The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has quietly made a clarification that not all compounds from cannabis fall under the Controlled Substances Act federally. The DEA has made a distinction between THC and CBD, mainly that THC is an intoxicant while CBD is not.
CBD vs THC
If its confusing concerning the difference between THC or CBD, do not worry you are not the only one. THC is a cannabinoid that causes psychoactive (high) reactions in the body; CBD is another cannabinoid but it is not psychoactive and does not give you a buzz. “Hemp” is defined by federal law as the plant Cannabis Sativa containing less than 3 % THC; any plant containing more than this is marijuana.
The CBD cannabinoid can help with a variety of things.
So what did the DEA say? The DEA issued an internal directive stating,
Products and materials that are made from the cannabis plant and which fall outside the CSA definition of marijuana (such as sterilized seeds, oil or cake made from the seeds, and mature stalks) are not controlled under the CSA. Such products may accordingly be sold and otherwise distributed throughout the United States without restriction under the CSA or its implementing regulations. The mere presence of cannabinoids is not itself dispositive as to whether a substance is within the scope of the CSA; the dispositive question is whether the substance falls within the CSA definition of marijuana.
Let’s break this down to be a little simpler; CBD extract is extracted from “hemp”, which is not included in the definition of marijuana above. The existence of cannabinoids is not the problem, in fact, Cannabis Sativa contains over 100 cannabinoids most of which do not make you high. This directive states that the DEA and the Controlled Substances Act is to only concern themselves with marijuana with the intoxicant THC.
Although CBD products are legal in every state this now means that federally:
- CBD may be imported and exported to and from the USA without restriction
- CBD may be lawfully purchased and sold throughout the country
DEA vs Congress
Recently, the DEA has been overstepping their boundaries starting with the publishing of a drug code 7350 in 2017 concerning hemp derived extracts. This rule states that all hemp derived extracts fall under the same Schedule 1 category as marijuana that contains psychoactive THC.
However, this rule was not established in legislation through Congress; it is overreaching by the enforcing body of the DEA. Although the DEA claims this rule was to better track extract products, in reality, it has limited patients with legitimate medical need the access to CBD. This rule has created a lot of confusion, as you may remember Texas tried to do something similar.
Of course, the DEA rule was challenged straight away by the hemp industry; the hemp industry cites the 2004 decision by the ninth circuit of appeals excluding non-psychoactive cannabis strains from Schedule 1 drugs. This would include CBD, as well as other helpful cannabinoids, which the DEA has no authority to regulate.
In addition, the 2014 Hemp Farming Bill further supports certain states allowing hemp cultivation for reasons like medical research. This is additional to support that sheds light on the overreaching raids of the DEA.
Green Lotus Hemp Standards
Unlike other CBD retailers, Green Lotus Hemp grows hemp under the Hemp Farming Bill that contains 0% THC.