Is cbd oil for dogs legal in california

Is CBD Oil Legal in California? – June 2022

Industrial hemp plants , which come from Cannabis sativa , consist of several major cannabinoids , including CBD. Cannabinoids and compounds are extracted to develop various CBD products .

Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal in California with some restrictions. The s tate of California enacted laws to comply with the 2018 United States Farm Bill (4) .

In the United States (US), products made from hemp-derivatives may be legally produced and sold.

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 or the 2018 United States Farm Bill mandates that industrial hemp may be cultivated and processed in the United States (5) .

However, the act also stated that hemp extracts must not contain more than 0.3 0 % tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ) in dry weight. Individuals who consume THC may experience psychoactive effects.

THC is the same compound that is commonly found in hemp and marijuana plants. Both plants are considered varieties of Cannabis sativa .

A 2018 study from Missouri Medicine mentioned that marijuana plants have been reported to contain 17% to 28% THC (6) . To comply with federal regulation s , licensed industrial hemp farms in the US use hemp strains with significantly low THC.

Although the Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp products , there are many questions regarding the legality of CBD oil in California .

California CBD Laws

When it comes to hemp-derived products, such as CBD oil, California law complies with the federal law . The state government enacted Senate Bill 153, allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp with THC levels not exceeding 0.3% (7) .

Thus, hemp-derived products within the 0.3 0 % THC limit is legal with some restrictions.

The use of CBD or cannabinoids as food additives or ingredients is prohibited in California . The California Department of Food and Agriculture is currently the regulating body for CBD products in California.

As of October 2020 , proposed state regulatory plans for industrial hemp have not yet been submitted to the US Department of Agriculture (US DA) (8) .

Despite the presence of edible CBD products in the market, the California Department of Public Health mentioned that CBD-infused food products for humans and animals are not legal in the state (9) .

The state government mandated a separate set of regulations for marijuana-derived CBD products. Marijuana or cannabis products are not covered by Senate Bill 153.

There is no regulatory organization that controls retailers and the selling of CBD products in California (10) . Thus, consumers 21 years of age or older can freely buy CBD oil products in the state without a prescription or a state-issued identification card. Meanwhile, the medical and recreational use of marijuana requires a state-issued marijuana card (11) .

Licensing Requirements

There are no existing regulations that require a license to sell CBD oil products in California. However, hemp growers and processors are required to obtain licenses.

According to Senate B ill no. 153, hemp growers may obtain necessary licenses to legally farm and harvest industrial hemp if the state requirements are met (12) .

The state law indicates that only approved hemp cultivars may be used to grow industrial hemp. Cultivars are a plant variety specifically bred or selected to meet the requirements set by the regulating body.

According to the bill, the cultivars must be certified by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

The legalization of industrial hemp has increased the viability of the hemp farming industry. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), industrial hemp acreage has grown from zero in 2013 to 90,000 acres in 2018 (13) .

In California, Senate Bill no. 153 requires industrial hemp growers to register with their county commissioner. During the application process, the aspiring hemp-growers must specify all necessary details , such as name, address, and contact information (14) .

The farms and storage facilities’ location must also be provided. Farmers must also share the Global Positioning System coordinates with the county.

The registrants must also submit information regarding the cultivars they plan to use and where the seeds are sourced. Upon license approval, the registrants’ business operations are valid for one year . Hemp growers must renew their registration annually (15) .

Testing Requirements

Senate Bill no. 158 mandated that hemp growers are required by the California Department of Food and Agriculture to provide the lab reports from hemp samples tested for THC concentration (16) .

The sample testing must be conducted 30 days before harvest. Moreover, farmers must use laboratories accredited by the department.

What Are the Marijuana Laws in California?

Compared to other US states, California is more advanced with regard to cannabis laws. It is the first state to legalize the medical use of cannabis (17) .

Although hemp is classified as a variety of the cannabis plant , “ cannabis ” is a general term used for marijuana or marijuana-derived products (18) .

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, CBD drugs approved by the FDA with less than 0.1% THC are not included in the Controlled Substances Ac t (19) .

CBD products with more than 0.3 0 % THC limit are considered Schedule I controlled substance s (20) . Thus, CBD users must be cautious when buying CBD products since some brands may not practice accurate labeling.

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In California , including major cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, the marijuana industry is strictly regulated (21) . Recreational and medical marijuana can only be legally purchased in licensed dispensaries .

Buying CBD Legally

Individuals must consider several factors before buying CBD in California, including the manufacturer, product quality, laboratory testing practices, truthfulness in advertising, and customer service.

Buyers must practice caution when shopping for the right brand. Individuals must be responsible for doing their research before purchasing CBD products.

Third-party laboratory testing is a common practice among legitimate CBD brands. The certificate of analysis is a third-party lab report shared with consumers.

This transparency helps CBD buyers determine if the products contain the same amounts of cannabinoid concentration, as indicated on the label.

The COA also verifies if products are free from harmful substances, such as pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other chemicals.

How to Choose Which CBD Products to Buy

Researching the company is crucial in determining if the product is legitimate. One can find the company’s business practices status through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website .

Better Business Bureau ratings help indicate if the company upholds ethical business practices , provides high-quality products, and receives minimal customer complaints (22) .

When the company’s BBB-rating has been reviewed , one must check if the CBD brand provides updated COAs for the latest batch of products produced. Customers should always check the COA to determine if the CBD concentration on the product label is accurate and ensure that the product is safe for human and animal consumption.

The US Hemp Authority is a third-party organization that checks a CBD product’s safety and quality. The organization has a program that holds CBD brands to high standards, encouraging companies to promote ethical business practices and maintain product quality (23) .

  • Topikal, Tarzana
  • Global Cannabinoids, Westlake Village
  • Honey Colony, Oxnard

Where to Buy CBD Products Legally

In California, buyers must be at least 21 years of age to purchase adult-use cannabis products. Cannabis retailers must also be licensed by the state before they can start operating (25) .

Meanwhile, medical cannabis may be purchased by Californian citizens who are at least 18 years of age. However, they must have a valid physician’s recommendation to buy medical cannabis goods (26) .

CBD products may be bought from a brand’s official website and other online retail stores. Individuals who prefer to check the label and physically buy CBD products may check licensed dispensaries and wellness stores.

Consumers must opt for CBD brands that do not make any health claims. Making any unsubstantiated health claims when marketing CBD products is prohibited by the US Food and Drug Administration (27) .

Also, checking the COA before buying may help determine if the brand is consistent in its CBD and THC content.

Understanding CBD

Researchers study CBD oil for its purported therapeutic potential in relieving symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and arthritis (28-30) . Hemp-derived CBD oil is commercially produced and sold in the United States.

What Are the Types of CBD Oil?

Full-spectrum CBD oil consists of all the cannabinoids found in hemp plants, including less than 0.3 0 % THC content.

Phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from plants ) are naturally occurring compounds found in hemp plants and marijuana plants. Aside from CBD and THC, other major phytocannabinoids in hemp include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabinol (CBN).

The full-spectrum concentration provides consumers with the “entourage effect , ” characterized by cannabinoids coming together to provide a greater benefit compared to when these substances are consumed individually.

There is a lack of definitive stud ies indicating if prolonged full-spectrum CBD oil consumption may result in a positive drug test. THC may or may not be detected during these tests.

In some cases, b road-spectrum CBD may also provide the entourage effect. However, the phenomenon is more associated with full-spectrum CBD. The b road-spectrum type, which does not have THC, is recommended to individuals who do not want to consume THC.

CBD isolate contains pure CBD. This product may come in a powder form or suspended in carrier oils.

How Is CBD Produced?

Hemp plants are grown from cultivars approved by the state government. The seeds are sown directly into the soil or in pots for transplanting, depending on the farming practice.

When extracting the cannabinoids from hemp flowers and stalks, manufacturers use different methods to separate the plant’s compounds. Extraction methods include the use of solvents, decarboxylation (applying heat), pressurization, or cold-pressing.

Solvent extraction may use ethanol and hydrocarbons, such as hexane, to separate the compounds. However, this extraction method may leave residual solvents in the products.

Individuals who are sensitive to residual solvents may opt for CBD products that underwent the CO 2 extraction method. A recent study from Scientific Reports has shown that CO 2 extraction is an effective method to separate compounds without using solvents (31) .

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Meanwhile, the decarboxylation extraction is conducted by exposing hemp flowers and stalks to light and heat. Decarboxylation extraction has been reported to expose plants to temperatures ranging from 120 to 170 degrees celsius (32) .

What Are the Potential Health Benefits of CBD?

In humans, researchers recognized the ECS as a potential therapeutic target for cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC (33) .

The e ndocannabinoid s ystem (ECS) is a modulatory system that influences the internal processes of humans and animals. Scientists have found ECS receptors in the immune system, central nervous system, and digestive system (34) .


CBD oil is currently not an FDA-approved pharmaceutical product. The FDA has approved only one pharmaceutical drug consisting of CBD as the primary active ingredient (35) .

Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is approved for use to reduce convulsions in rare epileptic conditions, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

A review shared by Molecules investigated the mechanisms behind CBD’s efficacy in epileptic convulsions (36) . The authors mentioned that CBD’s affinity to the receptors in the ECS produce d an anticonvulsant effect.

Anxiety Disorders and Insomnia

The Permanente Journal posted a study demonstrating CBD’s potential therapeutic benefits for anxiety and insomnia. The study has shown that CBD administration on 72 patients reduced anxiety scores in 79.2% of participants, while 66.7% showed improved sleep scores (37) .

A report shared by Neurotherapeutics acknowledged that CBD may potentially relieve anxiety-related disorders, such as panic disorder, due to CBD’s anti-anxiety effects.

Chronic Pain and Inflammation

Another study discussed CBD ’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The European Journal of Pain shared a study evaluating how transdermal CBD application reduced inflammation and improved the limb posture of arthritis rat models (38) .

Studies have also shown that CBD may provide pain-relieving properties when ingested. Frontiers in Pharmacology published a review on CBD’s potential to relieve chronic pain caused by several conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and peripheral neuropathy (39) .

Is CBD Safe?

CBD has been recognized for being well-tolerated and safe for daily use by the World Health Organization (40) . Moreover, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research released a review that mentioned how CBD has a better side effect profile than pharmaceutical drugs aimed to treat epilepsy (41) .

However, CBD has been shown to cause several side effects, such as diarrhea, dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, and reduced appetite (42) .

During Epidiolex’s controlled trials, researchers observed that CBD treatment increased some subjects’ liver enzymes. Some participants even dropped out of the study due to the risk of sudden liver injury (43) .

Increased liver enzymes are often a sign of liver inflammation.

Thus, the FDA released a warning that CBD may cause liver injury (44) .

This announcement was preceded by a study from Molecules demonstrating how high CBD doses could cause hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity) on rat models (45) .

During the study, the researchers administered extremely high CBD doses to rats in ten days. This study’s goal was to observe how CBD toxicity may affect liver functions in mammals.

Based on their observations, the authors indicated that high CBD doses increased the bilirubin in the blood, which has the potential to cause liver injury (46) . Bilirubin is a yellow compound that forms after the breakdown of red blood cells.

Although the researchers added that the doses used in the study may not apply to actual human scenarios, the outcom e gives valuable information on high -dose CBD effects.

How Does One Take CBD Oil?

CBD oil products may be delivered in various ways, such as sublingually, orally, topically, and through inhalation.

Individuals who want to consume CBD oil quickly may opt for CBD tinctures. CBD oil tinctures are the most common delivery method. They may be consumed by using a dropper to apply the tincture under the tongue.

CBD oil may also be taken orally using CBD capsules or softgels. One may take the capsule with a glass of water.

CBD gummies may also be consumed orally. However, in California, CBD is prohibited from being added to food products (47) .

Individuals who prefer to consume CBD through inhalation may opt for CBD vape pen s or CBD vape oil. However, vaping has been reported to cause some side effects, such as chemical irritation, chest pain, and allergic reaction (48) .

Lastly, topical CBD products are available for individuals who want to apply CBD to target skin areas. CBD may be infused in creams, gels, moisturizers, and balms.

Individuals planning to take CBD for the first time must start with a low dose. They may increase the dosage once the body gets used to CBD.

For topical CBD , individuals may start with a pea-sized amount of cream or balm on the skin to test for allergic reactions. If there are no adverse effects , one may increase the amount and apply more, as needed.


Although researchers noted that consuming CBD may provide potential health benefits, they consistently mentioned that more data is needed to verify CBD’s clinical value.

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Still , CBD products are widely available in the US, including California. Individuals who want to purchase CBD legally must opt for CBD brands with ethical business practices and products made from hemp source d from regulation-compliant farms.

Customers must only buy CBD products from licensed dispensaries and official retailers. Individuals must also consult with a licensed physician before consuming CBD oil.

California Lawmakers Approve Bill To Legalize Marijuana For Pets

A California legislative panel approved a bill to legalize cannabis for pets on Tuesday, just a day before the famed 4/20 marijuana high holiday. The measure, AB 1885, was approved by members of the Assembly Business Professions Committee with a unanimous vote of 19-0. Assemblymember Ash Kalra, the sponsor of the legislation, thanked his colleagues on the committee after the vote.

“With ever-increasing evidence supporting the beneficial role of cannabis for animal-use, pet owners need the best information around safe and responsible use,” Kalra writes in an email statement. “AB 1885 would ensure that veterinarians are able to use their expert judgment to recommend regulated, therapeutic cannabis products for the pets in their care.”

A California legislative panel has approved a bill that would legalize medical marijuana products . [+] for pets and protect veterinarians that recommend cannabis from disciplinary action.

Under AB 1885, state-licensed veterinarians would be allowed to recommend the use of cannabis on an animal patient for potential therapeutic effects or health supplementation purposes. The bill also requires the state Veterinary Medical Board “to adopt guidelines for veterinarians to follow in recommending the use of cannabis-derived products on an animal within the veterinarian-client-patient relationship,” according to a summary of the legislation. Additionally, the measure allows cannabis products intended for use on animals to be purchased in licensed cannabis dispensaries if they adhere to state regulations and relevant manufacturing, packaging and labeling standards.

If AB 1885 passes, veterinarians will be permitted to recommend medical marijuana products including tinctures, topicals and chews for administration to pets by pet owners. Under the bill, all animal cannabis products will be tested for safety, potency and pesticides, giving owners further confidence in using cannabis for their pets.

AB 1885 would allow pet owners to give cannabis-based products to their pets with a veterinarian’s . [+] recommendation.

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“Cannabis can provide life-changing–-and oftentimes lifesaving–-benefits for animals,” Dr. Tim Shu, veterinarian and founder and CEO of cannabis-based therapy company VETCBD, said in a statement about the legislation. “Pets and their owners deserve to have access to products that can improve their lives, and veterinarians should be allowed to provide guidance on such products. We need to shed the shroud of prohibition and embrace science if we’re to embark on a path of progress.”

AB 1885 Clarifies Earlier Legislation

Under a bill (AB 2215) passed by California lawmakers in 2018, veterinarians are allowed to discuss the use of cannabis on an animal for medicinal purposes with pet owners. But the bill fails to clarify the point at which a discussion becomes a recommendation, which carries with it potential disciplinary action. Because of this lack of clarity, many veterinarians reasonably choose to err on the side of caution and forgo discussions of cannabis use for pets completely.

“A crucial component of the work we do is advocating for animals, both on the state and national level,” said Elizabeth Oreck of the Best Friends Animal Society, a nonprofit that operates the nation’s largest animal rescue sanctuary and two pet lifesaving centers in Los Angeles. “California’s legal language surrounding how veterinarians can discuss cannabis is unclear, and this too often has them deciding not to discuss it at all. While the research shows that animals can benefit from cannabis in various ways, many caring pet owners aren’t able to receive professional advice about these benefits.”

“Cannabis can provide life-changing–-and oftentimes lifesaving–-benefits for animals,” maintains . [+] veterinarian Dr. Tim Shu.

Kalra’s bill would also enables state-licensed veterinarians to recommend the use of cannabis on animals in their practice without fear of disciplinary action from the state Veterinary Medical Board. Dr. Trina Hazzah, president and co-founder of the Veterinary Cannabis Society, says that “there is no one more qualified and knowledgeable to provide support and guidance regarding the treatment of cannabis than the veterinarian.”

“It is our duty to provide education on evidence-based research around the potential benefits of this complex plant as well as provide harm reduction strategies to keep our patients safe,” Hazzah writes in an email. “Providing veterinarians the legal freedom to guide pet owners in finding quality products as well as offering dosing recommendations is critical to ensuring the safety and health of our animal patients.”

AB 1885 now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration. Because the bill amends the voter initiative legalizing marijuana in California, the measure requires a two-thirds majority in both houses of the state legislature to pass.