Cannabis Oil: Is It Legal?  

Many people are confused by the differences between cannabis oil, CBD oil, hemp oil, and marijuana oil. What’s essential for understanding this topic is to differentiate between marijuana and hemp. While many people refer to them as two distinctly different plants, the truth is they are actually in the same plant family. You can think of their relationship like the distinction between a yellow labrador retriever and a golden retriever. To some people, it may not seem like much, but to proud owners, the difference is everything! 

Hemp and marijuana are both types of cannabis, but there are actually three distinct varieties in the family: cannabis ruderalis, cannabis indica, and cannabis sativa. Marijuana comes from the cannabis sativa plant, while hemp comes from the taller, stalkier varieties. While marijuana is cultivated for its high THC content, hemp generally contains little or no THC. 

What hemp does have is high concentrations of another endocannabinoid, CBD, or cannabidiol. CBD oil can be made from pure hemp oil, hemp seed oil, or cannabis oil. CBD oil simply means an oil that is high in cannabidiol. CBD oil itself is legal in all 50 states, but what about marijuana oil or cannabis oil? That depends on where you live.     

Currently, the following states have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana, which means that both marijuana oil and cannabis oil are legal in these states with some form of doctor recommendation: 

  • Arizona 
  • California 
  • Colorado 
  • Connecticut 
  • Delaware 
  • Hawaii 
  • Illinois 
  • Louisiana 
  • Maine    
  • Maryland 
  • Massachusetts 
  • Michigan 
  • Minnesota 
  • Montana 
  • Nevada 
  • New Hampshire 
  • New Jersey 
  • New Mexico 
  • New York 
  • Oregon 
  • Pennsylvania 
  • Rhode Island 
  • Vermont 
  • Washington 


The following states have legalized the use of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes, meaning that both marijuana oil and cannabis oil are legal in these states without a doctor’s advice: 

  • Alaska 
  • Colorado 
  • Oregon 
  • Washington 

In all other states, marijuana is completely illegal, which basically means the same thing for both cannabis oil and hemp oil. Things are actually a bit more complicated, with various laws seeming to contradict each other. Simply because medical marijuana is legal in a particular state, that doesn’t mean it’s legal to use for every medical condition. And federal law actually still prohibits doctors from actually prescribing medical marijuana, although they are allowed to “recommend” it. And not every legalized state has its own marijuana dispensaries set up, making the whole system even more complicated. In those states, you are allowed to grow it for medicinal purposes “recommended” by a doctor, but it might be hard to find any medical marijuana to buy.   

CBD oil is another thing. It is technically legal in all 50 states, because it is the THC content of plants that the US government is most concerned with. While Federal law does not allow US farmers to grow hemp for sale, the sale of imported, industrial, low-THC hemp products is allowed within the US as long as the products are derived from the seed or stalk of the plant, not from the leaves and flowers. CBD itself is present in both hemp oil and hemp seed oil. 

The most important thing to know is that all CBD oil products we offer at CBD Oil Empire are currently accepted as legal in all states of the US.