The question of whether CBD is legal in Maryland is one that many patients ask our doctors. More than a quarter of Americans say they’ve tried CBD and CBD stores are popping up across the nation. But given that this compound is derived from the cannabis plant, there’s still a lot of confusion about its legality—and the confusion is compounded by the fact that different states have different guidelines. So can you get in trouble for using CBD in Maryland?
Is CBD Legal in Maryland?
CBD products are legal throughout the state of Maryland, and you don’t have to be a medical marijuana patient to enjoy them. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production and manufacture of hemp and hemp-derived products, paving the way for a national CBD market. Because most CBD products are derived from hemp and not marijuana, they’re not restricted under the Controlled Substances Act. Only cannabis-based CBD products (those containing more than .3% THC) are federally illegal.
It’s worth noting, though, that Maryland’s own hemp-friendly laws actually predate the 2018 Farm Bill. In 2015, Maryland legislators passed a measure specifically differentiating hemp from marijuana. The Maryland law uses the commonly accepted standard that hemp contains .3% THC or less while marijuana contains more than .3% THC.
What Exactly Is CBD?
THC and CBD both belong to a class of compounds called cannabinoids, which interact with the body’s natural cannabinoid receptors. These interactions are believed to be responsible for many of the therapeutic effects of cannabis—and, more specifically, the therapeutic effects of CBD.
Why Maryland Residents Are Interested in CBD
Cannabidiol has become extremely popular for its perceived health benefits. Though research into cannabidiol is still limited and much of the evidence for its effectiveness is anecdotal, there is some clinical research that shows promise. CBD may provide some relief from the following conditions, among others:
- Epilepsy: According to one study, cannabidiol may be able to reduce seizures in epilepsy sufferers by more than 36%.
- Chronic Pain:Preliminary studies indicate that cannabidiol may help to block pain signals to the brain and also reduce inflammatory pain in the body.
- Anxiety: A Brazilian control study found 300 mg of cannabidiol to significantly reduce anxiety symptoms in test subjects.
- High Blood Pressure: A 2017 study compared resting blood pressure rates in healthy men treated with 600 mg of CBD vs. placebo. Cannabidiol was found to reduce resting blood pressure and also minimize blood pressure spikes in stressful situations.
- Diabetes: In various studies, cannabidiol has been correlated with a reduced risk of diabetes and diabetes complications.
- Other Conditions: Cannabidiol may also be useful for acne, muscle spasms, and cancer symptoms, though more research is still needed.
Other reasons for CBD’s growing popularity include:
- The fact that it’s legal in places where cannabis use is still prohibited.
- The fact that it contains no (or only trace amounts of) THC.
- The fact that it doesn’t cause any significant impairment. You can still drive and go about your day when using it.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
CBD is very well-tolerated in most users, and it usually has only mild side effects. However, if you’re on certain blood thinners like coumadin, cannabidiol can spike the levels of other medications in your body—similar to how grape juice does. Speak with your doctor before using CBD if you’re already on blood thinners.
In addition, be very careful when shopping for CBD products. You want a product that comes with a certificate of analysis from a third-party testing lab. The certificate should confirm that the product contains as much of the active ingredient as advertised, and it should also confirm that there are no foreign contaminants. Because cannabidiol products aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (and are therefore not subject to government safety testing), you don’t want to blindly purchase products off the shelf.
Possible Side Effects of CBD
Possible side effects of CBD may include:
- Changes in appetite and weight
Most users only suffer mild side effects if any. If you experience these side effects, reduce the dosage.
Using Legal CBD in Maryland – What You Need to Know
If you’d like to use CBD in Maryland, the best place to start is your local CBD shop. You can find them all over the state, especially in major cities like Baltimore, Columbia, and Germantown. Just make sure to ask for the certificate of analysis, and start with a low dosage (preferably no more than 5 to 10 mg at a time, 2 to 3 times per day).
If you’ve tried using CBD for a medical purpose, and you’re not experiencing the symptom relief you hoped for, you may also qualify for Maryland’s medical marijuana program. This would afford you access to a more diverse range of cannabis-based products with a full spectrum of active cannabinoids. Maryland is allowing telemedicine evaluations, so you can get your MD medical marijuana card online. Contact Green Health Docs at 1-877-242-0362 to schedule your appointment or to learn more.