Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the latest ingredients to take the health world by storm. Derived from both hemp and cannabis plants, CBD, as well as other cannabinoids, spark curiosity in some and skepticism in others. Meanwhile, a lack of federal regulations surrounding the substance in the U.S. makes it particularly challenging to parse fact from fiction when it comes to consumer health and safety.
We at Forbes Health take our role of providing you with accurate, research-supported, and expert-backed information very seriously—especially when it comes to murky topics like CBD and other hemp and cannabis cannabinoids.
The Legal Landscape of CBD
Hemp is defined as a cannabis plant that contains no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Meanwhile, marijuana is a cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Any cannabis plant containing more than 0.3% THC is considered non-hemp cannabis—or marijuana—under federal law.
The Farm Bill Act, among other changes, removed hemp’s classification as marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, effectively making hemp-derived products legal. However, the 2018 Farm Bill explicitly preserved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authority over hemp products. Therefore, hemp products must meet any applicable FDA requirements and standards just like any other FDA-regulated product under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act).
At a minimum, states have approved the use of FDA-approved products that contain less than 0.3% THC. Some states have a cap of 0.05% THC while others have legalized marijuana entirely. Some states expressly permit the use of gummies that fall within these guidelines. This variance puts local regulations in misalignment with federal guidelines. As of right now, CBD is neither approved for inclusion in food nor as a dietary supplement.
Our Stance on CBD
It is our editorial policy to not make unsubstantiated or unscientific claims in our content or recommend products derived from marijuana. Similar to our other areas of health coverage, all health claims must be attributable to a scientific study in order to align with requirements of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and marijuana-derived products remain illegal in most states and have not been removed from the federal list of controlled substances.
Generally speaking, the use of hemp-derived CBD is legal under the Farm Bill Act. In our coverage of such products:
- We will not recommend products that derive CBD from non-hemp sources (sources containing more than 0.3% THC by dry weight).
- We will not make unsubstantiated claims that cannot be scientifically validated.
- We will not recommend CBD products as dietary supplements or as part of a healthy diet or wellness regimen.
It is our goal and privilege to serve as your trusted source for safe and accurate CBD information. When reading any of our CBD content, know that it was carefully written, edited and fact-checked prior to publication. What’s more, we are paying constant attention to the legal landscape of CBD and cannabis to ensure our content accurately reflects any changes that should occur.