CBD in California: A Guide to Legal Status and Access


CBD oil is legal in California, both from hemp and marijuana sources. This state has been at the forefront of progressive cannabis laws, with a complex yet inclusive legal framework for CBD. This guide will help you navigate the CBD laws in California on both a state and federal level.

Legal Status of CBD in California:

California allows the use of CBD derived from both hemp and marijuana. The state's journey towards legalization began with Proposition 215 in 1996 (the Compassionate Use Act), allowing medical use of marijuana. The Senate Bill 420 later established a medical card system, providing registered patients protection for using medical marijuana. The 2018 Farm Bill then legalized hemp-derived CBD products, aligning California's laws with federal guidelines and allowing residents access to CBD provided that hemp is produced in compliance with federal laws and contains no more than 0.3% THC.

Restrictions on Hemp-derived CBD:

Despite the legal status of hemp-derived CBD, California currently prohibits its use in foods and beverages, following federal laws. This means edibles containing CBD from industrial hemp are technically illegal, although this has not strictly been enforced by the state. On the other hand, edibles containing marijuana-derived CBD are legal under state law for both medical and recreational purposes, following the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016 under Proposition 64.

Federal Law Considerations:

Under federal law, marijuana in all forms remains illegal and is classified as a controlled substance. This includes CBD extracted from marijuana, which poses a complex legal landscape due to differing state and federal laws.


California's approach to CBD is indicative of its progressive stance on cannabis. With legal access to both hemp and marijuana-derived CBD, residents and visitors alike have a range of options for CBD use. However, it's important to remain cognizant of the specific regulations, especially regarding the use of CBD in food products.

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