CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in marijuana, so it is classified in the United States as a Schedule 1 drug at federal level. To be labeled a schedule 1 drug means that a substance supposedly has a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological or physical dependence. Drugs classified as schedule 1 are not authorized for medical use.
Medical research can and is being done with schedule 1 substances, including CBD and other active ingredients in marijuana, but there are strict regulations and administrative challenges associated with this status. According to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the DEA is currently conducting a scientific review of CBD to better understand its usage and effects and to identify gaps in the published literature.
In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, allowing for the use of medical marijuana. Since then, 27 more states, plus the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico have enacted similar laws that allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs.
More recently, 17 states have approved the use of low THC, high CBD products for medical reasons in limited situations. Each state has its own legal requirements and conditions that must be met in order to legally use CBD. Patient registration and clear definition for non prohibited CBD products are examples. Seventeen states currently allow limited access to cannabis products that are low in THC and high in CBD:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Idaho (vetoed by governor in 2015)