Yes, CBD oil is legal to an extent in Alabama. Alabama complies with the federal Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. Therefore the legality of CBD oil in the state depends on the source. CBD oil comes from either cannabis or hemp. Cannabis is illegal for recreational use in Alabama. Therefore CBD oil from cannabis plants is illegal in the state. Only a qualified physician may recommend cannabis-based CBD oil in Alabama.
CBD oil from hemp is legal in Alabama. The Agricultural Act of 2018 removed hemp from the list of controlled substances, making hemp-derived CBD oil containing less than 0.3% THC legal in Alabama and other states.
The possession, sale, use, and distribution of hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC are legal in Alabama. The state also approves the use, possession, sale, and distribution of the FDA-approved prescription medicine, Epidiolex containing CBD.
Alabama law prohibits individuals from growing, handling, processing, or storing hemp or cannabis at home without a valid license issued by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI). Under the state’s Industrial Hemp Plan, licensed cultivators must notify the ADAI before harvesting their hemp plot. The ADAI samples and analyzes the hemp harvest to ensure that they contain no more than 0.3% THC before processing into CBD products. As of January 2022, if the THC is more than 0.3%, the ADAI destroys the hemp crop.
Alabama law prohibits licensed hemp cultivators and processors from doing the following:
Transport hemp designated for CBD products with a THC above 0.3%
Cultivating, processing, or storing hemp intended for CBD at a site not included in the ADAI-issued license
Selling hemp crops with over 0.3% THC, intended for CBD products, without a release document issued by the ADAI. The ADAI revokes the license of the offender
Granting unsupervised public access to their hemp sites
Transporting live hemp plants or viable seeds designated by the ADAI as a prohibited variety
Alabama does not restrict the amount of CBD product an individual may possess. Consumers may purchase CBD oil or any other CBD products without prescription or limit, provided the product is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC.
Alabama complies with the federal law relating to CBD. Therefore, persons aged 18 and older may purchase and possess CBD oil and other hemp-based CBD products in Alabama.
In 2018, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) approved an FDA-authorized drug containing CBD for medical use. The drug, Epidiolex, formulated as oil, is legal for doctors to prescribe for treating seizures in patients diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex. Doctors in Alabama may only prescribe Epidiolex for qualifying patients one year and older.
Per Alabama’s Leni law, persons with certain debilitating medical conditions characterized by seizures can register as patients to be eligible for CBD oil. Eligible patients with conditions such as Parkinson’s, dementia, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, or cancer must receive a diagnosis from a doctor. However, the doctor can not prescribe CBD oil. Such patients can access CBD products from states where cannabis-based CBD oil is legal.
Generally, doctors in Alabama do not prescribe hemp-derived CBD oil or other hemp CBD products for individuals. They may, however, recommend CBD oil and products to patients. Individuals who desire to purchase hemp-based CBD oil and CBD products can buy them online or over the counter within the state.
Alabama does not have an age restriction on buying CBD products. It does require CBD shoppers to present their medical marijuana cards when purchasing CBD products. This means that minors intending to buy CBD in Alabama must have the consent of their parents or legal guardians and be registered in the state’s medical marijuana program.
In Alabama, persons interested in cultivating or processing hemp to produce and sell CBD products must obtain a permit from the ADAI. Intending cultivators and processors of hemp for CBD must reside in Alabama and have their cultivation or processing sites within the state.
All applicants for hemp cultivation licenses in Alabama must apply online. The department requires growers and processors to include their business formation documents, articles of incorporation, and criminal background check reports. Prospective cultivators and processors must pay the application and license fees when submitting their applications online. Alabama hemp cultivation or processing license is valid for one year.
Other requirements include:
Detailed aerial photos of the proposed hemp cultivation site
A criminal background check report for all key members of a partnership or corporation
GPS coordinates from the center of the intended hemp cultivation or processing site
A valid driver's license
For outdoor sites, the minimum requirement is one acre, used to plant not less than 1,000 plants
Indoor sites must not be less than 1,500 square feet and used to grow no less than 500 plants
The minimum requirement for hemp processing facilities is 1,500 square feet
Alabama does not have specific guidelines for CBD product labels. However, the state complies with the FDA requirement for CBD product labeling. Therefore, CBD manufacturers must include the following information on their product labels:
The product information, including its strain, THC content, and what it does
The manufacturer and distributor's name, address, and phone number
The quantity of the content
The CBD concentration per serving
A list enumerating the ingredients used in making the CBD product
The product's nutritional content
An FDA warning statement about the safety and efficacy of the product
A QR code, scannable barcode, or website address linked to a document containing information about the product
The product's material facts, including usage, manufacturing and expiry date, and batch code
Alabama residents may buy hemp-based CBD products online or in person from a wellness center, pharmacy, grocery store, dispensary, or vape store, provided they meet federal requirements. Online purchase of CBD products permits users to compare CBD products with other brands, get them at a cheaper price, and have them delivered to them at little or no cost. Also, over-the-counter purchase at a brand storefront instead of a third-party store reduces the purchase price.
Alabama does not restrict the sale of CBD oil or CBD products. Retailers do not require licensing or additional regulations to sell CBD products. However, Alabama’s law requires that all CBD products on sale be hemp-derived with 0.3% THC or less. Retailers who sell CBD products above the recommended THC levels commit a felony that attracts a one-year jail sentence, fines up to $15,000, or both.
CBD oil is the oil obtained from mixing CBD extracted from cannabis plants, usually hemp, with a carrier oil. Manufacturers usually extract CBD as a thick paste and then mix it with hemp seed oil or coconut oil. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. It is non-impairing and does not produce an euphoric feeling. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another chemical ingredient in cannabis plants. However, unlike CBD, THC is psychoactive, affecting how the brain and nervous system function, which alters a person's mental state.
CBD exists in various forms adapted to suit different user needs, including CBD oil tinctures, CBD isolates, vapes, and edibles. Examples of CBD edibles include gummies, beverages, mints, and energy chews. Other forms in which CBD products exist are capsules, patches, wax, lotions, and topicals.
It is federally legal to purchase CBD, provided it contains less than 0.3% THC and comes from hemp plants. Federal law also supports moving CBD products by mail on the condition that it has less than 0.3% THC content. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves only one drug product containing CBD for treating seizures in Dravet syndrome, Lennox Gastaut syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex in persons older than one year. However, it is illegal for a person to infuse any food with CBD or promote a product containing CBD as a dietary supplement.
The 2018 Farm Bill considers hemp an agricultural commodity and permits its cultivation on a large scale in the United States. The bill approves the transportation of hemp-derived products across state lines for personal or commercial use. It removes legal consequences for the possession or sale of hemp-based products with no more than 0.3% THC. However, the bill restricts businesses and individuals from cultivating or processing hemp without a license.
In Alabama, it is legal to sell, use, deliver, possess, or distribute CBD if it contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. It is also legal to sell or distribute CBD prescription drugs approved by the FDA containing more than 0.3 percent THC. However, it is illegal in Alabama to infuse food for sale with CBD.
Proponents of CBD for medical purposes associate the following health benefits from the use of CBD:
It alleviates the discomfort from certain medical conditions, including arthritis, epilepsy, Parkinson, seizures, and Crohn’s disease
It helps to reduce or eliminate insomnia
It alleviates chronic pain and relieves inflammation
Lower cravings for tobacco and reduce cravings for addictive substances such as alcohol, cannabis, and opioids
It improves inflammatory skin conditions such as skin cancer, acne, and atopic dermatitis
CBD products may relieve the symptoms associated with mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety
CBD oils can improve patients’ appetite during cancer treatments
It helps reduce blood pressure and improve the circulatory system
It is possible to fail a drug test in Alabama after consuming a CBD product. A typical drug test for cannabis looks for the presence of THC and its metabolites, and not CBD. However, most CBD products contain some THC. While the allowable limit is 0.3% THC, variations in batches may cause some CBD products to contain significantly higher amounts of THC. Furthermore, regularly consuming CBD products with less than 0.3% THC may lead to an accumulation of THC metabolites in the body that can be detected by a drug test.
To avoid failing cannabis drug tests, CBD users can look for products containing 0% THC or avoid using CBD products for 2 weeks before taking their tests. It is also possible to speed up the elimination of THC in the body by engaging in activities that increase your metabolic rate such as exercising.