Is Synthetic CBD Legal?

Although the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, the production of the plant and its derivatives – or certain aspects of it – remain prohibited in some states. As a result, many stakeholders are contemplating the idea of using synthetic CBD over its naturally derived counterpart. But does the lack of hemp and tetrahydrocannabidiol (“THC”) render synthetic CBD legal?

Before we answer this question, we should talk about what synthetic CBD is.

Synthetics CBD is a CBD isolate (i.e., pure CBD, free of other cannabinoids, such as THC, that are naturally found in the hemp plant). It is chemically produced in a laboratory. While synthetic CBD seems to be chemically identical to CBD derived from hemp, it remains unclear whether its effects are the same.

What we do know is that the use of synthetic cannabinoids, including those approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), have been reported to cause serious side effects, including but not limited to euphoria, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. In addition, illicit synthetic cannabinoids, also known as cannabimimetic agents, have been repeatedly associated with causing severe illnesses and deaths.

Yet, states like Oklahoma seem to authorize the use of human-made

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