Updated on June 22, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Some states have chosen to put CBD programs in place instead of medical marijuana programs because the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) provides many health benefits without a high. In some instances, a lawmaker who stands against medical marijuana approves of CBD because of these factors. For example, Mississippi allows CBD treatment in specific cases.
Harper Grace’s Law allows patients with seizures to use CBD. It comes with a few caveats. First, the CBD must come in the form of an oil. Second, only the University of Mississippi can handle and distribute these oils. Third, the CBD oil has to have no more than 0.5 percent THC and more than 15 percent CBD.
In Mississippi, a recommendation for CBD oil provides the patient with an affirmative defense. However, a patient or their guardian must sign a waiver before treatment. This agreement releases the state and any of its agencies from legal liability. In other words, if the affirmative defense doesn’t apply, the patient is on their own.
According to Harper Grace’s Law, a patient with ”a debilitating epileptic condition or related illness” can get CBD treatment. The law doesn’t elaborate, but this definition may mean any condition that causes severe seizures. Potential qualifying conditions include:
Your ailment must cause seizures to qualify. For example, if you have autism but no seizures, you can’t get a recommendation. Consult your doctor to learn more.
Mississippi does not have a registration process for CBD. Instead, the patient gets a recommendation, completes the waiver form and receives medicine. They then use their recommendation as an affirmative defense if persecuted by the law.
The law makes it unclear if you can get hemp-based CBD. Loose interpretations of federal law say that hemp-derived CBD is legal anywhere. But, Harper Grace’s Law also neglects to mention the status of items with less than 15 percent CBD. If you decide to get hemp-based CBD not covered by Harper Grace’s Law, buy with care. Hemp CBD has plenty of medical benefits, but only if it has a sufficient amount.
While only a few patients can benefit from Mississippi’s current laws, these rules could help in the long run. Ideally, the state could form a medical marijuana program out of its CBD program. To receive monthly updates on law changes in the U.S., sign up for our email newsletter.