CBD Oil In Illinois: Everything CBD, Legality, Shipping & More


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Illinois was the eleventh state in the US to declare marijuana legal for adult recreational use.  It came to pass in January of 2020 with the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act that went forward in 2019.  And with the legalization of marijuana comes the legalization of CBD oil and it’s products in the state of Illinois.

What Is CBD?

CBD is short for Cannabidiol; a cannabinoid found the Cannabis Sativa plant. It has various uses and comes from either hemp or marijuana. CBD creams, CBD beverages, and CBD terpenes are just some of CBD’s current benefits that have appeared on the market. However, CBD oil remains the most common form of consumer-grade CBD available.

How is Hemp Different From Marijuana?

CBD comes from both the hemp and the marijuana variety of the cannabis plant. While hemp is federally legal, marijuana is still highly controlled. The culprit for this difference in legal status is the difference in THC quantities of both plants.

Taken in enough concentration, CBD can give its users a high. The federal government views marijuana as a drug because the plant contains large amounts of THC. On the other hand, since the passing of the United States Farm Bill, hemp (with up to 0.3% THC) is federally legal with a few marketing and processing restrictions.

Marijuana plants have a different appearance than their cannabis-cousin, the hemp plants. Hemp stalks grow tall and are skinny like bamboo while marijuana is, more or less, a bush. Hemp may have more federal acceptance, but marijuana has more flowers and foliage.

Does Hemp or Marijuana Have More CBD Oil?

With marijuana being lush with flowers and foliage and having significantly larger quantities of resin than hemp, it is no surprise that the plant results in a larger yield of CBD than hemp. However, Hemp takes the edge with a more federally compliant, albeit smaller, the output of CBD. The CBD from marijuana and the CBD from hemp do not just differ in volume but also in their contents. The extract from marijuana has a large enough THC percentage to produce a high. That makes the marijuana-derived CBD a federally controlled substance just like marijuana.

On the other hand, CBD derived from hemp has a THC percentage below or equal to 0.3% per dry weight. It gives hemp-derived CBD a different regulatory status where it has fewer federal restrictions than cigarettes. The broader market available to hemp-derived CBD makes hemp the preferred crop for manufacturers of CBD.

That said, hemp farmers have not given up on improving CBD outputs of hemp. On the contrary, strain-breeding has made leaps with new hemp varieties being bred to have much higher CBD volume without crossing the 0.3% THC limit. Such strains of hemp may very well be the future of CBD production.

Why is CBD Sometimes Illegal In Different States?

There are several reasons as to why CBD is not entirely legal or entirely prohibited. The grey area, which gets more defined from state to state, has an explanation in its emergence.

  1. The FDA first legalized CBD as a controlled substance in response to a drug patent application. The cannabinoid extracted from marijuana would be used to treat a specific range of conditions. Due to the drug patent laws, only these uses were approved in a controlled capacity, shutting the door to any alternative uses for the foreseeable future. 
  2. Why was it approved in a controlled capacity and not as an over-the-counter drug? Because CBD derived from marijuana contains levels of psychoactive THC that can be abused to get high. The FDA was controlling against this potential abuse.
  3. Within the approval and control capacity, CBD was viewed as marijuana. However, not all CBD comes from marijuana, and not all CBD contains enough THC to be abused to get high. It was first considered with the 2018 United States Farm bill, which classified hemp with 0.3% THC or less as different from cannabis with more than 0.3% THC. That made hemp, on a federal level, not illegal. But it didn’t make it as legal as Coca Cola either.
  4. The bill allowed the FDA to come to its conclusion regarding different hemp products. The FDA’s stance would be backed by the federal government and define the federal stance. On the other hand, the states were now allowed to decide for themselves regarding hemp and its derivatives, including CBD. While the FDA has only concerned itself with controlling how hemp is added to food and how it is marketed, CBD derived from hemp is legal on a federal level. Additionally, the FDA has approved the adding of hemp seed oil and hemp seed protein to human food. Individual states, however, have not all followed suit. Some have gone beyond the FDA and approved adding hemp to edibles while others criminalize hemp-derived from CBD with even 0.001% THC. The differences in legal status from state to state are caused by 50 different states deciding their stance on a historically controlled chemical like a drug.

Is CBD Legal In Illinois?

CBD or cannabidiol, a compound found in the cannabis plant, is legal in Illinois.

First, the compound is legal to those over the age of 21  under the laws allowing for adult recreational marijuana use.  CBD is also derived from hemp, allowing for an alternative scenario where the CBD comes from low THC containing industrial hemp.  This scenario eliminates the age restriction due to a lack of THC, the psychoactive compound responsible for the feelings of being ‘high,’ attributed to cannabis use.

CBD oil first came to light in Illinois back in 2013 with the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.  The act, to fight opioid addiction complications with societal implications, and allow the use of marijuana to help reduce symptoms by those who doctors felt would benefit from the use of the plant.

Furthering the cause of legalization and the spread of CBD and cannabis products in Illinois, in 2016, the punishment for possession of under 10 grams of marijuana dropped to a maximum of $200 fine.  Previously the charge had been classified as a misdemeanor.  This law set forth a standard of 5 nanograms/ml of THC in the blood to establish a norm for driving while intoxicated.

Ongoing changes to legislation occurred in 2018 when the medical cannabis program of Illinois was greatly expanded.  This next wave of changes brought about the ability for cannabis to be used as an opioid painkiller replacement. 

These new legal changes also allowed for a more straightforward and more streamlined approval process.  It did this by eliminating the need for criminal background checks to obtain medical marijuana.

The medical marijuana legislation was finalized in 2019 and solidified with the knowledge that in 2020 the state would go recreational.

However, the state of Illinois recognizes the federal legislation defining industrial hemp as being legal nationwide as long as it contains 0.3% THC or less, by dry weight.  With this federal regulation in place, the state has followed the federal recommendation to define hemp and allow for hemp product production to move forward.  It allows for the creation of CBD from industrial hemp products.

Is CBD Derived From Cannabis Legal in Illinois?

Yes, CBD derived from cannabis (both marijuana and hemp) is legal for adults over 21.

Is Hemp-Derived CBD Legal in Illinois?

Hemp-derived CBD with under 0.3% THC is legal for individuals of all ages.

The Legality of Different CBD Products

What is a CBD flower? CBD flower is a term often given to the flower of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Notably, this term is used for strains containing a high amount of cannabidiol.
Is CBD flower legal in Illinois? CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant.  Cannabis flower is legal for medical purposes under the compassionate Use of Marijuana program and is also authorized to adults over the age of 21 for recreational use.
Can CBD flowers be purchased online? CBD flowers can be purchased online in the state of Illinois.
What are CBD terpenes? CBD terpenes are aromatic compounds found within the cannabis plant used to derive CBD oil.
Are CBD terpenes legal in Illinois? Terpenes are aromatic compounds typically known to have health benefits (but not always, so do your research first).  One could isolate these compounds from cannabis in Illinois if derived from industrial hemp, legal for medical use or recreational adult use if derived from marijuana.
Can CBD terpenes be purchased online? Yes, CBD terpenes are readily available online for purchase.
What is CBD wax? CBD wax is a concentrated form of CBD oil, in a waxy, semi-solid form.
Is CBD wax legal in Illinois? CBD wax is a concentrated form of cannabidiol in a wax-like form.  This concentrate is legal in Illinois if derived from industrial hemp.  Otherwise, it is authorized under the medical marijuana program and the adult use of recreational marijuana laws.  If it comes from marijuana, one needs to have a medical card or be 21 years of age or older to purchase it legally.
Can CBD wax be purchased online? One can purchase CBD wax online in the state of Illinois.
What are CBD gummies? CBD gummies are gummies infused with cannabidiol
Are CBD gummies legal in Illinois? CBD gummies are edible gummies infused with cannabidiol.  If the CBD came from industrial hemp, the gummies are legal.  If the CBD comes from marijuana containing more than 0.3%, it is permitted for medical marijuana patients or adults 21 years of age or older.
Can CBD gummies be purchased online? Yes, you can buy CBD gummies online.
What are CBD creams? CBD creams and topicals are skincare products used externally, such as moisturizers or conditioners.
Are CBD creams legal in Illinois? CBD creams using CBD derived from industrial hemp are legal in Illinois.  Those containing higher than 0.3% THC are legal either with a medical marijuana card or 21 years of age or older to obtain by the recreational adult use of marijuana legislation.
Can CBD creams be purchased online? CBD gummies infused with CBD can be bought online in Illinois.
What is CBD liquid? CBD liquid is a special form of CBD oil intended for vapor inhalation (vaping).
Are CBD liquid, e-liquid, and vape legal in Illinois? CBD liquid is legal in Illinois if derived from legally grown hemp.  If derived from marijuana, the liquid must be sold only to those with a medical marijuana card or those 21 years of age or older.
Can CBD liquid, e-liquid, and vape be purchased online? CBD liquid, e-liquid, and vape fluid infused with CBD can be bought online.
What is a CBD tincture? A CBD tincture is a concentrated solution made by soaking plant materials in alcohol or vinegar-based solutions.
Is CBD tincture legal in Illinois? A tincture is a concentrated solution made by soaking plant materials in a solution based on either alcohol or vinegar.  CBD tinctures are legal in Illinois.  For those derived from cannabis containing 0.3% THC or more, the products are available to medical marijuana cardholders or adults 21 years of age or older.  Tinctures derived from industrial hemp are also legal and have no age restriction.
Can CBD tincture be purchased online? CBD tinctures are readily available online in Illinois.
What is THC oil? THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is a cannabinoid found in marijuana responsible for the elated feelings of ‘high’ felt by its users.
Is THC oil legal in Illinois? THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical compound in cannabis that is responsible for feelings of ‘high.’  THC oil is legal in Illinois to either medical marijuana cardholders or those 21 years of age or older.
Can THC oil be purchased online? THC oil is available online, although only legal for those with a medical card.

Age Requirements For CBD in Illinois

Do You Have To Be 18 To Buy CBD Oil In Illinois?

In the state of Illinois, the age for legal adult recreational marijuana is 21.  It includes any CBD oil or product derived from marijuana containing more than 0.3% THC.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Buy CBD Oil In Illinois?

As mentioned, to obtain CBD oil derived from marijuana in Illinois, one must be 21 years of age.  There is no age restriction for obtaining CBD oil derived from legally grown industrial hemp.

Do You Have To Be 18 To Use CBD Oil In Illinois?

18 is not a significant age in this regard. You either have to be 21 to use marijuana-derived CBD or use hemp-derived CBD regardless of age.

Can A Minor Use CBD In Illinois? How Old Do You Have To Be?

A minor may use CBD oil in Illinois if prescribed under the medical marijuana program.  Alternatively, CBD oil derived from industrial hemp does not hold an age restriction in the state.

Do You Need A Prescription Or Medical Card For CBD Oil In Illinois?

A medical marijuana card or prescription is required for CBD oil in Illinois if the oil contains more than 0.3% THC.  A medical marijuana card will cost $100 per year for a one or two-year term card.  A 3-year term card costs $250 to register.

Can You Get CBD Oil Without Having A Medical Card In Illinois?

CBD oil is obtainable in Illinois without a medical card.  The oil must come from industrial hemp, containing 0.3% THC or less.

Can You Order CBD Oil Online Legally In Illinois?

Yes, you can order CBD oil online, legally. However, be cautious of ordering marijuana-derived CBD online as it is usually sold at physical locations.

State CBD Possession Limits

Adult residents of Illinois, over the age of 21, can possess:

  • 30 grams of cannabis flower,
  • 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and
  • Up to 500 milligrams of THC contained in any product.

Patients of Illinois’s medical marijuana program have a higher than 30 grams possession limit if the cannabis is grown in their residence according to the state’s conditions.

MMJ Cards In Illinois

Medical Marijuana Card Requirements In Illinois

The state of Illinois provides a lenient possession limit and cannabis growth rights to the state’s medical-marijuana program’s qualifying patients. Initially, the following were considered qualifying debilitating conditions.

  • Fibrous Dysplasia
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Myoclonus
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • PTSD
  • Neuro-Behcet’s Autoimmune Disease
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease
  • Residual Limb Pain
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Spinal Cord Disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
  • Terminal Illness
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxia
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – Type II (CRPS II)
  • Nail-Patella Syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Neuropathy
  • Dystonia
  • Seizures and Epilepsy
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Migraines
  • Cachexia/Wasting Syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-Concussion Syndrome
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Arnold-Chiari Malformation
  • Hydromyelia
  • Hepatitis C
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Tarlov Cysts
  • Syringomyelia
  • Causalgia
  • Spinal Cord Injury 
  • Chronic Pain
  • Severe Fibromyalgia
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Opioid Dependence
  • Glaucoma
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Lupus

As of 2020, the following conditions were also added to the list.

  • Neuro-Behcet’s Autoimmune Disease
  • Chronic Pain
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome
  • Autism
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Migraines
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

How To Apply To The MCP (Medical Cannabis Program)

The applicant should obtain their physician’s certification confirming that they suffer from a qualifying condition. This certification, alongside necessary personal information, can be input when applying online via https://medicalcannabispatients.illinois.gov/

How Long Does It Take To Get A Medical Marijuana Id Card In Illinois?

Applicants can expect to get their MMJ cards in two weeks.

How Much Does It Cost To Apply For The MCP In Illinois?

Standard one-year registration costs $100, two-year registration costs $200, and registering for three years requires $250.

Where To Buy CBD In Illinois

Where To Buy / How To Obtain <.3 THC In Illinois

CBD and other hemp products with less than 0.3% THC are available in retail stores, supermarkets, and specialty stores in Illinois.

Where To Buy / How To Obtain >.3 THC In Illinois

Since CBD with over 0.3% THC is legal, it can be found in marijuana-specialty stores and multiple dispensaries.

Where Is CBD Sold In Illinois?

There are many CBD retailers in Illinois, from specialty shops to dispensaries.  Some large chains, including Walgreens and CVS, also sell certain CBD products like creams (consult your local store for details).  CBD products will be available in most health food stores, convenience stores, and many other stores if derived from industrial hemp.  Those derived from marijuana will reside at the licensed dispensaries.

Are There Any CBD Retailers In Illinois?

Several CBD specialty stores are operating in the state of Illinois.  Familiar names like Your CBD Store are again present in this state and other retailers like CBD Kratom in Fairview Heights and Chicago Cannabis Company in, obviously, Chicago.

Where Can I Find CBD Water?

CBD water is water infused with cannabidiol.  The beverage is typically carbonated.  Some of the cannabis specialty stores carry the product, and it is also available online.  If derived from marijuana, it will only be available at licensed dispensaries.

Where Can I Buy Medical Grade CBD In Illinois?

Medical grade CBD is available in Illinois at the licensed dispensaries throughout the state.  There are several dispensaries in the Chicago area, with one as far out as the Ottawa, Illinois.

How To Read CBD Product Labels & Packaging

When it comes to purchasing CBD products online, it is recommended to exercise caution and distinguish legal CBD products from illegal ones.

Expiry date – Only non-perishable items can get away with not having an expiry date. CBD products meant for human consumption carry an expiry date. If the product you plan to buy does not support a ‘use before’ date, the manufacturer might be unethically trying to extend the product’s shelf life. That does not inspire trust.

Product batch number – A product batch number is crucial for tracking shipments and product batches. Especially with a product like CBD, the manufacturer would need a product batch number to be able to recall products if required. If this information is missing, it is better to be safe and opt for a different product.

Lab testing certification – CBD products meant for human consumption are lab-tested. Yes, fake manufacturers are claiming their products are ‘lab-tested,’ but those words are not what you’re trying to find. You should look for a link to the digital copy of a lab-testing certificate. This could be in the form of a listed URL, a barcode, or a QR code you can scan to view the certificate.

Batch information link – Being able to view batch information is handy for you to make an educated buying decision. The link is usually a URL on the product packaging.

A THC quantity statement – When purchasing online, make sure the CBD product is hemp-derived. Even if marijuana-based CBD products are legal for recreational use in your state, the norm for legitimate CBD products sellers is not to sell their high THC products online like a chocolate bar. Those claiming their products originate from marijuana while trying to sell online to a wider public are illegal actors or scammers.

Hemp extract quantity – Look for this quantity listed in milligrams. It is helpful to know how much hemp extracts the product you are seeking has.

How To Identify Quality CBD Oil

Every new product goes through a stage where knock-off makers, scammers, and charlatans are the eyeing new consumers to make a quick buck. It is especially true for the CBD oil market online. The first stage of filtering out scammers requires you to dismiss any seller with products not approved by the FDA. The FDA approval, gained through thorough testing, signifies that a product is fit for human consumption.

That said, broccoli is fit for human consumption, yet it still isn’t what you might want for dinner. FDA approval is not all you look for when identifying a quality CBD product, because you don’t want CBD oil that is merely good enough; you want quality.

And there is no better way to learn about quality than through the experiences of others.

So, look at forums, Facebook, and Google for reviews. The seller’s own site may be biased, so disregard the reviews there. If some obvious fake accounts are giving the product five-star ratings, you are better off not buying.

Another critical component to look at is product photography. Labels should be legible. Bad photography can be given a second chance, but if the photography conceals package details, it is a sign that the deal isn’t up to the mark. Within the labels or product descriptions, look for the CBD origin. If the oil is being sold online, it should be hemp-derived as marijuana-derivatives are not mass-marketed. Similarly, the THC levels should be listed to be equal to or less than 0.3%.

Shipping, Mailing, & Travelling With CBD

Can You Mail CBD Products To Illinois?

Mailing CBD products to Illinois is legal if following federal guidelines.  Otherwise, special licensing for distributing marijuana is required.

Can You Ship CBD Products From Illinois?

Shipping CBD from Illinois is legal as long as the CBD came from industrial hemp, following the federal Farm Bill of 2018.

How Would You Ship CBD Oil, Cream, or Flowers?

CBD is cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant.  CBD oil or cream that comes from industrial hemp (containing less than 0.3% THC) may legally be shipped to and from Illinois.  The cannabis plant’s flowers may only be shipped under the marijuana legislation for adult use of cannabis.

Can You Ship CBD Products Internationally? From Canada? To Canada?

Shipping CBD products internationally must follow both state and federal regulations.  As well, the destination location will have legislation about CBD products.  Countries like Canada may allow the import of CBD products from the United States, but laws can change, so make sure you consult the destination’s regulations before sending any shipments.

Can You Travel With CBD Oil?

You cannot fly with marijuana-based products regardless of state laws, because planes in flight are federal jurisdiction. When it comes to CBD derived from hemp, you can fly with it provided it is legal in origin as well as the destination of the flight. CBD derived from hemp is legal in Illinois to fly with and to bring along.

Is Marijuana Legal In Illinois?

Marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use in the state of Illinois. Age restrictions apply.

Is Illinois Recreational?

Yes, recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois for adults over the age of 21.

Do You Have To Be 18 To Buy Marijuana In Illinois?

You have to be over 21 to buy marijuana in Illinois.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Buy Medical Marijuana?

You have to be 21 years old to buy medical marijuana for yourself or for a minor for whom you are the caregiver.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Use Marijuana In Illinois?

For recreational marijuana, you must be 21. To use medical marijuana, you can be of any age as long as you are a qualifying patient with an MMJ card.

Can You Buy Edibles Online Legally In Illinois?

Edible CBD and THC products are both readily available to adult residents of Illinois.  CBD edibles are also available with no age restriction if derived from legally grown industrial hemp.

Is Hemp Legal In Illinois

Hemp is legal in the state of Illinois.

What Are Illinois’s Hemp Laws?

Illinois’ hemp law is covered by the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act of 2019.  This law includes marijuana, hemp, and all other forms of cannabis products, including CBD.

Can You Buy Hemp Wraps At 18 In Illinois?

Since tobacco-free Hemp wraps exist, you can buy Hemp wraps at 18, but smoke shops do not usually serve those below the age of 21.

Producing, Growing, Selling Hemp & CBD Oil

Is It Legal To Grow Hemp In Illinois?

Hemp is legal to grow in the state of Illinois with a license from the Department of Agriculture.

How Much Is A Hemp Growing License In Illinois?

A hemp growing license costs $100 to apply, and an additional $100 if accepted for licensing.

Can You Get Legal CBD Seeds In Illinois?

Cannabis seeds are obtainable for those in the medical marijuana program in the state of Illinois.  They are also available to licensed growers.

Is It Legal To Grow CBD Plants? What’s The Difference?

CBD or cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in cannabis plants.  Growing the industrial hemp varieties of cannabis requires a license under the Department of Agriculture’s Hemp Policy.  Growing marijuana, being any variety of cannabis that has more than 0.3% THC, requires licensing to become a grower of a controlled substance that requires much more in-depth licensing than growing industrial hemp.

Do You Need A License To Sell Hemp In Illinois?

You need a license and registration to grow hemp, only registration to process hemp, and neither license nor a registration to sell pre-processed hemp products.

Do You Need A License To Sell CBD Oil In Illinois?

You do not need a license to sell hemp-derived CBD oil in Illinois, as long as it is prepackaged and preprocessed.

Can You Sell CBD Oil Online?

Selling CBD online is legal if the CBD came from industrial hemp.  If derived from marijuana, the CBD would classify as a marijuana product. It would only be available to adults over the age of 21 under the state’s recreational adult-use legislation.

Disclaimer:  None of the information in this article should be construed as health or legal advice. We always recommend following the professional opinion of your physician or attorney and researching your own state’s laws for all of your purchases. Information current as of January 2021.

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr/Plants/Pages/Industrial-Hemp.aspx

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3503&ChapterID=35

https://dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/medical-cannabis/MCPP-registry-card-application-fees

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