While Idaho law says CBD is legal if it has zero (0.000%) THC — not even trace amounts.
According to the Idaho Office Of Drug Policy (ODP), every county prosecutor and sheriff’s office gets the final say as to whether or not CBD is legal in that specific county. Idaho’s attorney general doesn’t have the authority to enforce the laws at the county level. The best advice the ODP provides is caution and to call your local county prosecutor.
Below, we look at how to read a lab test (to verify zero THC), we look at Idaho’s CBD drug codes, we listen to Idaho Attorney General’s Podcast discussing the legality of CBD with several other attorneys, then we’ll wrap up with answering some common questions.
Is CBD legal in Idaho?
Upon first attempting to find out if CBD oil is legal in Idaho, I initially bumped into a handful of confusing information. Most CBD companies quickly and BOLDLY asserted their products were legal in all 50 states. Although some CBD companies can accurately make this claim, approximately 80% of the CBD companies you can quickly Google, do “not” offer legal CBD products for Idaho residents.
Strict Idaho law demands zero THC. A legal CBD oil has 0.0000% THC, also referred to as Non-Detectable (ND) amounts. Not even tiny trace amounts of the four different types of detectable THC. Before purchasing CBD, verify there are ND amounts of D9-THC, D8-THC, THCa, & THCv. The next article dives deep into understanding the full extent of the technical legal language while citing all updated Idaho CBD laws on file.
Below, is a detailed infographic showing you how to verify you have a legal CBD oil. Before purchasing any CBD oil, it’s important to verify there’s no THC, of any kind.
How is CBD legal in Idaho?
On the Idaho Office Of Drug Policy (ODP) website are comprehensive resources and links to current Idaho CBD law.
The first thing the ODP site says is CBD is “not” psychoactive, meaning it will not get you high. Starting with the understanding that CBD is not psychoactive and will not get you high is an important place to start understanding how and why Idaho allows CBD to remain legal.
Where is Idaho’s CBD Policy?
Link to Idaho CBD policy.
First, Idaho code defines marijuana as containing any quantities of THC — not just less than 0.3% THC.
Second, even if there’s no THC in the CBD oil, it must be produced from the mature stalks of the plant.
This policy allow a lot of room for CBD businesses to open, plus numerous CBD job opportunities in Idaho.
What does the Idaho Of Drug Policy have to say about CBD in Idaho?
Idaho attorney general Lawrence Garth Wasden produces a regular podcast for his office. His aim is to shed light on his office, explain what they do, and discuss legal topics. A primary mission is to increase transparency for everyone interested can better understand how the attorney general serves the state.
Podcast: Counsel For The State – CBD & Hemp In Idaho (length 24:42)
Podcast: Counsel For The State – CBD & Hemp In Idaho (length 24:42)
On this podcast are several attorneys, the Assistant Chief Deputy (Brian Kane), the Chief Criminal Law (Paul Panther), and attorney (John McKinney).
Highlights from this podcast.
- Each of the 44 different Idaho counties can have separate ways of enforcing CBD.
- Enforcing CBD is at the discretion of the county prosecutor and sheriff.
- To find out how each Idaho county enforces CBD, you have to call your county prosecutor and sheriff’s office.
- Idaho Attorney General and the ODP doesn’t have the authority to tell local counties how to enforce CBD laws.
- The best advice the ODP can give you is to proceed with caution.
- If you’re going to sell CBD, speak with an attorney.
- If you’re going to buy, speak with your county prosecutor.
- You don’t get immunity if the person selling CBD says it’s perfectly legal, and then it turns out your specific CBD product is not legal. You will be the one who gets prosecuted for possessing the illegal CBD product — if it’s deemed illegal.
- Just because federal law has recently changed, Idaho law has not changed. The current laws Idaho has regarding CBD hasn’t changed in many years – if not decades.
Scott’s question to John. What is Idaho’s law when it comes to CBD?
Idaho’s law is very basic, consisting of two parts. For any substance to be deemed legal in Idaho, it has to pass the two-step test. First, the substance can’t contain any quantities of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that is the high recreational users are seeking.
In a previous case in 1996, the Idaho Court Of Appeals ruled that even having a trace amount of a controlled substance, such as THC, is illegal.
In the second part, even if there’s absolutely no THC in the substance, the second part must be complied with, which is strongly worded. That is, any part of the marijuana plant that’s actually defined as marijuana is illegal. It goes onto say all parts of the marijuana plant are marijuana, with exceptions. The exceptions are the mature stalks of the plant. Also, if there’s resin produced from the mature stalks, that resin is also illegal. Even if a product has no THC, if there’s some backward engineering and it’s determined the product originated from a prohibited part of the marijuana plant, it’s illegal.
John goes on to say Idaho makes no distinctions between marijuana and hemp. However, cannabidiol (CBD) is not mentioned anywhere in Idaho’s statutes. Every substance in question meeting legality must meet both parts of the two-part test.
What is CBD oil manufactured from?
John replies it can be manufactured from hemp or marijuana (cannabis).
Sounds like there’s an exemption for mature stalks? Would it be possible to manufacture this oil from that? Do you know why that’s in there?
John says the mature stalks don’t have much, if any, THC. However, as the statute implies, resins can be produced from these mature stalks of the marijuana plant. If you can somehow produce resin from that, it’s illegal.
Otherwise, the mature stalks are typically used from industrial hemp purposes, such as rope and other products which really aren’t much of a concern to the public.
Maybe those mature stalks are an early attempt to exempt hemp?
Do you John or Paul have an understanding when it comes to testing? Can you take a finished CBD or hemp product and go back and figure out what part of the marijuana plant it came from?
I don’t know anything about that. I think it would take a local investigator’s office in conjunction with a prosecutor’s office of a county prosecutor to determine how far and how much effort to put into reverse engineering to determine where any product originated from.
How far do these current laws go back? Do the current laws regarding CBD, marijuana, and hemp, how long have they been on the book?
I’m not sure exactly, but I know it’s been decades.
This was a hot topic at times during the last legislative session, what changed and are hemp CBD related laws in the state of Idaho after the 2019 legislative session?
The short answer is absolutely nothing. We have the same two-part test for legality. There was some attempt, but they didn’t back. (7:34)
14:00 – Since there’s a lot of interest in CBD, we consistently tell people is that to understand enforcement where you live, you need to talk to your county prosecutor.
Why is it the best idea for people to contact their county prosecutor to understand their enforcement strategy for these particular laws?
To me, you talk to the local prosecutor or Sheriff because they are, under Idaho law, the primary law enforcement agency that’s tasked with enforcing these types of laws. The other thing to keep in mind, when we talk about CBD oil, in particular, the legality of it is questionable twice.
Under Idaho law, it’s questionable if it contains any THC content. Even if you get an answer that it doesn’t contain any THC content, there’s then a question of how was it manufactured. If it was manufactured under Idaho law using certain portions, then it still may be illegal.
The difficult part of this, and it’s not just difficult for our office, but for even local law enforcement is that they might not be able to come up with a clear answer for both of those questions, with regard to the legality. And I think this is one of those areas where if folks are really concerns and interested in CBD oil or hemp.
The most important phone call they should probably be making is to their legislators. And say, we need to have this area of law cleared up for us as a citizen. I think the other thing to keep in mind is that our office may have an enforcement responsibility based on the advertising claims. When folks go out there and claim that CBD oil is the new wonder drug. As you’ve remarked, it’s been touted as healing everything from achy horse joints to folks using it for muscle spasms and all sorts of other claims.
Well, as folks make those claims, Idaho law, within our consumer protection laws, have a requirement that those claims have to be verified. So there may be at some point an issue for our consumer protection division. Again, I think we’re way too early within this area to get there. But it’s something that folks need to be aware of, especially as they go out there and market these sorts of products.
We took a call, several months ago, from a gentleman in the southern state who was planning on taking a vacation in Idaho and has a CBD product he has found and discovered it works very well for some of his ailments he has begun to experience in his older years and wanted to understand Idaho law. He said I’ll be going to this particular part of the state another part of the state. And we said, it might be a little cumbersome, but you need to reach out to the county prosecutor in each of those counties.
Paul, why is it that in a situation like that where enforcement isn’t uniform across the state? We have 44 different counties in our state and in theory, you could have 44 different enforcement priorities. Is that correct?
Paul: That is correct because you have 44 different elected county prosecutors and 44 different elected county sheriffs and they all are vested with discretion to make enforcement decisions. That discretion sort of begins and ends with that elected official. They’re free to disagree with each other. They’re free to disagree with us. There’s a number of issues that our office, not just hemp or marijuana, where our office has issued guidelines or opinions. They don’t have to agree with those opinions. It really comes down to the personal discretion of that elected official.
And when you say guidelines, it’s a bit misleading of a word because of county prosecutors, sheriffs across the state, they’re not bound by this office. We feel if CBD crosses a line, it doesn’t fit within the parameters of the law, it is illegal. But. County sheriff and county prosecutors can say, based on the discretion we have we’re not going to make this a priority. Correct?
That is correct. A number of years ago, the way the statute defining the attorney general’s power indicated the attorney general had statutory authority to supervise county prosecutors, but, that was about 25 years ago. The Idaho supreme court made it very clear that we don’t have that responsibility and that statute. So we, at the attorney general’s office have no authority to direct those other public officials and how they do their job.
The one thing I’d let folks know is that, given the fact that we can’t give a firm answer, based on the number of different products and the fact that we don’t know who manufactures these. And that there’s no real regulatory system regarding the manufacturing of these products. It’s impossible whether to say a certain [CBD] product is legal or illegal, based on the information we’ve shared in this podcast. If you want to sell it, you should probably talk to an attorney before you start selling or manufacturing or growing. Whatever the process is, you should talk to an attorney before you undertake that effort because you may be embarking on an illegal enterprise. And, on the other side, if you think you want to buy it and avail yourself of the benefits that we’ve heard so far from these products, I think that again, you want to check legally, that whatever you purchase, lines up legally with Idaho law. I think that’s one of those things, given the uncertainty surrounding both the law with regard to the federal system being implemented and then the fact that the state law is so clear at this point in time. The best advice our office can offer to anyone in this realm is caution.
Now, if I’m a consumer and I want to dip my toe into these product lines and I buy from a retailer who promises me this is in fact a very legal product, am I somehow free from the threat of prosecution at that point?
My answer would be no. I mean, maybe, if you’re buying it from the county sheriff for some reason. But it’s hard for me to imagine that scenario. But there are 44 different counties, so, you never know. I’m not going to preclude it. but I’m saying, that’s really far out there. My advice is there’s no immunity if someone represents to you it’s perfectly legal because the test isn’t that someone says it’s legal. The test is, what does this product contain and how was it manufactured?
I would agree with that as well. The circumstance surrounding that kind of transaction might be something that a prosecutor could consider in deciding what approach they’re going to take in prosecuting that. But there’s no immunity simply because the seller told you that it was otherwise perfectly legal.
This is a fascinating issue because of how quickly it has grabbed a lot of people’s attention when in reality, nothing in our laws have changed to affect that change. Just curious, I’m putting you guys on the spot to some degree. Can you think of a past issue in the state of Idaho that has some parallels to this?
It’s difficult for me to think of an issue where the law didn’t change, but, there’s this perception that something has changed. There’s a couple of other issues of great interest. But, not where there’s no change in the law. Of course, there’s been a change in federal law that’s generated some of this, but Idaho hasn’t changed. I can’t think of another parallel.
I think the closest one would be regarded to gambling. Where there’s a lot of interest in it and the state law is kinda unknown and so folks. There are rumors for what’s allowed with gambling and what isn’t and what you can get a permit from the state lottery commission for. But, there’s been no change to the law. Idaho law has been very specific on gambling for many years. I think the fact that we see it so prevalently on tv and other places creates this kinda condenses that, since it’s so available and so in our faces, it must be ok. And that’s just not true.
I think of the daily fantasy sports that caught fire nationally and when they got put under the microscope based on Idaho law it was determined that they were not allowed.
The other one is fireworks. There has been no change to the law and yet our office issued an opinion a couple three years ago with regards to fireworks. And the headline in the paper was ATTORNEY GENERAL DECLARES FIREWORKS ILLEGAL. Well, we did nothing of the sort. That was the law.
Idaho CBD policy and codes
The 2015 Idaho Attorney General’s Annual Report (pages 130 – 136) are answers to four specific questions surrounding the legality of hemp and CBD. These questions are asked by John C. McKinney the Deputy Attorney General and directed at Elisha Figueroa the Director of the Office of Drug Policy from 2012 to 2017.
In order to “not” be deemed marijuana, the hemp CBD product must be derived from:
- Mature stalks of the plant
- Fiber produced from the stalks
- Oil or cake made from the seed
- Any combination and preparation of the mature stalks
- Sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination
Hemp extracts, hemp oils, and other derivatives are only legal if they contain no “quantities” of THC and are excluded from the Idaho definition of marijuana. Idaho’s definition of marijuana I.C. §§ 37-270 l(t) and 37-2705(d)(27).
Idaho Code §37-2701(t) (source)
(t) “Marijuana” means all parts of the plant of the genus Cannabis, regardless of species, and whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. It does not include the mature stalks of the plant unless the same are intermixed with prohibited parts thereof, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds or the achene of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks, except the resin extracted therefrom or where the same are intermixed with prohibited parts of such plant, fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination. Evidence that any plant material or the resin or any derivative thereof, regardless of form, contains any of the chemical substances classified as tetrahydrocannabinols shall create a presumption that such material is “marijuana” as defined and prohibited herein.
Idaho Code §37-2705(d)(27) (source)
In order for CBD oil to be legal in Idaho, the CBD oil has to come from industrial hemp, contain exactly zero psychoactive THC, and a few or specifics.
Primarily, Idaho law enforcement officers and state authorities are concerned with the THC. If there’s zero — no detectable amounts of THC — you’ll be fine.
Limited safety standards? Or limited understanding of the safety standards of certain CBD brands?
On the Idaho ODP website is a list of warnings about many CBD products and how there’s might be no safety standards being practiced by CBD companies.
Below, I’ll address each individual concern to see if there are answers and solutions already in place.
ODP’s listed limited safety standards claim many CBD products: (source)
- Contain other cannabinoids
- Contains no cannabinoids
- Contains no CBD
- Don’t have the amount of CBD advertised on the label
- Don’t test THC levels
- Don’t test for contaminants
- No extraction process regulation
The ODP also highlights how the FDA continues issuing warning letters to some CBD companies who are making illegal medical claims.
One by one, we’ll go through this list of safety concerns and see if the CBD I recommend for Idaho residents passes any of these safety concerns.
1) Contain other cannabinoids.
There are up to 113 known cannabinoids, depending on the source. The only illegal cannabinoids in Idaho is the THC molecule. After looking at hundreds of lab testing reports called Certificate Of Analysis (COA), I’ve noticed they only the quality testing labs have four different types of THC (D9-THC, D8-THC, THCa, & THCv).
From my extensive research into CBD oil, I’ve concluded the more other cannabinoids, the better. If you only have the one CBD molecule present, it is a low-quality isolate product and doesn’t offer the full benefits of the entourage effect. CBD isolate products, like Epidiolex, have a very narrow window of effective use. This means when you take a CBD isolate product, you have a not only take a lot more but, you have to take an extremely precise dosage to even get a minimal effect.
The only CBD products the ODP website recommends is the FDA approved CBD isolate product called Epidiolex. The reason why CBD isolate products, like Epidiolex, is not recommended is because they have to overcome what’s known as the Bell-Shaped Dose-Response curve.
From my research, having other cannabinoids is 100% desirable. More cannabinoids allow all the other cannabinoids to interact with each other. Through this interaction, each cannabinoid gets synergized and all present cannabinoids work together and better. This is known as the Entourage Effect.
2) Contains no cannabinoids
The five CBD brands I recommend for Idaho residents perform third-party lab testing on all batches of their CBD products.
The ODP website references a study that purchased 84 CBD products from 31 CBD companies and found only 31% of the products they tested, were accurately labeled.
One problem with this piece of research is they didn’t list the names of any of the CBD companies or products they tested. And the second problem with this study is several doctors doing the research received personal fees from numerous cannabis and CBD companies, that was officially disclosed as a conflict of interest.
3) Contains no CBD
Again, the five CBD companies I recommend have a wide range of desirable cannabinoids. I do not recommend purified CBD powder, such as Epidiolex, because it doesn’t give you the benefit of the Entourage Effect.
Each of the five CBD companies I recommend do third-party lab testing on all batched of CBD products to ensure accuracy and consistency.
4) Don’t have the amount of CBD advertised on the label
Third-party lab testing all recent batches of CBD products, from a qualified testing facility is the only way to guarantee you’re getting what you think you are receiving.
5) Don’t test THC levels
All the five CBD companies I recommend tests for the four known types of THC. In the COA above, I go through each important element of the lab testing results highlighting all four types of THC they tested.
In the study, the ODP referenced, after looking at the information, they only test for two types of THC, which is severely lacking compared to the five CBD companies I recommend. The five CBD companies I recommend for Idaho residents perform extensive THC testing for all four different types of THC. Make sure you double-check the recent COA to make sure you’re purchasing a CBD product that tests negative for all four types of illegal THC.
6) Don’t test for contaminants
On the COA I reference at the beginning of the article performs extensive testing for dozens of potential contaminants.
Contaminant testing performed by the five CBD brands I recommend to Idaho residents includes:
- Heavy metals
Not only do the five CBD brands I recommend to Idaho residents perform extensive lab testing on all recent batched of CBD, but they also go the extra mile to make sure there are no undesirable contaminants in any of their products.
7) No extraction process regulation
ISO means International Organization For Standardization. These laboratory standards provide a formula for the best way of performing lab testing on CBD products. Developed and based on groups of experts all around the world. In order to have consistently reliable results, all types of labs abide by international testing standards. Types of organizations with ISO accreditation include universities, research centers, governments, regulators, inspectors, and much more.
Did Trump approve CBD oil?
Yes. President Donald J. Trump federally legalized hemp in 2018 by signing the updated Farm Bill.
To learn more about Trump signing the 2018 Farm Bill, click here.
Does CBD Show Up On A Drug Test In Idaho?
Healthline goes into more detail about how they only test for THC or the byproduct of THC. The Mayo Clinic dives into even more extensive detail about the federal guidelines, cutoff levels, detection times, and more. None of these documents mention testing specifically for CBD.
However, these documents do warn, if you do not want to test positive for THC, don’t take anything with THC in it.
In Idaho, full-spectrum CBD is illegal because it has THC in it. Even though full-spectrum may be legal at the federal level, with trace amounts of THC, Idaho law says the CBD product is legal only if there’s zero THC in it, among a few other technical bits.
Will CBD interact with any of your current medications?
CBD can interact with a handful of medications. Before mixing CBD with any other prescriptions or other medications, speak with your primary health care provider to make sure there are no negative interactions.
Read more about CBD drug interactions here.
Do you need a prescription to use CBD?
There is one low-quality CBD isolate product requiring a prescription. CBD isolate products are not recommended because they require a very precise dose to even get a minimal effect.
What happens if you take too much CBD?
There’s an extremely low chance you’ll take too much.
Research shows that it’s safe to take chronic high doses of CBD and is well tolerated in humans.