Though the CBD industry is booming with products available from online stores to brick and mortar shops, there's some confusion regarding "is CBD legal in NY?"
CBD seems to be everywhere these days especially in New York City. At almost every bodega you can grab CBD gummies, CBD chocolate, even CBD lattes, but soon this could be coming to an end.
Earlier this year New York City's Department of Health went to a Manhattan bakery Fat Cat Kitchen that sold CBD infused pastries and stopped the owner from selling any CBD food or drinks. They confiscated $1,000 worth of CBD pastries during a routine inspection and marked them "embargoed" so they can't be sold.
So, is CBD legal in NY? Let's take a closer look.
What is CBD?
First, you should understand what CBD is. CBD is short for Cannabidiol which is a type of cannabinoid. Meaning it's a chemical compound that is found in the marijuana plant
It's not the same as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another cannabinoid in cannabis, because CBD isn't psychoactive, meaning and cannot and will not get you high. There are a number of products with CBD today from soaps, lotions, oils, and edible gummies, to vape cartridges and oral tinctures.
There is also to of CBD products for pets, check out this website to learn more about the best CBD oil for dogs and cats.
Is CBD Legal In NY?
In December of 2018, the Farm Bill was passed. This bill made hemp, which is a type of cannabis Sativa plant with a THC concentration of .3 percent or less, legal in the United States. So it is understood that CBD from hemp is also legal across the country.
The Farm Bill also makes it legal to buy and ship hemp-derived CBD online. But keep in mind that this bill only protects CBD products that have less than .3 percent of a THC concentration. So how do consumers know that their CBD products fit this standard?
One of the biggest challenges this industry faces is how CBD is extracted since the product is regulated by the government. Since there has been more interest in CBD infused items, the Food and Drug Administration just held a hearing and solicited public comments.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just issued updated guidelines on how it will handle any hemp or CBD trademarks. The agency explained that due to the Farm Bill, products with a THC less than .3 percent would be accepted for trademarks, while some products like dietary supplements, dog treats, food, and beverages will still be denied because the FDA hasn't been able to approve them yet.
Hemp Regulation In New York
Hemp products have been part of New York's culture for a while now. In the 1940s the federal government promoted and produced industrial hemp along with the movie "Hemp For Victory." During the war, many human and natural resources had to be strained and hemp's many industrial uses from its fibers and resin made this plant in high demand.
After the war, the price to produce hemp in the United States became prohibitory because of the reimplementation of taxes as well as strict regulations. In 2014 Barack Obama signed a pro-hemp Farm Bill that let the cultivation of hemp happen across the nation.
New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has been signing hemp positive legislation recently. In 2017 Cuomo signed the Senate Bill 6787 which acknowledged and showed New York's support to industrial hemp
CBD Oil Vs. Hemp Extract vs. Hemp Seed Oil
A big problem that happens with CBD and hemp products, is that CBD oil, hemp extract and hemp seed oil tend to be referred to interchangeably when really there is a big difference between them.
Let's break it down.
CBD comes from the stems, stalks, and flowers but not the seeds of Cannabis Sativa plant. So if a product is made from hemp seed oil also referred to as cannabis Sativa seed oil, it will not contain any CBD.
Hemp seed oil still has its health benefits. Similar to carrier oils like olive oil or sunflower seed oil, hemp seed oil has a high amount of amino acids, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids. Hemp seed oil might be a good option for your skin if you're trying to get rid of aches and pains.
CBD oil and hemp extract are basically synonymous, but hemp extract comes from parts of the hemp plant that have high levels of cannabidiol, which have analgesic and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Also know that while hemp seed oil has health benefits, hemp seed oil does not contain CBD, so it does not have the same amount of benefits CBD can have.
If you are shopping for CBD oils online, you can get confused since hemp seed oil will likely show up as a result. This is because Amazon does not sell CBD products, so if you search for CBD oil on Amazon, you will get redirected to hemp seed oil. So be aware of this especially when shopping for CBD online.
What About Food And Drinks With CBD?
It is now illegal to add CBD to drinks or food in New York City. This has been since July 1st, 2019, when the Health Department started to embargo any food or drink items with CBD. The products will have to either be returned to the supplier or discarded entirely according to the city's health department.
Starting in October, establishments that offer drinks or food with CBD will get violations, and these violations could turn into fines or hurt the establishment's letter grade.
Once the FDA establishes a better framework that regulates CBD products, then New York's CBD policy could change.
What Are The Health Benefits Of CBD?
If you are able to get your hands on CBD, this compound does have a lot of therapeutic and health benefits, although its effectiveness is still being researched.
There have been cases where you can treat a range of conditions like schizophrenia, epilepsy, arthritis, drug addiction, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s, PTSD and anxiety.
This has been from preclinical studies like an animal and human laboratory testing, where CBD has shown to have positive effects. However, this doesn't mean CBD will definitely work for all these conditions when it comes to the final clinical trials.
For example, there haven't been any completed clinical trials for CBD's effect on anxiety, but there have been human laboratory studies where people have seen the CBD reduces their anxiety.
In these studies, it has been shown that CBD does reduce anxiety when compared to a placebo, but this is still considered to be a kind of preliminary evidence. There have also been clinical trials of CBD on rare forms of childhood epilepsy. This resulted in the FDA approving a CBD prescription called Epidiolex.
What To Know Before You Buy CBD
If you are able to buy CBD, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.
Watch Out For Drug Interactions
CBD can interact with other medications with dangerous results, so be careful. If you start to take CBD with other medications, be sure that you consult with your doctor first. As if there is a reaction it can be pretty serious.
Know The Level Of CBD In The Product
Companies aren't always transparent about how much CBD is in their products or what the CBD source is. There are various ways a business can market its CBD products that take advantage of the consumer's lack of understanding.
Even transparent companies probably do not adhere to the same level of standardization and purity that exists with clinical trials. Which is why you want to look for a certificate of analysis which is a lab test from a third party that certifies the levels of CBD, THC and any contaminants.
Consider What Type Of Product You're Using
There are different types of CBD products that have various CBD potencies, and this affects how much of the product you should use. For example, oral CBD has less bioavailability compared to CBD that is smoked, taken under the tongue or rubbed into your skin.
When you take CBD orally, only a small part of that drug actually makes into the bloodstream because it gets metabolized in your liver. But if you smoke CBD, it doesn't get metabolized in your liver, so it is more potent. CBD is also somewhat more potent when it is rubbed into your skin.
Where Can I Buy CBD Hemp Oil In New York?
You don't need a prescription or a car to buy CBD products in New York. Currently, the best place to buy CBD is online, but retail stores across the country are selling over the counter CBD oils and other products.
The biggest concern with buying CBD is the customer's safety and quality. CBD companies will try to instill peace of mind by including the results from third-party lab tests for all of their products.
Get CBD Oil Today
Now that you know the answer to is CBD legal in NY, and understand why the NY Department of Health is cracking down on some stores. You can still get CBD in NY, but your best bet is to buy the product online, so you can read reviews. For more news stories, be sure to check out our blog.