Is Full Spectrum CBD Legal in All States? - FOCL

Is Full Spectrum CBD Legal in All States?

The anti-marijuana push started with the Mexican Revolution in the 1900s and the subsequent influx of immigrants into the U.S. They brought their culture and customs, including using cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. 

At the time, American drug companies were already mixing cannabis in their medicines and tinctures. 

The Mexican practice of smoking dried cannabis leaves, tinged with anti-Mexican xenophobia, marked the beginning of anti-marijuana sentiments. To control the immigrants, Texas implemented an opium law that was quite successful in controlling Chinese immigrants.

Further, marijuana was demonized and depicted as a substance of "murder, torture, and hideous cruelty." Its use was concentrated among immigrants and the lower classes of the American citizenry—a factor believed to have added impetus to its eventual ban. 

Of course, the association with mindless violence and murder was the work of overzealous journalists tasked with sensationalizing the narrative of addiction and drug abuse, as exemplified here.

The final blow came in 1968, when President-elect Richard Nixon, whose campaign revolved around restoring "law and order," declared war against drug abuse. 

Wide-ranging changes in federal drug policies and a reshaping of federal anti-drug agencies were rubberstamped by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act in 1970. 

This law effectively banned the use and possession of cannabis until the 2018 Farm Bill.


What is full spectrum CBD?

When a CBD product is labeled "full spectrum," it means it contains all naturally-occurring cannabis compounds. These include all cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils, flavonoids, proteins, and fatty acids found in cannabis plants. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second-most abundant cannabinoid after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Its use has spiked in recent years based on claims that it possesses numerous health benefits.

Existing research studies, though limited, appear to support this position. Some of the well-studied aspects of this cannabinoid are its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties. 

What does full spectrum CBD mean                    

But from a legal perspective, full spectrum CBD refers to CBD extract whose THC content does not exceed the 0.3% threshold. The rationale for this proviso is that, in such low concentrations, this psychoactive component of cannabis cannot make users "high." 

Even though most states apply the 0.3% rule, some states have different threshold limits. 

For example, Texas allows up to 1% THC content, while CBD products with up to 5% THC content are legal in Georgia

Interestingly, the scientist who established the 0.3% edge point never intended for it to be used in modern-day cannabis legislation.

It was an arbitrary figure he used in a 1976 study to distinguish high THC content cannabis from low THC content cannabis.

How it came to be interpreted and appropriated—losing its original narrow scope—and eventually adopted as the "gold standard" for differentiating between hemp and marijuana is anyone's guess.

Of course, this has created numerous problems for industrial hemp farmers. In most countries where medical marijuana is legal, hemp farmers are restricted by this 0.3% rule, meaning they risk incurring fines and getting into legal trouble if their crops test above the 0.3% limit. 

It's controversial because the 0.3% THC content limit is not an effective measure. Detractors of this threshold amount have advocated raising it to at least 1%. But why 1%? Because, according to a 2002 article by Dr. Ernest Small—the Canadian scientist who established the 0.3% cut-off point—1% of THC can potentially intoxicate. 

In reality, 1% THC is low compared to the "average" street marijuana, which a 2019 fact sheet contends has 5%–25% THC, or even medical cannabis, whose THC content can range from 5%–30%. 

The argument here is that there is a chance that 1% of THC may not induce a psychoactive response, meaning hemp farmers would get extra breathing space by not having to destroy crops deemed "hot." 

There is also an issue with the testing methodology. The current cannabis test combines the content of both THCA (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) —a THC precursor—and THC. Critics of this method argue that THCA only converts to THC when heated. 

The implication is that hemp crops can register higher THC levels than they would have if processed. For farmers, this can mean having to destroy an entire harvest!


Does full spectrum CBD have THC?

Yes, full spectrum CBD contains THC, hence the prefix "full," which means it has all the compounds existing naturally in cannabis, including THC. 

However, the amount of THC may vary from one strain to another. For example, marijuana typically has more THC than hemp, so CBD manufacturers prefer the latter. 

But with growers crossbreeding cannabis plants to develop better strains, the THC content in hemp may vary considerably in the coming years.


Full spectrum vs. broad spectrum CBD

There are three types of CBD – full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate. 

As mentioned, full spectrum CBD contains all of cannabis' naturally-occurring compounds. These are cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, essential oils, vitamins, and proteins. However, the THC content is highly regulated and should not exceed the 0.3% upper limit. 

On the other hand, broad spectrum CBD is essentially full spectrum CBD without THC. So, theoretically, broad spectrum CBD contains 0% THC. 

We say "theoretically" because most CBD products do contain some THC. In 2019, the FDA conducted a sampling study of CBD products in the marketplace to determine the extent to which they are adulterated or mislabeled. 

The findings were startling! From a list of 147 CBD products sold online, only two products that claimed to have CBD did not contain any. Of the 102 CBD products that advertised a specific amount of CBD, only 45% contained CBD within 20% of the indicated amount.

In contrast, 18% had less CBD. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of the products contained more CBD than advertised.

As for THC, 49% of the products had higher THC levels than stated in the LOQ (limit of quantification). Even though the FDA does not have a standard LOQ value, one of the products tested had as much as 3.1mg per serving. This is considered high enough to produce physical effects.

The FDA's report merely affirmed the need to regulate the CBD industry—a position supported by the Consumer Brands Association, which argues that it's time for authorities to take action.

If left unchecked, unscrupulous actors in the CBD industry will continue putting substandard cannabis products on the market, endangering consumers' safety.

There's debate regarding the effectiveness of full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD. 

CBD connoisseurs maintain that full spectrum CBD is more effective than broad spectrum and CBD isolates because it has all the beneficial compounds of cannabis, including 0.3% of THC.

They hypothesize that this combination produces a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, where all the compounds in cannabis extract synergize to enhance each other's effects.

The major cannabinoids in full spectrum cannabis extract—CBD and THC—work differently.

Although researchers are still studying how they interact with receptors in the brain, the consensus is that both regulate the actions of the endocannabinoid system. 

This system mediates several immune and nervous system functions such as mood, sleep, digestion, healing, and inflammatory responses. 

Essentially, the endocannabinoid system corrects imbalances in the body via receptors throughout the peripheral and central nervous systems. It also influences how we experience pain, leading researchers to think CBD may help the body achieve better balance.


Is full spectrum CBD legal?

It depends. Full spectrum CBD is legal in jurisdictions where medical or recreational marijuana is allowed. However, this may be contingent on meeting specific provisions. 

For example, in the U.S., full spectrum CBD is federally legal as long as it doesn't contain more than 0.3% THC. This means that full spectrum CBD derived from marijuana may not be permitted because marijuana tends to have higher THC concentrations.

While the 0.3% rule seems standard, some states have different cut-off points. For instance, the maximum allowed THC content in Georgia is 5%, while in Texas it's 1%. 

The best way to ensure you avoid legal problems if you use CBD products is to check out the cannabis laws of your state. This could also help you avoid a positive drug test.


Is full spectrum hemp oil legal?

Yes, full spectrum hemp oil is legal. This is because hemp typically contains low THC concentrations, often 0.3% or less. 

On the other hand, marijuana usually has a high THC content (more than 0.3%) and is still considered a Schedule I drug under the U.S. Controlled Substance Act (CSA). 

This means marijuana is treated like heroin, 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), and methaqualone. The CSA defines these drugs and substances as "having no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." 

So, while full spectrum hemp oil is legal, full spectrum marijuana oil may not be.


Is full spectrum CBD legal in all states?

The 2018 Farm Bill significantly changed the cannabis landscape in the United States. It removed hemp from the list of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act. 

As a result, hemp is now cultivated legally in the country. By extension, hemp-derived CBD products are also legal in all 50 states. However, cannabis laws vary at the state level.

Most CBD consumers prefer full spectrum CBD. It represents the original profile and traits of the hemp plant and evokes the entourage effect.

Indeed, studies show that full spectrum CBD may be more effective than over-processed CBD such as isolates and broad spectrum CBD.

Its higher popularity compared to other types of CBD hinges on its perceived ability to support the treatment of various ailments and their symptoms. For this reason, many users integrate full spectrum CBD into their routines to boost their overall wellbeing.


Where to buy legal CBD 

But as CBD becomes even more popular, the issue of quality and safety remains pressing. The CBD industry is not regulated, so it's all on manufacturers to ensure their CBD products are safe and of good quality. 

We insist on buying CBD from certified CBD manufacturers like FOCL. We’re dedicated to producing high-quality CBD products that actually work. 

We produce premium CBD products in broad and full spectrum formulations so you can feel, sleep, and perform better! Our line of full spectrum products is fully compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill, meaning you can get them anywhere in the country!

Our CBD Drops deliver the ultimate solution to soothe your mind, relieve your everyday stressors, and manage pain so you can power through your day.

Available in five all-natural flavors and three potency levels, these are a discreet and effective way to take your CBD dose.

If you’re sweet-toothed, we highly recommend you try our Premium CBD Gummies. These fruity treats, available in three flavors and in broad and full spectrum formulations, are a delicious way to add CBD into your daily routine.

Each gummy delivers 25mg of our premium CBD extract that will help you cruise through your day with a calm and focused mind. 

If you’re looking for something to help you sleep better, then check our Sleep Gummies.

They combine our premium CBD in broad or full spectrum formulation with CBN, a cannabinoid believed to have sedative properties that promote better sleep, and soothing botanicals like L-theanine and passion flower.