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Is CBD Oil Legal in California? Unveiling the Latest Legal Landscape

As the popularity of CBD continues to rise, understanding the ever-changing legal landscape has become increasingly important. In California, the situation is no different. Did you know that Assembly Bill 45, passed in 2021, has significantly impacted the CBD industry in the Golden State by legalizing CBD-infused edibles? So, is CBD oil legal in California? Let’s dive into the world of CBD legality and regulations in California.

Key Takeaways

  • California recently legalized CBD oil for medical and recreational use, with strict regulations in place to ensure quality and safety.
  • AB45 has revolutionized the state’s CBD industry by legalizing various products, establishing regulations & testing requirements, labeling standards & age restrictions.
  • Consumers should purchase quality products from reputable sources while being aware of potential THC content that may lead to positive drug tests results.

California’s CBD Oil Legality: A Quick Overview

cbd oil, cannabidiol, cannabinoid

Due to the recent enactment of Assembly Bill 45 (AB45), CBD oil is now legal in California for both medical and recreational use, leading to significant changes in the cannabis industry. With CBD oil legal, not only can adults in California purchase CBD, but they can also find CBD oil and related hemp-derived products in a variety of retail outlets, such as those selling recreational marijuana:

  • Vape shops
  • Dispensaries
  • Wellness centers
  • Online stores

Businesses aiming to sell CBD products within California must obtain a cannabis retailer license and strictly follow cannabis control regulations. The legalization of CBD oil in California extends to various hemp and CBD products, including those derived from industrial hemp, as long as they meet specified requirements. This has led to a thriving market for hemp-derived CBD products, allowing for increased access to medical marijuana and recreational cannabis products in the state.

Despite the legality of CBD oil in California, specific regulations are still in place to guarantee product quality and safety. For instance, AB45 has also made it possible for CBD-infused edibles to be legally sold within the state, further expanding the types of products available to consumers.

AB45 and Its Impact on California’s CBD Industry

modoc county, california, courthouse

AB45 has been a game-changer for California’s CBD industry by authorizing the cultivation and sale of hemp-based CBD products, despite the discrepancy between federal law and state law. Key provisions of AB45 include:

  • Legalization of various CBD products
  • Regulation by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
  • Prohibition of smokable hemp products
  • Adherence to state laws and regulations
  • Total THC limit of 0.001 milligrams per gram for cannabinoid products made from hemp plants, which includes THCA and any other cannabinoids deemed comparable to THC.

The CDPH has implemented testing, labeling, and registration requirements under AB45 to safeguard the quality and safety of CBD products within the state. Manufacturers of hemp-infused products, including those using hemp seed oil, must register with the Department of Public Health and meet testing requirements, such as independent laboratory testing for total THC content. Labels for CBD products must include specific information, ensuring that consumers are well-informed about the products they’re purchasing.

Key Aspects of AB45

Producers of CBD-infused food and dietary supplements are obliged to conform to AB45. This requires them to register with the CDPH and provide evidence that plant parts used in their production are sourced from a state with an industrial hemp program. This ensures a regulated cannabis supply chain and maintains the quality and safety of CBD products in California.

In the context of defining THC, AB45 encompasses the following forms of THC in its definition:

The Californian Department Public Health (CDPH) is authorized to determine if a cannabinoid should be classified as THC, based on its intoxicating effect. Comparable cannabinoids may be excluded from the definition of THC if they do not cause intoxication. This ensures proper cannabis control in the state and prevents the misuse of THC and other cannabinoids.

Labeling requirements under AB45 mandate the inclusion of certain warning statements and a scannable barcode, website, or QR code linked to a certificate of analysis containing relevant testing information. As a result of AB45, California has become the 19th state to limit or prohibit delta-8 THC.

Timeline for Implementation

The implementation of AB45’s regulations was anticipated to take a few months, with the California Department of Public Health overseeing the process. Key dates in the implementation process included the approval by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 6, 2021, and the subsequent filing with the Secretary of State on the same day.

The CDPH supervised the implementation of AB45 by establishing a registration system for hemp manufacturers who produce specified products and providing jurisdiction and oversight for industrial hemp products, including cosmetics, food, and food additives. However, California faced opposition from various groups, concerns regarding the prohibition of the sale of hemp flowers, and logistical difficulties in implementing regulations and testing requirements for hemp-derived extracts. Despite these challenges, the full implementation of AB45 in California took approximately 2 years.

Federal vs. State Laws: Understanding the Conflict

A person holding a bottle of CBD oil with a label that reads "Federal vs. State Laws"

Despite the legalization of CBD in California, it is still deemed illegal by the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This creates a conflict between state and federal regulations when it comes to CBD products. The FDA’s current position is that it is prohibited to market CBD in interstate commerce through the inclusion of it in food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.

Epidiolex is the sole CBD product that has received FDA approval for treating seizures associated with specific conditions. Other CBD products have not yet been approved by the FDA for medical use, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does not consider CBD a dietary supplement or food additive. As a result, CBD products cannot be marketed as dietary supplements or food additives under federal law.

Despite this ongoing conflict between federal and state laws, California continues to allow the sale and use of CBD products under state regulations. This means that, while the FDA may maintain its stance on CBD products, Californians can still legally purchase and use CBD oil and other hemp-derived products, as long as they adhere to state laws and regulations.

Age Requirements for Purchasing CBD in California

A person holding a bottle of CBD oil with a label that reads "Age Requirements for Purchasing CBD in California"

In California, only individuals aged 18 or above can purchase hemp-derived CBD. It is a requirement in the state. For marijuana-derived CBD oil, the minimum age requirement is 21 years old. Selling CBD products to minors is considered a felony offense in California, with penalties including imprisonment of up to 5 years for individuals convicted of providing marijuana to a minor aged 14 or older.

Age restrictions vary depending on whether the purchase is made online or in-store. Generally, the age restriction for buying CBD products online is 18 years old, whereas the age restriction for purchasing CBD products in-store is typically 21 years old.

Parental consent is mandatory for individuals under 18 to utilize CBD for medicinal purposes in California.

Licensing and Regulations for Selling CBD in California

A bottle of CBD oil with a label indicating its legality in California, answering the question 'is CBD oil legal in California?'

Selling CBD oil in California doesn’t require a specific license. However, unlicensed retailers are prohibited from selling CBD-infused foods, beverages, and dietary supplements. To sell CBD products legally in the state, businesses must obtain a license and adhere to the applicable licensing and regulatory requirements, such as those established by AB45.

Hemp growers and processors in California are required to obtain licenses for the cultivation and production of hemp. Licensing is required for anyone who wishes to produce or process cannabis. These producers and processors must additionally adhere to government regulations when it comes to selling CBD products. These products must be tested and screened to ensure they meet cannabinoid potency and toxin levels standards set by the state..

Failure to comply with licensing requirements and regulations for selling CBD in California can result in penalties. Obtaining a license is crucial for ensuring compliance and avoiding legal repercussions, which can vary depending on the specific offense and circumstances.

Finding Quality CBD Products in California

Buyers should be cautious when purchasing CBD oil and products from lesser-known brands with minimal or no CBD content to maintain the quality of CBD products they acquire in California. Before making a purchase, it is advised that buyers request to view third-party lab results to confirm that the products possess the stated amount of CBD and are free of contaminants.

When purchasing CBD products online, buyers should ensure that the supplier provides a Certificate of Analysis that verifies the potency of specific cannabinoids and the absence of any hazardous contaminants. By checking the Certificate of Analysis, buyers can ensure that the lab results are accurate and reliable.

Indications of a low-quality CBD product include:

  • The absence of third-party lab testing
  • Unusually low prices or exaggerated health claims
  • Questionable or unverified sources
  • Unfavorable flavor or taste
  • Failure to comply with safety and efficacy standards in laboratory testing

By being vigilant and informed, consumers can make educated decisions when purchasing CBD products in California.

The Many Forms and Uses of CBD Oil

A person holding a bottle of CBD oil with a label that reads "The Many Forms and Uses of CBD Oil"

CBD oil, a concoction of CBD extracts and a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, boasts a plethora of medical advantages. CBD comes in three different forms:

  1. Broad-spectrum CBD: contains all cannabinoids and plant compounds other than THC
  2. Full-spectrum CBD: encompasses all cannabinoids and other plant compounds including THC
  3. CBD isolate: the pure form of CBD with no other compounds

Each form offers unique benefits according to individual needs.

CBD oil has been linked to therapeutic uses such as pain relief, inflammation reduction, and relaxation without any psychoactive effects. It has been studied for conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. Furthermore, CBD oil may have potential benefits for conditions like Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.

Understanding the different forms of CBD oil and their potential therapeutic uses can help consumers make informed choices when selecting CBD products. Each variant provides distinct advantages, thus it is vital for consumers to select the appropriate product that aligns with their specific needs and tastes.

Navigating Drug Tests with CBD Use

CBD users need to be wary of possible THC content in products, which could result in positive outcomes in drug tests. Standard drug tests typically detect THC or its metabolites in urine, blood, hair, or saliva samples, and can indicate recent marijuana use. Detection levels of THC in standard urine drug tests are usually 50 ng/mL for initial screening and 15 ng/mL for confirmation testing.

Hemp-derived CBD products in California must not have a THC level greater than 0.3%. This is to ensure that the product is legal with the state’s regulations. However, individual factors and frequency of use may impact the duration of THC remaining in the system after CBD product usage. To minimize the risk of positive drug test results, it is recommended that users avoid CBD products before undergoing drug tests, especially if they are unsure of the product’s THC content.


In conclusion, California has a complex legal landscape when it comes to CBD oil and related products. Understanding the impact of AB45, the conflict between federal and state laws, age requirements, licensing and regulations, and the importance of product quality is essential for both CBD users and sellers. By staying informed and making educated choices, Californians can safely and legally enjoy the many benefits that CBD has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need prescription for CBD oil in California?

No prescription is necessary to purchase CBD oil in California, as long as it is hemp-derived.

What is the law for CBD in California?

In California, CBD is legal for adults aged 21 or older when purchasing hemp-derived or marijuana-derived CBD oil.

Do dispensaries sell CBD California?

Yes, CBD products are available for purchase from licensed cannabis dispensaries in California, provided buyers are over 21 and can show valid identification. Additionally, some retail stores also offer a broad selection of high-CBD marijuana strains, tinctures, capsules, and gummies.

Is CBD a controlled substance in California?

CBD products are legal to buy and sell in California and any manufacturers of industrial hemp must comply with laws enforced by CDPH. CBD derived from hemp is a federally-regulated controlled substance while CBD derived from cannabis is regulated within the state as a cannabis product. Therefore, CBD is a controlled substance in California.

What is the minimum age requirement for purchasing CBD in California?

In California, you must be at least 18 years old to purchase hemp-derived CBD, and 21 years old to purchase marijuana-derived CBD.

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