Yes, CBD oil and other CBD products are legal in Rhode Island. In line with the 2018 Farm Bill, Rhode Island amended its Industrial Hemp Growth Act to legalize hemp-based CBD products with no more than 0.3% THC concentration in the state. Cannabis-based CBD products are also legal in Rhode Island for eligible patients registered in the state's Medical Marijuana Program.
After the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill at the federal level, Rhode Island passed its Hemp Growth Act, which created the state's hemp-production pilot program. This Act described hemp as a variety of cannabis plants with a THC concentration that does not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis of the plant and hemp product. It authorized the cultivation, production, possession, and distribution of hemp commercially.
Following the enactment of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, Rhode Island expanded its industrial hemp program in 2019 and authorized the sale of hemp-based CBD products, including CBD oil and CBD-infused foods. However, the amended Rhode Island Hemp Growth Act prohibits the sale of CBD products to individuals under 21. The state's Department of Business Regulation (DBR) requires that the handling and distribution of every consumable hemp-based CBD product in Rhode Island comply with local and state food processing and safety regulations. Registered marijuana patients can purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana-derived CBD products for a 15-day period under the Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Program.
Registered qualifying medical cannabis patients may only possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana-derived CBD products every 15 days under the Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Program. While there are currently no specific possession limits for hemp-based CBD products in the state, hemp-derived CBD products must not contain more than 0.3% THC concentration. Under the Rhode Island amended Hemp Growth Act, the possession of hemp-derived CBD products is limited to persons at least 21 years of age.
A doctor's prescription is not required to purchase or use hemp-derived CBD oil or other hemp-based CBD products in Rhode Island. Anyone 21 years and older can walk into any retail store to buy hemp-derived CBD products in the state. However, to use marijuana-derived CBD products in Rhode Island, a person must obtain a doctor's certification and apply for the state's medical marijuana card. Eligible persons for Rhode Island medical marijuana cards must be suffering from certain debilitating medical conditions, including the following:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for patients at least 18 years old
Any debilitating medical condition or disease or its treatment that leads to one or more of the following:
Agitation related to Alzheimer's disease
Seizures, including those characteristics of epilepsy
Excruciating and persistent muscle spasms, including those common with Crohn's disease or multiple sclerosis
Cachexia or wasting syndrome
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for patients at least 18 years old
Rhode Island requires its residents to be over the age of 21 before they can buy CBD. This means that shoppers should expect to present their IDs at the point of purchase when visiting CBD stores, dispensaries, and smoke shops in Rhode Island.
Per Section 2-26-25 of the Rhode Island Hemp Growth Act, hemp growers, hemp handlers, CBD distributors, and CBD retailers must obtain a hemp license from the state's Department of Business Regulation (DBR). Applicants for hemp and CBD licenses in the state must ensure compliance with all applicable local or state food processing and safety regulations. They must apply to local law enforcement, state police, or state attorney general for a National Criminal Identification record check. This check will include fingerprints submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Furthermore, an application for a hemp or CBD license in Rhode Island must include, at a minimum, the following:
Applicant's name and address
Information on facility location, including the Global Positioning System (GPS) and details of where the sale or distribution of hemp-derived CBD products will occur
Confirmation/certificate of analysis that the proposed plant for cultivation is a variety that will produce a THC concentration with no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis
Payment of a $2,500 licensure fee for hemp grower or handler license applicant and $500 for CBD distributor and retailer license
The Department of Business Regulation prescribes hemp-derived consumable CBD product labeling requirements. Any hemp-based consumable CBD product packaging in Rhode Island must be labeled with the following:
The trade name and license number of the product manufacturer
The trade name and license number of the product distributor
Total CBD and THC contents in milligrams per package and per serving unit
A statement disclosing the type of extraction method for products made with solvents
The number of servings per package and the serving size
Total weight of the product in grams or ounces or volume depending on product form
Product unique identifier
A universal symbol adopted by the DBR (to be conspicuously displayed on the front of the product packaging)
Instructions for use and storage
Cannabis patients registered in the Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Program can legally purchase marijuana-sourced CBD products from the state's licensed dispensaries known as compassion centers. Hemp-derived CBD products, including hemp-based CBD oil, are available in nutrition stores, vape shops, grocery stores, and other retail shops. Alternatively, Rhode Island residents can buy hemp-based CBD products online.
CBD oil is the resulting mixture of CBD extract in carrier oil. After extracting CBD from cannabis plants, it comes out as a highly viscous liquid resembling a paste. Liquefying it requires dissolving it in a carrier oil such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. This improves its shelf life and makes it possible to formulate CBD into different products.
CBD is the short form of cannabidiol, an active ingredient, otherwise known as cannabinoid, of the Cannabis sativa plant. It can be derived from both cannabis and hemp. While CBD is derived mainly from hemp, a type of Cannabis sativa plant with small amounts of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), THC is the most prominent compound in cannabis. In other words, cannabis is rich in THC, while hemp is rich in CBD. THC is a psychoactive compound that produces a euphoric effect, but CBD is non-psychoactive.
CBD is legal under federal law. It became legal in 2018 following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill (Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018). The 2018 Farm Bill delisted hemp, the primary source of CBD, from the list of Schedule I Drugs) and legalized hemp-derived CBD with no more than 0.3% THC content on a dry weight basis. Hemp-based CBD is also legal in Rhode Island, provided it contains less than 0.3% THC in compliance with the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. Marijuana-derived CBD is also legal in Rhode Island for patients with select medical conditions.
Although CBD is believed to offer several health benefits, the only currently approved CBD medication by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Epidiolex. The FDA approved Epidolex in 2018 to treat rare and chronic forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, in patients two years old and over. CBD is also believed to be efficient in treating or managing chronic pain, nausea, mental disorders, and inflammation. However, using CBD during pregnancy is not recommended because of the potential adverse effects on developing fetuses. CBD is presented in various forms in consumer products such as oils, tinctures, sprays, capsules, foods, vaporizer pens, cosmetics, and lotions. Generally, there are three categories of CBD. These are:
Full-spectrum CBD - Contains all the natural compounds in the cannabis plant with no more than 0.3% THC in line with FDA regulations on full-spectrum CBD products
Broad-spectrum CBD - Contains all natural compounds of the cannabis plant, except for THC (THC may be present in trace amounts)
CBD Isolate - CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD, containing only CBD with no other compounds of the cannabis plant. It contains no THC at all
CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system. This is the mechanism of action responsible for most of its health benefits including its anti-seizure effect. The FDA already approved a CBD medication for this purpose for treating certain forms of epileptic seizures. CBD’s calming effect is also likely responsible for its reported efficacy in the management of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. Anecdotal reports indicate that CBD is also likely effective for treating insomnia, boosting appetite, and managing chronic pain and inflammation.
While CBD will not show up on a cannabis drug test, a CBD user may still fail such a test if they have been taking CBD products with significantly higher levels of THC than the recommended amounts. This usually happens to long-term users of unregulated CBD products containing more THC than the amounts specified on their labels. Although it is unlikely, a CBD user may also fail their drug test if they ingested a large dose of full-spectrum CBD soon before the test.
To avoid failing a scheduled drug test, it is best to stop taking CBD at least 2 weeks before the test. This interval is long enough for the body to eliminate most accumulated THC metabolites. For individuals likely to be asked to submit for random tests, switching to CBD products with 0% THC is the only assured way to pass such tests.