Considering that Texas is currently in a massive state of confusion regarding medical cannabis laws (and in particular laws surrounding the use of CBD oil), it turns out that the old saying “everything’s bigger in Texas” rings true for more than just the sprawling ranchlands and jumbo t-bone steaks.
Indeed, for every step forward the Lone Star state has taken in regard to cannabis legalization (and trust us, they haven’t taken many), it seems it doesn’t take a whole lot of time for them to take two steps backward.
The most recent example of this came in April 2018, when the Department of State Health Services (DHSH) considered the possible outlawing of CBD oil and other CBD-infused products from online and in-store shelves.
Fortunately this did not end up coming to fruition, as the DHSH decided to put a hold on its “efforts to strip [CBD-infused products] from Texas retail stores” and reconsider the issue once state lawmakers “have a chance to weigh in during next year’s legislative session.”
Oddly enough, this news came less than three years after legislation was passed in the state of Texas to allow for the use of “low-THC cannabis” to treat intractable epilepsy in medically-diagnosed patients.
Though the legal medical program never really gained any traction in the state (fewer than 600 out of 150,000+ epilepsy patients were approved for a medical cannabis license), the fact remains that CBD oil in Texas is still readily available both online and in stores.
But is it actually legal? Can you get in trouble for buying, using, or possessing it?
In this article, we go over what exactly the law says in terms of the use of CBD oil in Texas, and how the passing of a recent federal law (the 2018 Hemp Farming Act) might affect legislative status not only in the Lone Star state, but across all other U.S. states as well.
Texas Cannabis Laws: A General Overview
Texas has notoriously been one of the most stubborn, hard-nosed U.S. states in regard to cannabis legislation. Aside from a pretty radical House Bill (H.B. 2165) that was introduced back in 2015 (that was subsequently rejected but would’ve completely legalized the adult use and possession of any amount of cannabis), the state has taken very little action in advancing marijuana-related legislation.
In fact, you can still get hit with a misdemeanor and sentenced up to 180-days in jail for getting caught with just a single joint in the state of Texas!
This is despite the efforts of many pro-cannabis activist groups and individuals in the state, including one representative (Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview) who famously proclaimed a few years back, “I don’t believe that when God made marijuana, he made a mistake government needs to fix.”
As of early 2019, the only cannabis-related legislation that Texas has passed has come in the form of the Compassionate Use Act (S.B. 339), which went into effect back in 2015. The Act is extremely limited in terms of what kind of cannabis is legal, however, and it in fact only allows for medical patients who are diagnosed with intractable epilepsy to use “low-THC cannabis.”
As per state legislature, “low-THC cannabis” is defined as:
“…any part of [the Cannabis sativa L. plant] or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, preparation, resin, or oil of that plant that contains:
- Not more than 0.5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); and
- Not less than 10 percent by weight of cannabidiol (CBD).”
In other words, the law essentially only allows for CBD oil in Texas to be used for rare forms of untreatable epilepsy. And even still, it is difficult for physicians in the state to prescribe it, because in doing so they are breaking federal law (which currently maintains the notion that cannabis is NOT a recognized form of medicine).
Thus, it should come as no surprise that the DSHS considered cracking down on the illegal sale of CBD in the state, as sellers and storefronts were “technically” breaking the law by selling CBD products to consumers who were not “medically diagnosed” patients with intractable epilepsy.
It may sound silly, but at the end of the day there is nothing in current Texas law that suggests it is legal for storefronts to sell anything CBD or cannabis related, regardless of legislation that is presented in the state’s Compassionate Use Act.
However, as was pointed out in a letter written to the Department of State Health Services on behalf of the Texas Cannabis Industry Association (TCIA), attorney Richard Cheng argued that it would have to be the Texas Department of Public Safety – NOT the DSHS – that would be the “designated state agency to govern issues related to cannabis and cannabis-related products.”
This simple fact understandably angered many store owners across the state, all of whom were (and may still be) at risk of having their CBD-infused products confiscated — especially when the threats of confiscation came from a department who seemingly did not have the authority to do so.
According to the Dallas Observer, one merchant in particular was adamant that his Dallas-based storefront was legally allowed to sell CBD-infused products:
“If they come in and say [you’re not allowed to sell CBD oil], at that point – even though they don’t have regulatory authority over us – we’d have to [stop selling the products] or I could be prosecuted.”
Regardless, the store owner says he would have likely taken legal action and sued the DSHS if it ever came to a situation like that. “I would happily invest time and money,” he proclaimed, “into pursuing legal action against the state.”
Living in Texas and Wondering What Is CBD? Well, Wonder No More…
In the event that you’re still unsure of what Cannabidiol (CBD) even is, it is actually one of over 113 known cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. With its growing list of medical benefits and a wide variety of treatable conditions, it has been rivaling the likes of THC as the most researched and sought-after cannabis compound.
Unlike THC, though, which is famous for producing the typical marijuana high, CBD is a 100% non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It has gained popularity in recent years due to its therapeutic benefits, as well as its ability to help treat conditions like arthritis, chronic pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, and much more.
Until recently all forms of CBD were illegal, but in 2014 federal legislature was passed (known as the Farm Bill of 2014) which allowed for the cultivation of industrial hemp (hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC by weight).
This Bill proved to be a game-changer for the CBD industry, as it technically permitted hemp-derived CBD oil to be bought and sold throughout all 50 states.
Furthermore, additional federal legislation was passed in December 2018 under the Hemp Farming Act, which legalizes both the cultivation and the commercial sale of industrial hemp at the federal level. The Act – which is in fact part of the much broader U.S. Farm Bill – also effectively removes CBD from the DEA’s list of Controlled Substances, seemingly legalizing CBD once and for all — at least at the federal level.
Even long before the passing of this most recent legislation, however, CBD had been adopted by many people as an alternative medicine due to the compound’s ability to help relieve a variety of conditions, some of which include:
And in fact, there are many more conditions that are now being treated with CBD oil, and studies have even shown CBD to provide certain therapeutic benefits that rival the action of prescription-grade pharmaceutical drugs. For example, several studies have shown CBD oil to act as an:
In light of all of this information, you may be wondering; as a resident of Texas, can you get your hands on CBD oil at all?
Well, the short answer is “yes.” However, this doesn’t exactly mean that it’s currently legal in the state. While there are many reputable online CBD sellers that “legally”(as per the claims on their website) sell and ship quality oils to all 50 U.S. states (see the below section for “where to buy CBD oil online), it is still technically illegal to possess and use CBD oil in Texas unless you are a patient with diagnosed intractable epilepsy, and have received a doctor’s recommendation for low-THC cannabis oil.
Furthermore, it is our understanding that under the guidelines of the updated 2018 Hemp Farming Act, states will still have the decision to outlaw the use and sale of CBD oil — regardless of its legal status at the federal level.
Does this mean you’re going to get busted by Texas authorities if you have a bottle of CBD oil shipped to your door from an online seller?
Hardly. The only thing we’ll say about that is that we’ve never heard of anyone getting arrested in the state for such a thing. In fact, as of late 2018 there were still brand new CBD-only stores opening up in central Texas, with seemingly zero legal repercussions. Of course we’re by no means not lawyers, so don’t take that as legal advice!
How Does CBD Oil Work?
With all this talk about CBD oil, Texas laws, and updated federal legislation, you may still be wondering to yourself – ‘how does CBD even work?’
Well, within our bodies there is a unique system called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is essentially an “internal regulator” that maintains homeostasis on all levels. It has a hand in ensuring that we stay well, and it plays a central role in things like body temperature, appetite, emotional feelings, and even the way we feel pain. The ECS works by producing natural cannabinoids, which subsequently work to heal our bodies wherever needed.
When we consume CBD, it is believed to interact with our endocannabinoid system to encourage a boost in natural cannabinoid production. With these extra cannabinoids “working their therapeutic magic,” our bodies are better able to fight off pain, lower inflammation, ease feelings of depression and anxiety, and so much more.
Furthermore, research has shown that many of the cannabis plant’s cannabinoids – not just CBD – interact with our body to promote general health and well-being. THC, for example, is known to bind with a cannabinoid receptor in our brain called the CB1 receptor, hence the mind-altering high and psychedelic feelings of calmness and euphoria that it provides.
CBD Oil in Texas: Wrapping Things Up
As the U.S. adapts and more laws across the country allow for legal medical marijuana (and in some cases even recreational use), it seems that Texas is being as stubborn as ever in terms of not wanting to acknowledge the medical potential of the herb.
To recap, residents of Texas are only eligible for medical CBD oil if they are sufferers of epilepsy, AND meet a set of criteria that leaves very little to the imagination. To qualify for medicinal cannabis CBD oil in Texas, you must:
- Be an epilepsy patient who has not responded to a minimum of two FDA-approved drugs.
- Be a resident of Texas
- Have approval from two separate doctors, which is not an easy feat bearing in mind that throughout Texas, there are only 18 doctors qualified to dispense medical marijuana
In other words, not only do you have to suffer from (and be diagnosed with) a rare form of epilepsy in order to receive the therapeutic benefits of CBD, but you must then seek approval from a limited number of doctors — twice!
Moreover, there are only a total of three dispensaries across the state that are eligible to sell the “low-THC/high-CBD” oil that is defined under the Texas Compassionate Use Act. And the last we checked, one of these dispensaries was inactive and the other one was reporting financial losses due to “low clientele.”
In all honesty, the laws make it almost impossible for an average person in Texas to get CBD for medicinal use. As a result, it essentially forces those who do wish to buy CBD oil in Texas to order it online for delivery.
While not explicitly “legal” under state law, these particular oils are low in THC (less than 0.3%), and are sourced from Industrial Hemp which makes them legal at the federal level. Tens of thousands of people have ordered CBD oil and had it shipped to their homes in Texas, and many more will likely do so in the future with no complications.
Final Thoughts on CBD oil in Texas
All in all, we have to admit that for Texas residents, the historical outlook has been quite bleak on the CBD front. That said, we have high hopes that in time, legalities will slacken just a bit in order to accommodate the dozens of conditions that have shown to benefit so much from CBD use.
For now, all you Texans just try and hang in there, as there are some excellent online sellers of CBD oil that should do the job while we wait for the beautiful Lone Star state to get up to speed with the medical benefits of cannabis!
Where to Purchase CBD oil Online If you Live in Texas
- Full-spectrum Hemp extract
- No pesticides, solvents or chemical fertilizers
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Price Range ($48.00 – $139.00)
- Maximum potency and purity
- Compounded by a licensed pharmacist
- Highly concentrated extraction process
- Price Range ($26-$169)
- Full-Spectrum Extract (Made in USA)
- 100% Natural and Organic
- Contain no artificial flavors or preservatives
- Prices range ($48-$125)
- CBDPure uses a chemical-free CO2 extraction process
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Certified hemp grown in Colorado
- Price Range ($29.99 – $79.99)
- Over 5 Years Experience
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Organic hemp CO2 extract tincture
- Price Range ($62.00 – $204.00)