Updated on February 26, 2024

CBD oil in California

Fact Checked

Key takeaways

  • Hemp derived CBD is legal in California.
  • CBD products with a higher level of THC are subject to different and stricter regulations.
  • You must be 21 years and above to buy CBD oil or any CBD product in California.
  • Businesses selling CBD products in California must adhere to state regulations, which may include obtaining proper licensing and complying with labeling and testing requirements.
  • California allows both medical and recreational use of cannabis products.
  • CBD derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC is legal for purchase without a prescription

The legal status of CBD in California depends on several factors, some of which have been discussed below;

Is CBD legal in California?

Hemp derived CBD is legal in California. In 2018, the state aligned its laws with the federal Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and its derivatives, including CBD, as long as the THC content is below 0.3%. However, it's essential to note that CBD derived from marijuana, which contains higher levels of THC, is subject to different regulations and may only be legally obtained with a medical marijuana recommendation or through the state's recreational cannabis laws for those aged 21 and over. Regulations can change, so it's always a good idea to verify with current state laws or legal sources for the most up-to-date information.

What you need to know about CBD in California

  1. Legal Status: CBD derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC is legal in California. This legality is aligned with federal laws following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.
  2. Licensing and Regulations: Businesses selling CBD products in California must adhere to state regulations, which may include obtaining proper licensing and complying with labeling and testing requirements. The California Department of Public Health oversees these regulations.
  3. Medical vs. Recreational Use: California allows both medical and recreational use of cannabis products. CBD derived from marijuana is legal for medical use with a doctor's recommendation and for recreational use for adults 21 and older.
  4. Lab Testing: CBD products in California should undergo testing for potency and purity. Consumers should look for products that have been tested by a third-party lab and display a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to ensure quality and safety.
  5. Retail Availability: CBD products are widely available in California, including dispensaries, wellness stores, pharmacies, and online retailers. Consumers should ensure they purchase from reputable sources to guarantee product quality and legality.

Can I buy CBD in California?

Yes, you can buy CBD products in California. CBD derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC is legal for purchase without a prescription and is widely available in various retail locations throughout the state. You can find CBD products in dispensaries, wellness stores, pharmacies, and online retailers. However, it's important to ensure that you're purchasing CBD products from reputable sources that comply with state regulations and adhere to quality standards. Look for products that have been tested by third-party laboratories and display a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to verify their potency and purity.

Additionally, while CBD derived from hemp is legal at the federal level and in California, it's essential to distinguish between hemp-derived CBD and CBD derived from marijuana. CBD derived from marijuana may contain higher levels of THC and is subject to different regulations, requiring a medical marijuana recommendation or adherence to the state's recreational cannabis laws for those aged 21 and over.

Before purchasing CBD products, it's advisable to do some research, read product labels, and consider consulting with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or concerns.

How to find the high quality CBD in California

Finding high-quality CBD products in California involves several steps to ensure you're purchasing safe and effective products. Here's a guide to help you find the best CBD products:

  1. Look for reputable brands: the best CBD brands are brands that prioritize quality safety and transparency. Look for companies with a good reputation, positive customer reviews, and a commitment to sourcing high-quality ingredients. This will go a long way in reducing the possible side effects attached to fake CBD products. At Nesas Hemp, we make sure every bottle receives the best attention to pass compliance, and quality.
  2. Check for Third-Party Testing: avoid CBD products that have not passed through third party testing. At Nesas Hemp, all our products come with a unique batch number that allow for easy traceability. Third party tests verify the potency and purity of the CBD and ensure that the product is free from contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents. Look for products that have readily accessible lab reports available on the company's website or upon request.
  3. Look for organic certified products: make sure the CBD products have an authentic seal showing they are organic certified. Organic products have little to no chance of being contaminated with pesticides, herbicides or heavy metals. Nesas Hemp is one of the few CBD brands with an organic certified seal.
  4. Consider Extraction Methods: Your choice of extraction method can play a major role in determining the quality of CBD products. CO2 extraction and cold extraction are generally considered one of the cleanest and most efficient methods for extracting CBD from hemp. Avoid products that use potentially harmful solvents in the extraction process. Nesas Hemp utilize a unique cold extraction method that keep all the hemp-based products in their natural form. This is why our products have a high concentration of CBDA. Research shows that CBDA is 1000 times more active than CBD.
  5. Read Labels Carefully: Pay attention to product labels to understand the CBD content, dosage, and other ingredients. Look for products that clearly state the CBD concentration per serving and provide clear dosing instructions.
  6. Choose Full-Spectrum or Broad-Spectrum CBD: Full-spectrum CBD products contain a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant, which may enhance the overall therapeutic effects through the entourage effect. Broad-spectrum CBD products contain multiple cannabinoids and terpenes but are THC-free. Both options can provide more comprehensive benefits compared to CBD isolate.
  7. Consider Product Formulations: CBD products come in various forms, including oils, tinctures, capsules, edibles, topicals, and more. Choose a product formulation that aligns with your preferences and intended use. For example, if you're looking for fast-acting relief, you may prefer CBD oils or tinctures that can be taken sublingually.
  8. Seek Recommendations: Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or healthcare professionals who have experience with CBD products. They may be able to suggest trusted brands or products that have worked well for them.
  9. Visit Reputable Retailers: Purchase CBD products from reputable retailers, such as licensed dispensaries, wellness stores, or online retailers known for carrying high-quality CBD brands. Avoid purchasing CBD products from unverified sources or unreliable vendors.

Legal disclaimer

CBD oil legality in California is subject to state laws. Hemp-derived CBD products are legal in California. Information provided in this article is for educational purposes, not medical advice. FDA has not evaluated CBD's efficacy for health conditions. Products are third-party tested for purity and potency but use is at own risk; consult a healthcare professional before use. Consumers are responsible for legal compliance. Products are intended for adults aged 18 and older. Any disputes governed by California law. Disclaimer subject to change without notice. By using products, users agree to disclaimer terms.

Want to Learn More?

  1. An Interview with Our Founder and CEO
  2. How Heavy Metals And Pesticides Are Getting Into CBD Oil
  3. Hemp History Timeline (CBD History)
  4. What is CBD? FAQ and 101 Guide
  5. What Are Hemp Oil Benefits?


The 2018 farm Bill. https://www.usda.gov/farmbill Accessed 2/8/2024.

The content on Nesa's Hemp blog is for educational purposes only. We meticulously research and cite our sources, but advise consulting a professional before making decisions based on our information. We derive our content from reputable studies and publications, but individual circumstances may vary. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of our content to every situation. Nesa's Hemp blog and its authors are not liable for any loss or inconvenience resulting from reliance on our information. By using our blog, you waive any claims against us regarding the accuracy or completeness of our content.

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