Earlier this year, the state of Virginia legalized medical cannabis. While a step in the right direction, the situation regarding CBD hemp oil sales in the state is still creating a lot of confusion.
You see, state regulators have announced that only five businesses will be permitted to sell cannabis products, including CBD oil, to sufferers of severe epilepsy. However, CBD oil is currently on sale (and has been for some time) in health stores and head shops throughout the state.
So, what is the deal when it comes to CBD oil in Virginia? Is it legal? Can you only buy CBD from these five licenced businesses? Allow us to clear the matter up...
Cannabis explained: CBD vs THC
Cannabis is hot news at the moment. The legalization movement is spreading across the world, not only America, and it doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. But before we go any further, let us states that not all cannabis is the same.
While some cannabis is used recreationally in order to experience a type of euphoria known as a ‘high’, there is another type of cannabis that does not have any mind-altering effects but still offers many of the medical benefits associated with cannabis.
What it comes down to is cannabinoids - chemical compounds unique to cannabis. In cannabis, there are two main cannabinoids (although there are over 100 in total): THC and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is responsible for the intoxicating ‘high’ most people associate with cannabis use, while CBD is a non-intoxicating chemical.
CBD is used by many people around the world to help manage a wide range of health conditions, such as anxiety, pain and sleep issues. Many are also giving it to their pets and animals as a way to boost the health of their furry friends.
There is also a good amount of science to suggest that CBD can be valuable in treating the conditions mentioned above and many more.
While it has been difficult to study due to widespread prohibition, a surprisingly large number of scientific studies have been conducted over the last few decades. They have found CBD to be effective at:
- Relieving pain
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing psychotic symptoms
- Relieving nausea
- Protecting the brain
- Improving various neurological disorders
- Reducing seizures (most notably those associated with epilepsy)
- Enhancing cardiovascular health
- Reducing cravings
Is CBD oil legal in Virginia?
According to the state’s medical cannabis regulators, you should only be able to buy CBD oil from five licenced businesses, which are set to open in 2019. These businesses will also be permitted to sell other cannabis oils, including those with THC, but only to
However, CBD oil can at this moment in time already be purchased from a number of stores in Virginia and from countless online stores that ship to the state. So what gives?
Well, what these stores are selling is CBD derived from legally-grown hemp. Hemp is simply cannabis with low levels of THC that can be grown under licence in America and most of the world.
In 2014, Barack Obama signed the Farm Bill, which allowed for the cultivation of hemp as long as it contained below 0.3% THC. It is this law that means CBD oil derived from hemp grown under licence is 100% legal in Virginia and the other 49 states.
CBD oil that is made from cannabis with high levels of THC (often called marijuana) is, therefore, only permitted in states where it has been legalized and regulated by the authorities. This type of CBD oil is usually found in dispensaries rather than health shops, despite the fact that CBD is the same whether it’s from hemp or marijuana.
Where to get CBD oil in Virginia
As we’ve mentioned a few times above, CBD-rich hemp oil is available for purchase in health stores and head shops throughout Virginia, including a high concentration in capital Richmond, and has been for a number of years. You can even find CBD oil in some gas stations and general convenience stores.
However, before you buy CBD products from your local store, be warned that there is great variety in the quality of products. While legal, the hemp CBD oil industry is also unregulated. This makes room for inferior products, many don’t have as much CBD in them as they claim to, if any.
That’s why when you buy CBD oil online from a reputable brand you are taking the least risks.
By ordering CBD oil online, you have the opportunity to verify the product. You can read recommendations and reviews, compare ingredients and liaise with the company’s representatives for advice.
Medical cannabis may soon be available to a select few in Virginia soon, but that doesn’t mean CBD oil isn’t still widely sold throughout the state and online.
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