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The Legal and Regulatory Status of Cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the primary components of the cannabis plant. Interest in the potential therapeutic potential of cannabis, and in particular CBD, has grown rapidly in the past few years. CBD is believed to lack the psychoactive effects of THC. However, particularly in the United States, considerable confusion exists concerning the legal status of CBD and the requirements that govern importation, distribution, and research of CBD. Cannabis and its component cannabinoids are classified in Schedule I of the U.S. Controlled Substances Act. Nevertheless, products containing CBD have been characterized as “nutraceuticals” and are currently available for purchase on the internet and through various retail outlets, but the legality of such practices is uncertain. The U.S. laws and regulations relevant to CBD, hemp, and “CBD hemp oil” will be described, as well as the status of CBD under the laws of selected other countries. The relevance of international drug control treaties, specifically the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961, will also be explored.