With many states relaxing restrictions on marijuana, it can get confusing to keep track of what’s legal and where. It’s all a bit of a mess; and somehow CBD (aka cannabidiol oil) gets caught up in it all. What’s the situation with CBD in Ohio, where recreational marijuana use remains illegal?
Why is this even a question?
CBD and marijuana are closely related in people’s minds, but it’s important to understand the difference. CBD is just one compound that’s found in the cannabis plant; but it’s not the compound that makes you high. That compound is known as THC.
Even more importantly, CBD doesn’t have to come from the marijuana plant at all. Hemp, another plant in the cannabis family, also contains CBD as well as many of the other 100-plus useful chemical compounds that bind to the human endocannabinoid system and make CBD oils, edible, and patches so useful.
Some states ban any CBD that derives from marijuana on the theory that it’s impossible to completely remove the THC. It’s unclear whether that’s true or not, but regardless it’s still possible to get great CBD products like Receptra from hemp and bypass the issue altogether.
So what’s the problem?
Some states, Ohio included, have moved to make CBD products illegal except in certain situations: even if the products are made from hemp. In 2016, Ohio’s lawmakers passed legislation that would require CBD oil to undergo all the same rigorous testing as medical marijuana and be sold only in medical marijuana dispensaries.
The reason behind this legislation is still under debate. Some people attribute it to a desire to keep state law as closely aligned with federal law as possible. Others believe the big pharmaceutical companies are lobbying to protect their interests. It’s hard to say for certain.
Whatever the reason, the law didn’t really come into effect until 2018. Now, technically, CBD is only legal in Ohio if it derives from hemp and is purchased for medical purposes, with the recommendation of a doctor, at licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
Does that mean I can’t get CBD in Ohio?
Not at all. In the first place, Ohio took years to act on the laws they currently have in place. Their laws are very complicated and, in practice, end up being very flexible. While there are specific penalties for possession of marijuana and the use of marijuana for other than medical reasons, there are no clear-cut penalties in place for CBD made from hemp.
If CBD is derived from hemp, it would be difficult to prosecute the possession of it considering all the laws specifically cite the marijuana cannabis plant. Hemp itself is protected by federal law in the 2018 Farm Bill. The laws also forbid “recreational” cannabis use; yet CBD is not taken for recreational purposes.
Finally, any authorized doctor can recommend that you use CBD oil, edibles, or tinctures for a wide variety of medical conditions, from pain to Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s to hepatitis C. With that recommendation, it’s simple to buy whatever CBD products you prefer at one of the state’s 50-plus licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
For now, you can’t legally acquire CBD vape cartridges for any reason in Ohio. That could change in the near future; but don’t look to see recreational marijuana legalized any time soon. As for getting the CBD you need to treat your fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, or any other condition, that isn’t going to be a big issue for most people.