Is CBD Legal for Treating Cancer in 2018?

Cancer treatment is CBD legal to treat cancer?

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Is CBD legal? This is a question many people are asking. Read here to get more information on whether or not CBD is legal for treating cancer.

Research reflects that cannabis can inhibit the growth of many types of cancer cells. Cannabidiol (CBD) plays a key role in that effect.

CBD is one of many cannabinoids contained in cannabis. It does not have the properties to cause a “high”, but it can reduce pain and inflammation.

So what’s the problem?

Federal law prohibits the possession of cannabis, except for research purposes. However, many states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize its medical use.

If you make the informed decision to treat your symptoms with cannabinoids in 2018, you may ask yourself: is CBD legal?

Is CBD Legal? The real answer is “it depends who you ask.”

The Food and Drug Administration considers CBD an unapproved new drug currently undergoing clinical research investigation. CBD can’t be sold as a dietary supplement as in the past. The FDA explicitly states so on their website.

Warning letters to this effect were sent to CBD distributors. However, the FDA has not chosen to enforce their stance at this time.

On the other hand, under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced that any “marijuana extract” product containing any trace of THC is a Schedule I controlled substance.

This would make all CBD products illegal. Much like the FDA though, the DEA has yet to actually enforce this ruling.

Industry groups challenge the DEA with CBD products derived from hemp. The products contain a fraction of one-percent THC.

Cannabis and CBD legal challenges by states and industry groups to both of these determinations continue to stall enforcement.

Ninth Circuit Court to Decide for the U.S.

Several CBD sellers, the industry of hemp, and CBD patients have sued the DEA to block enforcement of their interpretation of CBD as a Schedule I drug. The proceedings will begin with three judges questioning both sides. The case law and all arguments have been reviewed by the judges.

The judges interpret laws written by the legislative branch of the government. Therefore, 28 members decided to write to the court to argue that the DEA is “blatantly contrary” to the Farm Bill made in 2014, and that the DEA is wrong.

The members encourage the court to find CBD legal and not a “marijuana extract.” The DEA argue that CBD could be made into a profit if the sativa plant were flowered.

The hemp industry argues that it’s legal to take CBD from marijuana, once it contains a THC amount below 0.3%

A court decision provides clarity to the question “Is CBD legal?”

Differences Between Marijuana and Hemp Plants?

Hemp plants and other cannabis sativa L. are scientifically identical except for the number of THC present. Marijuana sometimes has 30% THC, in compared to hemp which holds only 0.3%.

One branch of the federal government has helpfully classified marijuana as the plant that can make you intoxicated. Meanwhile, the same plant with a minuscule trace of THC is perfectly legal hemp as defined by 2014 legislation.

Government and law have no issue with hemp as it is not a psychoactive. Hemp-derived produce is available and legal throughout the United Sates. However, marijuana, is not.

Is Hemp-Derived CBD Legal?

CBD has no psychoactivities. You can purchase it, sell it, and possess it oll over the country. Certain restrictions do apply, though.

CBD producers and sellers argue that their products are not derived from plants defined as “marijuana”. They claim the plants they use are hemp, imported from abroad or grown under the 2014 Farm Bill.

CBD producers also argue that the product is 100% legal if the CBD is extracted from the mature stalks of the plant, a part that is excluded from the definition of marijuana.

The DEA thinks differently. However, they have yet to enforce their stance. Shipping hemp-derived products across state lines is also arguably against the law.

CBD sellers maintain that as long as there is no claim of medical use, dietary supplements derived from hemp are legal.

Is Marijuana CBD Legal if Isolated?

Sometimes the beneficial CBD is derived from marijuana. Even if presented in a form devoid of THC, it is a product of cannabis and judged fairly. Federal law states that it is illegal. State by state laws vary.

There are a few states, where marijuana use is unrestricted, derived CBD is allowed. In four states, it is illegal. Most states have a hodgepodge of medical and compassionate use law to address CBD.

States Banning CBD Derived from Marijuana

Four states, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota ban marijuana use entirely. CBD from marijuana cannot be used or sold. Hemp-derived CBD is available, but technically not legal.

Contact legislators in these states to demand that they make marijuana-derived CBD legal for compassionate medical use.

States Where No Prescription is Needed and CBD from Marijuana is Legal

The District of Colombia and eight other states allow recreational marijuana use. Marijuana-derived products can also be bought without a prescription. Those states are California, Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Oregan, Nevada, Washington and the District of Columbia.

Purchase and use of CBD derived from any source are permitted.

States Requiring Prescriptions for CBD Use

The medical use of marijuana and marijuana-derived CBD for conditions such as severe epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and terminal cancer has grown rapidly.

In the remaining states, you must have a medical prescription to get CBD products from licensed dispensaries. The traces of THC that can be present in these products varies by state.

State by state enforcement of the legality of CBD use for medical purposes differs widely.

Is CBD Legal Outside the U.S.?

Only a few countries have made CBD legal without a prescription. Non-prescription CBD use as a dietary supplement, if allowed, has a stipulation that they contain no more than 0.2% – 0.3% of THC. Cannabis laws worldwide are slowly liberalizing and CBD is available with a prescription in much of Europe.

In most former Communist-bloc countries, cannabis and by extension, CBD remains illegal and criminalized.

Is it a Dietary Supplement or Medicine?

CBD manufacturers and distributors maintain that CBD is a dietary supplement. According to federal law, CBD manufacturers and sellers may make no claims of cure or treatment.

They must report any serious adverse effects and they do not need to get agency approval before selling these products.

It’s illegal to market a dietary supplement product as a treatment or cure for a specific disease. Nor can it claim to alleviate the symptoms of a disease.

The FDA with the Federal Trade Commission routinely checks and warns companies about unsubstantiated health claims in advertising, labels, or websites.

Treating Cancer with CBD

Medical professionals are divided and more clinical research is needed. However, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute both offer summaries of the possible benefits of cannabis, THC, and CBD.

Cannabinoids help treat the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Other positive effects of cannabinoids are:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Blocks cell growth
  • Encourages cell death of abnormal cells
  • Relieves nausea
  • Relieves pain

Of course, these effects derive from studies of compounds in isolation and not necessarily on humans. Cannabis and CBD legal woes have prevented extensive scientific research in the U.S. since the early 1940’s.

Natural medicine practitioners have been using cannabis and its derivatives to treat cancer and other illnesses for many years with reported success.

Final Thoughts

There are several studies indicating that certain compounds in cannabis, including CBD have an effect on cancer cells, symptoms, nausea and pain. More clinical research is needed.

If a patient wishes to treat their own symptoms with CBD, there are eight states where CBD may be obtained from any source, without a prescription. Other states have various restrictions to declare CBD legal.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration have conflicting and contradictory stances regarding CBD and the law. The FDA maintains that CBD cannot be a dietary supplement, but is an unproven drug. The DEA maintains it is a Schedule I controlled substance with no medical value.

The answer to the question “Is CBD legal for treating cancer in 2018?” will be partially decided by courts, but patients must advocate their position to their medical professionals and legislators.

For more information and summaries of research, check out more of our articles throughout our blog.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
At cannabisMD we aim to provide you with all the information and knowledge you need to take the next step in your personal cannabis journey! Read about our team

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