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Is CBD Legal in Iowa?

Did you know that Iowa is the only state which name starts with two vowels? That’s not the only feature which makes Iowa stand out, however - its stance on cannabidiol is rather unique, too. Today, we’ll try to figure out the intricacies of CBD oil Iowa - is it legal to buy and use it, what are the conditions surrounding the legalities, and so on.

Is CBD Legal Iowa: Background
CBD Oil Iowa: Iowa state.

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CBD Oil Iowa - Is it Legal?

Difficult to say - as of writing this, the laws concerning CBD oil Iowa are very unclear. Technically speaking, if you want to learn is CBD oil legal in Iowa, the answer would be yes, for medicinal purposes. That said, CBD is still considered a controlled substance, which, yet again, makes it illegal.


CBD Oil Iowa - Is it Legal to Buy Online?

If you have a marijuana card, it is theoretically legal to purchase CBD oil Iowa online. That said, CBD is still considered a controlled substance, and you could get in trouble with the law doing so.


CBD Oil Iowa - Is it Legal to Buy Offline?

Admittedly, if you’re looking to purchase CBD oil Iowa offline, from a retail shop, you might be able to do so - there are such shops scattered around within the state. That said, such businesses have been previously fined by the state, so there is a legal risk in doing so.


Is it Legal to Grow Hemp in Iowa?

Theoretically speaking, yes - farmers of Iowa could get licenses and grow hemp within the state. That said, they would have to get the hemp tested before beginning to harvest it, which, apparently, raises issues that are yet to be solved.

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History of CBD in Iowa

Time to time, there seems to be a constant flow of different research that supports the idea that CBD could help people who are struggling with different diseases (i.e. Alzheimer’s[1], epilepsy, etc.) and physical impairment conditions. That said, some states in the US still have some very confusing laws concerning the usage of CBD - CBD oil Iowa is no exception.

Iowa has a history of some pretty strict laws that concern cannabis. There have been multiple decriminalization attempts throughout the years, many of which had no avail.

CBD oil Iowa: Des Moines railway station.

As far as CBD oil in Iowa is concerned, it was theoretically legalized for medicinal use back in 2014 (the Medical Cannabidiol Act[2]). Since then, there have been multiple different law iterations released, but it all still leads to one, single fact - there is no single consensus on the issue is CBD oil legal in Iowa.

The fact of the matter is, while CBD oil Iowa is currently considered to be legal for medicinal use (for certain medical conditions), cannabidiol is still considered a controlled substance under the state law. This, in turn, makes it illegal for shops to sell it to the general public - there have been police raids that enforce this even further.

Iowa - An Amber-Red State

In order to make it a bit easier for people to understand the intricacies surrounding CBD oil Iowa and other states, there’s some specific color-coding in place. Each state is assigned an individual color that reflects that state’s stance on cannabis and CBD. The colors are:

  • Green states. Green states are those that have completely legalized cannabis and CBD for both medicinal and recreational uses.
  • Amber states. Amber states allow you to use cannabis and CBD for medicinal purposes.
  • Amber-Red states. The most confusing color of them all, Amber-Red states differ in their laws and regulations concerning cannabidiol. In general, however, the situation is usually in the lines of hemp-derived CBD being legal for medicinal use, while cannabis-derived products being outlawed completely.
  • Red states. Anything and everything relating to cannabis or hemp is illegal.

So, then - Iowa is an Amber-Red state, right? Well… Yes, kind of. Reading through some laws that relate to CBD oil Iowa, you might notice some discrepancies, however.

An example of this is that, medical marijuana is legal to be administered within the state. Since CBD is usually extracted from hemp, the situation here is more lenient - if the CBD product has less than 3% THC within itself, it is legal to use it for medicinal purposes, with a doctor’s prescription.

As noted earlier, however, the only issue is that doctors aren’t too keen on prescribing CBD to the patients, since there’s a pretty good chance that the products would get confiscated by the law enforcement. Ya - it’s chaos.

A Brief Note about Federal Law

In 2018, with the federal Farm Bill being passed into law, it has become legal to produce CBD products that contain no more than 0,3% of THC within them. Quite frankly, this refers to CBD that’s derived from industrial hemp, and not cannabis.

So, the federal law is a big step-up as far as CBD goes, right? Well, as you might have noticed in this article about CBD oil Iowa, it’s not that simple - some sates still impose their own laws and regulations on the matter.

CBD oil Iowa: A farm in Iowa.

Thing is, they are completely free to do so, too - the laws of each state, if they oppose the federal one, do also override it, meaning that it’s still a state-dependent matter. Not the best news if you were wondering where to buy CBD oil in Iowa.

While it is true that Iowa is making progress in the regard, it all still falls back on CBD being considered a controlled substance by the law - until this issue is solved, there’s little chance that residents of this state will receive some clarity.

Medicinal VS Recreational

It would be impossible to discuss questions such as “is CBD oil legal in Iowa?” without differentiating medicinal and recreational uses, now wouldn’t it?

Medicinal use refers to using cannabidiol in order to alleviate some certain medical issues. A doctor might prescribe their patients some CBD, and the illnesses for which this can be done are very state-dependent. Since CBD has been shown to have positive effects on everything from anxiety all the way to psychosis[3], the list can get pretty long.

CBD oil Iowa: Des Moines university.

Recreational use refers to using CBD to self-medicate - in other words, without any recommendations or prescriptions from your doctor. Doing research for the topic of CBD oil Iowa, it’s evident that many states in the US still do not differentiate cannabis-derived CBD form its hemp-derived form.

This, in turn, means that you might have a difficult time using CBD recreationally, at least as far as legalities are concerned.

To reiterate the point made earlier, CBD oil Iowa is legal to be used medicinally. The state has not removed it from the “controlled substance” list, however, which can and will cause difficulties, even though it is theoretically legal.

Where to Buy CBD Oil in Iowa?

Having discussed the legalities of CBD oil Iowa, we should also discuss some methods of where to buy CBD oil in Iowa, too. Let me tell you in advance, though - this is not an easy task to do.

In general, no matter where it is that you’re located in the US, you have two big options - either purchasing the products online, or from a local retail shop (or dispensary). Each of these options have their own benefits and drawbacks, but the general idea remains the same - it’s much better to purchase your CBD products online.

Now, before we dive into the reasoning for why that’s the case, let’s briefly talk about physical retail stores found within the state and that sell CBD oil Iowa.

Buying CBD Offline

I’m going to make this very simple - yes, there are stores in Iowa that sell CBD products. No, you shouldn’t purchase the products there.

While it can be really confusing trying to navigate the legal matters concerning CBD oil Iowa for the user, it’s even more difficult when it comes to selling the products. The same sentiment that we’ve dragged through the entire article is applicable in this situation, too - it’s legal, but it’s not.

With some grand confusion about the meaning of “pharmaceutical CBD” and “supplement CBD”, there have been instances where police would raid certain CBD shops and seize the products found within. Needless to say, this is less-than-ideal.

Naturally, with the danger of getting in trouble with the law enforcement constantly in the air, it’s not the best idea to go out and try to purchase CBD oil Iowa in a physical store.

This leads us to the online alternative.

Buying CBD Online

It is true that, same as retail stores, you could theoretically get in trouble for purchasing CBD oil Iowa online, even if you have a marijuana card or a doctor’s prescription. That being said, if you’re someone who travels a lot, you could actually just order the products while you’re in a state where this is completely legal.

Whatever the case might be, it will always be more beneficial to purchase CBD products online than in a store. Better prices, more products to pick from, reliable sources - you name it!

With so many different benefits in mind, I’d advise you to stop worrying about where to buy CBD oil in Iowa, and simply turn towards the top-rated providers in the industry. Keep them in mind when you’re out of state or when the laws in Iowa start making sense!

cbdMD - Broad-Spectrum CBD Products

cbdMD is one of the more interesting CBD providers around. The company sells customers broad-spectrum CBD products. These products contain various cannabinoids within them, but are considered to be “THC-free”. Legality-wise, as soon as Iowa sorts out the “controlled substance” issue, you should be able to purchase and use cbdMD’s oil medicinally.

The prices for the cbdMD oil range from $29,99 up to $339,99.

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CBDistillery - Multiple Products, Reliable Company

CBDistillery offers customers a pretty wide variety of different CBD products, all of which are independently tested by third-party labs. The products are also potent and made from US-grown industrial hemp, so you can rest assured that the quality is going to be top-tier.

CBDistillery oil prices vary from $30 up to $260.

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If you’re interested in CBD oil Iowa and are looking for the most potent products out there, Charlotte’s Web should be on your radar. The brand sells full-spectrum CBD products - they are going to be quite potent, but shouldn’t exceed the legal 0,3% THC limit. If you find yourself in a state where it’s completely legal to purchase CBD oil, keep this brand in mind!

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To recap, CBD oil Iowa is theoretically legal if it doesn’t breach the 3% THC mark, and is used for medicinal purposes (that is, you have a doctor’s note or a marijuana card while purchasing it). That said, since cannabidiol is still in the state’s “controlled substance” list, this nullifies the legality, and makes things very confusing.

If you’re looking to visit a state that has less-confusing laws regarding the topic, and would like to purchase some CBD there, you should always resort to online providers. With this, you’ll be able to rest assured that you’re receiving the highest quality products possible, for the best prices out there.

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Scientific References

1. Georgia Watt and Tim Karl: 'In vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer's Disease'

2. Helping services: 'Iowa’s Medical CBD Law'

3. Albert Batalla, Hella Janssen, Shiral S. Gangadin, and Matthijs G. Bossong: 'The Potential of Cannabidiol as a Treatment for Psychosis and Addiction: Who Benefits Most? A Systematic Review'


While every effort has been made to make sure this article is as accurate as possible, it is not intended to provide legal advice. Since legal situations might rapidly change, we advise you to discuss any legal concerns with an expert, lawyer or relevant legal advisor in your local jurisdiction, or visit your state's .gov page for the most up-to-date information.


Is CBD legal in Iowa for medical or recreational use?

CBD oil Iowa is theoretically legal to be purchased and used for medicinal purposes. However, no matter if you want to buy the products in-store or online, you’ll learn that the laws in the state are very confusing, and the legality is up in the air.

Is cannabis-derived CBD oil legal in Iowa?

Yes, if it is medical cannabis. There are many restrictions here, however, and there are only a handful of medical conditions that allow you to become eligible for the use of such CBD. That said, most of the industry leaders sell industrial hemp-derived CBD, either way.

Will I get in trouble with the police if I use CBD products in the US?

You might. The drug tests used by the police might provide a false-positive result if you’re using full-spectrum CBD products, even though they’d fall in-line with the 0,3% THC law. That’s why you should always consider purchasing your products from only the best providers out there, and check if CBD is legal in the state that you’re in!

What is the overall legal situation of CBD within the US?

As time goes on, more and more states within the US are becoming more lenient and tolerant towards the use of hemp-derived CBD. While marijuana is still a “hot topic”, cannabidiol that has been extracted from hemp and does not breach the federal limit of 0,3% THC is becoming more and more accepted.

Is it worth purchasing CBD oil in a brick and mortar store?

No. While some states have a huge variety of different stores that sell CBD products, you should always resort to purchasing your CBD online, from well-known and respected product providers. This way, you’ll be able to rest assured that the products are up-to-standard and fall under the legal guidelines.

Can you grow hemp with the intent to extract CBD anywhere in the US?

No, not everywhere. There are certain, specific places (states) within the US where you can grow hemp with the intent to extract and sell (use) CBD. For example, Colorado is a very popular state as far as this topic is concerned.