Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the fastest growing health supplements in the U.S. But Is CBD oil legal in Massachusetts? It’s a reasonable question to ask considering that cannabis and its derivatives are still illegal at a federal level.h scientific and anecdotal evidence of its health benefits is accumulating quickly.
In fact, the popularity of CBD oil is growing so quickly that the industry and science are advancing much faster than the laws surrounding it.
Studies and real-world results have shown CBD to provide therapeutic benefits that in some cases rival pharmaceutical drugs.
Massachusetts CBD Laws 
Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil is Legal For Adults 21+ in Mass.
The first kind of CBD oil, which is more commonly referred to as cannabis oil, is produced from marijuana. CBD-rich oils made from marijuana almost always contains THC, the compound which causes a high. In order to purchase them legally, you need to be at least 21 years of age.
Although not long ago only qualified medical marijuana patients could purchase CBD oil made from marijuana, the launch of the state’s recreational cannabis use program eliminated the medical marijuana card requirement. However, these products can still only be purchased at a licensed retail dispensary.
Marijuana-derived CBD oil products come in a variety of types. These include your standard, no-frills oils, tinctures, and capsules, as well as more interesting delivery methods including vaporizers, edibles, and salves. The popularity of CBD-infused drinks is also growing quickly.
CBD products made from marijuana are generally produced from either a strain of marijuana with a one-to-one ratio of CBD to THC, or a five-to-one ratio, give or take, and some have very low levels of THC with a ratio of CBD to THC somewhere in the neighborhood of a 20-to-one.
Many medical cannabis advocates and experts claim that the THC found in these products greatly increases their efficacy in treating certain conditions such as pain and epilepsy. However some patients report that THC makes then feel anxious and spacey, and many report excellent results using THC-free CBD oil products. Which brings us to our second type of CBD oil — CBD from hemp.
CBD Oil From Hemp is Legal For All Massachusetts Residents
Hemp is a type of cannabis that is essentially devoid of THC and does not cause a high. CBD oil is typically derived from high CBD strains of hemp which produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 15% to 20% CBD.
CBD oil made from hemp is completely legal in Massachusetts. However, unfortunately for youngsters, many retailers and websites will not sell hemp CBD to anyone under the age of 18.
There are a number of types of CBD oil products which are made from hemp, but a little knowledge goes a long way toward knowing what you’re buying.
Most hemp CBD products fall into two camps — those that contain full-spectrum CBD oil and those which are infused with purified CBD isolate. Full-spectrum products are more true to the original plant containing a full spectrum of cannabinoids and beneficial terpenes, whereas CBD-infused products, on the other hand, generally only contain purified CBD without the additional cannabinoids and terpenes.
Although many claim that these pure CBD-infused products work fine for their needs, a famous research study showed that in the treatment of certain conditions, the effects of pure CBD drop off dramatically if you take too much or too little. This is called a bell curve response. The study showed that full-spectrum CBD products have a much wider effective dosage range.
Hemp CBD products come in the same forms as marijuana CBD products — capsules, oils, tinctures, vape oils, and CBD-infused edibles including gummies and salves.
Which Type Of CBD is Best For You
Even though both types of CBD oil are legal in Massachusetts, deciding whether or not to go with CBD made from marijuana or hemp CBD is not an easy choice. However, there are a few rules of thumb you should follow.
First, if your job requires that you get drug tested, then you’ll want to avoid cannabis oil and stick with hemp CBD oil. The levels of THC in cannabis oil — even if it’s a 20-to-one ratio of CBD to THC, are enough to potentially trigger a positive result for the use of marijuana on a drug test. Hemp CBD, on the other hand, must contain less than three one-hundredths of one percent THC in order to be legal.
It’s also important to mention here that CBD oil product which contain THC put users at risk of failing a roadside drug test and being charged with a DWI offense, which, as we all know, is definitely not a good thing.
As mentioned above, the second rule of thumb is if you’re under 21 you’re options are limited to the hemp-derived variety of CBD products.
Another is somewhat obvious. If you definitely don’t want to get high, stick with hemp CBD to eliminate the risk of getting a product that might be too high in THC. When you buy products made from marijuana there is also some risk that the product will contain more THC than you’d like it to.
Beyond those rules, whether or not hemp CBD oil or cannabis oil that’s rich in CBD is better for treating a particular condition really depends on the individual.
Cannabis is a highly complex plant with scores of active compounds, each of which has different effects on different people. Also, individual endocannabinoid systems are unique. Some people express more cannabinoid receptors than others, and some people show higher or lower levels of their own naturally produced endocannabinoids than average. What this means is that these products affect each person differently. While one person may require that the product contain THC in order to be effective, another might have perfectly good results with hemp CBD oil.
It’s a good idea to discuss your needs with knowledgeable medical professionals as well as other CBD users who are treating the same condition. No matter what anyone tells you, it’s going to take some experimentation. You might start with hemp CBD and if you feel it could be more effective then give the THC-containing CBD oil a try.
What About Federal CBD Laws in 2019
Currently, cannabis oil made from marijuana is without a doubt federally illegal. However, federal law enforcement agencies will generally not bother expending resources on prosecuting residents in states where these products are legal as long as you’re just purchasing them for personal use. If you’re caught selling them without a license, that’s another story.
Oddly, whether or not CBD oil from hemp is federally illegal depends on who you ask. There seems to be some gray area here. Some say the 2014 Farm Bill made CBD oil from hemp legal nationwide. Others claim that this only applies to CBD oil made from the stalks and seeds of the hemp plant (which doesn’t exist because there are no cannabinoids in the stalks and seeds.)
Furthermore, while the FDA has approved a CBD-based drug called Epidiolex for the treatment of epilepsy, it has not approved CBD as a food additive. And the FDA considers CBD oil — and certainly CBD edibles — to be food products. But again, federal law enforcement agencies have far better things to do than to hassle hemp CBD users.
Where to Buy CBD Legally in Massachusetts
As mentioned above, if you’re hoping to purchase marijuana-derived CBD oil products your options are limited. You’ll have to be 21 or over and go to a dispensary.
However, if you’re looking to purchase hemp CBD products your options are much more flexible. If you’re 21+ you might be able to find hemp CBD products at a local dispensary. Most likely you’ll be able to purchase CBD legally at local vape shops and boutiques health food shops, but your choices will usually be limited to a few brands and they may require that you be 18+.
If you want to save yourself a trip and have your choice of a wider variety of CBD brands and products — and not get carded — CBD can also be purchased online and delivered right to your door. Many online destinations that sell legal hemp CBD products carry a variety of brands and types of legal hemp CBD products.