At the time of writing, marijuana is still illegal in the state of Kentucky. However, in February 2020, the House of Representatives successfully passed legislation to create a medical marijuana (MMJ) program in the state.
While this is fantastic news for Kentucky residents, it will likely be some time before the program becomes operational. Even then, it appears that the state will operate one of the strictest MMJ programs around. Stay tuned and we will provide you with more details as they emerge.
Until then, Kentucky residents will have to make do with cannabidiol, CBD, which comes from industrial hemp. Here’s all you need to know about CBD oil in Kentucky.
Legality of CBD Oil in Kentucky
Kentucky has had a long and turbulent relationship with cannabis. Industrial hemp was first cultivated near Danville in 1775 and hemp growing remained an agricultural staple of the region into the 20th century, even as it ceased in neighboring states. According to a USDA report in 1914: “Practically all of the hemp grown in the United States is from seed produced in Kentucky.”
Cannabis probably became popular as a drug in Kentucky in the early 20th century. Mention of its popularity can be found in a 1930 issue of the Louisville Times; joints are referred to as “loco weed cigarettes.” The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 ensured that weed became illegal across the United States.
While an increased number of states have legalized medical marijuana, Kentucky resisted the pressure for longer than most. However, in March 2014, Senate Bill 124 removed industrial hemp from its definition of marijuana.
CBD itself was also exempted, as long as a patient could prove that a Kentucky public university-affiliated physician prescribed it in written form. However, it was only made available to patients with certain pediatric seizures.
Changing CBD Laws in Kentucky
In 2017, Kentucky’s General Assembly passed Senate Bill 218 and House Bill 333, which were designed to protect the hemp industry. They altered HB 333’s language to the benefit of hemp users. Initially, it included a provision that would require CBD to be approved by the FDA and prescribed by a physician. The language was changed to protect hemp expansion.
SB 218 was a revision of the legal framework enacted by Senate Bill 50 in 2013 and is in alignment with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill. For the record, SB 50 allowed for the commencement of industrial hemp growing programs in the state.
The Industrial Hemp Farming Act was introduced by Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in March 2018. He announced that Kentucky’s James Comer would introduce a companion bill into the House of Representatives, and Comer did so on April 12.
The Senate and House passed the bill in December 2018 and received the President’s signature on December 20 when it officially became law. The bill legalizes industrial hemp farming and makes it easier to grow high-quality CBD-rich crops.
At present, Kentucky follows the guidelines of the 2014 Farm Bill which only allows the cultivation of hemp with a THC content of less than 0.3%. In other words, CBD oil is now legal in Kentucky, and you don’t need a prescription or the written permission of a doctor.
Why Is CBD Oil Legal in Kentucky, and Not THC?
THC is the most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana and is responsible for the psychoactive effects which opponents of weed say are harmful. CBD taken from industrial hemp contains less than 0.3% THC (and often far less) once the extraction process is complete.
As CBD is non-intoxicating; you won’t feel ‘high,’ nor will you develop side effects such as an increase in anxiety or paranoia. Proponents of CBD say its medical benefits are comparable with those of THC, but there is no high to worry about.
As for why THC provides a high and CBD doesn’t, we need to investigate the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) briefly. The cannabinoids from marijuana and hemp interact with built-in receptors, better known as CB1 and CB2. These receptors control various parts of our body and mind.
While the CB1 receptor mainly interacts with the brain and impacts things such as appetite, coordination, and movement, the CB2 receptor primarily affects the immune system and impacts issues such as pain and inflammation.
THC becomes attached to CB1 receptors in the central nervous system which helps us achieve the psychoactive effect. In contrast, CBD doesn’t attach to either receptor and promotes the release of endocannabinoids in our body.
What Medical Problems Can CBD Oil Treat?
First of all, it is important to point out that there is a wide variety of CBD products available. There are edibles, capsules, and balms that you can purchase online.
CBD oil remains one of the most popular products and normally consists of CBD extracted using supercritical CO2 extraction. It is mixed with an oil, often coconut (MCT) or olive oil, to help consumers absorb the CBD faster.
Before we continue, it is important to note that the positive medical effects associated with CBD come from research data and anecdotal evidence. It is not classified as a medicine, nor is it FDA approved as a medical treatment. Even so, hundreds of thousands of people believe that cannabidiol has helped improved their physical and mental wellbeing.
Here is a list of medical conditions that CBD oil could potentially treat:
One of the most famous CBD cases involved a young girl named Charlotte Figi. She suffers from Dravet Syndrome and had hundreds of seizures each week. Once she used CBD taken from the Charlotte’s Web strain, cultivated by the Stanley Brothers in Colorado, Charlotte’s seizures reduced to the point where she only gets a couple per month at night.
Many people claim that CBD oil can help reduce stress and treat anxiety. A study by De Mello et al., published in CNS & Neurological Disorders Drug Targets in 2014, showed that CBD exhibited anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects in animal models.
Individuals with chronic pain swear by CBD’s analgesic properties. Back in 2008, Ethan Russo concluded that “the future for cannabinoid therapeutics appears very bright indeed” in an issue of Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. He cited numerous studies that showed the impact of cannabidiol as a painkiller.
You could include one of the three issues above as a symptom for dozens of conditions, which means that CBD is a versatile treatment. Consumers also use CBD to treat:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Tourette Syndrome
- Ulcerative Colitis
How to Obtain CBD Oil in Kentucky, & How to Use It
Thanks to the change in federal law regarding the Farm Bill of 2018, industrial hemp is legal to grow and use in most places across the United States.
Up until very recently, you needed the written permission of a physician affiliated with a university to attain CBD oil. However, as long as the oil comes from industrial hemp and contains practically no THC, you shouldn’t have an issue finding it now.
The CBD industry is new and unregulated, which means there is a lot of low-quality fare online. We recommend focusing on the handful of companies that have developed a trustworthy reputation.
As for how much you take, that depends on factors such as your existing state of health, what you’re taking the CBD for, and even how much you weigh.
For example, you need more CBD to treat epilepsy than to reduce pain, and a 240-pound individual will, on average, need more CBD than a 160-pound person to achieve the same effect.
Whatever the dosage, hold the oil beneath your tongue for up to 60 seconds. This helps to increase bioavailability – a fancy way of saying it increases the potency of the oil.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in Kentucky & Where to Buy
Recent events have opened up the CBD market in Kentucky. Louisville has more than a dozen places where you can indulge in CBD. There are several Saffire Vapor Retail Stores alone in the state capital. There is also a multitude of stores in towns such as Owensboro, Lexington, Bowling Green, and Bardstown.
You can visit these physical stores if you don’t want to purchase it online. But if you would prefer to buy CBD from the comfort of your home, check out the list of reputable online suppliers we have assembled below. PureKana, for example, uses hemp that is grown and harvested in Kentucky!
- Full-spectrum Hemp extract
- No pesticides, solvents or chemical fertilizers
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Price Range ($48.00 – $390.00)
- Full-Spectrum Extract (Made in USA)
- 100% Natural and Organic
- Contain no artificial flavors or preservatives
- Prices range ($48-$125)
- High-grade CBD formula
- All products are lab tested
- Made from organically grown hemp
- Price Range ($39-$139)
- 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)