CBD-infused coffee has become increasingly popular among coffee enthusiasts, especially those looking for new ways to enjoy the benefits of CBD. However, as with any new trend, many individuals are left wondering whether CBD coffee is legal.
This comprehensive guide will take a deep dive into the current legal status of CBD coffee, covering state and federal regulations, traveling with CBD coffee, and more.
Understanding CBD and Its Legal Status
To fully comprehend the legality of CBD coffee, it's essential to understand the legal status of CBD itself.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, another well-known compound found in cannabis, CBD is non-intoxicating and does not produce the "high" often associated with cannabis use. CBD has gained popularity in recent years for its potential health benefits, including reducing anxiety and inflammation, and improving sleep.
The Difference Between CBD and THC
While CBD is legal in many states, THC is not. THC is still considered a Schedule I drug by the federal government, meaning it is illegal on a federal level. However, some states have legalized THC for medical or recreational use. THC is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis, including the feeling of being "high."
It's important to note that while CBD and THC are both compounds found in the cannabis plant, they have different effects on the body and are regulated differently by the government.
The 2018 Farm Bill and CBD Legalization
In 2018, the Farm Bill was signed into law, legalizing hemp-derived CBD at the federal level. This bill removed hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act, effectively removing legal hurdles to the production and sale of CBD products derived from hemp.
Since the passage of the Farm Bill, CBD products have exploded in popularity and can now be found in a variety of forms, including oils, gummies, and even coffee. However, it's important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. The FDA has not yet approved CBD as a food additive, and some products may contain inaccurate labelling or harmful contaminants.
When purchasing CBD products, it's important to do your research and only buy from reputable companies that provide third-party lab testing results. This will ensure that you are getting a high-quality product that is safe and effective.
State-by-State CBD Coffee Laws
The legality of CBD coffee can vary depending on the state in which it is sold. While hemp-derived CBD is legal at the federal level, individual states have their own laws regarding the use and sale of CBD products.
It is important to note that while CBD is legal at the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved CBD for use in food and beverages. This means that the legality of CBD-infused coffee is still somewhat of a gray area, even in states where it is technically legal.
States Where CBD Coffee is Legal
Many states have legalized the use of CBD, including CBD-infused food and beverages. These states include California, Colorado, Illinois, and New York, among others.
In California, for example, CBD is legal for both medical and recreational use. This means that CBD coffee can be sold and consumed without any legal issues in the state. Similarly, in Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal, CBD coffee is also legal and can be found at many coffee shops and dispensaries.
In Illinois, CBD is legal for medical use and can be purchased with a prescription. However, the state has also legalized the use of CBD in food and beverages, meaning that CBD coffee is legal for anyone to purchase and consume.
New York is another state where CBD coffee is legal. The state has legalized the use of CBD for medical purposes, and has also decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. This means that CBD coffee can be found at many coffee shops and health food stores throughout the state.
States with Restrictions on CBD Coffee
Some states have restrictions on the sale of CBD products, including CBD-infused coffee. For example, Texas has imposed restrictions on the use of CBD in food and beverages, mandating that the product must be derived from hemp and contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Similarly, in Florida, CBD is legal for medical use, but the state has not yet legalized the use of CBD in food and beverages. This means that while CBD coffee can be found in some places, it is not as widely available as it is in states where it is fully legal.
States Where CBD Coffee is Illegal
While many states have legalized CBD, there are a handful that still consider it illegal. South Dakota, Idaho, and Nebraska have yet to legalize CBD in any form, including CBD-infused coffee.
In South Dakota, for example, the possession and sale of CBD is considered a felony. This means that anyone caught with CBD-infused coffee could face serious legal consequences.
In Idaho, CBD is only legal for use by individuals with epilepsy. This means that CBD coffee is not legal for anyone else to purchase or consume.
Similarly, in Nebraska, CBD is only legal for use by individuals participating in a state-sponsored clinical trial. This means that CBD coffee is not legal for anyone else to purchase or consume.
Federal Regulations on CBD-Infused Coffee
While the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD at the federal level, the FDA has yet to release guidance on the use of CBD in food and beverages. This has left many coffee shops and companies in a state of uncertainty, unsure of whether or not they can legally sell CBD-infused coffee to their customers.
FDA's Stance on CBD in Food and Beverages
The FDA has stated that it is currently illegal to add CBD to food and beverages, citing concerns about the safety and efficacy of the compound. The agency has also expressed concerns about the lack of research into the long-term effects of CBD consumption, particularly when it comes to its interaction with other medications.
However, the FDA has also stated that it is exploring regulatory pathways to allow for the lawful use of CBD in food and beverages. This has given some hope to coffee shops and companies that are eager to capitalize on the growing trend of CBD-infused products.
The Role of the DEA in CBD Coffee Regulation
The DEA has also played a role in the regulation of CBD-infused coffee. The agency has stated that it considers all cannabinoids, including CBD, to be Schedule I substances under the Controlled Substances Act. This classification means that the DEA believes that CBD has a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use.
However, the DEA has also acknowledged that it is primarily concerned with the enforcement of drugs with significant abuse potential, such as marijuana and heroin. This means that the agency is unlikely to focus its resources on cracking down on coffee shops and companies that sell CBD-infused coffee.
Despite the lack of clear guidance from federal agencies, many coffee shops and companies have begun to experiment with CBD-infused coffee. Some have even reported positive feedback from customers who claim that the CBD helps to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
As the popularity of CBD-infused products continues to grow, it is likely that federal regulators will eventually release more concrete guidance on the use of CBD in food and beverages. Until then, coffee shops and companies will need to navigate a complex and uncertain regulatory landscape if they wish to sell CBD-infused coffee to their customers.
Traveling with CBD Coffee
Traveling with CBD coffee can be a great way to enjoy the benefits of CBD while on the go. CBD coffee is a popular way to start the day for many people, as it offers the benefits of caffeine and CBD in one delicious cup. However, it is important to be aware of the legalities surrounding CBD, as they can vary from state to state and even from country to country.
Domestic Travel with CBD Coffee
For domestic travel within the United States, it is generally safe to travel with CBD products derived from hemp, as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC. This is because hemp-derived CBD is legal under federal law. However, it is still important to check the laws of the state to which you are traveling, as some states have stricter laws regarding CBD than others. For example, in Idaho, CBD is only legal for use by people with epilepsy, and possession of CBD by anyone else is illegal.
When traveling with CBD coffee, it is a good idea to carry a copy of the product's lab results with you. This can help you avoid any potential legal issues, as it shows that the product contains less than 0.3% THC. You can usually find lab results on the manufacturer's website or by scanning a QR code on the product's packaging.
International Travel with CBD Coffee
Traveling internationally with CBD coffee can be more complicated. Some countries have strict drug laws that include CBD, while others may only allow the use of CBD for medical purposes. It is important to research the laws of the country you will be traveling to before bringing any CBD products with you.
For example, in Japan, CBD is considered a controlled substance and is illegal to import or possess. If you are caught with CBD in Japan, you could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 3 million yen (approximately $28,000 USD). Other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, allow CBD products as long as they contain less than a certain amount of THC.
When traveling internationally with CBD coffee, it is important to be aware of the laws of the country you will be visiting. If you are unsure about the legality of CBD in a particular country, it is best to leave your CBD coffee at home to avoid any potential legal issues.
In conclusion, traveling with CBD coffee can be a great way to enjoy the benefits of CBD while on the go. However, it is important to be aware of the legalities surrounding CBD, both domestically and internationally. By doing your research and being prepared, you can enjoy your CBD coffee without any legal issues.
While the legal status of CBD-infused coffee is still murky in some respects, it is clear that many individuals are enjoying the many benefits of this unique beverage. By staying informed on the latest legal developments and taking steps to ensure compliance with local laws, individuals can safely enjoy CBD coffee and all of its benefits.
Try Windansea's CBD Coffee
Our CBD-infused coffee is a unique and delicious way to enjoy the benefits of CBD. We ethically source our coffee beans, which is roasted in small batches, and infused with high-quality CBD oil to create a smooth and flavourful blend.
About the Author
This article was written by Jordan O'Hara, Founder of Windansea Coffee.
You can learn more about him here.