When you think of states in the deep South, “legalization” usually isn’t the first word that comes to mind.
All bets are off when it comes to CBD, however.
When the federal government approved the 2018 Farm Bill, it essentially legalized the nationwide sale and use of cannabidiol products (CBD’s full name is cannabidiol). A few states have refused to go along with the bill’s provisions, making it difficult for their residents to get a handle on exactly what is and isn’t legal.
Alabama isn’t one of those states.
It had actually embraced CBD as the cornerstone of its extremely-limited medical cannabis program. Once cannabidiol got the green light in America, the state quickly followed suit with its own regulations that basically duplicated the federal provisions.
Some vendors had jumped the gun on CBD, selling it in 2017 or earlier in 2018 – and a few of them were arrested for it. Once cannabidiol’s legality was firmly established, though, they reopened and expanded. Today, you can purchase CBD products all over Alabama, not just in dedicated CBD retail stores, but also in gas stations, convenience stores, and drugstores.
But where’s the best place to buy CBD in Alabama? We happen to have all the information you need.
CBD Oils in Alabama
Here’s the good news: it’s easy to buy online and has it delivered right to your house. And once you start using it you’ll discover the even better news: it’s terrific CBD oil.
There are very good reasons explaining Royal CBD’s quality. The cannabidiol is sourced from West Coast organic hemp farms, and the company only deals with farmers who maintain the highest standards. The full-spectrum CBD is extracted with the best-possible process, known as supercritical CO2 extraction; it’s the most expensive way to do things, but it preserves the cannabidiol’s potency. And the carrier oil used to distribute the CBD is MCT coconut oil, the best and healthiest choice.
The best CBD products have the fewest ingredients, and Royal CBD oil only has three: cannabidiol, carrier oil, and one of four all-natural essential oils to provide flavor. The four flavors, plus the four available potencies, are among the best selections available from premium producers. When coupled with Royal’s quality, this is one terrific CBD oil.
Take almost everything we’ve said about Royal CBD, apply it to Gold Bee’s oil, and you’ll be pretty close to understanding why this product is almost as good as the first one we’ve profiled. The company sources its organic hemp from Colorado instead of the Pacific Northwest, and it only produces the oil in two flavors and two potencies. Otherwise, these two CBD oils are almost carbon copies of each other – both excellent products.
Oh, there’s one other difference. Gold Bee doesn’t sell its products in retail stores, so your only choice is to purchase it online and have it delivered. We wouldn’t hesitate.
CDBPure Hemp Oil
Our last choice is sold in more brick-and-mortar stores, so there’s a better chance that you’ll be able to find it locally. If not, there’s always the online option. This is another premium product produced from organic hemp, with the cannabidiol extraction method and additives (or lack of them) on a par with both Royal and Gold Bee.
CBDPure has one advantage, though; it’s cheaper than our other two profiled products. Of course, there’s a reason for that: the company doesn’t use as much cannabidiol in its oil. That makes the CBD oil’s potency lower, but less expensive to produce. For conditions that require lower doses, or for general wellness, this is a great choice. (We should also mention that CBDPure hemp oil is only available in natural hemp flavor, which is raw, rather strong, and takes some getting used to.)
Is CBD Oil Legal in Alabama?
Once the U.S. Farm Bill was signed into law in late 2018, CBD oil became legal in Alabama – and throughout America. (A few states are still kicking and screaming, with their own contradictory laws.) Almost immediately, Alabama’s attorney general released his own “guidance” on the issue, confirming that the state would adhere to the federal law.
That guaranteed that CBD oil and other forms of cannabidiol were legal in Alabama, and they remain legal today. There are limitations, though, based on the Farm Bill’s provisions.
In theory, cannabidiol can be extracted from either type of cannabis plant, marijuana or hemp. CBD derived from marijuana is still illegal, as is the pot-based “marijuana oil” available in some medicinal or recreational marijuana states. The only legal source for CBD sold in Alabama is the hemp plant.
Just like pot plants, hemp plants contain the psychoactive cannabinoid THC – but in such small amounts that hemp can’t get you high. Federal and Alabama laws ensure the level of THC in hemp-derived CBD stays low; cannabidiol products sold or used in the state may not have a THC content higher than 0.3%.
Neither of those limitations has any real bearing on the ability to buy CBD in Alabama, however, since the same restrictions apply nationwide. Just as importantly, hemp-sourced CBD with low THC content contains all of the medicinal and health benefits people are looking for when they purchase CBD oil, edibles, vape juice, or topical products.
In fact, Alabamans have an additional way to use hemp that remains illegal in many other states. They can’t smoke pot, of course, but there’s no state law that bans the smoking of hemp flower, as long as its THC content is within the 0.3% limit established for CBD. Smoking hemp won’t get the user wasted, and may not be as “sociable” as pulling out a joint or bong at a party. But health and wellness benefits are what matter, and both CBD and hemp flower provide them.
Do You Need a Prescription or Medical Card to Buy CBD Oil in Alabama?
First of all, Alabama doesn’t issue “medical cards,” since the state does not have a medical marijuana program.
CBD oil or other cannabidiol products, as long as they are extracted from hemp and contain no more than 0.3% THC, can be purchased without a prescription. You may need an ID showing your age, since most vendors won’t sell CBD to anyone under the age of 18 (or occasionally, 21).
There is one clear exception: Epidiolex. It’s the only federally-approved CBD medication, which is prescribed just for those suffering from seizures caused by specific types of childhood epilepsy. That medication, for obvious reasons, requires a prescription from the child’s doctor.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Alabama for Minors?
Apparently, yes. There’s no law specifically prohibiting the use of CBD by people under the age of 18, although they might have a difficult time buying it due to policies instituted by CBD stores and other vendors. It would seem that parents or guardians are legally allowed to purchase cannabidiol and give it to their children.
As you could probably guess, the Epidiolex that’s prescribed to childhood epilepsy patients is legal as well.
There’s one other group of minors who are clearly able to use CBD oil. They suffer from a “debilitating medical condition” – usually interpreted to mean epilepsy – and have been prescribed cannabidiol by their doctor under the provisions of Alabama’s “Leni’s Law.” Named after one such patient, the law decriminalizes the possession of CBD with THC content as high as 3%. That’s much lower than the usual THC content in marijuana but substantially higher than 0.3% CBD oil sold over-the-counter.
Is Traveling With CBD Oil Legal in Alabama?
You can travel freely in Alabama while carrying legal CBD oil, meaning it has an allowable THC content and’s been produced from hemp. After all, if you can buy it and use it, it wouldn’t make much sense for a law to prohibit you from carrying it.
Naturally, you can’t travel with CBD oil that has a higher THC level higher than 0.3% (unless you’re a Leni’s Law patient, parent, or guardian). That’s important to remember if you’ve visited a friend who’s a medical marijuana patient in Georgia or Florida, and they’ve given you a wonderful parting gift of cannabis oil with a higher THC level.
What Type of CBD is The Right One for You?
Simple answer: Whichever one delivers the benefits you’re seeking.
Complicated answer: It’s complicated.
There are a lot of variables in play when you choose a CBD product. Two of the most important are the chemical compounds that are contained in it, and the way the cannabidiol is delivered. Let’s look at each.
What’s In CBD?
CBD products may contain a number of additives designed to provide qualities like flavor, aroma, and texture, or to enhance the CBD’s delivery into the body. But the real key is what’s in the cannabidiol itself. There are three options that buyers can choose from.
- Full-spectrum CBD: When cannabidiol is extracted from hemp, the other compounds in the plant come along with it. They include flavonoids and terpenes, which are responsible for the taste, aroma, and appearance of the plant, and all of the other cannabinoids contained in hemp – including the small amount of psychoactive THC we’ve discussed at great length. Full-spectrum CBD retains all of those hemp components, and they play an important role: they work together in an “entourage effect” to boost cannabidiol’s effectiveness.
- Broad-spectrum CBD: It’s possible to remove some or all of the “other” hemp components, and broad-spectrum oil is created when all of the hemp’s THC is removed from full-spectrum cannabidiol. That lessens the entourage effect a little, but it also eliminates the THC which might otherwise trigger a positive drug test for marijuana. (Spoiler alert: that small amount of THC hardly ever causes a positive test.)
- CBD isolate: When all of hemp’s other components are removed, that leaves just the isolated cannabidiol known as CBD isolate. There’s no entourage effect (for obvious reasons), meaning isolate is the least potent form of CBD. Is there a reason to purchase it? Yes, if you live in one of the few states where CBD isolate is the only legal form of cannabidiol.
How Is CBD Delivered?
In other words, what kinds of CBD products are there? There are quite a few, each with benefits and drawbacks.
- CBD Oil: Not the easiest to use, since the optimal way to administer it is under the tongue with a medicine dropper. On the plus side, it’s one of the most effective delivery methods, since the cannabidiol is quickly absorbed by the sublingual glands underneath the tongue and sped right into the bloodstream to take effect almost immediately. CBD oil is also one the most efficient ways to get cannabidiol into the body since very little potency is lost.
- Vaping CBD: This equals CBD oil in terms of effectiveness and efficiency since the vapor (and the cannabidiol it contains) are absorbed quickly by the lungs. On the other hand, do you really want to start vaping CBD? Very few people who aren’t already vapers (or smokers) are up for that.
- CBD Capsules: It couldn’t be much easier; we all swallow medication capsules regularly. Dosing is easy, too, compared to measuring out the right amount of CBD oil or vape juice. There’s a clear downside to capsules, unfortunately. None of the cannabidiol can be released until the container is digested in the stomach and the CBD is processed in the liver. That requires time, meaning the CBD won’t take effect rapidly. Some of the cannabidiol’s potency is lost in the process, too.
- CBD Edibles: Gummies and candy are yummy ways to take CBD, as long as you don’t mind the calories. You’ll also have to put up with the same effectiveness and efficiency issues presented by capsules since edibles have to be digested as well.
- CBD Topicals: In truth, topical CBD doesn’t provide the same benefits as the other forms of CBD, because cannabidiol can’t penetrate the skin barrier. These creams, lotions, salves, and patches can work quickly and effectively for surface pain (particularly in the joints and muscles), but they provide no measurable relief or wellness boosts inside the body.
Which is best for you? It’s a matter of deciding what you want the CBD to do, how quickly you need it to work, your own personal preferences – and going from there.
Is Marijuana Legal in Alabama?
No form of marijuana is legal in Alabama, and penalties are strict compared to those in most other states. “Personal use” of any amount of pot is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $6,000 and a year in jail. Get caught again? It’s a felony and you could be fined as much as $7,500 – but more importantly, there’s a minimum prison sentence of one year and one day. Bottom line: Alabama doesn’t fool around when it comes to weed.
The state does not currently have a medical marijuana program. It seemed ready to pass a very limited one that was approved by the Alabama Senate in 2020, but due to COVID, the legislature adjourned before the House could consider it. It was only a medical program with training wheels, however; it still prohibited smoking, vaping, and edibles for patients.
Where to Buy CBD in Alabama?
You can purchase legal CBD products in all types of retail establishments throughout Alabama. CBD stores, as we’ve mentioned, began opening in the state well before their products were officially legalized, and the CBD retail business has surged since then.
Dedicated CBD outlets are open all over the state, even in relatively small towns. And CBD oil and other forms of cannabidiol products are readily available in gas stations, convenience stores, and pharmacies, among other outlets.
One thing to consider before stopping by the gas station or CBD store: those types of vendors may not carry brands of CBD oil that will help very much. Premium CBD producers usually sell their products through their own websites, or via carefully-chosen retail chains; they’re not set up to mass market their cannabidiol. That often forces convenience shops, and even CBD stores, to carry lesser-known and less-effective brands. They aren’t necessarily objecting to that – they can make higher profits selling lower-end CBD.
What’s the alternative? Finding premium CBD producers and buying their products online. We’ve profiled a few which aren’t readily available in most Alabama retail outlets, and there are other good ones as well. All will ship right to your home or business in Alabama within a few days of your order.
There’s another advantage to shopping online: it’s easy to compare brands and products and see the companies’ certificates of analysis (which, among other things, show the results of third-party testing for cannabidiol and THC levels). Leisurely browsing on your computer or phone is certainly a lot less difficult and stressful than trying to read the tiny print on CBD labels at the gas station around the corner.
Recommended/Trusted CBD Retailers
CBD stores and vendors come and go, so any list of recommended retailers is going to be incomplete by definition. There are some in Alabama which stand out, however.
- Birmingham: Magic City Organics CBD, Mello CBD Oil, CBD of Inverness
- Huntsville: The Green Lady CBD Dispensary, Earth Strong CBD, Grassroots Co.
- Montgomery: The CBD Place, CBDivine CBD Store, Hemp House CBD
- Mobile: CannaBama, Pure CBD, Simply CBD
- Tuscaloosa: Freedom CBD and Wellness, Tuscaloosa CBD and Wellness, Crystals Blissful Delights
Buying CBD in Alabama: Final Thoughts
Cannabis in Alabama is really a tale of two states: draconian when it comes to marijuana, but open and inviting for hemp. CBD produced from hemp is easy to find and easy to purchase, with almost no restrictions as long as the 0.3% THC boundaries are observed. Budget and low-quality CBD brands are everywhere, and those of moderate quality are readily available in the many CBD stores around the state.
What’s more difficult to find is high-end, premium CBD oil, since most Alabama stores don’t stock it. Buying this highly-effective oil online, and having it delivered to your mailbox, might be the best way to enjoy all of the health and wellness benefits that CBD can deliver.