4192 Historic Farm Bill Provisions Legalize Hemp ... and CBD?
Printer Friendly Email a Friend PDF RSS Feed

Dynamic Chiropractic – February 1, 2019, Vol. 37, Issue 02

Historic Farm Bill Provisions Legalize Hemp ... and CBD?

By Editorial Staff

Until recently, hemp was classified as a Schedule 1 drug per the federal Controlled Substances Act, putting it in the same class as marijuana (and heroin, by the way). That all appears to change with passage of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the Farm Bill), which includes historic provisions (section 10113) related to hemp and potentially hemp-derived cannibidiol (CBD). President Trump signed the bill on Dec. 20, 2018.

The Hemp Farming Act of 2018, originally introduced by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.) as stand-alone legislation, but ultimately rolled into the Farm Act, reclassifies hemp for commercial purposes and legalizes its cultivation, processing, manufacturing and sale. It also moves hemp from Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) oversight to what Sen. McConnell hopes will be "light regulation" by the Dept. of Agriculture.

For the growing CBD market, the hemp provisions in the Farm Bill effectively declassify hemp-derived CBD as a controlled substance and legalize its use nationwide. Already an estimated $600 million industry, some now suggest market expansion to $20 billion or higher by 2022. Still to come: relaxed restrictions from the Food and Drug Administration, which still appears to consider CBD a drug ingredient requiring FDA approval.

Hemp's former classification as a controlled substance has long associated it with marijuana. While both are derived from the same species, hemp – and thus hemp-derived CBD – has a negligible amount (0.3% or less) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound known for giving marijuana users a "high."

The hemp provisions in the 2018 bill represent the next big step forward from provisions in section 7606 of the 2013 Farm Bill, which differentiated industrial hemp from marijuana based on THC content, and authorized state-regulated research and pilot programs in states that allowed hemp cultivation. At least 35 states ultimately developed industrial hemp programs.

Editor's Note: We've hosted several webinars on the health and wellness benefits of CBD. Visit https://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/webcasts/archives2018.php to access our complete webinar archives.


  • United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Drug Scheduling: Drug Schedules.
  • Bourque A. "How Hemp and the Farm Bill May Change Life as You Know It." Forbes, Dec. 17, 2018.
  • Schreiner B. "McConnell Says Hemp Provision Will Be in Farm Bill." U.S. News & World Report, Nov. 10, 2018.
  • Gunelius S. "Hemp and Cannabis Leaders Weigh in on the Farm Bill Headed to Trump's Desk." Stamford Advocate, Dec. 13, 2018.
  • "Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill Authorized Hemp Research and Pilot Programs." VoteHemp.com.
  • "Despite Hemp Legalization, FDA Will Still Consider CBD Products Largely Illegal." Marketwatch.com (Associated Press), Dec. 23, 2018.

Dynamic Chiropractic editorial staff members research, investigate and write articles for the publication on an ongoing basis. To contact the Editorial Department or submit an article of your own for consideration, email .

To report inappropriate ads, click here.