The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 legalized hemp cultivation and created a pathway to remove industrial hemp from Schedule I status by creating a legal divide: Hemp is cannabis that contains less than .3% THC by weight, and marijuana is cannabis that contains more than .3% THC. Hemp-derived CBD was thus descheduled from the Controlled Substances Act by the bill, but CBD that is derived from the marijuana plant is still considered federally illegal because marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule I substance. While hemp is now considered an agricultural commodity, it still must be produced and sold under regulations that implement the bill.
One of the most important things to pay attention to is a CBD product labeled as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Why is CBD sometimes illegal?
In the wake of the 2018 Hemp Farming Bill going into effect, hemp-derived CBD became widely available throughout New Hampshire. This included an array of CBD products, including CBD oil, drinks, and food.
The only clear limits are in the medical marijuana program. Patients with a qualifying health condition and a medical marijuana card are allowed to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis products that contain both CBD and THC. Under New Hampshire law, medical marijuana patients are allowed to possess up to 2 ounces, or 56.7 grams, of medical marijuana, including CBD products, at any given time.
The Farm Bill also gave the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to regulate CBD’s labeling, therapeutic claims, and its use as a food additive. Despite the passage of the 2018 Hemp Farming Bill, the FDA has taken the stance that even hemp-derived CBD may not be added to food and beverages, nor marketed as dietary supplements. While the FDA has begun a process of reevaluating its stance on such CBD products, it has yet to revise its rules or specifically regulate CBD products, leading to further confusion. The FDA has been strict when it comes to health claims and content that could be construed as medical advice about CBD, and has released guidelines for vendors and manufacturers to follow regarding the production and sale of hemp-derived CBD.
Additionally, CBD has been shown by researchers to potentially help alleviate a variety of conditions. Severe pain from illnesses like cancer and infection can be mitigated by the healing substance, and even mental conditions such as anxiety can be assisted with a healthy dose of CBD, according to select researchers all over the world.
There are currently no laws on the books against obtaining CBD products through the internet in New Hampshire. However, because these purchases will only be legal for consumers under the industrial hemp program, users need to be careful to not purchase CBD products with a THC content higher than the legal limit outlined by New Hampshire law.
CBD Laws in New Hampshire
Additionally, the state responded to a spike in public interest regarding CBD and hemp-derived products by passing revisions to New Hampshire statutory code sections 433-C:1 to 433-C:3. This revision put into place an industrial hemp pilot program, which made it completely legal for companies to manufacture and distribute hemp-derived products. The only stipulation is that these products can only have a trace amount of THC content by dry weight.
But for CBD without this significant THC content, the age requirement is almost invariably eighteen. Occasionally, smoke and head shops within New Hampshire will require that consumers be at least twenty-one before entering the establishment. But for the most part, many CBD products sold in the state are sold to consumers overt he age of eighteen.
CBD is a derivative of the cannabis or hemp plant. Though many products derived from cannabis have high quantities of THC and produce a “high,” most CBD does not contain anything but a small, trace amount of THC. In addition to not being able to produce an actual “high,” low-THC CBD products are able to avoid being detected on most modern drug tests.