Is CBG Legal? Understanding Drug Laws And Cannabinoids

Young woman sleeping in a bed.

You’re interested in trying CBG, and you know the federal government recently legalized low-THC hemp and hemp derivatives.

But you also know the matter isn’t black and white, and federal law isn’t the only thing that matters. States often do their own thing.

To you, trying a therapeutic cannabinoid would not be worth it if you had to do anything legally questionable or risky to get it. So, you have a lot more questions to ask before you start shopping around.

In what states is CBG legal? Which states have legalized cannabinoids from both hemp and marijuana? Are there any places where hemp possession is legal, but sale is not? What should I know about different kinds of CBG?

We’re here to help you do your due diligence and make an informed decision with peace of mind. Read on to get the information you’re looking for.

What is CBG?

The simplest way to understand CBG is to think of it as the ‘original’ cannabinoid. All the other cannabinoids in cannabis plants, including THC and CBD, originate from non-psychoactive cannabigerol (CBG) and its precursor, cannabigerolic acid (CBGA).

As CBG gives way to the many other compounds in growing cannabis plants, almost none is left by the end. There is only about 1% CBG remaining in high-THC strains, but low-THC strains higher in CBD, namely hemp, keep more of their CBG.

This makes high-THC plants less ideal for getting CBG, whereas low-THC hemp is a better CBG source.

Possible CBG Benefits

CBG has an unusual affinity for the body’s CB1 (nervous system) and CB2 (immune system) cannabinoid receptors. As a result, the body reacts in many positive ways without causing intoxication. When the endocannabinoid system processes CBG, it kicks into gear to balance things like sleep, mood, motivation, focus, inflammation, and pain.

Is CBG Legal?

Yes, CBG is federally legal, as long as it originates from hemp plants with low THC- less than 0.3%. But it doesn’t stop the states from keeping and enforcing their own laws regulating the cultivation, production, sale, possession, and use of hemp.

Regardless, there are currently no laws against hemp-derived CBG specifically. Similarly, there’s no need to worry about pure, high-quality CBG products making you fail a drug test since drug tests only screen for illegal and/or intoxicating substances.

The Legalities Surrounding Hemp and Marijuana

As a refresher, let’s go over some definitions. 

  • Marijuana is the high-THC cannabis that’s considerably intoxicating and has almost no CBG content. 
  • Hemp is low-THC cannabis that’s higher in CBG. 
  • CBG, THC, and CBD are all examples of cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds in cannabis. These are different compounds with distinct chemical structures and effects.
  • CBG is the non-intoxicating cannabinoid from hemp that produces the rest of the 100+ cannabinoids.

Marijuana plants and products (high THC/above 0.3%) are illegal because of their potentially risky psychoactive effects, or ‘high.’

Hemp and hemp-derived CBG products are legal because they are low in THC (0.0-0.3%) and therefore lack psychoactive effects.

Although hemp and hemp products are now legal in the United States, they are still federally regulated by the FDA. For example, even for hemp-based CBD, the FDA’s Federal regulation called the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does not allow the sale or marketing of CBD as dietary supplements.

State and Federal CBG and Marijuana Laws

Some states have legalized marijuana, and some have not. Either way, your state’s marijuana laws do not apply to hemp-based CBG because the legal definition of marijuana no longer includes ‘industrial hemp’ (less than 0.3% THC) or hemp products.

Furthermore, there are no federal or state laws that explicitly apply to cannabigerol. But, it is possible for CBG to come from marijuana plants, and it is possible for CBG oils and other products to contain enough THC (0.3%+) that federal and state marijuana laws would apply.

Here is a basic categorization of state marijuana laws* from loosest to strictest:

*Disclaimer: Laws change frequently, and are often more complex than we can fully explain here for all 50 states. 

Also, federal laws rarely override state laws. So just because hemp is legal federally and marijuana is illegal federally does not mean your state’s laws don’t count. 

Thoroughly research the laws in your state for the most accurate, up-to-date information.

Legal Adult Use and Regulated Medical Marijuana

Alaska, Washington, Montana, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois, Michigan, Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C.

Comprehensive Medical Marijuana

Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire.

Legal CBD/Low-THC Hemp

Wyoming, Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia.

No Public Access to Products with THC

Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas.

States Where Marijuana-Derived CBG Is Legal

Marijuana isn’t federally legalized and is still a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States. Therefore, CBG from marijuana remains federally illegal. 

And although federal law doesn’t usually cancel out state law, marijuana-based CBG is still federally illegal technically, even if your state has legalized or decriminalized marijuana (cannabis plants and derivatives with 0.3% or more THC). 

Regardless, here is a breakdown of which states have legalized marijuana, where CBG products with 0.3%+ THC and CBG from marijuana plants are legal at the state level:

Fully Legal Medical and Recreational Marijuana (0.3%+ THC)

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.

Is it Legal to Buy CBG Online?

As we mentioned earlier, no federal or state laws ban the sale, possession, or use of hemp-derived CBG. 

Some states, like Florida, Maryland, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Wyoming, may have requirements for possessing and/or selling industrial hemp and/or derivatives. So to be extra safe, make sure you know about applicable laws and regulations in your state. 

But, at the end of the day, there is no federal or state law stopping you from buying beneficial CBG oils and other products online, especially if they are within the hemp THC limit where you live.

Tips for Buying CBG Products Online

Now that you’re equipped to navigate the pretty open legality of buying and possessing low-THC CBG products, here are some tips to make sure everything goes well.

Talk to your doctor first.

Always consult your doctor before trying CBG or any supplement. If you’re trying to address a medical condition or other issues, the doctor is the first person you should go to anyway. Plus, your doctor can help ensure that taking CBG won’t cause drug interactions with any of your medications.

Double-check your state’s laws.

There are no laws specifically banning CBG, but some states have stricter definitions of what qualifies as a legal cannabis-based product. 

In review, CBG products may be allowed to have any amount of THC in states with legal marijuana. On the other hand, your state likely allows CBG products with the hemp THC limit of up to 0.3%, whereas some states like Idaho require products to contain 0% THC.

Go to a reputable source.

Buy high-quality CBG from a certified source that provides clear, accurate labels and utilizes third-party lab testing to verify their products.

Double and triple-check THC content.

If you’re avoiding THC at all costs for legal or other reasons, shop for isolate, or ‘pure’ CBG products, and read the label carefully.

Understanding the Difference Between CBG and CBD

Cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidiol (CBD) are more abundant in hemp than marijuana. Both cannabinoids are promising remedies and neither has psychoactive effects, but they are not the same. 

Firstly, the minor cannabinoid CBG produces the major cannabinoid CBD, but the two have different chemical makeups.

Cannabis plants have much more CBD than CBG, and CBD is popular for calming and pain-relieving effects. Besides calming and pain-relieving properties, CBG’s additional benefits include neuroprotection and appetite stimulation. It may also help manage glaucoma, IBD, and other conditions.

Though CBD is just as benign as CBG, there are a surprising amount of regulations on it. For example, even hemp-based CBD is only allowed in Nebraska if it has 0% THC, and Idaho treats unregulated CBD as a controlled substance. 

FAQ: Legality of CBG

Is CBG legal in all states?

Yes. As long as the CBG product’s THC levels and the type of plant it comes from adhere to federal and state laws.

Is CBG Flower legal?

Probably. But check the laws in your state. Most states allow hemp flower with under 0.3% THC, but some states like CA, IN, KY, MA, NY, TX, and SD may not allow CBG flower since it is a ‘smokable’ form of hemp.

Is CBG a controlled substance?

No. There are no federal, state, or international laws regarding CBG. However, some states regulate hemp or prohibit all cannabis products containing THC. CBG originating from marijuana is a federally controlled substance and is against several state laws.

Is CBG legal to carry on an airplane?

The TSA recently began allowing passengers to bring hemp-derived CBD on an airplane, but they have not specified CBG that we know of. 

Check with the airport and ask before attempting to bring hemp-derived CBG on a domestic flight. Be very cautious about flying internationally with any cannabinoid.

Are you surprised about the marijuana or hemp laws where you live?

We’re still waiting for marijuana to be federally legalized. But the floodgates have finally opened in the U.S. with hemp, marijuana decriminalization, and medical/recreational marijuana legalization. While this is encouraging, plenty of states still take a tougher stance.

You won’t run into too much trouble with CBG though, especially if you are aware of your state’s marijuana/THC laws and legal definitions. Hopefully, you feel more confident now about starting your journey with the therapeutic benefits of CBG oils and topicals.

If that sounds like you, Nature’s Legend welcomes you to shop CBG products online, and rest assured that they’re high-quality, research-backed, and third-party lab-tested.