Is CBD Oil In Colorado Legal - 2019 Complete Guide?
Colorado CBD Laws 
Is CBD oil legal in Colorado? Colorado, as well all know, is renowned for having some of the most progressive cannabis laws in the world, and as a result, residents enjoy the luxury of having their choice between both hemp-derived, THC-free, non-intoxicating CBD oil, or marijuana-derived cannabis oils which contains both CBD and THC and, taken in high enough quantities, will cause a buzz. How old you need to be to get CBD oil depends on whether or not you’re looking for the hemp variety, and, if not, whether or not you’ve got a medical condition that qualifies you for the state’s medical marijuana program.
In this post we’ll go over the difference between hemp CBD oil and marijuana-derived oils, what medical conditions they’re recommended for, the legalities of each, why you might choose one over the other, and where to get your hands on some.
Let’s get started.
Colorado CBD Laws
What Is CBD Oil
What Conditions Does CBD Help
Where to Buy CBD In CO
What Is CBD Oil?
By now, the vast majority of Coloradans are familiar with a species of plant known as Cannabis sativa. Humans have been cultivating cannabis for millennia for its medicinal value, and have been consuming its seeds and greens since the dawn of man. In fact, cannabis is a valuable food source for animals of all ilk large and small.
The most interesting thing about cannabis is that it produces two families of oily compounds, both of which are known to have powerful effects on the human body and mind. Specifically, we’re talking about cannabinoids and terpenes.
Scores of cannabinoids are produced in cannabis, the two most abundant of which are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, aka CBD. These two cannabinoids combined typically make up more than 95 percent of the plant’s cannabinoid content, and a potent cannabis bud can contain total levels of cannabinoids approaching 25%, or even higher in some cases.
Because of its intoxicating effects, the cultivation and sale of the THC-producing cannabis plant is strictly regulated — even in Colorado. If the THC content of the plant reaches 0.3 percent or above, the plant is considered to fall into the classification of marijuana, and is therefore subject to the state’s medical and recreational marijuana laws. If the THC content of a crop is below that 0.3 percent threshold, then the plant is considered hemp, and it falls under the state’s agricultural laws.
Technically, the oils produced from marijuana, whether or not they contain CBD, are considered cannabis oil, while the oils made from hemp, which are essentially THC-free for all intents and purposes are referred to as CBD oil.
On a side note, while marijuana is still technically federally illegal, hemp was recently made completely legal, although still regulated, by the federal government.
Hemp CBD Oil Is Legal In Colorado For All Residents
So, you’ve got three options if you’re under the age of 21 and are not a medical marijuana patient. The CBD oil made from hemp is pretty much legal for all Colorado residents. However, you can’t just walk into Walmart and by CBD oil just yet, because the FDA is still dickering over whether or not CBD is safe for human consumption. Many head shops and vape shops, as well as other specialty stores around the state, do sell hemp CBD oil and product made with hemp CBD such as CBD gummy bears and CBD vape pens, however many of those shops still require customers to be 18 or older in order to purchase it.
Marijuana-Derived Oils Are Legal For Adults Only In Colorado.
Marijuana was legalized for all adults 21 and over back in 2014. So, if you’re 21-plus you can legally purchase at any state-licensed marijuana shop CBD oil or cannabis oils which are high, so to speak, in CBD but also contain THC.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2001. If you’re 18 or older, and you’ve got a medical marijuana card, you can purchase CBD oil and CBD-infused products at any state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary. If you’re under 18 with a qualifying medical condition you’ll need a parent of guardian to purchase and administer the products.
Qualifying Medical Conditions:
In order to obtain a medical marijuana card in the state of Colorado, you need to have a confirmed diagnosis of one of a list of qualifying medical conditions including:
- Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
- Chronic and severe pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Multiple Sclerosis
CBD Oil May Be Legal, But What Is It Good For?
Some of the medical conditions which are commonly treated with CBD oil include the following:
- Autoimmune Conditions
- Chronic Pain
- Crohn’s Disease
- Insomnia – Sleep Disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis
Additionally, scientific studies strongly suggest that CBD oil provides the following benefits:
How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Colorado
In order to apply for a medical marijuana card in Colorado you must be a legal resident of the state and you’ll need to have the blessing of a doctor.
- The application for a medical marijuana card can be found here.
- The physician certification form can be found here.
- Check your eligibility here.
You’ll need proof of identity such as a driver’s license. And you’ll have to pay a fee of $15 in addition to whatever it costs to see a doctor which is usually around $150, give or take. Applications with all correct information are generally approved in about 3 business days. Once you have your card you can purchase CBD-rich cannabis oils, both hemp- and marijuana-derived, at any licensed dispensary.
Which Type Of CBD Oil Is Best For You? Do You Really Need The THC?
Assuming you’re over 21, or you have a medical marijuana card, you have your choice of cannabis oils containing THC or hemp CBD oils which are essentially devoid of THC. So, aside from using it just for “recreational” purposes, do you really need the THC?
Because cannabinoids have unique effects on each individual, this question cannot be answered without a little experimentation on your part. Some patients seem to do just fine without the THC, while others claim that the product doesn’t work at all for them if it doesn’t contain THC.
There are some cases where THC can make matters worse. For example, one of the most common reasons that people give for using CBD oil is to reduce stress and anxiety. Above certain levels, THC can actually increase anxiety and potentially cause feelings of paranoia.
Many medical marijuana experts and patients claim that neurological issues such as seizures and muscle spasms seem to respond better when there is some THC in the formula. However, the FDA recently approved a drug called Epidiolex for treating seizures which is essentially pure CBD with zero THC. In order to get this approval, Epidiolex had to undergo multiple clinical trials designed to prove that the drug is safe and that it works.
If you’re just taking CBD oil to maintain good health and wellbeing, rather than for a particular medical condition, then you’re probably better off staying away from daily doses of THC until you’re specifically trying to get a buzz on.
There are other valid reasons to avoid cannabis oils with THC aside from just wanting to keep your wits about you. Using products containing THC can result in failing a drug test or a roadside sobriety test which can cost you a job, or put you at risk of losing your driver’s license and paying heavy fines.
Full-Spectrum Oils vs Infusions — It’s All About The Terpenes
Another choice you’ll have to make no matter which kind of CBD oil you buy — hemp or marijuana-derived — is whether or not to purchase full-spectrum oils or infused oils.
Cannabis oils are made by extracting the essential oils from the dank, sticky, resinous buds of the cannabis plant. There are various levels of products made with these extracts. Raw cannabis extract contains not only cannabinoids but also terpenes.
You may not know this, but terpenes are actually far more potent than cannabinoids when it comes to their effects on the human body. They’re also much more varied. While cannabinoid levels of a plant are measured in percentage of dry weight — as we said, as high as 25% of the content of the buds — terpenes are measured in parts per million. One feature that drives this home is the fact that cannabinoids are odorless. That dank smell given off by marijuana (and hemp)? It’s the terpenes. Just teeny, tiny amounts of terpenes greatly affect not only the aromas and flavors of the plant, but also its effects.
So the first round of oils produced is referred to as raw extract. This raw extract has the complete spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes found in the original plant, hence the term full-spectrum oil. This oil can be further refined and mixed with other oils such as coconut oil and it’s still considered full-spectrum as long as the terpenes have not been removed.
However, cannabis extracts can be refined to the point where there’s nothing left but pure cannabinoids. Both CBD and THC have their own evaporation temperature which allows manufacturers to distill them out and produce pure THC and CBD. These pure cannabinoids can then be infused into things like vape oils or foods or beverages or put into capsule or pill form. These products do not contain terpenes.
You’re probably well aware that different strains of marijuana produce different overall effects. This is not just a result of the cannabinoid content, but also the terpene content. Terpenes have a wide range of medicinal effects. It’s terpenes that are used in a healing modality known as aromatherapy.
Some terpenes make you more relaxed, some make you more alert. Some terpenes help to reduce pain, and others help to reduce seizures. This is why it’s such a big deal to choose your marijuana strains wisely. While stains known as indicas are generally more relaxing, those under the heading of sativas are generally more energizing. There are also hybrid strains which share the characteristics of each. Many dispensaries carry oils made from particular strains which retain the terpene profile of that strain. Talk to your budtender about that.
If you’re using CBD oil or cannabis oil for purposes such as reducing seizures, it might be a good idea to avoid the full-spectrum products. On the other hand, if you’re using these products to help you sleep you might be better off using a full-spectrum oil. Again this might take some experimentation to determine what works best for you.
Where To Buy CBD Oil
Now that you’re an expert on the various types of CBD and the legalities surrounding them, let’s talk about where you can get your hands on some.
First, if you’re looking for hemp CBD or CBD-infused edibles, vape oils, topical creams, etc., you can legally order these products online and have them shipped right to your doorstep.
One benefit to ordering online is that you’ll generally be able to find a much larger variety of products than you would in a say a vape shop. You’ll have to do a little research to determine if a product is a full-spectrum oil or a CBD infused oil. Often times it says so right on the label, but if not check the ingredients. If it says hemp CBD oil, then it’s likely to be full-spectrum oil. If it just says CBD then it’s likely to be an infused product.
Keep in mind that, even though it’s not against the law, many online stores, and even some local brick and mortar stores will not sell hemp CBD to you if you’re under 18 years of age.
Someday soon you should be able to just walk into CVS or Walmart and buy CBD oil, but that day has not yet arrived. [UPDATE: On March 21, 2019, CVS announced plans to sell CBD in 800 stores in states where it is legal.] In the meantime, CBD products made from hemp can be found at your local head shop or vape shop and at some health food stores. These shops abound in the larger metropolitan areas such as Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Lakewood, Centennial, and Pueblo. Shops that specialize particularly in CBD products are also popping across the state.
If you’re 18 or over, and you’re an approved medical marijuana patient, or you’re 21 or over then you can buy both hemp-derived CBD oil and cannabis oil at your local Colorado marijuana dispensary.
Got pets? You can also find CBD products made especially for your four-legged, furry friends. Although pet CBD is a little harder to find in local shops, there are plenty of places online that sell pet CBD.
Where to Buy CBD Online