Updated on January 25, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
A substance in marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) provides relief without psychoactive effects. Because of its differences from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD sometimes falls under different laws than medical marijuana. In Minnesota, some types of CBD medicine count as medical marijuana, while others don’t.
You can obtain CBD in two ways — join the medicinal cannabis program or buy an extract made from industrial hemp. Depending on your condition, you may find better relief in one or the other. But, becoming a registered patient gives you added legal protections and access to quality-tested medicine.
Buying hemp-based CBD has a few legal ambiguities. Under Minnesota’s industrial hemp laws, producers can make and sell CBD oil — they just can’t make any medical claims about their products. A cannabis plant must have under 0.3 percent THC to fall under the category of hemp. A plant with a higher concentration counts as marijuana. Yet, despite these rules, some local officials discourage the sale of CBD oil anyway. You have to get hemp CBD at your own risk.
Meanwhile, CBD sold under the medical marijuana program has fewer confusing standards. If you have a medicinal cannabis card, you can buy it from a licensed dispensary. These providers sell marijuana medicine that goes through quality testing. You don’t have to worry about a medication’s source or content because it has to follow certain regulations. Meanwhile, hemp CBD oil could come from anywhere.
If you want the benefits provided by a medical marijuana card, you must have a health issue such as:
Minnesota’s program accepts many more conditions. Find the full list on our qualification guide for Minnesota.
If you think you qualify for a medical marijuana card, you can apply for the state registry. To sign up for program membership, you must:
Hemp-based CBD has ambiguous laws and fewer regulations than medical marijuana. We recommend joining the state’s medical marijuana program if possible. However, you can still find relief with CBD products when you do your research first.