Updated on May 19, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Federal and state laws sometimes separate the two main cannabinoids into separate substances. Since cannabidiol (CBD) has no psychoactive effects, some states let patients use it legally. Indiana permits certain patients to buy and use CBD without punishment. In Indiana, it is legal for individuals to buy, possess, and sell CBD oil derived from hemp. However, CBD oil derived from cannabis is still illegal.
The state of Indiana forbids the use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for health reasons. But, in 2017, the state Senate legalized CBD in specific contexts. Certain patients could use CBD legally. They had to join a registry and technically had no legal sources to buy from.
Fortunately, lawmakers made changes that fixed this loophole. In 2018, they permitted the sale of CBD oil to all adults. All CBD medicine sold in Indiana must meet certain quality requirements — the labels must have a QR code that directs the user to a page describing the product’s content and ingredients. These low-THC medications have to contain less than 0.3 percent THC and they should also have at least 10 percent CBD.
The original laws signed in 2017 had strict requirements for patients. A patient had to have a treatment-resistant epileptic condition. They also needed to join an official registry. Patients with a Dravet syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome diagnosis automatically qualified. Otherwise, they needed to try at least two other treatment options before having the opportunity to register.
Now, the state has no CBD registry. Anyone can buy CBD oil that has less than 0.3 percent THC in it.
Indiana has no eligibility requirements for buying CBD oil. However, some stores may enforce adults only purchasing rules, so contact them ahead of time if you’re under 21.
While CBD laws don’t give patients access to THC, many people can get relief from CBD alone. These rules let patients medicate without penalty. Legislation that doesn’t add explicit protections can make patients vulnerable. Without these additions, the police can interpret the laws at will.
You would think federal law would protect patients on its own. However, some law enforcement agencies still interpret CBD as illegal. Before the revisions to Indiana CBD law, excise officers conducted raids on stores selling CBD oil. They did not pursue patients, but by raiding these stores, they denied patients their only sources of medication. The 2017 law made it unclear where to buy CBD legally. This confusion made it difficult for patients to find medicine.
Indiana’s new CBD rules fixed this issue. Now that the state clarified CBD laws, patients have access to safe relief.