cbd oil for pain do you need a prescription

Do You Need A Prescription For CBD Oil?

When looking to buy CBD oil for the first time, you may have a lot of questions. CBD products , while increasingly popular, haven’t been around for that long. Because of this, there are many questions left unanswered.

One of these questions is: do you need a prescription for CBD oil? In short, no , you do not need a CBD prescription from your doctor or another medical authority in order to buy CBD oil. However, there are more layers to this question than meets the eye.

CBD is not currently included on the United States’ list of controlled substances , which catalogs drugs and chemicals regulated by the government. Some controlled substances are outright illegal, like heroin, while some require a prescription, like Xanax.

And while the government does not regulate CBD, another popular cannabinoid is considered a controlled substance: THC, commonly associated with marijuana. THC induces intoxicating side effects, unlike CBD . However, it also aids in a variety of medical conditions . And not too long ago, marijuana was much more illegal than it is today, with patients needing a medical marijuana card to purchase and ingest medical cannabis. One complicating element is that CBD products contain small amounts of THC. So why do you not need a CBD prescription?

The History of Medical Cannabis, in Short

The history of medical cannabis is almost as long as the history of recorded medical conditions. In fact, the first known use of cannabis to treat medical conditions comes from circa 2900 BCE, when Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi wrote about the medicinal properties of cannabis , calling it a very popular medicine.

It wasn’t until the 1900s that THC became stigmatized and eventually outlawed. Cannabis was officially included among the U.S. list of controlled substances in 1970 . It would take over 20 years for one state to fight back against federal cannabis regulations.

California passed Prop. 215 in 1996 , legalizing medical cannabis. Patients suffering from severe or chronic illnesses could receive a medical marijuana card, allowing them to purchase both THC and CBD products from licensed distributors (although THC products were far more popular, as we still didn’t fully understand the CBD compound).

2018: a BOOM in CBD

When answering the question, do you need a prescription for CBD oil , we must look at a variety of factors. For starters, the U.S. government legalized CBD products at the end of 2018 with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill . If you’re wondering why you can buy CBD oil just about anywhere, this bill is why.

However, these legal CBD products can only contain trace amounts of THC, 0.3 percent, or less, to be exact. What happened to all those medical marijuana cardholders who used medical cannabis (containing both CBD and THC) to treat a variety of medical conditions.

Cannabis is legal for recreational use in a handful of states . However, medical marijuana is legal in far more states, many of whom have refused to make the jump to recreational legalization. If you live in a state where medical cannabis is permitted, but recreational cannabis is illegal, do you need a prescription for CBD oil?

If you want to purchase CBD products that contain more than just trace amounts of THC, yes , you would need a prescription (in the form of a medical marijuana card) to purchase THC-heavy CBD products.

What About Other States?

When examining the question do you need a prescription for CBD oil , there are a variety of layers to consider. The most crucial factor might be where you live.

If you live in a state where medical cannabis is legal but recreational cannabis is illegal, you would need a CBD prescription if you want a product that contains high concentrations of both CBD and THC.

But do you need a prescription for CBD oil if you live in a state where both medical and recreational cannabis is legal? And what about states where medical and recreational cannabis are both illegal? Do you need a CBD prescription then?

States with Medical & Recreational Cannabis Laws

Do you need a prescription for CBD oil if you live in a state where both medical and recreational cannabis are legal? No, you do not. If you want CBD products that contain only trace amounts of THC, you can buy CBD oil online or your local stores. If you want CBD products with high amounts of THC, you can go to your local recreational cannabis dispensary.

States where medical and recreational cannabis are legal include:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia (D.C.)
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington

States with Medical Cannabis Laws, but No Recreational Cannabis Laws

Do you need a prescription for CBD oil if you live in a state where medical cannabis is legal, but recreational cannabis is illegal? As we mentioned, you only need a prescription if you wish to buy CBD oil that contains more than 0.3 percent THC. If you want CBD products that contain 0.3 percent THC or less, you can find these products online or at your local stores.

States where medical cannabis is legal but recreational cannabis is illegal include:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • West Virginia

States with Neither Medical or Recreational Cannabis Laws

Do you need a prescription for CBD oil if you live in a state where medical cannabis and recreational cannabis are both considered illegal? No, so long as your CBD products only contain trace amounts of THC (0.3 percent or less), in line with the federal 2018 Farm Bill.

States where neither medical or recreational cannabis are legal include:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Epidiolex: The One CBD Prescription

In the eyes of the federal government, THC is still a Schedule I narcotic on the list of controlled substances. This means that the federal government believes THC has no medical use and is unsafe for human consumption.

The federal government used to think this way about all cannabinoids, CBD included. However, prior to passing the 2018 Farm Bill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex – a medication containing CBD – for prescription use in children suffering from two severe forms of epilepsy.

While you don’t need a prescription to buy CBD oil, there does exist one CBD-based medication. We at CBD Choice believe that there are many more medicinal uses for CBD than currently approved by the federal government, and we should see more prescription CBD uses in the not-so-distant future.

CBD: No Prescription Needed

Because of CBD’s status as a federally-legal substance, you can buy CBD oil online and have it shipped anywhere in the country! Some states have attempted to pass Draconian laws that limit the local sale and supply of CBD products within state lines but remember: you do not need a prescription for CBD oil.

Stay informed on all CBD-related laws , standings, and medical evaluations with CBD Choice. And remember: no matter where you live, you’re entitled to CBD treatment.

How to get a CBD oil prescription or medical cannabis prescription

There are four ways to get a prescription for CBD oil or other medical cannabis products:

  1. From your doctor or specialist
  2. From a cannabis nursing service
  3. From a cannabis clinic (“canna clinic”)
  4. From a cannabis telemedicine service

Here’s what you can expect from each of these approaches.

Your doctor or specialist

Very few doctors and specialists are readily prescribing cannabis, for a variety of reasons. Many will simply refer you to a cannabis clinic, or even suggest you go buy it from a retail store.

If your doctor is knowledgeable and willing, count yourself lucky. That said, they are unlikely to have time to educate you on all of the ins-and-outs of medical cannabis, or help you decide which licensed producer to register with. Nor are they likely to have staff at their clinic who can help.

Some doctors may have a single licensed producer that they have a relationship with. They will forward your prescription to that producer, who will then call you to help you choose a product. It’s convenient for the doctor, but it doesn’t leave the patient with any choice of producer. This is unfortunate because no single producer can meet the diversity of needs that patients have.

[By the way, Wayfare works with quite a few doctors who are prescribing cannabis but count on us to provide educational support to their patients. We can even help prepare documents you can take to your doctor.]

Cannabis nursing service

You can think of this service as a mobile clinic. The nurse will come to your home, provide education, take a medical history and connect with a doctor or Nurse Practitioner to obtain the authorization. She will also help you select an appropriate product and develop a detailed treatment plan and dosing schedule. She will then help register you with a licensed producer so you can order products by phone or on-line, and will follow up with you semi-weekly while you work toward your goal.

The cost for this service is usually fully-covered by insurance as a home nursing expense.

Wayfare falls into this category, although we do often work with patients’ own doctors, and there are some cannabis clinics who refer to us to provide extra support for patients. We are now also providing a telehealth option as well.

Cannabis clinics

Over the past few years a number of specialized cannabis clinics have opened up. These are typically staffed by doctors who work there on a part-time basis. These doctors may come from specialties including psychiatry, surgery, and anesthesiology. This means that some patients may see a heart surgeon for their arthritis! But really, bless these doctors for making time to learn about cannabis and help people.

The educational portion of your visit, where you select a licensed producer and product, is quite often handled by a lay person who may have the title of “cannabis educator”, “canna counsellor”, or “patient educator”. These people rarely have medical training, although they may be knowledgable about particular strains, the pricing programs of the various producers, and how to use a vaporizer.

Cannabis telemedicine services

You can get on a video conference with a doctor or Nurse Practitioner, who will assess you and provide an authorization for medical cannabis. Some of these services are stand-alone whereas others are provided by cannabis clinics as described above.

The educational component of the service may again be handled by a lay person, sometimes via a separate video call or by telephone through a call centre.

Do You Need a Prescription for CBD Oil?

Nowadays, CBD is everywhere. You can find it infused into everything from candy to bath salts, but one of the most popular ways of taking the substance is CBD oil. More and more companies are springing up offering their own take on CBD oil, but the legality of this is somewhat hazy.

In 2018, the updated Farm Bill ensured that the cultivation of Cannabis sativa L. plants containing less than 0.3% THC became federally legal. Following this, hemp was removed from the Controlled Substances Act, and the market exploded in an unprecedented fashion.

However, while CBD companies and consumers are celebrating the new law, there is just one small catch. The Farm Bill also preserved the rights of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate all cannabis-based products under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. So, while many companies state that their CBD is legal in all 50 states, this is not necessarily the case.

In this article, we explore the confusing laws surrounding cannabis-based medicine and whether you need a prescription for CBD oil. Read on to find out more.

What Is CBD Oil? Is It Actually Legal?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of the many active compounds produced by the cannabis plant. CBD can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana; the difference is that hemp contains very little in the way of THC. THC is the compound in marijuana that produces its characteristic high. It is the primary reason why the plant has faced so much persecution over the years.

Thanks to an increase in cannabis research over the past few decades, CBD’s potential benefits have become widely recognized.

Unlike THC, it does not produce a high and is considered to be safe and well-tolerated. And thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, it has become readily available both online and in physical stores.

However, while CBD oil with a THC content of 0.3% or less is now federally legal, the situation varies slightly from state to state. For example, in Georgia, the Low THC Oil Registry allows qualifying patients to possess CBD oil with a THC content of up to 5%. In contrast, Idaho does not allow for any THC in your CBD oil whatsoever.

The situation becomes even more confusing when it comes to actually getting hold of your CBD oil. Do you need a prescription, or can you walk into a drugstore and purchase a bottle? Once again, it all depends on where you live.

Do You Need to Get a Prescription for CBD Oil?

At the time of writing, a total of 33 states have medical marijuana laws in place. If you are lucky enough to live in one of these states, you can apply for a medical card and get access to a whole range of different cannabis-based products.

However, if you are in one of the remaining states, CBD oil may be your only option.

It is not necessary to obtain a prescription or a recommendation from a doctor for hemp-derived CBD that contains less than 0.3% THC. However, in some states, patients can use CBD oil that contains more than 0.3% THC if they have a medical marijuana card or exception.

We have not included the specific details of CBD laws in individual states as they are continually being updated. If you want to know whether you need a written recommendation for CBD oil in your area, we recommend that you contact your local health department for further information.

Which CBD Products Are Approved by the FDA?

The only cannabidiol product which is currently approved by the FDA is Epidiolex. This medicine was developed by GW Pharmaceuticals and is licensed in the treatment of drug-resistant forms of epilepsy such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. As the product has undergone rigorous testing, the FDA has deemed it safe and effective. Sadly, this is more than can be said for other forms of CBD.

Thanks to the illegal status of cannabis for the last century, research into the plant has been severely lacking. Its use as a supplement or food additive is also currently unapproved.

The FDA does allow CBD to be used in cosmetic products, although this is also subject to strict regulations. The actual legality of CBD is all dependent on how it is labeled and marketed, and this is where many companies fall foul of the law.

Aside from the dubious legality of many CBD products, customers are presented with another significant problem. Until the FDA fully approves CBD oil as a medicine or supplement, the market will remain completely unregulated. This lack of scrutiny leaves manufacturers free to produce low-quality oils, which at best may have no effect, and at worst, may damage consumer health.

Therefore, if you intend to use CBD, be sure to find a reputable source.

Where Can You Buy CBD Oil Over the Counter?

While CBD oil is widely available online, consumers in select states can purchase over-the-counter CBD at drugstores such as CVS and Walgreens. However, these stores are playing it safe initially by only stocking topical products that comply with the FDA’s stringent guidelines.

If you live in a more liberal state, you may also find CBD in specialist stores. There have even been reports of the cannabinoid being sold at gas stations in some states! Whether these products are reliable or not is an entirely different matter, though.

Remember only to buy CBD from a reputable brand and don’t be sucked in by low prices. You get what you pay for in the CBD world, and if the cost of a product seems too good to be true, it probably is.

For some of our top-rated CBD oils, check out this article on the Top CBD Oil Brands for 2021.

Do You Need a Prescription for CBD Oil? Final Thoughts

Although CBD and cannabis-based medicines are becoming more widely available, residents of certain states may still have some difficulty accessing it. For example, if you reside in a state with a CBD oil registry, you will need to suffer from one of the listed qualifying conditions and get approval from your doctor.

However, the majority of Americans can now enjoy easy access to CBD oil, either online or in retail stores. While this news is undoubtedly positive, it does highlight the need for caution when choosing products. In a largely unregulated market, some brands offer high-quality CBD, while others fail to make the grade.

Until the FDA relaxes its stance on cannabis-based products, this situation is unlikely to change. So, however, you get hold of your CBD, be sure to choose a brand that you can trust. Don’t get sucked in by flashy packaging or low prices, but look for a company that is well-established, reliable, and has positive customer reviews.

Finally, ensure that you are familiar with the CBD rules and regulations in your area. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so do your own research and stay on the right side of the law.