Pennsylvania offers a medical marijuana framework, but no framework for recreational cannabis. For CBD oil users, this means that the only way to access high-THC CBD derived from the marijuana plant is to get the recommendation of a licensed physician. However, CBD derived from the industrial hemp plant remains legal all over the state, and consumers can very easily access the substance—as well as all the benefits that it might offer.
To start, users of CBD should understand the differences between hemp-derived and marijuana-derived CBD. The industrial hemp plant does not contain a significant amount of THC, and its byproducts consequently do not generate a high and will not show up on drug tests. Conversely, the marijuana plant is the plant typically associated with the high of marijuana, as it contains volumes of THC generally high enough to induce intoxication.
This distinction is very important to consumers struggling to determine the legality of a given CBD product. Products that are derived from the marijuana plant, or those products that contain a significant THC content, are only illegal in Pennsylvania when obtained under the protection of the state’s medical marijuana laws. However, CBD products derived from the industrial hemp plant with a low THC content can be purchased by anyone of legal age.
Pennsylvania and Medical CBD
Pennsylvania has a relatively restrictive framework for the legal status of medical marijuana and marijuana-derived products. The state legalized medical marijuana in 2016, and provides for both users and cultivators of marijuana the legal protections needed to open up the marijuana business in the state. As a result, medical CBD can be easily obtained once a Pennsylvania citizen is given a recommendation by a physician licensed within the state.
Users should be aware that the state still remains opposed to recreational marijuana use. As a result, carrying medical marijuana without a valid reason could face serious criminal penalties, including prison time and a significant fine. Medical marijuana users in the state should be careful to carry the proper documentation with them whenever necessary.
CBD cultivated from the industrial hemp plant is a completely different situation. The Federal Farm Bill of 2014 legalized the industrial hemp industry in all fifty states, making CBD taken from the plant legal to purchase from a variety of vendors. While some states still crack down on low-THC CBD and its users, Pennsylvania has been welcoming to the growing CBD industry in their state.
Users are free to purchase CBD online and have it mailed to Pennsylvania. The only stipulation is that the CBD must have a very low THC content—typically below .03%.