Cannabis has undeniably become more recognized as a natural health benefit in recent years. There has been a massive rise in its use across America as states begin legalizing it as a medical herb in one form or another.
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In 2014, New York legalized medical marijuana, but at this time, it was not easily obtained. The laws surrounding the legalization were strict when it came to qualifying conditions. Now, however, New York residents are beginning to back cannabis for both recreational and medicinal use, and there are new changes on the horizon. The following information is what you need to know about CBD oil if you’re planning to purchase it in New York.
What is CBD Oil?
Let’s start with understanding what CBD oil is and what you can expect from it. Cannabidiol is one of the most sought-after compounds found in the cannabis plant. Of the hundreds of compounds in this plant, THC and CBD are the most prevalent of the active ingredients found in marijuana.
Because CBD is found in the marijuana plant, it is often confused with marijuana itself, when in fact, it is much different. CBD comes from low-THC industrial hemp as well as marijuana and has no intoxicating properties. This product is mainly used for medicinal purposes.
Is CBD Oil Legal in New York?
Individuals living in New York with a valid New York State Medical Marijuana Program Card are allowed to purchase CBD oil legally. Since 2014, Medical Cannabis has been legal for adults, but Cannabis itself remains illegal in New York. The penalties for being arrested with possession of small amounts of marijuana have been reduced, however, and those with existing possession convictions may have their record expunged.
In June of 2019, the New York State Senate passed a comprehensive regulatory framework for CBD and hemp. The Hemp Bill was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on December 9, 2019, and became effective on March 8, 2020. There are still some controversial aspects involved with this legislation; however, that need to be worked out and are causing some confusions into enactment:
- Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers who sell cannabis products derived from hemp are required to apply for a cannabinoid permit.
- It is prohibited to sell out-of-state hemp extract for animal or human consumption unless the product meets New York regulations and standards, which are to be promulgated in the future.
- Labeling of all hemp extracts is required to meet the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets standards. They are to display a Supplement Fact Panel and a QR code with other relevant information. No hemp product is to advertise any therapeutic claims.
- Regulation of the products will be granted to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. They will set the standards for all packaging, processing, production, and labeling of all hemp products being sold in New York.
- If a hemp extract is grown, extracted, and manufactured in New York State, it can then be included in beverages at the amount of 20 ml of CBD per twelve-ounces.
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At present, the only legal way to grow hemp in the State of New York is by participating in a pilot program known as the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research. One must apply to the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets with an application fee of $500.
At this time, all CBD-infused beverages and food are prohibited in New York. Penalties for selling CBD-infused beverages or foods include removal, destruction, and seizure of the products. There is a fine attached when these products are found, as well as the establishment selling them will receive a failed health inspection report.
CBD lotions, laced oils, salves, or other topical applications are legal in New York. CBD tinctures are also legal but cannot make therapeutic claims.
How to be Licensed in New York for CBD?
The licensing for hemp growers, retailers, extractors, and manufacturers has changed since the 2019 Hemp Bill was signed. There are specific guidelines set forth in this bill for all applicants for a license to:
- Undergo a background check.
- Confirm they are of a good moral character.
- Show they possess sufficient experience and competence for hemp.
A license for cannabinoid extractors will be one of the most comprehensive licenses in New York. These licenses will need to be renewed biannually, and the premises for which they are obtained will be subject to random inspections. All growers and manufacturers must contract with an independent laboratory that has received approval from the commissioner for routine testing. All reports of the testing must be available to the Department.
New York VS FDA on CBD
The federal and state governments do not agree about the use of CBD. The government looks at CBD as a pharmaceutical drug. It does not feel CBD is a supplement to be added to everyday products. New York states it is acceptable to sell CBD as a supplement as it does not cause any harm.
According to current laws, only plants that contain less than or equal to 0.3% THC can be sold in New York. This low percentage rate has caused farmers to destroy plants over that amount. Should a plant contain 1% TCH, it is required to be destroyed as it is considered illegal in the State of New York.
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Where You Can Buy CBD in New York?
If you are looking for CBD tinctures, lotions, salves, or balms, you can find them in specialty stores, small pharmacies, CB storefronts, and vape stores. There may be some beverage and food retailers offering CBD products, but these are not legal.
Online shopping is another option for CBD. You can buy from a variety of online outlets and have the products shipped to your home. When shopping online, you have the ability to find detailed information about the products. You can also compare different products when going online to comparison shop for CBD products.
CBD Packaging and Labels-How to Read Them?
The 2018 Farm Bill shifted overseeing hemp products from the DOJ (Department of Justice) to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration.) The Food and Drug Administration currently does not allow CBD-infused dietary supplements, drinks, or food to be sold and has not presently given regulations for hemp-derived CBD products.
The FDA warns consumers the regulations in flux require companies to make legitimate claims on their labels. Consumers should approach CBD products with caution. Reputable CBD producers should include the following information on all their CBD labels:
- Fact panel including all ingredients
- Distributor or manufacturer name
- Whether the product is isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum
- Date or batch code
- How much active CBD is contained per serving?
- Net weight
- How the product should be used
How CBD Works in Your Body?
The endocannabinoid system in your body is a complex biological system. Much is still unknown about how it works and interacts, but it is known to impact several of your major processes. What is known at this time is this system controls your sleep patterns, mood, memory, and appetite. It is also known that it has three components:
- Enzymes- show up in different forms, but only two of them break down.
- Endocannabinoids- keep internal functions in your body running smoothly.
- Receptors- exist throughout your body and are what endocannabinoids bind to.
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The effects of CBD interact with two of your receptors- CB1 and CB2. CB 2 is located in your peripheral nervous system and influences your feelings of pain, and controls inflammation. CB1 receptors are generally in your central nervous system and manage your movement, appetite, pain, memory, moods, and other functions.
CBD influences non-cannabinoid receptors as well as the TRPV1 receptors, which are responsible for inflammation and pain. Researchers do not believe the CBD attaches to the receptors themselves but rather influence their functions in your body in some manner.
Benefits of CBD Oil
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, which makes it ideal for therapeutic use. It has shown benefits in treating different forms of epilepsy and has shown to be useful for treating depression, stress, anxiety, and many physical ailments. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), depression is one of the largest contributors to worldwide disabilities. CBD oil is a promising treatment for both anxiety and depression as it offers a natural approach.
One study conducted on CBD use showed a reduction in heart conditions, such as strokes and heart attacks. High blood pressure is linked to heart health, and studies show CBD is able to regulate one’s blood pressure because of its stress and anxiety-reducing properties. Another study showed a dose of CBD could reduce one’s appetite, and several studies show a positive link between CBD treatments and PTSD symptoms.
CBD has a significant impact when used to relieve pain as it effectively blocks pain signals from reaching the rest of the body. Scientists are discovering specific compounds of marijuana, including CBD, which can effectively produce pain-relieving effects.
Other health-related conditions CBD treatments benefit:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic pain
- Parkinson’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
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While certain uses of CBD are legal, there are a lot of rules attached at this time. The differences between CBD oil in New York that you can buy from any MMJ dispensary and those you can purchase from a health store involve the New York Medical Marijuana card.
If you currently have the NYC marijuana card, you can buy CBD oil and other products that have come from actual cannabis strains. If you do not have a medical card, you will need to buy your CBD oil from a legal industrial hemp source. With the laws continually changing surrounding CBD’s use, you should research new laws before making a purchase decision.
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