Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the several active ingredients found in hemp and cannabis plants. It is the second most abundant chemical compound in these plants after delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although CBD and THC are both present in cannabis, each interacts with varying receptors in a person's brain after consumption. THC typically produces a high feeling (intoxication) after use, but CBD does not. It is a common belief that CBD has numerous medical benefits. People use it to alleviate medical conditions such as seizures, migraines, depression, mental disorders, inflammation, and inflammatory bowel disease. CBD is equally thought to effectively manage anxiety, chronic pain, cancer, heart health, and nausea.
CBD exists primarily in three different forms. The first is the full-spectrum CBD, the second is the broad-spectrum CBD, and the third is the CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD has all the chemical compounds present in cannabis plants. However, full-spectrum CBD products contain less than 0.3% THC. On the other hand, broad-spectrum CBD includes all parts of CBD plants except THC. CBD isolate has only CBD, and it is a pure form of CBD. It does not contain THC or other cannabinoids. CBD products are commonly prepared and sold as oils, edibles, topicals (ointments, creams, balms, lotions), capsules, and sprays. CBD oil is usually placed under users' tongues and swallowed, while edibles are consumed orally. CBD prepared as capsules are also taken orally. Topicals are generally applied to the skin.
In the United States, hemp-sourced CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal on the federal level. The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, delisted hemp and hemp-derived CBD products from the list of controlled substances, thereby legalizing hemp cultivation. The Farm Bill allows qualified persons and entities to cultivate hemp for the production of CBD products. As a result, people can sell, buy, and use such products, provided they do not contain more than 0.3% THC. However, marijuana-sourced CBD products remain federally illegal as long as marijuana remains outlawed on the national level. In Hawaii, CBD products derived from hemp are also legal, provided they do not contain more than 0.3% THC in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill.
Hawaii residents can use CBD oil provided it is sourced from hemp in line with the 2018 United States Farm Bill. Despite this, Hawaii authorities claim that CBD products outside their medical cannabis program are technically illegal until the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates them. However, residents are assessing and using these products without restrictions. The state is yet to enact any laws or implement any regulations regarding the consumption of hemp. However, CBD oil and other CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC are still considered legal.
Only registered medical marijuana patients with qualifying health conditions and medical marijuana cards can use cannabis-derived CBD products in Hawaii. The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) warns that the state laws prohibit the addition of cannabis-sourced CBD to foods, cosmetics, or beverages.
As of November 2021, Hawaii has yet to enact any laws regarding CBD. The state technically relies on the 2018 U.S. Farm Bills on all CBD-related matters. However, on August 27, 2020, Governor David Ige signed HB 1819 into law as Act 014 to legalize hemp cultivation in Hawaii. The Act allows the growth of hemp through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hemp production program. It also permits the processing and sale of hemp-derived products in Hawaii by persons or entities licensed by the state.
Under Act 014, any individual convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance under federal or state law cannot obtain a license to produce hemp until after ten years of conviction. The same applies to key participants in any entity that intends to go into hemp production. The Act also prohibits the cultivation of hemp outside Hawaii's agricultural district.
Act 014 authorizes any person or entity licensed to produce hemp in Hawaii to transport their products within the state to a state-approved hemp processor or another licensed hemp producer's facility. However, they can only do so if the USDA approves such transportation and the hemp to be moved complies with the testing requirements of the Department.
According to Act 014, hemp and hemp products processing in Hawaii must be done within enclosed indoor facilities to prevent unauthorized entry. Also, no hemp processor must hold, process, or sell any hemp not obtained from a person or entity authorized by applicable local, state, or federal law to cultivate hemp plants.
Currently, Hawaii has no stipulated possession limits for CBD products derived from hemp. However, certain limitations specified by Hawaii's medical marijuana program apply to medical patients with qualifying medical conditions who use cannabis-derived CBD products.
Even though Hawaii authorities consider CBD products technically illegal, residents still freely access and use them without legal repercussions. Hence, a doctor's prescription is not required for hemp-sourced CBD oil or other hemp-derived CBD products in the state.
In 2000, Senate Bill 862, also known as Hawaii Medical Marijuana Act, legalized medical cannabis in Hawaii, allowing patients with valid medical marijuana licenses to use cannabis. In 2015, Act 241 established the state's medical marijuana dispensary program, permitting licensed dispensaries to sell medical cannabis and cannabis-derived CBD products to patients. Consequently, qualified patients in Hawaii diagnosed with any of the following eligible medical conditions can obtain licensed doctors' recommendations to use cannabis-derived CBD products:
It is mandatory for anyone or entity interested in growing hemp for CBD and other purposes in Hawaii to obtain a hemp production license from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hemp Production Program. However, the USDA has a list of requirements that applicants must meet to acquire this license. They include:
A USDA licensed hemp producer who wishes to process hemp into hemp-derived products or sell finished products sourced from hemp in Hawaii must apply to be on the hemp processor registry. The Food and Drug Branch (FDA) of the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) manages the processor registry and issues registration certificates to interested persons. Anyone who applies to the processor registry must be willing to abide by the processing practices, quality control, record keeping, labeling rules, facility standards, and finished product testing. The DOH recommends persons or entities that plan to sell hemp products in Hawaii to work closely with hemp distributors and processors to ensure the products they intend to sell to consumers comply with state-approved testing and labeling rules.
Hawaii Revised Statutes provides the labeling requirements for all hemp products, including CBD, in the state. The labels of every hemp product in Hawaii must include the following information:
The labels of all topical hemp products must legibly display the statement "for external uses only." Also, every hemp product in Hawaii meant to be consumed must have the following information clearly written on their label:
Despite Hawaii's stance on CBD oil or other CBD products, residents can still find and purchase them at local stores such as vape shops, head stores, and natural health outlets. They can also buy from online stores, which gives them access to a wide range of products. Consumers are encouraged to verify that the CBD products they intend to buy contain less than 0.3% THC and are tested by a third-party laboratory. Patients registered under Hawaii's medical marijuana program can buy cannabis-derived CBD products at any state-licensed dispensary.