Is CBD Oil Legal in Texas?

Tanasi CBD Tincture on white background

Posted on July 21st, 2020

For many years, people have been divided over the use of cannabis-derived products. Many people place them in the same category as drugs, due to the psychotic effects caused by one specific extract: THC. Still, even though CBD doesn’t trigger psychoactive effects, many people lump the two extracts together. So if you live in Texas, you may be wondering: is CBD oil legal?

Fortunately, in June 2019, Texas made a legal distinction: Cannabidiol (CBD) products with 0.3% or less THC concentrations were removed from the state’s list of controlled substances, after the House-passed Bill 1325. As a result, licensed dealers may sell some hemp-derived products, provided their THC concentrations fall below the legal limit.

What Is CBD?

CBD is the acronym for cannabidiol. It is a pure cannabinoid, a chemical compound found in cannabis plants. It is the second most abundant cannabinoid, second only to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Ingesting or applying CBD may be linked with various health benefits, due to its potential anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-anxiety properties. And it can be extracted from both marijuana and hemp plants. (To clarify, marijuana and hemp plants are both varieties of Cannabis. They are distinguished by the THC concentration in each plant: hemp must contain THC concentrations below 0.3%. Plants with concentrations exceeding that amount are classified as marijuana.)

When you smoke or consume marijuana products, you will experience the “high” feeling. This is because THC is more prominent than CBD in this plant. It also explains why many authorities across the United States and within Texas had banned the use of any marijuana-derived products. However, thanks to recent milestones in the medical industry highlighting CBD’s potential benefits, authorities are re-exploring their stance on marijuana-derived products. Note that THC may also have its share of health benefits, but authorities take issue with its unavoidable “psychoactive” effects. In fact, THC and CBD seem to work in similar ways within your body, with the major difference being that CBD can’t get you high. As a result, authorities are more willing to embrace CBD use than the use of THC, its psychoactive cousin. 

Hemp leaf on a natural textured backgroundGovernment’s Take on CBD

To better understand CBD’s long journey to legality, let’s take a trip back in time to the 19th century. Hemp, which is the primary source for CBD oil, has been used in the United States for years, especially in Texas. It was initially imported from Europe, forming a significant part of the textile industry as it was used to produce ship sails and clothes. And hemp enjoyed a useful, legal status until the 20th century when concerns surrounding its applications arose due to its relation with marijuana. Soon enough, CBD and THC were banned, along with alcohol.

Things took a different turn when the United States Senate approved the Farm Bill in 2018. As the President signed this bill into law, one notable sub section separated hemp and marijuana into two different categories. Non-psychoactive hemp came off the list of controlled substances; marijuana stayed on. In a nutshell, the bill made hemp-derived products such as CBD legal in all the states. There was, however, one condition: legal hemp and hemp-derived products that contain less than 0.3% are legal. But any product containing THC concentrations above this threshold are federally prohibited, although they could be legal in states that allow marijuana for medical or other uses.

Is CBD Oil Legal in Texas?

After the 2018 Farm Bill, many states moved quickly, approving statutes that applied to CBD use. But Texas lagged behind, taking their time to establish regulations regarding the distribution and sale of CBD. 

Soon enough, they caught up. In June 2019 came a bill allowing hemp production in Texas. It also legalized the sale of hemp-extracted CBD oil without a medical practitioner’s prescription, under the stipulation that the products’ THC content could not exceed 0.3%.

But what about individuals who need CBD oil with higher THC content for medical use? Especially Texans with epilepsy who rely on CBD for help controlling seizures? Thankfully, the legislature gave them a legal option years earlier. Back in 2015, the Texas Compassionate Use Act passed, allowing individuals with prescriptions to access cannabis products with less than 0.5% of THC. This exception was explicitly made for epileptic patients.

How Do Authorities Test CBD in Texas?

If you want to stay on the right side of the law, you need to know how authorities enforce cannabis regulations in your area. 

In most states, police officers use field tests to determine impairment, but these can’t always differentiate between marijuana and full-spectrum CBD oil. As a result, the trace amounts of THC in your legal CBD could make you fail a drug test. 

Of course, if you can prove your test result was triggered by legal CBD use, you may avoid legal issues. But to be certain you purchase legal CBD, you must seek out reputable dealers. After all, the difference between a legal and illegal product comes down to mere percentage points, so you have to purchase products from trusted manufacturers who provide third-party proof of concentrations. 

In other words, don’t be in a rush to buy that CBD you see in the gas station. Instead, take some time and research best-practices for CBD sellers. One rule of thumb? Always buy CBD oil from a company that submits its products to third-party tests. It is the only way to ensure that the product you purchase contains less than 0.3% THC, as specified by the law.

Brands that submit their products to third party tests are transparent and make this information accessible online. And if a brand doesn’t want to share their testing results? We say: stay away. There’s probably a sinister reason for their lack of transparency, ones that could put you on the wrong side of the law.  

Tanasi CBD Oil Tincture and Box on white backgroundWhere Can You Buy CBD Oil in Texas?

It is easy to find places to buy hemp-derived products in Texas since CBD oil is legal. You can find them in a local CBD shop or even online. Note that it is a “buyer beware” market, so you should perform some due diligence, as we noted above. Always buy from a reputable shop, and source product that has been tested for safety, purity, and quality. The increased demand for these products has led to a subsequent increase in misleading brands that do not adhere to the regulations.

And, while customer reviews are important, don’t use them as the sole basis for your trust. Before you buy a CBD product, ensure that the label contains the right information. This includes the amount of active CBD service for a unit serving, the product’s net weight, the name of the distributor, and its full-spectrum, isolate, or broad-spectrum status. Product labels should also include a supplement fact panel.

The distinction between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate is particularly critical. Full-spectrum CBD includes the full range of terpenes and cannabinoids, including THC, found in hemp plants. The advantage of full-spectrum products is that all the included plant matter works together to produce the entourage effect, which delivers a more noticeable effect in your body. 

Broad-spectrum CBD contains CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids, but it has undergone a purification process to eliminate any form of THC.

Isolate is a product that has gone through extensive purification processes to remove any compounds except CBD. It is the purest form of CBD you can find in the market, and consuming isolate results in a different user experience, given the absence of the entourage effect.

Final Thoughts

CBD oil is legal in Texas, but this does not mean that you can just buy any product you come across and use it freely. It’s important to make an informed and educated decision when buying CBD products. Be sure to check for indicators of product safety and quality such as ingredients listed, where it is sourced, and a third-party analysis. In Texas, if you are found with a CBD product that contains more than 0.3% of THC, you risk getting a sentence of between 180 days and two years in confinement. And, you may be required to pay a fine of $10,000. So, it’s key to understand the laws in your state and do your research before purchasing CBD.

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