The legality of cannabis and cannabis derivatives can leave you scratching your head. Cannabis is a powerful plant that offers a lot of different uses. The legality of the different compounds of the products can be a little confusing, especially in the state vs. federal battle in the United States. So today we are going to try and see if we can answer the question of whether CBN is legal or not, or at least shed some light on the legalities around CBN.
In the USA specifically, the legality of CBN is just as confusing as the legality of cannabis itself. On a federal level, cannabis is considered a Schedule I substance, however scientific studies (including human trials) have found that cannabis does hold medical benefits on conditions such as seizures, severe depression and anxiety.
It definitely doesn’t make sense as it puts marijuana on the same level of severity as drugs like heroin, peyote, LSD, and MDMA. With all that said, when we are not talking at the federal level, it gets even more confusing because some states allow cannabis while in others it is completely prohibited.
On the whole it’s the content of THC which affects the legality of a substance, in other words, CBD and CBN are considered generally legal with a general rule that the THC content should be less than 0.3%, yet if you live in areas such as Colorado or California, you’ll have recreational access to THC products. There are however other states such as Arkansas that allow THC-content cannabis products to be sold for medical use but they aren’t decriminalized.
CBNs are often included with CBD products when the product is labeled “full spectrum.” Two ways that CBD is included in a product, the first being a CBD isolate, when only CBD is used in a product, isolated from other compounds in the cannabis plant. This is the lesser preference when compared to the second option of full-spectrum CBD products. This means that CBD is used alongside other beneficial CBNs in the plant, including everything but with THC isolated out. There are many CBN products which come in the same forms that CBD does such as vape juice, CBN tinctures, and wax extract.
CBN has not been approved as a drug yet, but the FDA has acknowledged that “parts of the cannabis plant that do not contain THC or CBD might fall outside the scope of the [drug exclusion rule]”, if it is approved as a drug at some point down the line, most likely the drug exclusion rule still would not apply as there is an exception in the rule for substances marketed as foods or dietary supplements prior to any FDA clinical investigation. That along with the fact that CBN can be lawfully produced and extracted from hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill gives CBN viable legality. Everything is conditioned on manufacturers and sellers steering clear of unapproved health claims, of course.
Countries are not required to control CBN, making it both legal under international law and potentially ripe for export. Two things will have to happen before CBN takes off in a big way, consumers must show interest and technology must demonstrate that CBN can be produced at scale. Because CBN-rich strains of cannabis do not exist, CBN is currently being mechanically converted from other cannabinoids–namely, THC and because hemp cannot contain more than 0.3% THC by law, it makes CBN more difficult to produce at scale than CBD or even CBG. Given its rising popularity and the promising role CBN has to play, hemp industry companies must be taking a long hard look at CBN this year.
In short it is believed that CBD products sold online, anything from tinctures and creams, to gummies and pills, coffees and teas, that consumers anywhere can legally buy these products if they’re made from low- or zero-THC hemp, however the FDA have said that any hemp-based CBD product that is marketed as having therapeutic benefits or as a dietary supplement is illegal to sell unless the FDA has reviewed and approved it.
With all this being said, I've never heard of anyone being arrested for buying CBD online, but it must be said that it has been heard that store owners selling CBD products have been cited.
So grey areas remain but it is constantly being looked into and changes are happening all the time. So whilst it is clear that there is not a yes or no answer to the question of whether CBN is legal or not, you should now at least have a better understanding of the laws that surround CBN. Thank you for your time, please like and share if you have found this content valuable.
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