December 03, 2020 6 min read

A map showing Alabama amongst other southern states, each with unique CBD laws

CBD’s popularity is undeniable, but its legality isn’t so clear cut. Each individual state has the power to create laws surrounding CBD, regardless of hemp’s federally legal status.

This confusion often leads people to wonder—is CBD legal in Alabama? And if it is, where can I find it?

Surprisingly, Alabama was already passing limited bills to expand access to CBD before the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the cannabinoid. Many of these bills are now expired, but CBD products may still be accessible in the state, and you don’t need any “qualifying conditions.”

Here’s what you need to know about Alabama CBD laws:

Table of Contents
Legal Concerns About CBD
What are the CBD laws in Alabama?
Is full spectrum CBD legal in Alabama?
Does Alabama have a CBD possession limit?
Can doctors prescribe CBD in Alabama?
Where to buy CBD in Alabama?
Do you have to be 21 to buy CBD in Alabama?
Is CBD legal in all 50 states?
Resources

Disclaimer: We’re always working to stay informed on the latest CBD laws and research. However, state laws are subject to change and we advise that you do your own research to verify the information you find in this article. This is not intended as legal advice. 

Key Takeaways

  • Alabama passed some laws regarding CBD before the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp products nationwide. Now, the state mostly falls back on federal legalization standards.
  • The state also has no minimum age requirements, but it may not be easy to access CBD in stores for consumers who are under 21.
  • Doctors in Alabama may recommend CBD, but you don’t need a prescription to access it.
  • CBD may be accessible at a variety of locations in Alabama, but the quality is in question. Certain practices, like buying CBD online and properly vetting your CBD brand, may reduce the risks of buying low-quality formulas.

Legal Concerns About CBD

It’s true that CBD gained its federal legal status in 2018. The Hemp Farming Act effectively removed industrial hemp and its natural derivatives (like cannabinoids) from the Controlled Substances Act.

But there’s a catch, and it complicates things:

Legal CBD products must come from industrial hemp.

This classification is designated to hemp material that meets a strict set of standards. The most significant is that it contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. If CBD products are made from any cannabis strain that contains more than 0.3% THC, it is not a federally legal product.

That’s not all—

The final product must contain less than 0.3% THC, too.

That means that even if a brand starts with legal hemp material, they need to carry out careful manufacturing procedures to produce a legal end product. It’s possible for certain cannabinoids to be “concentrated” during the extraction process, leading to higher THC concentrations than in the original material. Proper manufacturing and careful testing need to be employed to avoid this issue.

Because there is very little regulation in the CBD industry, it’s important to evaluate a brand carefully before you buy. It can be hard to tell if a CBD product is made from a legal hemp source and meets the federal guidelines for legal hemp products. The best way to ensure that your CBD products are legal is by checking the third-party lab tests for cannabinoid potency.

Of course, these regulations only apply on a federal scale. You must also ensure that your products meet the standards laid out by federal guidelines and those set by your state.

CBD oil like this tincture is the most popular form of CBD, but it may not be legal in all states..

What are the CBD laws in Alabama?

Although Alabama doesn’t have a record for being very cannabis-friendly, they are even more pro-hemp than some states where recreational cannabis is legal, like Alaska. The state got a head start on CBD legalization through a series of bills designed to grant access to children with various qualifying illnesses.

In 2014, the state passed SB 174, known as Carly’s Law, a bill that granted the university of Alabama the right to begin researching the cannabinoid’s impact on severe forms of epilepsy. The same bill allowed the university to distribute CBD to children with conditions like Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome or Dravet Syndrome.

In 2016, access was expanded further with the passage of Leni’s Law. This bill granted access to more people with a wider range of qualifying conditions. It also allowed parents or guardians to distribute CBD to children with qualifying conditions.

Finally, in 2018 Alabama accepted the decisions of the updated Farm Bill, which fully legalized hemp and hemp extracts with less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall confirmed CBD’s legal status in the state in a public notice on November 20th, 2018.

Now, CBD is accessible to all Alabama citizens as long as it meets the guidelines laid out by federal regulations. In July 2019, the passage of SB 255 allowed Alabama pharmacies to sell CBD over the counter, so long as they come from a legal CBD manufacturer.

In general, Alabama has very relaxed testing and labelling requirements, a stark differentiator from quality-focused states like Colorado and Utah. Poor quality regulations can put consumers at risk, so it’s important to tread carefully when buying CBD in the state.

Is full spectrum CBD legal in Alabama?

It’s easy to assume that CBD isolate is legal in many places since it contains no THC, but many consumers are worried that the trace amounts of THC found in full-spectrum CBD products may cause trouble in states where cannabis is illegal. Luckily, Alabama has no laws restricting full spectrum CBD products that contain 0.3% THC or less.

Does Alabama have a CBD possession limit?

To date, there are no possession limits for CBD products that meet legal guidelines. CBD products that contain over 0.3% THC may be classified as cannabis products, which are illegal for recreational use in Alabama.

Can doctors prescribe CBD in Alabama?

In Alabama, you do not need a prescription to access CBD products. In fact, doctors typically cannot “prescribe” CBD products that are sold over the counter, rather they may “recommend” them. Even in states where medical marijuana is legal, access usually requires a doctor’s recommendation, not a prescription.

CBD is still new, and only one CBD product has been approved by the FDA to date. This product, GW Pharmaceuticals’ Epidiolex, is designed to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Aside from this product (which comes with stringent usage guidelines), many doctors are still learning about CBD. If you’re interested in the benefits of CBD, you may need to spark a conversation with your doctor.

Where to buy CBD in Alabama?

This CBD oil offers a convenient oral dose, and you can buy products like this online from Alabama.

In Alabama, there are no specific regulations on the sale of CBD products that meet federal requirements. That means that CBD may be accessible in many places, including corner stores and grocery markets. Thanks to updated legislation, many Alabama pharmacies may carry CBD as an over-the-counter product.

However, this lack of regulation can be risky.

Buying CBD online is a suitable option for most consumers. When you buy CBD online directly from the brand, you get better oversight of the brand’s manufacturing practices. Looking at the brand’s hemp source and lab testing procedures can help ensure that the CBD products you choose are clean, potent, and meet legal guidelines.

Buying CBD directly from a brand instead of from a third-party market may also be less costly since you won’t have to pay the extra fees that are often tacked on by the middle man. Of course, premium CBD can be expensive to manufacture, so you should also be wary of products that offer low-ball prices.

Finally, buying CBD online may be the best way to access many different types of CBD. The most common type of CBD product is an oil tincture, but you can find a variety of CBD edibles, topicals, and other specialty products when you shop online.

For more information on how to find high-quality CBD products, check out our CBD Buyer’s Guide.

Do you have to be 21 to buy CBD in Alabama?

The legal age to buy CBD is fuzzy, even when looking at federal regulations. In theory, CBD should be accessible to people of all ages, especially since it gained its popularity as a treatment for various childhood illnesses. Of course, some products may not be suitable for people of all ages, like smokable hemp flower or CBD vaporizers.

In Alabama, there are no statewide regulations regarding the legal age to buy CBD. Instead, these laws may vary by jurisdiction and are more heavily impacted by the seller. Since the legal age for tobacco products has been raised to 21, many smoke shops may require users to be 21.

Many CBD brands allow customers who are 18 or older to order online and will ship legal CBD products to Alabama. In Alabama, parents and guardians may distribute CBD to patients who are under the age of 18, but giving CBD to a child requires a doctor’s guidance.

Is CBD legal in all 50 states?

Thanks to federal updates, CBD has the potential to be legal in every U.S. state. CBD is legal in Alabama, but every state has different regulations regarding the manufacture and sale of CBD. Click here to find out where CBD is legal.

Resources

  1. “H.R.5485 - Hemp Farming Act of 2018” https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5485
  2. “Alabama Senate approves Carly's Law, authorizes study of marijuana-derived oil to treat epilepsy” https://www.al.com/wire/2014/03/alabama_senate_approves_carlys.html
  3. “Alabama legislature passes ‘Leni’s Law’ to decriminalize cannabis oil” https://yellowhammernews.com/legislature-passes-lenis-law-decriminalize-cannabis-oil/
  4. “State of Alabama Office of the Attorney General Public Notice” https://www.alabamaag.gov/Documents/News/PUBLIC%20NOTICE%20RE%20CBD.pdf
  5. “Alabama Senate Bill 225” https://legiscan.com/AL/text/SB225/2019

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