Updated: Jan 12
If you are wondering if CBD is legal for dogs the short answer is yes! However, it takes understanding how and why it is legal to be certain you are getting legitimate and legal CBD products for your pets.
The legislation concerning CBD, hemp, and even marijuana has all changed quickly, drastically, and relatively recently. This, in combination with the difference in federal and state legality, legality can lead to many consumers finding themselves confused about the legality of CBD products.
In this blog, we will clarify what makes a CBD product legal and why they do not face the same types of regulations as marijuana products. You can also check for your state's standing on CBD products.
Hemp VS Marijuana
Understanding the difference between hemp and marijuana is crucial in understanding the legality of CBD products.
Hemp and marijuana are two different varieties of the cannabis sativa plant – you could think of them as cousins. The biggest difference between the two is that marijuana contains enough THC (as high as 30%) to produce a “high”.
Hemp has a nearly minute amount of THC with a legal limit of 0.3% and consequently does not produce a “high”.
One area where confusion can come into play is around how the FDA classifies CBD. CBD is classified as a commodity rather than a substance, drug, or food item. Marijuana differs here as the FDA still classifies it as a schedule 1 controlled substance. Marijuana, under US federal law, is not recognized as legal. Even if it is legal in your state, it is not legal federally, which is quite different from CBD's legal status.
The 2018 Farm Bill
CBD was lumped in with Marijuana for years, making it illegal and inaccessible across the country. However, as more studies went into the therapeutic uses of the cannabinoid CBD, the door began to open for change.
CBD became federally legal in 2018 with the passing of the Farm Bill Act which classified hemp plant-derived CBD products as an “agricultural commodity” rather than a drug. However, the FDA still is considered the authority for CBD products.
If a CBD product is to be considered legal it must follow guidelines outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill.
The Farm Bill Act specified legal CBD products must:
● Contain less than 0.3% THC
● Adhere to shared state-federal regulations
● Be grown by a licensed grower
Confirming a Product’s Legality
The only way to guarantee that a product is following the guidelines set by the Farm Bill Act, making it legal, is by reviewing a certificate of analysis (COA).
This is a document created by an independent third-party lab that provides detail on a CBD product including:
● Microbial contaminants (ie. mold, yeast, etc.)
● Residual solvents
● Heavy metals
If a product has a THC reading higher than 0.3% you must be cautious and if a product doesn’t have a COA available, you may want to consider other options.
Suzie's will always provide these documents publicly to ensure full transparency!
Federally Legal vs State Legal
The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD products federally legal. However, it takes some time for individual states to catch up to the precedents set up the federal law. Many have done so in the years since 2018, but some still have their own versions of legality for CBD. We have broken down each US state into three categories of legality - states that are federally and state legal, those with individual regulations, and those in a gray area.
States Where CBD is State and Federally Legal
There are 33 states where the federal and state laws on CBD are aligned and they are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.
States with Individual Regulations
Some states have their own regulations around CBD to make it legal there. These regulations are focused on how CBD is made, purchased, and used. There are 14 of these states and they are Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. These states all have different regulations but it does not mean you can't access quality CBD there!
States with Gray Area
There are only 3 states in which it is unclear how welcome or legal CBD is. They are Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Idaho has the most strict laws around CBD, however, if a product has less than 0.1% THC it is still legal. Nebraska only allows FDA-approved CBD products. South Dakota is unclear because of laws that contradict each other, so it is best to do research in this state.
CBD's current FDA ruling makes it legal but also means the FDA does not yet certify or individually approve CBD products. However, there are other certifying agencies that CBD companies can go through to ensure customers that they are producing the top safety and quality standards.
Two of these certifications are the USDA Organic Certification and NASC (National Animal Supplement Council).
Suzie's has their products and farm USDA Organic certified. This is because the USDA is currently the only government agency certifying CBD products. This means we can go a step further with our promise of quality by answering to a government agency's standards of practice!
Suzie's also is an NASC member. The NASC is a nonprofit industry group that provides strict compliance and quality standards for animal supplements. To become a member you must try to uphold these standards and report any adverse reactions to your products.
Suzie’s promise is to always provide full transparency with available COAs and other third-party lab tests! We test our products in-house for peace of mind and then send them to third parties for results we can publish. It is our promise to provide our customers with the knowledge that they have full access to our process, ingredients, and testing!