do i need a prescription for cbd oil ohio

Is CBD oil legal in Ohio?

Yes. Cannabidiol (CBD) products derived from hemp are legal in Ohio. The state is working to set up rules around the cultivation and sale of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products. Like many states, Ohio passed its own legislation following approval of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp nationwide.

Ohio is developing licensing procedures for hemp growers and processors. Licenses are not required to sell or purchase hemp or CBD products. Consumers should soon find CBD-infused items available in more places, though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), placed in charge of hemp and CBD products under the 2018 Farm Bill, is still developing rules and cautions buyers to choose carefully.

What is CBD?

CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It’s the second-most-abundant cannabinoid in cannabis behind THC, which has intoxicating effects. Many people use CBD for its purported ability to reduce pain, inflammation, and anxiety, as well as to reduce or suppress seizures. It can be derived from either marijuana or hemp plants. In many countries, hemp is legal because it contains negligible levels of THC.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating substance found in cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Why is CBD sometimes illegal?

The 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act categorized all types of cannabis, including hemp, as Schedule I, defined as a substance with a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and a likelihood for addiction. The act prevented further research that may have shed light on beneficial uses for cannabis.

Things changed with the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, which recognized the difference between hemp and marijuana. The measure distinguished hemp as having less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana plants contained more than 0.3%.

To meet federal legal criteria, CBD oil must contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances, though marijuana with more than 0.3% THC remains illegal at the federal level and in states without medical or recreational legalization. CBD derived from marijuana plants is, therefore, still illegal while hemp-derived CBD is legal.

The Farm Bill also gave the (FDA) authority to regulate CBD product labeling, therapeutic claims, and its use as a food additive. Despite the passage of the Farm Bill, the FDA has taken the stance that even hemp-derived CBD may not be added to food and beverages, nor marketed as a dietary supplement.

While the FDA has begun a process of re-evaluating that stance, it has yet to revise its rules or specifically regulate CBD products. The FDA has been strict when it comes to health claims that could be construed as medical advice about CBD. In July 2019, the FDA sent a letter to retailer Curaleaf outlining a bevy of regulations they were violating by making such claims. In April 2019, the FDA also warned three CBD makers about making unproven health claims.

The bill also allows some states to make their own rules for CBD cultivation and sale. States may also try to regulate CBD in food, beverages, dietary supplements, and other products instead of waiting for final FDA rules.

Ohio CBD laws

In July 2019, Ohio passed SB 57, decriminalizing hemp and setting up a regulatory framework to license hemp cultivation. Ohio was one of many states that has regulated industrial hemp production as a crop following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

In accordance with federal law, Ohio’s bill set the standard for hemp versus marijuana at a 0.3% THC cutoff. In Ohio, CBD is legal for use in food, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and personal care products, among other products. According to Ohio law, hemp growers and processors must be licensed and CBD products must be tested, though both of those processes are still being worked out by state lawmakers.

SB 57 requires licenses for growing or processing hemp are valid for three years and are not available to anyone convicted of drug-related charges in the past 10 years. No license is required to sell or purchase CBD in Ohio.

Ohio CBD possession limits

There are no possession limits for hemp-derived CBD at this time. CBD products with more than 0.3% THC remains illegal to sell, possess, and consume unless registered under Ohio’s medical marijuana program.

There are no possession limits for hemp-derived CBD at this time. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Where to buy CBD in Ohio

While major drugstore chains currently sell hemp-derived CBD products in some states, Ohio is not yet one of them. Smaller, local pharmacies and health food stores may offer it. More locations will likely begin to carry CBD products as the state works out its licensing process.

Shopping online is an option since the U.S. Postal Service has confirmed that legal CBD products may be shipped by mail. CBD products can usually be found online at the websites of specific brands.

How to read CBD labels and packaging

As of September 2019, the FDA does not allow CBD-infused food, drinks, or dietary supplements to be sold, and hasn’t reached a conclusion on regulating hemp-derived CBD products. While the FDA slowly and cautiously approaches making new regulations for CBD products, the gap between regulated products and anything goes grows wider, leaving consumers at risk of buying poor-quality products. When buying CBD products look for these on the label:

  • Amount of active CBD per serving
  • Supplement Fact Panel, including other ingredients
  • Net weight
  • Manufacturer or distributor name
  • Suggested use
  • Full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate
  • Batch or date code

One of the most important things to pay attention to is if a CBD product is full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate.

Full-spectrum means that the CBD has been extracted from a hemp plant along with all other chemicals in the plant, including terpenes and trace amounts of THC. Consuming full-spectrum CBD may yield better results due to a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, which happens when cannabis compounds work together to bolster the benefits of the plant.

Broad-spectrum means that the product contains CBD and terpenes, but has undergone additional processes to strip out THC.

Finally, CBD isolate is a product that has gone through more intensive processing to remove everything except for pure CBD. Consuming isolate may produce different effects than full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD, as these products do not produce the entourage effect. However, CBD isolate may be preferable for someone looking to avoid even trace amounts of THC.

There's a hemp product that gets users high and is available all over Ohio

CLEVELAND — A new product in stores all over Ohio, Delta 8 THC, is blurring the line between hemp and marijuana and making casual cannabis users relearn the rules for what’s legal and what is not.

Delta 8 is available at CBD stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and through online sales without any kind of prescription, recommendation from a doctor, or medical marijuana patient card even though it has similar psychoactive effects as marijuana.

The difference is that Delta 8 THC is made from hemp. Both hemp and marijuana come from the cannabis plant. The difference is that marijuana has higher levels of Delta 9 THC, the compound that gets users “high.” Hemp has less than .3% Delta 9 THC, meaning it won’t give users the psychoactive effects.

Since Delta 8 THC is made from hemp, legal experts tell News 5 it is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, which “removed hemp, defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (no more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis), from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA),” according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Sold out of a storefront

The sign with big, bold lettering reading “Delta 8 THC” in front of Becky Reynolds’ Your CBD Store in Lakewood has been turning a lot of heads.

“The letters that stick out to people are THC,” said Reynolds. “It really started to drive people in. Whether it was just asking questions: what is Delta 8? Is it legal? Do I need a prescription for it?”

Reynolds says she hasn’t seen people coming in looking to exploit Delta 8 for the “high” it provides and that customers usually end up buying it to help with relaxation or in concert with other CBD products they use, achieving what’s called an entourage effect.

Still, she warns people to be careful how much Delta 8 they use, especially at first.

“It might affect you differently than it affects me. I’m not [an avid THC user,] so it affects me,” said Reynolds. “If you are not familiar with Delta 8, you want to start with very low increments and you want to take it at home.”

Sitting on the sidelines

Much of the hesitancy and uncertainty comes from the contradictory state and federal laws around many cannabis products. Marijuana remains illegal on the federal level while some states have robust recreational and medical marijuana programs that are now decades old.

“What’s created a lot of the confusion here is the lack of guidance from the federal government as it relates to the hemp program at the federal level,” said Haren. “You can trace all of these questions and all of these problems back to prohibition [of cannabis.]”

Instead of legalizing cannabis across the board, Haren says lawmakers have opted for a piecemeal approach: legalizing or decriminalizing narrow classifications of the cannabis plant one at a time.

“So now you have this framework where the same plant is regulated different ways, by different agencies, in different states, the federal government and state government,” said Haren. “That’s a recipe for confusion.”

Despite the fact that California first legalized medical marijuana in 1996, The Drug Enforcement Administration tells News 5 it supports the cannabis research happening now but, “…as DEA is currently undergoing the rulemaking process regarding the implementation of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 – which includes the scope of regulatory controls over marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinols, and other marijuana-related constituents – we would be unable to comment on an any impact in legality of tetrahydrocannabinols, Delta 8 included, until the process is complete. We are in the process of reviewing thousands of comments and do not speculate on what could happen as a result.

As a result, none of the agencies we trust to make sure the products we put into our bodies is safe are testing hemp or Delta 8 products in the same way they test food or medicine.

That uncertainly initially led the Avon-based Hemp processor and CBD business Clean Remedies to stay out of the Delta 8 market. They make a long line of CBD products like tinctures, gummies, topicals and other options that don’t have enough THC to give users psychoactive effects and are USDA Certified Organic.

“We’re a very conservative company so we sat back on the sidelines, we watched what happened, we watched legislation,” said Clean Remedies owner Meredith Farrow.

But Farrow and her husband, Darrin, saw that while they waited, customers were looking for Delta 8, searching the company’s website and calling their office for it.

“We decided: let’s do this, but let’s do this on a much lower milligram level than some of these other companies and take a more medicinal approach,” said Meredith.

She says that means making gummies or tinctures with a small amount of Delta 8 without enough THC for anyone to easily get really “high.” Instead, they’re intended to help achieve an entourage effect with other CBD products.

Other processors are making different decisions.

Maeve’s All Natural is another Cleveland-area processor that was also intrigued by what Delta 8 has to offer in the right context.

“To me, it doesn’t really have a lot of medicinal properties right now unless it is used in conjunction with CBD,” said May.

But the same legal uncertainty that led Clean Remedies to pause before moving ahead with their Delta 8 products has convinced May to wait.

“We have a line of products formulated and ready to go,” said May. “Once I give that go ahead, we’re ready to produce and sell it but unless I am more certain that it is not so much in the legal gray area, I wouldn’t release it.”

The fear is that new rules from the DEA or FDA might eventually make businesses like Clean Remedies or Your CBD Store suddenly stop selling Delta 8 products if they conflict with a rule that doesn’t exist yet.

It Delta 8 a loophole?

“My joke is always: What some people call loopholes, I call compliant businesses,” said Haren. “Because it’s compliant with the rule, it’s not a loophole.”

But, it does appear to be a way for some users to get “high” without having to get Delta 9 illegally, and the Ohio Department of Agriculture, which oversees the state’s hemp program, tells News 5 there are no age requirements to buy hemp products.

Where government agencies haven’t yet made policy, individual stores are left to their own devices.

Reynolds’ three Your CBD Stores in Ohio all have a rule that they won’t sell CBD products to anyone younger than 18 years old. They reserve vape and Delta 8 products to customers 21 years old. Clean Remedies tells News 5 they only sell to people 21 years and older. Products made and sold by both companies also have third-party testing results available through QR codes on their packaging showing what’s actually in the containers.

In an unexpected twist, many hemp businesses tell News 5 they’d welcome additional oversight from the federal or state governments, with the hope that it would push bad actors out and make the rules more uniform.

“Until we have an honest conversation about prohibition, it’s going to constantly be a game of whack-a-mole from a regulatory standpoint,” said Haren.

That’s because there are hundreds of compounds, like Delta 8, Delta 9, CBD, and others in the cannabis plant that scientists still haven’t found yet. Without a standard way to evaluate and regulate new discoveries, there is very little settled law in cannabis.

“So what’s going to be the next one,” asked Darrin. “Delta 10? And when we figure out how to isolate another 100 cannabinoids and we don’t know what they do or how they affect us, it’s a losing proposition.”

Still, Haren points out Delta 8 could have an impact on the illicit market.

“If someone can purchase a Delta 8 product from a legal store, it also reduces the reliance on the black market for Delta 9 products potentially, so I think you could also say that’s actually a benefit in the long run,” said Haren.

Darrin Farrow says his safety concerns are based in where products come from and what they might be laced with.

“If you’re a high school student, you don’t have any trouble getting marijuana anywhere,” said Darrin. “I would rather have my child experiment with Delta 8 than marijuana where you don’t know where it came from, if it’s harmful, what’s in it.”

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CBD In Ohio

While the U.S. FDA continues to drag its feet on setting up CBD regulations, the CBD market in Ohio continues to mature and evolve. CBD use actually declined slightly in 2020. Experts attributed this to pandemic-related factors such as factory and warehouse shutdowns. However, CBD gained in popularity again in 2021. Pharma and cosmetics companies also began taking more interest in developing CBD-derived products for both medicinal and supplemental use.

More and more CBD-infused products are being released each day. CBD can now be found at local stores in a vast array of oils, tinctures, concentrate, capsules, topical solutions, lip balms, lotions, and edibles of all ilk. All totaled, consumers spent about $3.5 billion on CBD products last year.

2022 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the CBD market. You can buy CBD oil and products in Ohio, although purchasing marijuana-derived oils is a little trickier.

In this Ohio CBD Guide we’re going to discuss Ohio hemp and CBD laws as well as answer some of the more frequently asked questions such as: is CBD oil legal in Ohio? What is Delta 8 THC? Can you legally grow hemp in Ohio? Can you make your own CBD oil? And can anyone in Ohio sell CBD? Let’s get rolling.

When Hemp Came to Ohio

In the summer of 2019, out in the back of the Ohio Department of Agriculture campus in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, about 15 miles east of Columbus, agency officials planted some hemp clones. To be exact, one hundred clones of CBD-rich strains of hemp were planted. What’s interesting about this is that these were the first hemp plants to be legally cultivated in Ohio in decades.

Before the US federal government banned cannabis in 1937, Ohio farmers were growing thousands of acres of hemp. Although hemp prohibition was lifted briefly during World War II it was short-lived.

But now, seven decades later, hemp is again growing in the Buckeye State.

The ODA planting stemmed from the July 2019 passage and signing of Ohio Senate Bill 57. The measure officially legalized the cultivation of non-intoxicating strains of cannabis (aka hemp) as well as the production and sale of CBD oil produced from hemp.

Before SB57, hemp and CBD were lumped together with marijuana. Therefore their purchase and use were only allowed by card-carrying medical marijuana patients. Under the new laws, however, hemp-derived CBD products immediately became legal for all Ohioans — not just medical marijuana patients.

Ohio’s Department of Agriculture was tasked with creating rules and regulations for hemp cultivation and processing.

According to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Kyle Koehler, there are three main regulations that the state has to include: