For several years now, people have been in the dark regarding the therapeutic benefits of CBD. A negative light has been shone on the cannabis plant mainly because of the mind-altering effects caused by THC. However, recent research has found cannabidiol to be of great therapeutic value and the compound is slowly gaining popularity in the world of medicine.
The legal status of cannabidiol oil, is however, a hot topic of discussion that will continue to be discussed in the future, particularly because there are still some uncertainties about the healing abilities of the oil. And while numerous countries are battling about whether or not to legalize the oil, some countries, such as the United States, have already legalized the use of CBD oil. But is the oil legal in Canada?
Before delving to the legality of the oil in Canada, it is first important to have an understanding of this famous and controversial oil.
A description of CBD and how it works
Cannabidiol, aka CBD, is one of the numerous natural occurring chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. The compound is non-psychoactive, which means that it does not produce any psychotropic effects, and it has started to gain a lot of popularity because of its medicinal properties. It has been found to have powerful anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant, and pain relieving properties.
CBD works in the body through interacting with cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). According to research, the ECS plays a huge role in managing several bodily processes such as pain, memory, sleep and many more. Thus, through stimulation of the ECS, CBD could help improve a lot of these bodily processes.
The Oil and the Canadian Law
Under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), CBD is legal in the country for registered medical patients with permission from licensed healthcare practitioners. Also, only the licensed marijuana producers are allowed to sell the product. This is, however, expected to change as soon as the Cannabis Act is implemented.
Apart from the cannabis plant, another source of CBD is industrial hemp. Due to the fact that industrial hemp contains almost no THC, most people tend to assume that cannabidiol derived from the plant is legal, which is actually not the case. Hemp-derived cannabidiol falls under the ACMPR, and CBD obtained from whichever form of marijuana (hemp or cannabis) is presently limited to prescription-only access.
With that mentioned, one might come across hemp products in online or brick-and-mortar stores that have cannabidiol as one of the ingredients. Products derived from hemp are legal in the country, but as stated in the Industrial Hemp Regulations (IHR), they should be obtained from the stalk (fibre) and seeds and should not have more than 10ppm (parts per million) of THC or CBD. Stalks contain trace amounts of CBD or THC whereas sees are totally free of both.
So, in case you happen to stumble upon a hemp-derived product that claims to contain an appreciable quantity of CBD, the product is either being illegally sold or it does not really have enough cannabidiol to offer a therapeutic effect. In addition, consumers ought to be cautious of hemp seed oils that are being sold as CBD-rich products. Why? As earlier on mentioned, hemp seeds do not contain any traces of cannabidiol or THC.
Nonetheless, as soon as the Cannabis Act is implanted, hemp farmers will be free to sell their produce to licensed marijuana processors. These processors can then derive cannabidiol from the flowers and leaves for legal use.
All in all, the regulations set by the ACMPR basically permit Canadians suffering from qualifying medical conditions to obtain medical cannabis from licensed providers. This is, however, contrary to the industrial hemp regulations which basically permit the selling and purchasing of oils with low THC levels without a prescription.
Industrial Hemp Regulations
According to the Industrial Hemp Regulations, industrial hemp consists of marijuana/cannabis plants and their parts of whichever strain that contain less than 0.3 percent of THC in the flowering heads or leaves. Additionally, industrial hemp includes derivatives of the plant and plant parts. The leaves and flowering parts are not included.
Some examples of derivatives regarded as industrial hemp are hemp flour and hemp seed oil (acquired from grain or seed). The following are not included in industrial hemp:
- Mature marijuana stalks that have been stripped of their flowers, leaves, braches and seeds
- Fiber acquired from mature marijuana stalks
- Non-viable marijuana seeds, excluding their derivatives. Whereas the derivatives of non-viable marijuana seeds are regarded as industrial hemp, the same does not apply for the non-viable seeds
Importation of hemp-derived CBD from the United States
The legal status of hemp-derived cannabidiol products in the United States is still ambiguous, even though several states can, at present, legally produce such products under the guidelines specified in the 2014 Farm Bill. However, at the federal level, all types of cannabinoids are technically illegal. And just because these products are legal in some states in the U.S. does not mean that one could import them into the Canada.
Where to purchase the oil in Canada
Canadians can now purchase cannabidiol from licensed cannabis producers in the country since the initiation of the AMCPR. Mettrum and Peace Natural Project Inc. are the first licensed companies permitted to produce and sell cannabidiol oil. Individuals could also purchase their product online, which will later be sent to them via mail or courier.
Ever since the oil was legalized, it is now safe to say that nearly all doctors have the legal right of prescribing the natural healing oil to their patients. The healing oil is available in dispensaries and clinics.
There is still a lot of controversy regarding the legal status of CBD oil. Some articles say that it is legal while others say that is not, which makes the entire situation confusing. We have, however, provided evidence accompanied by an official link which clearly show that CBD oil is indeed legal in Canada.
The legalization of the oil in the country is a huge step in the right direction. This means that it is readily available to those who are need of it without much hassle and baffle.