CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of more than one hundred cannabinoids contained in cannabis. CBD differs from the other main and well-known cannabinoid found in marijuana, namely THC, in that it does not contain any psychoactive component, which simply means that CBD will not make you high or stoned if you use it.
CBD has many purported health benefits and has been touted as a treatment for a wide variety of health conditions, including epilepsy, arthritis, depression, diabetes, to name just a few. Studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory, anti-pain as well as antipsychotic properties. However, the number of human clinical trials studying the effects of CBD has been fairly limited so far.
What has been proven, however, is that CBD is very effective at treating two rare forms of life-threatening childhood epilepsy conditions, namely Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. In 2013, a CNN documentary called “Weed” told the story of a little girl from Colorado named Charlotte, who had Dravet Syndrome. At just five years old, Charlotte was suffering up to 300 grand mal seizures per week due to her rare form of epilepsy.
Somewhat controversially, Charlotte was treated with CBD oil derived from a high CBD-cannabis strain. The results were amazing. Charlotte’s seizures almost completely stopped. The effectiveness of CBD oil as a treatment for Charlotte’s Dravet Syndrome led to hundreds of other families flocking to Colorado to obtain CBD oil to treat their children’s epilepsy.
In June of 2018, The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the marijuana-based medication Epidiolex, manufactured by the UK-based company GW Pharmaceuticals. Epidiolex contains a high CBD content but importantly no THC, which is the psychoactive compound contained in cannabis.
Research data published in the New England Journal of Medicine undoubtedly played a part in the approval of Epidiolex by the FDA. This particular study found that Epidiolex successfully reduced epileptic seizures by more than 40%. Epidiolex is used to treat both rare forms of childhood epilepsy – Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
Is CBD Oil Legal in New Jersey?
As marijuana remains classified as a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, the legality of using CBD oil derived from marijuana is an important concern for New Jerseyans. Currently, any person registered in New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program is legally protected against arrest, prosecution or any penalties if found to be in possession of marijuana under New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. Former New Jersey Governor Joe Corzine signed the Act into law on his final day in office on January 18, 2010.
Any person with a qualifying medical condition (see the list below), a written recommendation from a doctor, and who holds an MMJ card can apply for a place on the Medical Marijuana Program in New Jersey. For information about how to obtain an MMJ card in New Jersey, click here.
List of qualifying conditions for the Medical Marijuana Program in New Jersey
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Terminal cancer
- Muscular dystrophy
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Any terminal illness with a prognosis of less than 12 months
- Seizure disorders (including epilepsy)
- Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Glaucoma (if traditional medicine has failed)
- Severe or chronic pain
- Severe nausea or vomiting
- Wasting syndrome caused by HIV/AIDS and cancer
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders (including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and opioid use disorder)
- Chronic pain of “visceral origin” (including pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome and bowel dysfunction)
If you are not registered in the Medical Marijuana Program in New Jersey, it is only legal to use of CBD oil derived from hemp. The use of hemp-based products is entirely legal under federal law, under the Farm Bill. In New Jersey, (and every other state in America) it is only legal to use CBD oil which is derived from hemp (not from marijuana) because CBD oil derived from hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
However, if you are a New Jerseyan registered in the Medical Marijuana Program, who holds an MMJ card, as well as a written recommendation from a doctor, you can legally use CBD oil derived from marijuana as well as from hemp, for medical reasons.
What Type of CBD Products are Available in New Jersey?
The most commonly used CBD product is CBD oil, but there are a variety of different CBD products out there including ointments, concentrates, pills, tinctures, wax, lotions, and even CBD drinks.
Not All CBD Hemp Oil is Top Quality…
It is important to realize that not all CBD hemp oil is of the same quality. Some health food stores and vape shops stock low-quality hemp oil products which have been sourced from hemp seeds. These hemp seed-based products may have some nutritional benefits, but they do not have any medicinal or therapeutic value.
The reason being that hemp seeds do not contain any CBD oil. CBD oil can only be extracted from hemp via the flowers, leaves, stem, and stalk of a mature hemp plant. It is highly recommended that rather than purchasing low-quality hemp seed products that you source a reputable CBD oil seller instead, either in New Jersey or online.
Where Can I Get CBD Oil in New Jersey?
There are six Alternative Treatment Centers (ATC) in New Jersey. These are licensed dispensaries regulated by the New Jersey Department of Health where medicinal cannabis products are available. To avail of these products, you must be a holder of an MMJ card and have a written recommendation from a doctor.
CBD hemp-based products are available throughout the state of New Jersey, in health food stores and vape shops. There are also a considerable number of products available online too.
Final Thoughts on CBD in New Jersey
If you are a New Jerseyan who has a qualifying medical condition from the list above and are interested in using CBD-based products to treat your health condition, then you should discuss with this with your medical practitioner first.
To purchase CBD-based products from any of the six Alternative Treatment Centers in New Jersey, you will need your doctor to write a recommendation letter or note for you and you will need to have an MMJ card. You may also want to discuss registering for New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana program with your doctor so that you can legally use marijuana as well as CBD oil derived from marijuana for medical reasons.