Unlike THC, which primarily binds to CB-1 receptors located in the brain, CBD works in the body by manipulating receptors throughout organ tissues, the immune system, the pain response system, the hormonal system, and other whole-body regulatory systems. Basically, since its receptors have been found to exist in virtually every cell and tissue type in the body, CBD is believed to work on every aspect of human health and behavior – from the subcellular level to the whole-body leve and beyond.
Since it started becoming popular roughly two years or so ago, the general consensus has always been that since CBD oil from top brands does not contain the psychoactive properties of THC, it is therefore legal. Unfortunately, its legality is much more nuanced because of conflicting federal laws and new court cases. What is clear is that in one of the most recent court decisions on the topic, Hemp Industries Assoc. v. DEA, which came out on April 30, 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that Section 7606 of the 2014 US Farm Bill (the “Farm Bill”) preempts the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the federal law which designates marijuana as a Schedule I substance (along with heroin and cocaine) making it illegal to possess or use. This means that when there is conflict between the CSA and the Farm Bill, the Farm Bill wins out.
Is CBD Legal? Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Check your state's laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.