[Updated March 3, 2023]
In the United States, the laws and regulations around cannabis and CBD are anything but straightforward. In fact, they can be pretty confusing for buyers and CBD industry brands alike. Marijuana and hemp legislation laws differ from state to state, with some states legalizing cannabis entirely and others only legalizing hemp-derived CBD products.
But what about buying CBD in Texas? Is CBD legal in Texas, and is it possible to get CBD oil of exceptional quality here?
In short, hemp-derived CBD is legal in Texas. Hemp farming is legal under Texas law, and it’s also legal to buy and sell CBD products that come from industrial hemp. In fact, CBD is widely available here - you can find CBD oil in both online CBD shops and brick-and-mortar stores, as well as at health food stores and even gas stations.
Here’s everything you need to know about buying CBD oil in Texas:
Federal Law and CBD
Before we look at the laws on CBD in Texas, let’s take a look at what the national laws say about it.
From a federal perspective, CBD derived from hemp plants (i.e., cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC) was legalized under the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill. This law removed hemp from the controlled substances list, which effectively legalized hemp cultivation, procession, possession, selling, and distribution of hemp and hemp-derived products, including CBD, throughout the US.
However, the legal status of CBD products can still vary from state to state. Some states have their own laws regarding the legality of CBD products, and some restrict or completely prohibit the sale or possession of certain types of CBD products, particularly those that are derived from marijuana (cannabis plants that contain more than 0.3% THC).
Hemp vs. Marijuana
Generally speaking, the law makes a distinction between marijuana and hemp. In quite a few countries and regions around the world, marijuana is not legal, but hemp is.
Despite the fact that they are both derived from the same plant species, Cannabis sativa, there are biological differences between hemp and marijuana you should be aware of.
The main difference between the two is their chemical composition, specifically the levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) they contain. THC is the intoxicating compound in cannabis that produces the "high" associated with marijuana use, while CBD is a non-intoxicating compound that is being studied for its potential health benefits.
Hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant that contains very low levels of THC (less than 0.3%) and higher levels of CBD. Hemp is often grown for its fiber and seed, which are used to make a variety of products, including textiles, paper, and food, in addition to CBD oil, making the hemp industry a pretty diverse one.
Marijuana, on the other hand, is a variety of the cannabis plant that contains higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD. Marijuana is primarily grown for its psychoactive effects and is often used for recreational or medicinal purposes.
From a biological perspective, hemp and marijuana can look and grow similarly, but they are often distinguished by their THC and CBD levels, as well as their different physical characteristics, such as the shape of their leaves and their growth patterns. These factors have important implications for their potential uses and legal status.
The difference between hemp and marijuana from a legislative perspective is that marijuana is still considered a controlled substance under federal law and is, therefore, illegal at the federal level.
Despite the fact that hemp can’t actually get you high because the THC levels are so low, hemp was classified as a schedule 1 drug since the 1970s, making it a controlled substance. While some people grew it illegally, the Drug Enforcement Agency didn’t actually prosecute anyone for selling hemp.
On the other hand, hemp is now legal under federal law as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. So, at a federal level, CBD can be bought and sold while products derived from marijuana are still illegal.
Still, individual states have the power to decide whether or not hemp and CBD should be legal or not. If a state wants to allow the commercial cultivation of hemp, it has to submit a detailed plan to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for approval.
Today, state-level laws are still catching up, and some states still forbid growing and selling hemp, while others - such as Colorado, New York, and California - have completely legalized cannabis.
For this reason, it's important to be aware of the laws and regulations surrounding CBD products in your state and to ensure that any CBD products you purchase are derived from legal sources of hemp and contain less than 0.3% THC.
Texas Laws on CBD
So, where exactly does Texas stand on CBD?
Today, the Texas Department of State Health Services clarifies the rules and regulations for consumable hemp products in Texas.
Up until recently, CBD was illegal in Texas. Under the amended Farm Bill, the US federal government removed hemp from the controlled substances act in 2018. Still, this meant local CBD laws might vary from state to state and apply locally.
In June 2019, Governor Greg Abbott signed in a law that legalized hemp. In January 2020, the USDA approved the state’s hemp cultivation plan (that is, local rules and regulations on growing hemp). These plans went into effect on March 11, 2020. This law means that hemp-derived CBD products can now legally be bought and sold in local stores.
In fact, as the Texas Tribune reported, CBD oil is now easily available here - and CBD sales are booming for many Texas-based CBD companies.
What this means is that buying CBD in Texas is now easy and accessible. Anybody can sell CBD in Texas - you don’t need a license or special permission to do so (although you do need a license to grow hemp itself).
If you live in Texas, you can also buy CBD oil online.
Is Marijuana Legal in Texas?
Several years ago, Governor Greg Abbott also signed the Texas Compassionate Use Act, which allows medical patients with a limited number of conditions to use cannabis oil with a THC content of less than 0.5%.
These conditions included epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and more. In September 2021, this list was updated to include all cancer diagnoses and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as qualifying conditions and raised the THC cap from 0.5% to 1%.
In other words, medical cannabis is only legal to use in Texas under very limited circumstances.
At the moment, recreational cannabis is not legal in Texas. However, considering a growing movement to legalize cannabis throughout the US, cannabis laws might eventually change.
Safely Buying CBD in Texas
More and more CBD companies are being founded in Texas, which is great news. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential issues that come with buying CBD. Unfortunately, not all CBD products are created equal in terms of quality.
CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that you don’t need the FDA’s approval before you make and sell it. This has led to some CBD brands marketing their products that actually contained little-to-no CBD.
In fact, the FDA has issued several warning letters to companies for mislabeling their CBD products.
How Do You Avoid Subpar CBD Products?
Research, research, research.
Legitimate CBD companies will have all their products tested by an independent lab, often described as “third-party tested.” A reliable online store should provide third-party lab reports on its website or allow you to request them via email.
The lab report will confirm how much CBD the products contain and whether there are traces of harmful substances like pesticides, mold, and heavy metals. This is the only way to confirm that you're shopping for quality CBD oil.
Thryv Organics is Dallas-based, and we source our CBD from organic hemp plants grown in the US. This makes it entirely legal. Our CBD is third-party tested by an independent lab to verify its quality. You can find our lab reports here.