Know the Law!
By Jax Finkel, Executive Director
The cannabis plant has over 113 recognized cannabinoids, with Cannabidiol (CBD) being one of them. CBD oil is generally defined as containing a minimum of 10% CBD and a maximum of 0.3% THC (another cannabinoid found in the plant). Since cannabis is a synergistic plant, it is best to extract this oil from cannabis sativa so that the terpenes and flavonoids can also be included. However, there are some forms of CBD oil that are extracted from industrial hemp.
Texas is in the process of rolling out the Texas Compassionate Use Program, which would allow for state sanctioned Low-THC oil (defined as <10% CBD and >0.5%THC). It is very similar in percentages to CBD oil. This Low-THC oil will only be available to patients who have intractable epilepsy and have 2 doctor’s recommendations. Until the law is changed, only these patients will be served by the program. There is no legal hemp growing program in Texas and therefore CBD oil from hemp is not available.
There are many claims that CBD oil is legal in all 50 states. However, the DEA has come out and stated that marijuana and it’s extracts and concentrates are all schedule 1 drugs. The Controlled Substance Act states, “The term 'marihuana' means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin." The DEA has gone on to clarify that “For practical purposes, all extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids. Although it might be theoretically possible to produce a CBD extract that contains absolutely no amounts of other cannabinoids, the DEA is not aware of any industrially-utilized methods that have achieved this result.”
Additionally, these CBD oils are not from state-sanctioned programs and not subject to the same standards and testing. In fact, the FDA has put out a warning letters to several companies regarding making unfounded claims regarding their products as well as not having the actual percentages reflected accurately on labeling once they were tested. The labeling issue is backed up by findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) which found that only 30 percent of the products contained percentages of CBD that were within ten percent of the amount advertised and some products also contained detectable amounts of THC, despite being promoted as THC-free. The FDA has also decided that CBD products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition and also deemed that CBD products are not legal for interstate commerce.
This means that CBD oils are still considered a schedule 1 drug and therefore not legal for sale in Texas. While there does not currently seem to be a massive number of arrests or raids in Texas, there are reports of raids and citizens facing serious time in jail for possession of the extract oil. Proceed with caution, Texans!
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Texas Compassionate Use Program Information
Controlled Substance Act Sec 802(16)
FDA Warning Letters – Unfounded Claims
FDA Warning Letters – Labeling
Marcel O. Bonn-Miller, PhD – JAMMA 2017