the U.S. But, according to the new laws by DEA, these extracts are categorized as Schedule 1 drugs.


Short Q&A & Consequences If Law Is Inforced

Is CBD a schedule 1 drug?
Answer:  Yes.

Are people allowed to buy CBD online? 
Answer: Yes & No.  You are only allowed to purchase and take it if your state allows the use of medical marijuana.

Is CBD illegal to sell?
Answer:  CBD is illegal to sell to the states that do not allow medical marijuana use. If you live in a state that does not permit the use of medical marijuana, you should know that buying and selling CBD is NOT allowed and is illegal.  For hemp farmers, it is illegal to sell out of your state.

What is the probability that you will be arrested for taking CBD in a state that doesn’t allow medical marijuana?
Answer:  Probability is slim to none if you are taking it for medical purposes… WITH THAT SAID… If you take CBD in a state that doesn’t allow medical marijuana, you are breaking the law.  And if you choose to break the law, you must be willing to suffer the consequences.

How to completely avoid this schedule 1 drug rule?
Answer:  Move to a state that allows the use of medical marijuana!  Don’t know the states that allow it?

View the picture below for a list of all 29 states that allow medical marijuana use.


List of the 29 states that allow medical marijuana.

List of the 29 states that allow medical marijuana.


If the DEA decides to fully enforce this new rule, it will limit producers, marketers, and manufacturers of CBD and they will have to operate in full compliance with the Farm Bill.  The DEA has already monitored and tested the products of various CBD companies and has sent them warning letters.  You can view those here,

2015 Warning Letters & Test Results
2016 Warning Letters & Test Results

Additionally, patients that buy and use CBD products as natural supplements in states that do not allow medical marijuana might soon be seen as criminals. Unlikely to happen, but possible nonetheless.

Clarification of the New Drug Code (7350) for Marijuana Extract
Final Rule: Establishment of a New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract

Final Advice… Take CBD responsibly and follow the laws of your state.

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