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Oils The Truth About CBD Oil In Florida: Is CBD Oil Legal in Florida?

69-year-old Hester Burkhalter was arrested  for the possession of the cannabidiol. The security at the Magic Kingdom of the Disney World stopped her. She comes from Tennessee and was visiting the place with her family. Her doctor had prescribed the CBD oil (where CBD stands for cannabidiol) for her arthritis. She later filed a notice of intent to sue the Walt Disney World and the Sheriff’s Office of the Orange County. The authorities dropped the charges later. 

CBD oil in Florida. Is CBD oil legal in Florida?

This case brings to light the conflict in the law on CBD products. The federal law and the state laws of Florida take an opposite stand on cannabidiol. It is sometimes difficult for the state authorities to decide which law to uphold when it comes to CBD.

CBD oil comes from the flowers of marijuana plants or hemp plants. The cannabidiol does not produce a ‘high’ like the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is another phytocannabinoid found in marijuana.

Marijuana and hemp are both varieties of cannabis plants. If a plant contains less than 0.3% THC, it is legally considered ‘industrial hemp’. The 2018 US Farm Bill protects the industrial hemp and products derived from hemp . Marijuana and products derived from it are still in the controlled substances list. In some states, you may use marijuana if your doctor prescribes it.

Until June-end, the Florida law defined CBD products as ‘illegal’ under the Fl statute 893.02. Commissioner (Nikki) Fried is a champion for cannabis and CBD products. She is fighting for years for the people of Florida to have better access to the plant and its derivatives. To her joy, the Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 1020. 

The bill proposed to make CBD products legal in Florida. It has now become the law since July 1. Now, it is possible for the Florida state authorities to:

  • test the CBD products,
  • regulate them, and
  • ensure that people sell it legally with all the consumer safety protections.

Until now, law enforcement agencies were confused about how to handle CBD cases. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office stood by its deputy who arrested Burkhalter. But it did send out a memo to all the deputies which advised:

  • A qualified patient under F.S.S. 381.986 (the Medical Marijuana Statute) can legally own CBD in Florida.
  • A qualified patient can only purchase CBD products from a licensed dispensary.
  • CBD possession by an unlicensed person is a third-degree felony under the Florida statute 893.13(6)(a).
  • The sale or delivery of CBD without the license is a violation of Florida statute 893.13(1)(a)(2).
  • Owning, leasing or renting a place with the knowledge that it will be used for the illegal sale of uncontrolled substances violates 893.1351.
  • CBD deputies should call legal personnel or narcotics experts on call before seizing CBD or making an arrest in such cases.

Why CBD Oils Are Useful For Floridians?

CBD oil is believed to be an effective adjunctive treatment for chronic pain. It is also popularly used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders (like insomnia). Topical application of CBD oil can alleviate pain and inflammation in arthritis patients. Women with menstrual cramps also use CBD oil to control muscle spasms and manage pain.

CBD oils can be derived from:

  • the hemp plant, or 
  • the marijuana plant.

The hemp-based products (such as CBD oil) contain less than 1% of THC. Since they contain negligible or zero THC, they do not get anyone intoxicated. CBD oils with less than 0.3% THC are legal under federal law. Till recently, Florida law enforcement agencies could arrest you for its possession and use.

Since July 1, it is legal to possess and use CBD oils in Florida if they have less than 0.3% THC. A person does not need a prescription to buy the oils anymore. But the experts suggest that it is still advisable to carry the prescription with you. You might also need to carry a printout of the lab test results of the CBD oil you buy to prove that it carries less than 0.3% THC. 

Earlier too, CBD oils not purchased and produced in Florida could be sold legally in the state. But only people with a prescription could buy them. People in Florida used to:

  • buy CBD oil from out of the state, 
  • had it shipped to them, and 
  • sold it in the state.

Gov. Ron De Santis signed the legislation in mid-June which legalized the hemp farming and sales in Florida. Now that the hemp is legal, Florida consumers can buy fresh CBD hemp products made in the state. 

How To Read The Ingredients’ List In CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a good choice for you if you are looking for a good sleep. You might also want to buy it to get rid of your pain and anxiety. A CBD label helps you decide which oil is good for you. Here’s what to see on the product packaging:

  1. Research the company name: FDA has warned many CBD companies for mislabeling their products. Others have been warned as they misled the consumers about:
  • the concentration of CBD in their product, or
  • the presence of harmful solvents and other toxins in the products.

So, read the company name carefully. Check if it figures on the FDA list of ‘rogue’ companies.  You should also visit the company website and check the third-party lab tests of the product. The lab tests confirm that what’s on the product label is indeed true and reliable. 

Also, check the extraction method (mentioned in detail below) used to produce the CBD oil.

  1. Check the amount of CBD in the product: Most CBD oil bottles mention how much CBD they contain. The amount of CBD is noted in milligrams (mg). The label also mentions the net weight of the product. You need to determine if the label mentions:
  • the CBD per serving, or
  • the CBD in the entire package.

For example, CBD oil drops or CBD vape oils are often available in different concentrations. A standard 30 ml CBD oil contains 100 mg of CBD. It means that each drop (1 ml) of the bottle contains 3 mg CBD. 

A 250 mg 30 ml bottle will contain a stronger formulation. In this case, each 1 ml drop will contain 8 mg CBD. 

A 500 mg CBD oil bottle (of 30 ml size) contains 16.5 mg per drop. The strongest CBD oils contain 33 mg per 1-ml-drop. 

So, check the CBD content before you make your choice.

  1. Check the THC content: A CBD oil label must mention how much THC the products contain. You should look for a ‘zero THC’ or a ‘no THC’ product. Presence of THC in the product might mean that it is not legal for sale.
  2. Note the type of CBD oil you are using: A CBD ‘isolate’ means that the CBD oil contains pure cannabidiol. It does not contain any other compounds.

Full-spectrum CBD oil or a whole-plant CBD oil is preferable though. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains several other compounds found in the hemp plant, such as:

  • other phytocannabinoids,
  • flavonoids, and
  • terpenes.

Research shows that the presence of these compounds helps the body to absorb CBD faster. The benefits of CBD oil also increase due to the ‘entourage effect’ of other compounds. Most manufacturers remove the THC but retain all the other beneficial compounds in the full-spectrum CBD oil.

  1. Which emulsification process has been used by the company: CBD molecules are hydrophobic. To help the body absorb them easily, they are made water-soluble through the emulsification process. The two-types of emulsification process most CBD companies use are:

Liposomal emulsion: The CBD molecules are surrounded by a layer of fat called ‘liposomes’. Liposomes are spherical structures that measure 100-5000 nanometers in size. This is an effective way to deliver CBD. But this process is highly complex and uses large quantities of surfactants.

Nano-emulsion: The CBD droplets are manufactured to be about 25 nanometers in size. It makes it easier for the body to absorb the CBD. It helps you absorb more CBD than the liposomal method and uses fewer and natural surfactants.

Nano-emulsion method is better when it comes to CBD oils.

  1. Read and follow the storage instructions: Some CBD oils need to be stored in the refrigerator. Others need to be stored in cool and dark places. Heat and warmth can spoil the oils. Hence, take care to follow the instructions mentioned on the label.
  1. What’s the recommended dosage: Most companies recommend a certain dosage of the product based on the strength of the CBD in their product. But if you are looking forward to therapeutic benefits, you must consult a doctor first.
  1. Check out the other ingredients in the CBD oil: The oil used as a base impacts the effects of the CBD oil you are using. Hemp seed oil and coconut oil are good for the skin. 

Similarly, the flavors or the sweeteners used in the CBD product can alter its qualities. Check out the ingredients’ list carefully and see if it has something you are allergic to. Some of the flavors and fragrances might work as irritants.

If you are in doubt, use unflavored CBD oils with natural ingredients.

Best Extraction Method For CBD Oils

Experts advise that besides the ingredients’ list, one should also seek information about the production method used to make the CBD oil. The CO2 extraction method is said to be the best extraction technique for CBD oil. In this method, carbon dioxide is used under high pressure and extremely low temperature to:

  • isolate,
  • preserve, and
  • maintain

the medicinal CBD oil. It requires expensive equipment and deep operational training. CBD oil produced through this method is:

  • safe,
  • potent, and
  • chlorophyll-free.

Other acceptable production techniques are:

  • Ethanol-based extraction: High-quality cannabis oil used for vaping and oral consumption often use high-grade grain alcohol. Ethanol destroys the plant waxes though which have some health benefits.
  • Olive oil-based extraction: Olive oil or extra virgin olive oil is used to extract cannabis oil. This method is safe and inexpensive. CBD-rich olive oils are perishable and should be stored in a cool and dark place.

One should avoid CBD oils made with neurotoxic solvents, such as:

  • butane, and
  • hexane.

Such oils contain residues that compromise immune function of the body. They might also hinder the healing process.

Where To Buy CBD Oil In Florida?

The Agricultural Department of Florida is creating new regulations for the CBD industry. The state-regulated CBD hemp products will carry a new “Fresh from Florida’ logo. 

Commissioner Fried says, “Florida’s climate, agricultural heritage, and rich farming infrastructure means that the state has the potential to become a national leader in the CBD-driven economy.”

Hemp products are safe for humans as well as pets. CBD makers selling their products in Florida will have to add more disclosures in their ingredients’ list. 

Passing the law will make it possible for authorities to:

  • regulate CBD products that contain harmful additives,
  • contain incidents where the so-called CBD hemp oils contain no or little hemp (or CBD), and
  • issue cease-and-desist letters to CBD makers who do not comply with the state’s safety standards for consumption.

Today, most of the CBD products can be bought from small pharmacies, retailers, and doctors’ offices. Soon, people might be able to buy CBD oils in popular retail chains in Florida. People may also order CBD oil online from websites that ship to Florida.

As the laws and regulations passed, people’s attitudes towards the products have started changing. All the CBD sellers (including the local retail stores will now have to follow the rules. This may mean that the competition might decrease at the local level and business moves to the national-level producers. 

The legalization of CBD oil in Florida has triggered a great boom in the market. At this time, it is crucial for the customers to be cautious of poor-quality CBD oils. Sometimes, the oil gets spoiled or contaminated due to poor manufacturing and storage conditions. Thus, it is unsafe to use. You may buy CBD oil from any shop in Florida or order it online as long as you:

  • read the ingredients’ list,
  • read product reviews for the brand of CBD oil you are buying,
  • check out its third-party lab test results, and
  • conduct thorough research and weigh all your options well.

Remember, CBD hemp oils are legal but marijuana-derived CBD oils are still illegal in Florida.

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