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  • by Nicola Boulton December 13, 2023 5 min read

    Breaking Down CBD: Are CBD Edibles Legal in the US?

    Cannabidiol edibles are edible gums, snacks, gummies, brownies, and beverages infused with cannabidiol oil.The federal laws legalize hemp products with below 0.3 % THC level. However, Federal and State laws differ. Use this article to know about the legality of CBD edibles in the USA, including; factors

    Cannabidiol (CBD) is a beneficial cannabis cannabinoid compound. The CBD edibles are edible gums, snacks, gummies, brownies, and beverages infused with cannabidiol oil. Since CBD has myriad benefits, manufacturers infuse them with the compound to raise their nutritional value. Most customers are unaware of legal laws surrounding cannabis possession and usage.

    Cannabis plants have two strains, including marijuana and hemp. Most states prohibit marijuana products because they contain high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol.Hemp has more cannabidiol concentration than THC. United States residents inquire about the legality of CBD edibles.

    Is CBD legal in the US?

    Cannabidiol is a beneficial cannabis cannabinoid compound. According toSawler et al. (2015),the Cannabis plant has two major varieties, including marijuana (cannabis (Sativa) and hemp strains. They contain different amounts of CBD. For example, hemp constitutes high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and low CBD concentration, while cannabis Sativa has low THC and high CBD contents. THC is an intoxicating molecule that causes euphoric and psychoactive effects in consumers. The legality of cannabis products is tailored to the THC amounts they contain.

    Rupasinghe et al. (2020) showed that the 2018 Farm Bill legalized farming, manufacturing, harvesting, and possessing hemp-derived products. However, federal law authorized only products with 0.3% or below THC level. Marijuana-sourced cannabidiol products have THC amounts surpassing this legal level. They have been categorized into schedule 1 substances. They are illegal federally, but it might not be true in some states. For instance, some states have legalized such products for medicinal and recreational purposes but are illegal in others.

    Since hemp was authorized in 2018, its products are legal in most American States. Hemp-derived cannabidiol products have below 0.3% THC level. They are legal federally though federal laws and State laws differ. Therefore, the legality also depends on your current State and the CBD edibles types.

    Are CBD Edibles Legal in the US?

    Cannabidiol edibles come in different types; isolates, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum.


    Cocetta et al. (2021) discovered that cannabidiol isolates are the purest CBD variety, with 99.9 percent purity. These extracts contain only cannabidiol, as manufacturers eliminate other cannabis elements during processing. Their benefits are limited as important cannabis elements are removed. Since isolate CBD edibles do not have tetrahydrocannabinol, the consumer cannot fail pre-employment drug screening tests. This means the isolate edibles are legalized in States that authorize hemp products but remain illegal in those that reject hemp merchandise. Therefore, know the laws that govern cannabis in your current State.


    Kerna et al. (2022) stated that broad-spectrum extractsof essential oils, flavonoids, terpenes, cannabinol, cannabichromene, cannabigerol, and CBD,except for THC. The manufacturers perform a winterization process to eliminate this molecule. The remaining elements work synergistically to produce entourage effects. Users experience more benefits than taking isolates alone. Since THC is removed, edibles cannot intoxicate customers. Also, the molecule cannot be detected in drug screening tests. Therefore, the product is legal only in States that authorize hemp farming, harvest, and possession.


    Full-spectrum type constitutes all cannabis compounds, including THC molecules. It has the highest nutritional profile meaning it provides the best results among its counterparts. The ingredients work synergistically to generate an entourage effect surpassing that produced in broad-spectrum. This is because the added THC compound provides unique benefits. However, this molecule is detectable in pre-employment drug screening tests. Although most manufacturers claim that it contains below 0.3 percent THC, most countries have prohibited full-spectrum products. Users should understand the laws that control hemp production before purchasing them.

    Are There Factors to Consider When Buying CBD Edibles?

    CBD edibles have flooded the market, creating opportunities for low-grade products to penetrate. Customers are overwhelmed when choosing the appropriate product choices. Cannabis lovers should consider certain factors to avoid low-grade products. These include:


    Quality is important as it determines the safety and effectiveness of the product. Purchase your cannabidiol products from reputable manufacturers who produce high-quality CBD edibles. Request a laboratory report or certificate of analysis (COA) before buying your product. This confirms whether the product has undergone third-party testing. These documents reveal the ingredients and their respective ratios. Therefore, ensure every product procured is made with high-grade ingredients. This helps to avoid contaminated products causing adverse effects. Manufacturers integrate base oil like olive, jojoba, and medium chain triglycerides (MCT),lowering the cannabidiol oil consistency. These ingredients must have high-quality while their proportions and concentration should be moderated. Ensure the ingredients are balanced as they affect CBD oil's therapeutic and relaxing effects.


    The manufacturer determines the quality of a product. Good manufacturers should derive their hemp materials from reputable hemp farms in Colorado and Kentucky. These farms employ 100 percent organic farming techniques. For example, no farm chemicals like pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides are used. This means their products have no heavy metals, GMOs, microbials, and contaminants. Certain governmental agencies monitor these farming practices to ensure that agricultural guidelines are adhered to. After farming, cannabidiol compounds should be extracted from hemp materials through carbon dioxide. This is the standard and quality extraction method. Therefore, quality CBD edibles should have these requirements from the manufacturer.


    Cannabidiol edibles are highly tolerated products. The legality of cannabidiol products is pegged on the amount of THC level present. The 2018 Farm Bill authorized the farming, harvesting, manufacturing, and processing of hemp-derived products. However, federal laws allowed cannabidiol products containing 0.3 percent or below THC. Since federal and State laws differ, cannabidiol legality depends on your current State's laws. Isolates and broad-spectrum have no THC contents making them legal in most US States. Contrastively, full-spectrum has detectable THC amounts making it illegal in most states. Therefore, research your State cannabis laws before purchasing CBD edibles.


    Cocetta, Governa, Borgonetti, Tinazzi, Peron, Catanzaro, &Montopoli (2021). Cannabidiol Isolated From Cannabis Sativa L. Protects The Intestinal Barrier From In Vitro Inflammation And Oxidative Stress. Frontiers In Pharmacology, 12, 641210.

    Kerna, Flores, Chawla, Brown, & Anderson (2022). J, Carsrud NDV, Holets HM, Roberson R, Nwokorie U, Pruitt KD. "A Desktop Primer And Practical Review Of Cannabis-Containing Compounds And Their Entourage Effects." EC Neurology, 14, 49-57.

    Rupasinghe, Davis, Kumar, Murray, &Zheljazkov (2020). Industrial Hemp (Cannabis Sativa Subsp. Sativa) Is An Emerging Source Of Value-Added Functional Food Ingredients And Nutraceuticals. Molecules, 25(18), 4078.

    Sawler, Stout, Gardner, Hudson, Vidmar, Butler, & Myles (2015). The Genetic Structure Of Marijuana And Hemp. Plos One, 10(8), E0133292.

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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