Updated on May 11, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The marijuana component cannabidiol (CBD) not only has different effects than marijuana, but it can also come from another source. These factors often result in legal confusion surrounding the two medications. While some CBD medicine falls under the jurisdiction of Louisiana’s medical marijuana program, other products don’t.
According to Louisiana’s medical marijuana rules, marijuana counts as any part of the cannabis plant but the stalks. So, medicine made from the leaves goes under program regulations. The leaves of the marijuana plant tend to have more THC than the stalks — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for creating psychoactive effects, making it more controversial than CBD.
But, these laws also seem to ignore hemp-based CBD, which comes from the plant’s stalks. The legality of this medicine depends on the government’s judgment. In 2018, the commissioner of Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control stated that the agency has a “zero-THC” policy. If a medication has any amount of THC, it counts as a controlled substance. However, patients who want to get medicine outside the medicinal cannabis program can legally purchase CBD items with zero percent THC.
If you decide to buy CBD from a store, you don’t have to have a particular health problem. But, we do recommend joining the medical marijuana program if possible. The state regulates the medicine sold in dispensaries, making it more trustworthy. You can sign up if you have a symptom such as:
To see the full list of eligible health problems, visit our Louisiana qualification page.
You must join the Louisiana medical cannabis program before buying marijuana-based CBD. Follow these steps:
Louisiana’s laws surrounding hemp-based CBD offer you less certainty than the rules for medical marijuana. It can be difficult to tell if a CBD product you find in a store has THC in it due to a lack of regulations. We recommend joining the state medical marijuana program to avoid legal ambiguity.