Recently the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), somehow managed to shuffle bureaucratic paperwork— making CBD oil a bit more illegal— federally. The Federal Register contains a clause (21 CFR Part 1308), which establishes a new drug code for “cannabis extract.”

“This code,” states Chuck Rosenberg; DEA Acting Administrator, “will allow DEA and DEA-registered entities to track quantities of this material separately from quantities of marihuana.” The Register entry explained this was done in order to make the United States compliant with international drug-control treaties.

This Register item did not bring about any major changes in law. Instead; it was intended to reinforce the DEA’s stance on all marijuana extracts, making it clear that CBD oil is included. Their stance being that both marijuana and CBD are federally illegal Schedule I substances.

“Extracts of marihuana will continue to be treated as Schedule I controlled substances,” the notice states.

Hemp derived CBD oil is currently available nationwide, either on web sites or by mail order. These companies are surviving under the assumption that cannabidiol products are legal as long as their THC percentage in hemp is 0.3 percent or less. The DEA is now saying this is not the case.

Rosenberg directly asked—What if it’s only cannabidiol (CBD) and no other cannabinoids?— in the DEA comment on the entry. The agency responded: “For practical purposes, all extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids. However, if it were possible to produce from the cannabis plant an extract that contained only CBD and no other cannabinoids, such an extract would fall within the new drug code;” which signifies it remains federally illegal. What the DEA is saying is that they are confident they can find sufficient traces of other cannabinoids in your CBD oil to arrest and prosecute. However; if they cannot, they have the choice of arresting and prosecuting based on the CBD oil itself.

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