Marijuana Doctors
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California CBD Program

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

California has relatively liberal marijuana laws for a U.S. state. But, when it comes to the compound cannabidiol (CBD), it does follow a few guidelines. These rules depend on the source and use of the CBD. Once you understand the status of CBD in California, you can medicate safely and legally.

California’s CBD Legislation

In California, you can buy marijuana products if you have a patient card or a 21+ ID. Some patients over 21 choose to join the medical marijuana program for reduced taxes and other benefits. No matter how the patient qualifies, these products usually contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). State governments tend to impose strict laws on THC because of its psychoactive effects.

However, the marijuana component CBD doesn’t cause a high. Because of this factor, some states have less stringent regulations on CBD. Is California one of these states? Yes and no. The Food and Drug Branch of the California Department of Health bans CBD as a food product. But, plenty of CBD stores still do business – they just don’t make CBD oil or infused food.

CBD businesses get permission to open from local governments. While they can’t decide what private marijuana activities adults do, they have the power to regulate cannabis businesses. The legality of CBD stores depends on local authority.

What Can CBD Treat in California?

To get marijuana-derived CBD, you have to join the medical marijuana program or buy from a retail dispensary. If you want to use a program card, you need to have a condition like:

For a full list of qualifying ailments, visit our California Qualification Guide.

You don’t have to have a specific condition to buy from a retail dispensary or CBD store. But, we recommend getting guidance from a cannabis-trained doctor for better treatment.

How to Join the Medicinal Cannabis Program

Joining California’s medical marijuana program gives you better access to CBD medicine. You can also find more formulations. If you want to register, follow these steps:

  1. Get a written certification from your doctor. If they refuse to recommend cannabis medicine, try another physician. Make sure to transfer any records showing your diagnosis for the best results.
  2. Submit the official program application along with your recommendation. You may also use a version written in Spanish.

Differences Between CBD and Medical Marijuana Laws

As you can see, most of the laws surrounding CBD have to do with its source. CBD that comes from marijuana counts as cannabis. Meanwhile, you can use certain hemp CBD products like any other health product available to the public.

When in doubt about your treatment options, visit a California cannabis doctor near you.