The cannabis sativa plant naturally produces over a hundred compounds that are closely related to each other. These compounds, known as cannabinoids, are an important part of the breeding process of marijuana’s many strains. Over the years, marijuana growers have focused on a single cannabinoid, known as THC or tetrahydrocannabinol.
THC is the compound responsible for kicking in the highs, and in the process of optimizing its potency, growers have discovered that other cannabinoids have different effects of their own when taken by humans.
Historically, cannabis has been used as a herbal remedy, but it wasn’t until recently that serious studies were conducted in order to prove that the compounds in it can be used for the treatment of various medical conditions.
As cannabis has become widely accepted in many states, another compound called CBD is emerging as the most interesting among the bunch for its many health benefits.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Tennessee?
Most residents of the Volunteer State are supportive when it comes to the legalization of marijuana for medical use. However, lawmakers haven’t been exactly lenient towards its use, limiting the plant to people suffering from intractable epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Currently, only those diagnosed with the disease can legally possess CBD products in the state, granted its THC content is not more than 0.9%.
Unfortunately, House Bill 1749 of 2016, or the Tennessee Responsible Use of Medicinal Plants Act, is in recess till next year. If signed into law, the bill will expand the list of medical conditions that can be treated by marijuana and other products derived from it. When it comes to CBD oil, the state seems accepting in spite of its restrictive legislation.
What Kind of CBD Oils are Legally Available in Tennessee?
There are two kinds of CBD oil, the kind of CBD derived from marijuana and CBD derived from hemp.
Generally speaking, the South has always been slow compared to Northern states whose cannabis laws are far more accepting. As of writing, TN doesn’t have a medical marijuana program in place, and despite the creation of House Bill 1749, the legalization for medical marijuana still failed.
Those caught in possession of CBD derived from marijuana, or CBD cannabis oil, will be slapped with a misdemeanor, which is punishable with a fine of $250 to a whopping $2,500 and a possibility of prison time of up to 12 months.
As for CBD derived from hemp, or CBD hemp oil, its use is regulated under the 2014 Farm Bill, a federal legislation that allows the cultivation and use of industrial hemp and its derivatives, which of course, includes hemp oil.
State lawmakers have removed hemp from the TN laws’ definition of marijuana. The bill has made hemp-derived CBD legal in all 50 states unless in-state laws indicate otherwise.
What Can CBD Oil be Used for in Tennessee?
The 2016 bill was created in an attempt to bring some relief to patients diagnosed with intractable forms of epilepsy. However, the law is currently unworkable, which prompted residents to acquire CBD oil in some other ways.
While CBD cannabis oil, which is high in THC, is allowed in some states as an alternative form of treatment, marijuana extracts that are low in THC have shown great potential when it comes to alleviating the symptoms of epilepsy.
In the Volunteer State, however, very few residents have intractable forms of epilepsy, which means that nearly all people in the state are cut out from the yet to be implemented medical marijuana program. Still, if the 2016 bill is signed into law, it will legalize the use of marijuana and CBD for medical purpose.
The criteria to qualify are as follows:
Must be a resident of the state
Must be diagnosed with an intractable form of epilepsy
Must be enrolled in an state-approved research study
Must be under the care of a licensed medical marijuana doctor or a hospital affiliated with a school of medicine
Must not possess any form of CBD product with THC content higher than 0.9%
How Can I Get CBD Oil in Tennessee?
A good news is that finding stores that offer CBD products in the state is an easy chore. Several businesses are already open, and just last month, the state even held its first-ever Southern Hemp Expo weekend at Nashville. The trade show featured over 100 brick-and-mortar stores, wholesalers, processors, farmers, and other businesses related to hemp.
The trade show meant that more residents are becoming interested in the use of CBD. One owner of a chain store that sells vape products in Nashville told The Tennessean that his hemp business started because of the high demand for CBD products. He was quoted saying, “I think by this time next year, there will be 25 of them. The demand is definitely there.”
The improving CBD industry in the state is potentially due to the recent memo sent out by the DEA. According to the document, if CBD is sourced from a legal substance, then it is legal to possess.
The legal substance DEA was pertaining to is industrial hemp, one of the varieties of the cannabis plant. If CBD is extracted from hemp, then the product doesn’t fall under the Controlled Substances Act, which currently lists marijuana as an illegal substance.
Can Doctors Prescribe CBD Oil in Tennessee?
If you hear a medical marijuana patient saying that he had been prescribed with medical marijuana, always assume that the doctor assigned to care for him merely “recommended” its use. By law, prescribing Schedule 1 drugs is illegal, which marijuana is classified under. This means that no doctor is allowed to prescribe its ever and that they can only recommend.
Are there Stores or Dispensaries that Sell CBD Oil?
Currently, there are no known dispensaries in the state that sell CBD oil or any other CBD product. However, you can still a number of retail shops that sell oils, concentrates, and other forms of products infused with CBD. You can also check supplement stores for CBD products, but take note that they may not be legal under the state law.
Can I Buy CBD Online in Tennessee?
Definitely. The internet is the most practical way to buy CBD products derived from hemp, which according to federal law is legal. If you’re buying from the Volunteer State, you should have no problems with deliveries
That said, always remember that not all CBD products may have the same therapeutic value. Do a light background check to ensure legitimacy and if the products have undergone third-party testing. Read reviews and testimonials left by customers as well.
The Future of CBD in Tennessee
As mentioned, the current law of the state only allows the use of CBD oil for the treatment of severe forms of seizure disorders. However, federal law is more permissive, so the two pieces of legislation actually clash. This can only mean that cannabis laws need to be reviewed further.
For now, the federal law should put people at ease. We can only hope that the state’s cannabis laws and medical marijuana program will be finalized soon.