CBD in Oregon – 2019 Complete Guide
Oregon Guide To Legal CBD Oil
Oregon CBD Laws 
Is CBD legal in Oregon? Since marijuana is legalized in Oregon your first instinct might be to say “YES, of course, CBD oil is legal!” And that is true for the most part. Although it’s extremely improbable that you’ll be harassed by law enforcement officials for being in possession of CBD oil, there are some nuances to be considered.
For example, up until a few months ago, when the federal government legalized hemp, hemp-derived CBD oil would have been technically illegal on federal property in Oregon and could have resulted in being brought up on federal drug charges. However, CBD oil derived from marijuana which contains THC is still illegal on federal property, and also for anyone under the age of 21 or who is not part of the state’s medical marijuana program.
So let’s get into some of the details on Oregon laws regarding CBD oil, and also look at the distinction between hemp CBD oil and cannabis oils produced from marijuana, what medical conditions they might help treat, and how you can obtain CBD oil legally in Oregon.
Oregon CBD-Oil Laws
Hemp CBD vs Marijuana Oils With THC
How CBD Is Produced
Medical Benefits of CBD
How To Buy CBD Oil in Oregon
The Difference Between Hemp CBD oil & Cannabis Oils With THC?
Both hemp and marijuana are terms used to describe groups of strains of cannabis. Cannabis has been used for millennia by humans as a food source, medicine, building material, and fiber source. Only in the past 100 years has there really been any distinction between hemp and marijuana, and only in the past half-century or so has there been an effort to cultivate the potent strains of cannabis that are available today.
There’s really only one consideration that delineates hemp from marijuana and that’s the amount of THC in the plant. While marijuana contains high levels of THC — as much as 25% or more in some cases — hemp, under both federal and state law, must contain less than 0.3% THC. THC, as I’m sure most of you know, is the compound produced in cannabis that causes a high. CBD, on the other hand, although it produces many of the benefits of medical cannabis, does not cause a high.
Both CBD and THC are members of a family of compounds known as cannabinoids. We’ll get into that in more detail below.
What a lot of people do not know, however, is that there are two types of hemp. In nearly every article you’ll find on the major news sites, you’re bound to read that CBD is extracted from industrial hemp. This is actually a misconception that has been perpetuated by the language of the laws.
Industrial hemp is grown primarily for its nutritious seeds and tough fibers. It grows like wheat, crowded tightly together in huge fields and can grow to a towering 12 feet or more in height. In order to produce seeds, industrial hemp crops are made up of both male and female plants. And as soon as the female flowers are fertilized they stop focusing on producing cannabinoids and instead focus on producing seeds.
Furthermore, industrial hemp that is grown specifically for fiber is often harvested before the plant can go to seed since it will not grow much taller once the plant goes to flower. It’s when the plant reaches its peak height that the fibers are the strongest.
Whether grown for seeds or for fibers, industrial hemp is a really lousy source of CBD oil.
So if hemp CBD oil isn’t made from industrial hemp, what is it made from? The answer might surprise you. CBD is not extracted from the descendants of the plants used to produce fibers and seeds but rather from strains of marijuana which have had the THC bred out of them. These strains are collectively referred to as phytocannabinoid rich hemp, or PCR hemp. This is a modern development that goes back a quarter century or so, whereas industrial hemp has been grown for eons.
The reason that PCR hemp is rich in CBD is that it’s grown in the same way as marijuana. Rather than being packed together in vast fields, PCR hemp is grown in pots or plots with room to spread out. Furthermore, only female plants are cultivated to avoid going to seed. PCR hemp looks like marijuana, smells like marijuana, and is processed in the same way as marijuana. If you came across a PCR hemp crop you’d probably swear it was marijuana — that is until you tried to smoke it. You might feel a lot more mellow, but you won’t get the least bit high.
How CBD Oil Is Produced
Both cannabis oils and hemp CBD oil are produced using the same methods. The sticky flower clusters (aka buds) are run through an extraction process which separates the resins from the plant material. This first-stage extraction is known as raw hemp extract. It might be good for smoking, but generally, it’s pretty rude tasting.
The next step is to run the crude extract through filtration and distillation processes which eliminate undesired plant material and compounds such as chlorophyll, in order to produce a more palatable product. This more refined extract is often combined with some type of vegetable oil base such as coconut oil to produce your basic CBD oil.
At this stage, the product still contains the original active ingredients — cannabinoids and terpenes — in much the same ratios as the original plant. (We’ll talk about terpenes more in a moment.) This is known as full-spectrum CBD oil.
This more refined CBD oil is acceptable for use in most products, however, it still has a very strong and unpleasant flavor. It can be further refined to the point where all that’s left is pure CBD (or THC).
Purified CBD is flavorless and odorless, and for this reason, is ideal for use in edibles and beverages. On the downside, other beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes are no longer present.
What Are The Medicinal Uses Of CBD Oil & Cannabis Oil?
In order to get into the medicinal uses of CBD oil and cannabis oil, it helps to understand how these compounds work in our bodies and what effects they have.
Something that many people do not know is that the human body produces its own natural cannabinoid compounds. These are called endocannabinoids, whereas cannabinoids produced in plants are known as phytocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids can be thought of as signaling molecules. They interact with receptors on the surfaces of cells throughout the body and in particular the brain and other major organs. They are produced by neurons in the brain and central nervous system in response to various physical states for the purpose of bringing the body back to a healthy balance.
For example, when we are exposed to danger, the brain produces compounds that put us on edge and prepare us to fight or flee. And when the threat passes other signaling molecules tell the various bodily systems to calm back down and relax. If we’re lacking in nutrients, the body produces signaling molecules that make us hungry, and if we’re needing a nap we produce compounds that make us drowsy, and so on.
So, as you can see, the purpose of endocannabinoids is to keep the body in a balanced state of health, which makes them super critical for our wellbeing.
This system of signaling molecules and receptors is known collectively as the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. If our bodies do not manufacture enough of these endocannabinoids or our cells don’t have sufficient cannabinoid receptors our health can go awry.
As it turns out, phytocannabinoids, such as CBD and THC have the capability to interact with the ECS in much the say way as endocannabinoids. In fact, humans and cannabis have evolved together which means that the ECS has emerged in mammals to take advantage of these compounds.
When cannabis — including hemp — was made illegal in the 1930s we became deprived of these beneficial compounds. There are some sound theories that suggest that several major diseases can be ascribed to an insufficiency of cannabinoids. This is why supplementing with CBD oil can help some people manage their condition.
The reason that THC causes a high and CBD does not is the result of the way these two compounds interact with cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Whereas THC binds to these receptors, CBD does not, although it interacts with them in other ways.
It is believed by many researchers that CBD can also affect how these receptors respond to THC and that strains of marijuana which are higher in CBD can protect the brain from inherent adverse effects of THC such as memory loss, paranoia, and possibly psychoses of various ilk.
Although CBD does not bind with ECS receptors, it can interact with them in a variety of ways and produce a variety of effects. For example, CBD oil is known to reduce stress, improve mood, regulate sleeping patterns, and so on.
In addition to CBD’s effects on the ECS, it also interacts with the body in other ways and provides other benefits. For example, CBD has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties.
Here’s a partial list of the conditions for which people have been using CBD oil as a medicinal supplement:
- ADD & ADHD
- Alcoholism / Alcohol Abuse
- ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Bipolar Disorder
- Bell’s Palsy
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
- Colitis & Crohn’s Disease
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic Pain
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Endocrine disorders
- Epilepsy & Seizures
- Hair Loss
- Heart Disease
- Huntington’s Disease (HD)
- Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
- Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Skin Conditions
- Sleep Disorders
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Again, this is actually just a partial list. Much more research needs to be done to determine the full extent of the medicinal benefits of CBD oil.
Don’t be surprised if you see CBD becoming an ingredient in over the counter products such as athlete’s foot creams, acne creams, pain remedies, and who knows what else in the future.
What Are Terpenes?
Before we move on to the legal subtleties of CBD oil in Oregon, there is another class of compounds in cannabis which also has medicinal benefits. Terpenes are what give marijuana and PCR hemp its characteristic aromas and flavors. These compounds also have very powerful effects on our bodies.
Whereas cannabinoids are measured in percentage of weight and can run as high as 25% or more of the plant’s biomass, terpenes are measured in parts per million. Although produced in such minuscule quantities, it takes relatively tiny portions of terpenes reaching our olfactory system (nose) to produce physical effects.
For example, a terpene known as pinene, which gives pine trees their characteristic scent, has the ability to boost alertness, while another known as limonene, which smells like citrus fruits, has been shown to elevate mood.
Scores of different terpenes are produced in cannabis resins. These compounds have been used for millennia in a healing modality known as aromatherapy.
Terpenes can also have many similar effects to cannabinoids such as anticonvulsant, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties. They also affect how the body responds to cannabinoids to some degree.
The combined effect of the cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis is known as the entourage effect because these compounds travel together throughout the body and produce an effect which is more complex than the effects of each individual cannabinoid and terpene.
Is CBD oil With THC More Effective?
Do you really need all these cannabinoids and terpenes? Could hemp CBD oil or CBD alone be enough to solve your medical problems?
Purified CBD does have benefits, although it does not provide the aforementioned entourage effect. This can be either good or bad depending on your physical and mental condition. In fact, some people are allergic to particular terpenes.
The fact that CBD has medicinal benefits, although it was debatable not long ago, is now an undeniable fact. The FDA last year approved a prescription drug known as Epidiolex for the treatment of a number of types of childhood epilepsy. In order to receive the FDA’s blessing, the drug had to undergo a number of clinical trials to prove that it was safe and effective.
Moreover, after hearing the preponderance of the evidence that points to CBD’s effectiveness as medicine, politicians in a number of U.S. states have enacted laws which permit those suffering from a list of qualifying conditions to obtain CBD oil legally.
This is a good time to pivot over to Oregon’s CBD and marijuana laws as well as to take a look at the state’s medical cannabis program.
Who Can Use CBD Oil Legally In Oregon?
Oregon has the distinction of being the first U.S. state to decriminalize marijuana. And, at this point in time, Oregon is one of ten states which allows the recreational use of marijuana and the cultivation of PCR and industrial hemp.
Anyone in the state of Oregon can legally purchase hemp CBD oil. However, in order to acquire CBD oils made from marijuana containing THC, you’ll need to be 21 or older, or 18 if you’re on the medical program. Patients under the age of 18 can also be treated with cannabis oils but the medicine must be purchased and administered by a parent or guardian.
Oregon’s medical marijuana program has been in place years before marijuana become legal in the state. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act was established in November 1998. It paved the way for the legal production of marijuana and its medicinal use. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that the state authorized the commercial production and sale of medical marijuana.
The vast majority of patients in the program use marijuana to treat severe pain. Other qualifying conditions include nausea, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, cancer, cachexia, glaucoma, and tremors. Medicine can be purchased at a licensed dispensary or it can be grown at home, although making your own CBD oil is not easy.
Residents are permitted to grow up to 4 mature cannabis plants at home.
Oregon marijuana possession limits:
- Up to 72 oz of liquid marijuana products
- Up to 16 oz of solid marijuana products or edibles
- Up to 1 oz of cannabis concentrates or extracts
- Up to 1 oz of dried marijuana flower
These limits are for public possession. On private property possession of up to 8 oz of dried flower is permissible.
The possession of marijuana products above those limits comes with a potential fine of $650 and could get you up to six months in jail. Possession with intent to sell can result in fines of thousands of dollars and potentially years in prison.
This includes medical CBD oils that contain THC.
Moreover, Oregon law forbids operating a motor vehicle if you’re using products which contain THC. If you’re proven to have THC above certain levels in your system you risk potentially losing your license and possibly spending time in prison.
First DUI offense comes with a mandatory minimum of 48 hours and up to one year in jail and as much as 160 hours of community service plus a fine of $1000 to $6,250, and a minimum 30-day license suspension. If you have an underage passenger in your vehicle the punishment is much more severe and can come with a $10,000 fine.
On a side note, many employers and sports organizations require drug testing. The use of CBD oils containing THC runs the risk of losing a job or getting kicked out of an organization. However, CBD alone cannot result in a false positive.
Where To Buy CBD Oil Legally In Oregon
If you’re looking for CBD oil made from hemp, you can find it at countless shops in the state — head shops, vape shops, gas stations, health boutiques, etc.
Furthermore, the big drugstore chains such as CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid recently announced that they would be selling non-edible CBD products in Oregon.
Hemp CBD oil and other products such as CBD edibles, capsules, CBD-infused vape oils, CBD skin creams, and so on can likewise be purchased online. CBD for pets is also available.
If you don’t hold a medical marijuana card and you’re hunting for CBD oils with some THC in them, you’ll need to be 21 or older and purchase your medicine at a licensed retailer. There are dispensaries throughout the state, however, it’s worth noting that local cities and counties can opt out of the program.