In the last few years, the conversation surrounding CBD oil and its remarkable medicinal properties has grown tremendously. More and more people are choosing to use CBD oil in lieu of chemically-based conventional medications, and for good reason. CBD oil is proving to be not only safe, but incredibly effective. 

However, CBD oil isn't only beneficial for people. As the herb continued to prove its worth amongst human patients, veterinarians began to consider its possible advantages for our four-legged friends. If you haven't already heard the news, we are thrilled to be able to tell you. CBD oil is, in fact, extremely safe and effective for dogs, cats, and even horses. 

With that said, the seemingly sudden rise in popularity comes with a rise in uncertainty. What exactly is CBD? Will it get my pet "high?" Moreover, is this stuff even legal?! In this article, we will cover everything that you should know regarding CBD oil and its legality. In order for more people and their pets to be able to benefit from the powerful herb, we must first have a better understanding of what it is.

Understanding the Cannabis Plant & Its Species

is CBD oil legal

We know that cannabis products are constantly helping individuals manage a wide array of conditions.

However, misunderstandings arise when people use the word cannabis. Many people still associate cannabis with marijuana and associate marijuana with its recreational use. Before we dive into the legality of CBD, we feel it is important for our readers to have a solid understanding of why these misconceptions are nothing but uninformed opinions.

Think of the cannabis plant as an umbrella term. Under the cannabis plant (or, more specifically, Cannabis Sativa L.) falls the hemp plant and the marijuana plant. While these plants share many similarities, they also have very important differences that are worth understanding.


CBD can be derived from both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant. However, when it comes to CBD for dogs and CBD for cats, pet owners should only purchase hemp derived CBD. In most states, this won't be an issue as marijuana products and, therefore, marijuana-derived CBD is still illegal. However, if you live in a state where marijuana CBD is legal, it is imperative that you ensure you don't give it to your animals as it's not safe.

Hemp CBD contains no more than 0.3% THC. THC is the psychoactive property that most people associate with getting high or characters from That 70's Show. Unfortunately, it is also where many stigmas and negative opinions stem from. When seeking a CBD product that will not cause you to feel any altered state of euphoria, choose hemp derived CBD.

Furthermore, because hemp products do not have psychoactive effects, they are widely available for purchase in all 50 states. However, this doesn't necessarily make them "legal." It truly is a grey area. Each state has their own state law regarding the legality of CBD and these laws are constantly changing. Additionally, even in states where CBD is illegal, it is still bought and sold in health food stores every day. As you can imagine, it poses quite a bit of confusion. In short, no. CBD is not legal in all 50 states. It is, however, widely available and laws are rapidly changing, shifting towards total legalization of hemp-derived CBD.

is CBD oil legal


On the other hand, the legality of CBD derived from the marijuana plant is very black and white. If your state has legalized marijuana products, then marijuana-derived CBD is legal. As of today (December 30, 2018), ten states and Washington, D.C have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for individuals over the age of 21. Thirty-three states have legalized the use of medical marijuana which requires a doctor's note stating that the marijuana product will be used to treat a specific health condition.

On a federal level, marijuana still remains illegal. This was first established during the marijuana prohibition 80 years ago when the federal governments banned the cultivation, sale, and use of the cannabis plant. However, today, overturning the ban is a rising conversation with growing support from the American public.

*We also want to quickly reiterate that when it comes to your pets, CBD should only be hemp-derived. Marijuana-derived CBD can contain significant amounts of THC that can harm your furry friends. To learn more about CBD and THC, click here.

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding CBD is whether or not it is legal. The answer is not a simple 'yes' or 'no' as it depends on where the cannabis oil is derived from. Even still, hemp derived CBD is still considered to be illegal in some states. Furthermore, the legality of hemp-derived CBD oil at a state level continues to change. More and more states are legalizing both recreational marijuana and medical marijuana at an increasing rate. We recommend checking your state's individual laws prior to heading out to your local health store.

Below, we've included some of the most commonly asked questions regarding specific states.

In Texas, CBD oil is legal if it is derived from legally grown industrial hemp. Therefore, the CBD oil can contain no greater than 0.3% THC. The legal use of CBD oil falls under the Compassionate Use Act and is expected to be used for medicinal purposes. Seeing that the THC levels are virtually nonexistent, there would be no recreational use of the cannabis oil.

Although CBD oil can be purchased online and in many health food stores throughout Ohio, state regulators say that it is illegal. Again, this is why the legality behind CBD is so confusing. With that being said, medicinal marijuana and, therefore, CBD oil derived from the marijuana plant is legal when sold on a medical level.

CBD oil derived from the hemp plant is legal in Florida. Additionally, medical marijuana is also legal in Florida, yet requires specific health requirements to be met for a doctor to give a patient their medical marijuana card.

In North Carolina, CBD is solely legal for patients intractable epilepsy. This form of CBD is made from hemp extract. With that said, CBD oil can be purchased online.

In New York, medical marijuana is legal. Additionally, CBD oil derived from the hemp plant is legal. New York is also one of the several states that have decriminalized marijuana.

In Illinois, the use of medicinal marijuana (and marijuana-derived CBD) is legal when it is sold at a medical level.

As many people know, California has legalized the use of marijuana both medically and recreationally. Additional states that have legalized marijuana and, therefore, CBD oil derived from both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant include:

  • Alaska

  • California

  • Colorado

  • Maine

  • Massachusetts

  • Michigan

  • Nevada

  • Oregon

  • Vermont

  • Washington

  • Washington, D.C

Is CBD Oil Legal

Hemp CBD Oil: A Final Thought

At the end of the day, it truly is remarkable that an all natural product like CBD oil is changing the lives of so many people and animals. Now, we have an additional option not only for ourselves, but for our four-legged friends.

For that reason, you can see why so many people are upset over legality issues surrounding the cannabis plant. Thankfully, as time progresses, experts are continuing to prove the absolute need for a product like CBD oil and state legislatures are listening. We only hope that in the very near future, CBD oil will be able to serve more people and their furry companions.


This article is brought to you by Honest Paws, the #1 company for dogs CBD oil and treats with CBD for dogs. There's a reason pet parents all over the nation are turning to CBD for their pups - just take a look at our reviews and customer success stories!