Illinois CBD Program

Updated on May 5, 2020.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Every state has complicated marijuana laws. With the growing popularity of cannabidiol (CBD), many people get confused when they learn about its legal status. CBD provides no psychoactive effects, making it ideal for a wide range of patients. But, as a marijuana compound, it has a murky legal status. Let’s talk about the differences and similarities between marijuana and CBD in Illinois.

Illinois CBD Rules

Under Illinois law, marijuana-based CBD falls under the medical marijuana program. Hemp-derived CBD products are legal for all Illinoisans — not just medical marijuana patients.

However, CBD oil made from marijuana, aka cannabis oil, is only legally sold at Illinois marijuana dispensaries, even if it does not contain THC, the compound in marijuana responsible for the high.

For the most part, doctors are not permitted to prescribe either hemp CBD or marijuana products to their patients. This is because the federal government has not approved cannabis for medicinal use. These rules mean you must join the Illinois medical marijuana program to get CBD extracted from marijuana. But, they also suggest that you can get hemp CBD without a patient card. The gray areas in state and federal law let patients buy some forms of CBD without a recommendation.

Conditions Treated by CBD in Illinois

Since you can find hemp-based CBD in stores, you don’t have to have a certain ailment to get it. However, we recommend joining the medicinal cannabis program for its benefits. The products sold at dispensaries undergo strict quality assurance. Plus, you get the guidance of a cannabis-trained doctor. You could qualify for a patient ID if you have a condition like:

Patients with prescriptions for opioids can also qualify for medical cannabis. Read our guide to qualifying in Illinois to discover more than 40 eligible ailments.

Who Can Buy CBD Medicine?

Only Illinois residents over 18 with a patient card can get marijuana-based CBD. You can sign up for the program by following these steps:

  1. Get a signed certification from a doctor you have an ongoing relationship with. If your current doctor doesn’t approve of medical marijuana treatment, visit a cannabis-friendly physician. You can establish a relationship with them.
  2. Register online for a medical cannabis card. Visit the online application portal and follow the directions.

How Do Hemp-Based and Marijuana-Based CBD Laws Differ?

Illinois’ rules for hemp-based and marijuana-based CBD give patients broader access to care. You can buy CBD from a store if you can’t join the medical cannabis program. But, we recommend signing up if you qualify. Marijuana-based CBD offers benefits you won’t find in hemp CBD.

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