There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding CBD oil and its possible health benefits ever since a 2018 federal law decriminalized its use. As in almost every other state, it is legal to buy, sell, or possess CBD oil in Ohio. However, before you decide to use CBD oil, it’s important to know what CBD oil actually is and how it’s different from recreational marijuana, which is still illegal in Ohio.

What is CBD Oil?

The CBD in “CBD oil” refers to cannabidiol, which is one of the many chemical compounds contained in cannabis plants. These compounds, called cannabinoids, interact with receptors and natural chemicals in your brain. The most well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). 

CBD and THC are found in marijuana and hemp, which are two different types of cannabis plants. Marijuana and hemp have different concentrations of CBD and THC. 

  • Hemp contains less than or equal to 0.3% THC and a much higher level of CBD.
  • Marijuana can contain various concentrations of THC and CBD depending on how it’s grown. Some have more THC and less CBD. Others have more CBD and less THC. 

THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives you a “high” feeling. CBD has different psychoactive properties, but they do not make you feel “high.” 

Hemp and marijuana are treated differently under the law. Under Ohio law, it’s legal to buy, sell, or possess hemp, and you can cultivate hemp if you obtain a license from the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). Marijuana is illegal to buy, sell, or possess for recreational use, but you can obtain medical marijuana if you meet certain qualifications and get approval. Using or possessing marijuana without proper approval in Ohio is a drug crime and can have serious consequences.

Not All CBD Oil Is Created Equal – And Not All of It Is Legal

Today, most people use the term “CBD oil” to refer specifically to CBD oil extracted from hemp. However, CBD oil can also be extracted from marijuana. 

There are important differences between CBD oil extracted from hemp and CBD oil extracted from marijuana. Here’s what you need to know

The bottom line is that if you don’t have a medical marijuana card, you can only use CBD oil extracted from hemp. This means you can only use CBD oil containing less than or equal to 0.3% THC. If you buy, sell, or possess CBD oil containing more than 0.3% THC, you’ll be violating Ohio law. 

Not All Hemp CBD Is Legal in Ohio

If hemp growers aren’t careful, they might grow hemp that contains more than 0.3% THC. If a manufacturer of CBD oil extracts the oil from a plant containing more than 0.3% THC, the CBD oil may also contain more than 0.3% THC. This means that there’s a risk that CBD oil might contain more than 0.3% THC. 

  • Retailers must make sure they’re selling CBD oil that contains no more than 0.3% THC. 
  • Buyers must make sure they’re buying CBD oil that contains no more than 0.3% THC. 
  • Users must make sure they’re using CBD oil that contains no more than 0.3% THC. 

The bottom line is that you should only use CBD oil produced and sold from reputable sources. Otherwise, you might face criminal charges or other serious consequences.

What are the Health Benefits and Side Effects of CBD Oil?

Scientific evidence suggests that CBD oil may provide certain health benefits, such as relieving chronic pain associated with arthritis and multiple sclerosis and reducing anxiety and depression. CBD oil might provide other health benefits, but researchers won’t be able to verify that until more studies are done. You should also know that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) so far has approved only one CBD product, a prescription medication used to treat rare forms of epilepsy.

Researchers consider CBD oil safe to use, but it can cause noticeable side effects for some people. Those side effects may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in weight and appetite 

Studies have also shown that CBD interacts with some medications. To stay safe and avoid a possible harmful interaction, you should talk to your doctor before using CBD oil. 

Keep in mind that there are many things that researchers just don’t know about CBD oil. It’s important to stay informed as they learn more about CBD oil, its potential benefits, and its potential harms. 

Recreational Marijuana is Still Illegal in Ohio – And So Is CBD Oil Extracted from Marijuana

It can’t be stressed enough that it is still illegal to buy, sell, or possess recreational marijuana in Ohio. A person who doesn’t have a medical marijuana card can face criminal charges for buying, selling, growing, distributing, or possessing marijuana

Under Ohio law, CBD oil extracted from marijuana would be considered a liquid form of hashish. If you’re not a licensed medical retailer, you could face the following penalties for selling CBD oil extracted from marijuana:

  • Less than 2 grams—Felony, max. 1-year imprisonment, $2,500 fine
  • Between 2 and 10 grams—Felony, 18-months’ imprisonment, $5,000 fine
  • Between 10 and 200 grams—Felony, 3-years’ imprisonment, $10,000 fine
  • 200 grams or more—Felony, 8-years’ imprisonment, $15,000 fine

If you don’t have a medical marijuana card, you can face the following penalties for possessing CBD oil extracted from marijuana:

  • Less than 1 gram—Misdemeanor, $150 fine
  • Between 1 and 2 grams—Misdemeanor, 30-days’ imprisonment, $250 fine
  • Between 2 and 10 grams—Felony, 1-year’s imprisonment, $2,500 fine
  • Between 10 and 200 grams—Felony, 3-years’ imprisonment, $10,000 fine
  • 200 grams or more—Felony, 8-years’ imprisonment, $15,000 fine

Someone who consumes CBD oil extracted from marijuana could face other consequences as well. If an employer performs a drug test, the employee could lose their job and unemployment benefits. 

The bottom line is that you’re only allowed to use CBD oil extracted from hemp. You can’t use CBD oil extracted from marijuana unless you have a medical marijuana card. No matter what, always make sure that the CBD oil you’re using contains no more than 0.3% THC.

Hemp CBD Oil Is Legal in Ohio

Hemp CBD oil is legal to use in Ohio. Hemp growers must comply with certain state and federal regulations, and retailers are only allowed to sell CBD oil extracted from hemp. There’s always a risk, but you’re probably using hemp CBD oil if you bought it from a reputable source in Ohio.

Marijuana CBD oil is illegal to use in Ohio, unless you have a medical marijuana card. Always check to make sure the CBD oil is from hemp and not marijuana. If you aren’t careful, you might accidentally use marijuana CBD oil and consume too much THC. 

If you accidentally buy, sell, or possess CBD oil containing more than 0.3% THC and don’t have a medical marijuana card, you’ll be violating Ohio law because recreational marijuana is still illegal. If you’re arrested on marijuana charges, make sure to contact a criminal defense lawyer who can help you with your case.