There is increasing new evidence in support of the benefits associated with cannabidiol, or CBD. A compound in the marijuana plant, it is credited for being useful in treating symptoms associated with a variety of potentially serious diseases, as well as for eliminating the pain and anxiety patients often experience. CBD oil is readily available in New Jersey, either online or through various retail stores and suppliers. However, its use does raise the question of legality. Marijuana is only legal for medicinal purposes in New Jersey and requires a doctor’s prescription and state clearance. As a New Jersey criminal defense attorney, clients often ask if they can be charged for being in possession of CBD oil. The answer depends on how it is manufactured and the level of other chemicals it contains.
CBD Oil Made From Marijuana Versus Hemp
CBD oil can be made one of two ways-either by extracting cannabidiol from marijuana flowers, leaves, and stems or by extracting it from hemp. Both are classifications of the cannabis plant, but there are key differences when it comes to the level of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. According to the Guide to CBD, this is the substance that creates the ‘high’ marijuana users experience. In marijuana based CBD oils, the level of THC may be as much as 10% or greater. In CBD oils derived from hemp, the THC level is less than .3%.
Many of the medical benefits associated with CBD have little to do with the THC level. Low THC level CBD oils can be found in health food stores, pharmacies, and through online websites. Healthline advises that it may provide users with the following:
- Relief of pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, cancer, and other diseases;
- Relief for sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression;
- Prevention of seizures associated with epilepsy and other neurological disorders;
- Reduction of acne, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.
When Possession of CBD Oil can be Charged as a Crime
In 2018, the New Jersey Assembly of Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee approved Legislative Bill 1330, which classified hemp as an agricultural crop. This opened the door for the legal manufacture of CBD oils and tinctures. However, in order to be legal, these oils must fall below the THC level of .03, which is traditionally associated with hemp.
CBD oils made from marijuana and with the higher THC level are available in other states where recreational marijuana use is allowed. They may also be available through Alternative Treatment Centers (ATC) for patients who are approved through the New Jersey Department of Health medical marijuana program. However, if you are not approved for this program and found to be in possession of these higher THC level CBD oils, you could face criminal drug charges.
High THC level CBD oil is considered a category one drug, the same as any other marijuana product. If you are found in possession of these substances, you could face criminal charges which vary depending on the amount involved. If you buy CBD oil without a medical marijuana prescription, make sure it is through a legitimate seller, manufactured through the use of hemp, and below the required THC level.
Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney is Here to Help
At the Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards, Esq., we provide the strong legal representation you need when facing any type of drug charges. Even an otherwise minor offense could result in a possible jail sentence and a criminal record which follows you the rest of your life. Request a consultation to find out how we can help you and contact our Milltown drug crime attorney today.