CBD In Washington – 2019 Guide

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Is CBD Oil In Washington Legal?

Washington State CBD Laws 2019

Is CBD oil legal in Washington state? The state of Washington has been on the vanguard of the legal marijuana movement and was one of the first few U.S. states to implement progressive recreational and medical marijuana laws. But what is the state’s position on CBD oil?

Unfortunately, when it comes to hemp-derived CBD oil the state seems to be tripping over itself a bit as the market evolves faster than state lawmakers can make laws governing it. Whether or not you can legally purchase CBD oil in Washington depends on a variety of factors such as your age, your medical condition, and the type of product that you wish to purchase.

Before we delve into the legalities of CBD oil in Washington, let’s be sure we’re all on the same page in terms of exactly what CBD oil is and where it comes from. Then we’ll delve into the legal status of both marijuana-derived and hemp-derived CBD oil in Washington state and try to clarify things a little. You’ll also find at the end of the article links to sources where you can purchase these products.

  • Hemp CBD Oil vs. CBD-Rich Cannabis Oil

  • What Are The Health Benefits of CBD Oil?

  • Is CBD Oil Made From Marijuana Legal in WA?

  • Legal Risks of Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil

  • Is Hemp CBD Oil Legal In Washington State?

Hemp CBD Oil vs. CBD-Rich Cannabis Oil

First, here’s a quick note for newbies about the difference between hemp-derived CBD oil and marijuana-derived oils containing CBD.

Both hemp and marijuana are terms used to classify strains of the cannabis plant. Marijuana is the intoxicating option which contains the psychotropic THC molecule which causes people to get high. Hemp is essentially devoid of THC (it must contain less than 0.3% by law) and does not cause a high. Just like marijuana, the strains of cannabis used to make CBD oil produce big sticky buds. Cannabidiol, aka CBD, is produced in these resinous buds and is the second most common cannabinoid compound found cannabis.

Some strains of marijuana are very high in THC and low in CBD, while others have a balance of THC and CBD. There are also strains which are higher in CBD than THC which appeal to medical patients who wish to avoid the psychoactive effects of marijuana to some degree.

There is a difference in terminology used to describe the essential oils produced from marijuana and hemp. The THC-containing oils which are extracted from marijuana flowers are more commonly referred to as cannabis oil. And the essential oils that are extracted from hemp flowers are known as CBD oil.

In order to extract the essential oils from either marijuana or hemp, the flowers are dried and ground. They are then soaked in a solvent such as ethanol or a fluid form of carbon dioxide called supercritical CO2. When the solvent is evaporated it leaves behind raw cannabis extract. These products then go through a refinement process to remove unwanted compounds such as waxes and chlorophyll. The final products contain the same ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes found in the original plants and for this reason, they are commonly referred to as a full-spectrum oils.

Both cannabis oil and CBD oil can be further refined to produce pure cannabinoids such as THC or CBD isolate which are odorless and flavorless and are therefore ideal for adding to edibles and cosmetic products. However, Federal Food and Drug Administration rules currently prohibit adding CBD isolate to food products. Nonetheless, many shops in Washington state are still selling CBD-infused edibles.

Before you rush out to Wholefoods to buy some CBD oil, be sure that you do not confuse CBD oil with hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is produced by pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. In fact, the strains of hemp used to produce hemp seeds are extremely low in cannabinoids. To produce high-quality CBD oil growers use a strain of hemp called PCR hemp which stands for phytocannabinoid-rich hemp. This is essentially marijuana which has had the THC bred out of it. PCR hemp looks like marijuana, smells like marijuana, and is grown and harvested in much the say way as marijuana. When cultivating PCR hemp, only female plants are grown in order to avoid the production of seeds completely.

What Are The Health Benefits of CBD Oil?

CBD and THC are just two of scores of compounds produced in cannabis which are collectively known as cannabinoids. There are two types of cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are chemicals produced naturally by our own bodies. Phytocannabinoids, those produced in plants such as cannabis have the ability to mimic endocannabinoids.

Both endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids act upon a vast system of endocannabinoid receptors found on the surface of cells throughout the body including major organs and the brain.

Cannabis also produces molecules called terpenes which have powerful effects on the human body such as improving mood, energy, and sleep and relieving pain and inflammation. Terpenes are aromatic compounds which give cannabis its distinctive scents and flavors.

The combined effects of cannabinoids and terpenes is known as the entourage effect. Although cannabinoids do provide powerful medical benefits, when combined with terpenes, the entourage effect greatly increases the efficacy of the drug.

Evidence has been mounting over the past few decades that suggests that CBD oil may be effective in treating the symptoms of a wide variety of medical conditions.

CBD works at a cellular level with a vast and complex bodily system known as the endocannabinoid system. The ECS plays an important role in a variety of bodily functions. These include immunoregulation, hormone production and uptake, moods and sleep cycles, nerve function and repair, and much, much more.

As if that’s not enough, CBD has been proven to be a more powerful antioxidant than vitamin C, and provides anti-inflammatory effects on the level of over the counter painkillers. Furthermore, CBD acts as an antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal agent and makes a great topical ointment.

CBD oil in WA

The most common reasons given for using CBD oil include improving mood, relieving depression and reducing anxiety, relieving pain, reducing nausea, improving appetite, improving sleep, and mitigating seizures and involuntary muscle movements. It is currently being recommended by medical professionals to treat ailments such as epilepsy, MS, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain, depression and anxiety, PTSD, epileptic seizures, MS, Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, and much more.

Some research has also suggested that CBD may even play a role in preventing the development and spread of cancerous tumors.

Both marijuana and hemp extracts are known to have these medicinal properties. Although there is some debate as to the role of THC in the efficacy of medical cannabis products, many hemp CBD oil users report positive results without the THC. In fact, a newly approved drug called Epidiolex which is prescribed to treat epilepsy is, essentially, pure CBD.

Is CBD Oil Made From Marijuana Legal in Washington State?

Although Washington still has a medical marijuana program, it is also one of the 10 US states where the adult use of recreational marijuana is legal. What this means is that anyone 21 or older can walk into a marijuana dispensary and walk out with either marijuana-derived cannabis oil which contains both THC and CBD, or hemp-derived CBD oil. However, if you’re a card-carrying medical marijuana patient, the minimum age for purchasing these products is 18.

In 2018 new rules went into effect in Washington state which permit only licensed marijuana producers and processors to produce CBD-infused products within the state’s borders. What this means is that if a Washington-based company wants to add CBD to, say, some gummy bears, it can only do so legally if it is licensed to produce marijuana products. That is regardless of whether or not the CBD came from hemp or marijuana.

One of the reasons for this is the state expects any cannabinoid-containing product sold in dispensaries, whether it be marijuana or hemp, to be lab tested for toxins and contaminants under the state’s marijuana laws. Furthermore, all licensed producers must maintain full compliance with the existing traceability system under Washington law.

This may change as a result of the recent passage of a revised farm bill which removed hemp and CBD oil from the federal government’s list of controlled substances. The measure makes way for state-regulated cultivation of hemp and interstate commerce of all hemp products including CBD oil.

As of the time of writing, however, there are still some issues with the FDA prohibiting the use of CBD as a food additive. The agency also prohibits the marketing of CBD-containing products as dietary or health supplements. However, the FDA responded to the new hemp legislation by stating that it would be working on paths toward allowing the use of CBD in foods and for it to be marketed as a dietary supplement. This is very likely to happen due to the vast amounts of money to made on these products. It might already be the case by the time you read this.

If the FDA does approve CBD as a health supplement, it is certain to become a common over-the-counter preparation found on the shelves of every drug store, supermarket, and convenience store in the country. However, much more research will be needed in order for this to happen.

Legal Risks of Marijuana-Derived CBD Oil

There are downsides to using marijuana products for which you need to be warned. Aside from these products inducing a high, something which many people who can benefit from cannabis would like to avoid, using marijuana products with THC can cause users to fail any drug test that checks for marijuana use. If an employer or sports organization prohibits the use of marijuana users will be putting themselves at risk of losing their position.

Using cannabis oil made from marijuana also puts users at risk of failing a roadside sobriety test. If this happens you can be charged with a serious and costly DWI offense.

Is Hemp CBD Oil Legal In Washington State?

So what about the hemp-derived variety? Is it legally available outside of marijuana dispensaries? The answer is yes. But there are some gray areas.

Because the state is a step behind federal lawmakers and the new farm bill, state laws do not yet take into account the changes to the federal status of hemp and hemp-derived CBD oil. But rest assured, they will.

As a result of needing to catch up on hemp laws, the only hemp-derived CBD products that can be legally sold outside of marijuana dispensaries in the state of Washington are those that have been imported from other states.

Fortunately, there are plenty of retail shops that offer these imported CBD products, especially in the larger cities such as Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma.

On the downside, most, but not all shops only carry a small variety of CBD products. Furthermore, because there are no regulations set on hemp CBD products as of yet, it’s important to do some research is in order to determine if the brands that a shop offers are producing high-quality products that are not contaminated with chemicals, toxins, molds, and illegal additives. This is far less likely to be the case if the products are purchased in a dispensary or from a reputable online retailer.

Although there is no question that hemp extracts and CBD oil are legal to sell and purchase in Washington, there is still some question as to whether or not CBD-infused products such as edibles or CBD-infused vape oils are legal. As mentioned, adding purified CBD to food products is currently (as of time of writing) forbidden by the FDA. But even here there is a lot of gray areas. For instance, 99.9% pure CBD is forbidden, but is 90% pure CBD oil forbidden? Where does the line get drawn?

Regardless of the FDA’s stance on the matter, plenty of CBD product manufacturers sell products which are formulated with pure CBD derived from hemp, putting the FDA in a position of having to either play catch up or decide whether or not to broadly enforce applicable laws — an effort which will require massive human and financial resources.

Washington is expected to follow the lead of the federal government and many U.S. states which are developing regulations for the cultivation of hemp and the sale of hemp products produced within the state. In the meantime, all residents in the state can legally purchase imported hemp CBD products.

A quick Google search should tell you whether or not there is a store in your area that carries legal CBD oil and CBD-infused products. You can also visit MedCard Dispensaries to find a list of shops that carry hemp-derived CBD oils and CBD-infused products.

Where to Buy Hemp CBD Oil Online in Washington State?

If you can’t find a local store that carries hemp CBD oil, don’t fret. There is a website where you can order high-quality hemp-derived CBD products from a variety of vendors and CBD retailers. Have them ship directly to your home in Washington.

CBD online in Washington

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