It might surprise you to learn that you don’t actually need a CBD prescription to buy CBD. CBD is legal in every state in the US, and it can be bought online or in-person without a prescription or a recommendation from your doctor.
In fact, CBD is usually as easy to buy as a multivitamin: it can be found in pharmacies, health shops, and grocery stores. But there are a few things to consider.
Here’s what you need to know about buying CBD.
Do You Need a CBD Prescription: Buying medical cannabis with a prescription
If you live in a state where cannabis may only be used medically, you’ll probably need a doctor’s recommendation in order to buy cannabis. Because CBD is derived from hemp and cannabis plants, you might wonder if you’ll need a prescription to buy CBD in these states, too.
The answer is no. CBD is currently fully legal in every US state. CBD products that contain less than 0.3 percent THC do not fall under the Controlled Substances Act, which prohibits parts of a cannabis plant. The Farm Bill of 2018 made it fully legal to grow hemp and produce hemp-based CBD.
Depending on the laws in your state, you might need a doctor’s recommendation in order to access medical cannabis. But CBD is legal to buy without one.
Does the FDA regulate CBD?
What does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say about accessing CBD?
The FDA doesn’t regulate CBD. Although the FDA doesn’t consider CBD a supplement, similar rules apply. Similarly, you don’t need a CBD prescription to buy either supplements or CBD.
There is only one FDA-approved drug that contains CBD: Epidiolex. Epidiolex is a medication that is meant to treat certain rare forms of seizures. At the moment, Epidiolex is the only CBD medication that requires a prescription.
Unfortunately, because CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, there are plenty of sub-par CBD products out there. This is why it’s important to do your homework before buying CBD to ensure that you’re getting legitimate products. You may not need a CBD prescription to buy CBD products, but you still need to be careful.
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You don’t need a CBD prescription, But not all CBD is legitimate
Buying CBD is as easy as buying a can of soda. Literally, CBD products are stocked in health stores, supermarkets, and even at some gas stations.
The lack of strict laws around CBD means it’s more accessible, which is ultimately a good thing. But it also means that some CBD products are of poor quality.
As mentioned, the FDA doesn’t actually regulate CBD, which means nearly anyone can produce CBD products. The problem with this is that some companies manufacture and sell products claiming it’s CBD when it actually contains less CBD than specified, or no CBD at all. In fact, the FDA randomly tests CBD products and sends warning letters to companies that mislabel products.
You can make sure you’re getting high-quality CBD products by:
- Reading their certificate of analysis (COA), a lab report that confirms the contents of the products
- Checking out whether the FDA has sent them a warning letter
- Researching the company’s reputation
- Reading reviews on their website, on independent websites, and on social media
If lab reports feel a little intimidating to you, no worries – take a look at our guide on reading CBD lab reports.
Is CBD safe to use without a doctor’s approval?
Just because something is available over the counter and is available without a CBD prescription doesn’t mean it doesn’t have risks. This applies to everything: even things like calcium and iron supplements can be dangerous when used in excess.
The same goes for CBD. CBD is considered generally safe for human consumption, but some people do experience side effects like nausea and fatigue.
CBD can also interact with certain medications. If your medication carries a “grapefruit warning” it might interact with CBD. This is because CBD, like grapefruit, can affect your body’s ability to process certain medications, thus magnifying the side effects of those medications. So, if you’re taking chronic medication, talk to your doctor before using CBD.
Also Read: Do you know what CBD stands for?
Avoid using CBD if:
- You’ve had an adverse reaction to it before
- You’re pregnant or breastfeeding
- Your doctor advises you not to
To be on the safe side, you should speak to your doctor before using CBD. This is especially important if you want to use CBD for a specific medical reason. Look for a CBD-friendly doctor in your area – they will be best equipped to guide you.
Do You Need A CBD Prescription – In Conclusion
While you don’t need a CBD prescription, it’s important to take CBD products seriously. It’s worth buying high-quality CBD products, because your health is worth the investment. When in doubt, consult your doctor before using any health product.
Sian Ferguson is a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa and she has written for publications such as Healthline, Greatist, and Psych Central to name a few.