December 04, 2020 6 min read

A U.S. map with Illinois circled in red pen

In states like where cannabis is legal, it may be easy to assume that CBD is legal, too. However, most states (and even the federal government) have separate definitions for hemp and cannabis.

So, is CBD legal in Illinois? And if so, where can you find it?

Luckily, Illinois is one of the most hemp-friendly states in the country and CBD may be accessible throughout the state. Still, the state is ironing out it’s final hemp regulations, and understanding the state of hemp affairs in the state can help you choose legal and safe CBD products.

Before you buy, check out Illinois CBD laws:

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

  • Illinois passed some laws regarding CBD before the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp products nationwide. Later, the state adopted a set of temporary hemp and CBD rules until the final regulations are in place.
  • In this legislature, Illinois permits the manufacturer, sale, and use of hemp-derived CBD products that are legally produced and contain less than 0.3% THC.
  • 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 Illinois may recommend CBD, but you don’t need a prescription to access it.
  • CBD may be accessible at a variety of locations in Illinois, 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.

Several CBD oil products, which are legal to buy in Illinois

What are the CBD laws in Illinois?

As a state where both medical and recreational cannabis is legal, it's no surprise that Illinois has lenient industrial hemp laws, too. The state passed the Industrial Hemp Act to legalize hemp production before the 2018 Farm Bill came into play. In early 2019, Illinois enacted a set of temporary rules to define legal hemp production and possession within the state.

These rules define industrial hemp as “the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis” so long as the material was cultivated legally according to local jurisdiction, either in state or out of state.

Further, the state's Industrial Hemp Act suggest that hemp products, including “stripped stalks, fiber, dried roots, nonviable seeds, seed oils, floral and plant extracts (excluding THC in excess of 0.3%) and other marketable hemp products” are legal for sale in the state and across state lines. Later in this act, the state suggests that if any state laws appear to conflict with federal jurisdiction, then federal laws take precedence.

In other words, Illinois has relatively relaxed CBD laws and allows the manufacture, sale, and possession of industrial hemp-derived CBD products. Like other pro-hemp states, (see Colorado, Delaware, Virginia) there are no restrictions on the types of CBD products that can be made and sold in the state.

Is full spectrum CBD legal in Illinois?

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, Illinois has no laws restricting full spectrum CBD products that contain 0.3% THC or less.

Does Illinois 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 legal for adult use in Illinois, but fall under a different set of possession limits and restrictions.

Can doctors prescribe CBD in Illinois?

In Illinois, 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 like Illinois where medical cannabis 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 Illinois?

A CBD oil tincture, which can be found in stores and online in Illinois

In Illinois, industrial hemp-derived CBD products can be cultivated and marketed under the state’s agricultural hemp program. That means that CBD may be accessible in many places, including corner stores and grocery markets. Still, the state does very little to regulate the quality of marketable CBD products.

For consumers, 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 Illinois?

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 Illinois, 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 Illinois.

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 Illinois, 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. “INDUSTRIAL HEMP ACT” https://ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=2298&GAID=14&GA=100&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=108613&SessionID=91
  3. “Notice of Adopted Rules, PART 1200 INDUSTRIAL HEMP ACT” https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr/Plants/Documents/Hemp%20Rules%20as%20adopted_2019-04-29.pdf

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