Can I Have CBD On My College Campus?

Since the 2018 Farm Bill passed, CBD has become especially useful to students, especially with the 2020 pandemic. Its federally legal now… it has been for some time now, so my college will address this right? We’ll see. CBD and THC seems to have no significant distinction and lack of addressal in college drug policies are creating further confusion.

A Confusing Web of Research Programs

Many universities have involved themselves in CBD research and we hope many more will in the future as there is need for it. Oregon State University was recently granted $10 million by the DEA for sustainable hemp production research. The University of Minnesota (UMN), also has conducted several studies including how High Fat Foods Can Increase CBD Absorption Into The Body and CBD use during pregnancy. Such studies can further provide insights into safety recommendations and more. Hemp research programs are becoming more common.

Still, many colleges want nothing to do with the substance. After scanning several private and public university level cannabis and banned substances policies, few even mentioned the term hemp and all complied with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA). This act, established in 1989, requires a drug-free campus community.

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 What Is The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA)?

Former president George H. W. Bush pushed Congress to pass legislation requiring schools, universities, and colleges to implement drug and alcohol prevention programs in order to receive federal financial aid in 1989. This piece of legislation became The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA). At the time, hemp was included with marijuana as a controlled substance and thus an abusive or addictive substance banned by the federal government. That has changed in recent years with the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill which made hemp and hemp derived products 100% legal within the United States. 

It may be time to update this act. Is it safe to say universities are within their power to allow CBD use on college grounds because its legal?  CBD was decriminalized by the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. To be more specific, hemp was removed from the DEA’s list of controlled substances. A controlled substance is a regulated drug determined to have addictive or abusive properties. CBD is neither addictive, abusive, or psychoactive, which is exactly why hemp was removed in the first place. No student should suffer any consequences of having CBD on campus. It is important for students and the CBD community in general to bring awareness of the need. Where is the line drawn?

How Are Universites Handling Hemp & CBD?

Few universities are addressing CBD and hemp within their drug policies. Universities are not making it easy for students to find simple answers to CBD use on campus grounds and housing. If you want to know, ask directly. Its very much up in the air and is not being covered in college policies on sites. 

Medical Patients Meet Paths With Policies

Several crossroads are present as medical patients meet paths with school policies. Citizens with disabilities are protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), but it remains unclear if students with disabilities using hemp and/or cannabis are covered by this act.

To clarify, the ADA does not provide protection to individuals using illegal drugs nor does it prohibit school boards from having a drug-free workplace policy. Since CBD is not illegal, there should be no problems with students with disabilities using CBD as they need. Again, we are left dangling with unclear answers when it comes to campus policies. In addition, the FDA currently only approves one drug that contains CBD called Epidiolex for special cases of epilepsy.

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How Can CBD Help With Academic Stress

Students handle stress in a variety of ways. From a psychological perspective, there are two types of people out there: those who handle stress externally via finding emotional support and those that handle stress internally via keeping their problems to themselves. For more introverted type college students, CBD may be a massive game changer. Nevertheless, all students experience academic stress. How can CBD help with academic stress?

We each have one endocannabinoid system that takes care of us whether we realize it or not. The endocannabinoid system doesn’t get a lot of attention compared to other systems of the human body, but it is important to understand the basic of what it does so we understand why CBD is so stress relieving.

Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) maintains homeostasis. This is your bodies natural resting state. When you experience stress, your endocannabinoid system tries to regulate that stress to get back  to your natural resting state. The ECS does its best to balance your mood. It also regulates your sleep, appetite, inflammation, and immune system. If you noticed, the word endocannabinoid contains the word cannabinoid. CBD is a specific cannabinoid called a phyto-cannabinoid that derives from the legal hemp plant. Your ECS actually welcomes in cannabinoids and uses them to help regulate sudden anxiousness, promoting relaxation when it interacts with the various connections within your body. There is extensive scientific research on this subject which we will not get too into depth about, but that is the summary of many studies relating to CBD and stress.