• People in Indiana are allowed to use or distribute cannabidiol (CBD) oil that contains no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and meets the labeling requirements(1).
  • Although Indiana was once an anti-cannabis state, several laws have made it more open to hemp-derived CBD production.
  • The Indiana State Chemist and Seed Commissioner’s office is where people can apply for a license to grow or handle industrial hemp(2). A permit also allows holders to process hemp-derived products.
  • In Indiana, cannabis plants must contain 0.3% THC to be considered hemp(3). Cannabis containing more than that amount is classified as marijuana.

Indiana residents may use or distribute CBD oils and other products with 0.3% or less THC based on independent lab results(4)

Governor Eric Holcomb signed Senate Bill 52 in March 2018, which allowed CBD consumption and sale if the packaging includes a bar code or QR code linked to a document containing the following information:

  • Batch ID number
  • Product name
  • Batch date
  • Expiration date
  • Batch size
  • List of ingredients
  • Certificate of analysis (COA) link
  • Number of milligrams of CBD
  • Manufacturer’s name

The COA should show that these CBD products do not contain more than 0.3% THC. THC is a psychoactive substance that causes various effects in humans and animals(5). One of the most common results when consuming THC is a euphoric “high.”

Historically, Indiana has held an anti-cannabis position. Several bills were written to develop a medical marijuana program, yet none of them have been passed. At this time, marijuana is not allowed in the state.

On March 26, 2014, the then Governor Mike Pence signed IC 15-15-13(6). This Indiana law authorized the Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC) and seed commissioner to produce and regulate industrial hemp in the state of Indiana. However, this legislation did not yet allow consumers to access hemp-derived products.

Three years later, Governor Holcomb signed House Bill 1148(7). This bill legalized the use of CBD oil containing less than 0.3% THC to treat epilepsy seizures. It allowed the use of hemp-derived CBD products if a patient’s symptoms are resistant to traditional therapies.

Since HB 1148 did not specify how patients may access these products, a new law broadening consumer access to CBD has been signed.

In March 2018, Governor Holcomb passed Senate Bill 52, which allowed the use and sale of cannabidiol, even outside medicinal purposes, granted that it has less than 0.3% THC and satisfies the labeling requirements set by the bill(8).

The 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp-derived CBD, was also passed in the same year.

In 2019, Indiana lawmakers drafted and passed Senate Bill 516, which further aligned the state’s terminology with that of the federal government(9). The law also banned the selling and consumption of smokable hemp.

Indiana CBD Laws

Historically, Indiana was a conservative state. After the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937, the legislation resulted in the state having the most stringent laws on marijuana in the United States.

In 2013, there were efforts to change state laws, yet these efforts had little success. Bills, such as Senate Bill 284(10) and House Bill 1487(11), were introduced in 2015, as lawmakers attempt to legalize medical marijuana. However, SB 284 was canceled even before it had a hearing, while the house bill was unable to advance.

A few years later, several laws were passed to legalize hemp-derived cannabidiol products to the public.

Here are the laws related to the legalization of CBD in the state of Indiana:

House Bill 1148

In 2017, House Bill 1148 was signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb, allowing doctors and healthcare professionals to use hemp-derived CBD oil products in treating epilepsy(12). The bill highlights that CBD products should not contain more than 0.3% amount of THC.

With the bill’s passage, a CBD registry was created for epilepsy patients, making CBD products easier for constituents to access. The law came into effect in July 2017.

Senate Bill 52

Holcomb signed SB 52 in March 2018(13). The bill legalized CBD use and sale for purposes not necessarily medical as long as the product had less than 0.3% THC. SB 52 also established testing, packaging, and labeling requirements to allow retailers to distribute and sell low-THC hemp extracts.

One of the state’s labeling requirements is to have a QR code linked to a document containing the hemp extract details. The information should include pertinent data, such as the batch identification number, product name, expiration date, batch size, and ingredients used.

Label requirements on CBD products vary depending on the state. The most common label requirements are available in medical cannabis and state-licensed adult-use programs.

Although there are no federal guidelines on CBD labeling, most manufacturers mimic federal dietary labels.

The dosage is an essential aspect that should be present on a label. CBD dosage often includes the total milligrams of CBD in the whole package, serving size, and the number of servings.

Knowing where the cannabidiol from a CBD product comes from is equally important.

Senate Bill 516

Along with several other senators, the then Senator Randall Head wrote SB 516, which established the Indiana Hemp Advisory Committee(14). The group was formed to provide advice to the office of the state seed commissioner concerning Indiana‘s hemp laws.

SB 516 aligns with federal law by changing references from “industrial hemp” to “hemp,” amending the state’s hemp definition, and allowing the aerial inspection of hemp crops. The law was signed by Governor Holcomb and came into effect in May 2019.

Licensing Requirements

Currently, hemp farms in the state operate under the guidelines set forth by the Indiana State Chemist and Seed Commissioner’s office(15). The commissioner’s office continues to draft new rules to revise Indiana hemp laws after SB 516’s passage.

Individuals who have a license from the Office of the Indiana State Chemist are allowed to grow industrial hemp. The permit also allows them to process hemp-derived products.

Hemp plants grown by people who do not have the necessary licenses are considered marijuana(16). Violators are at risk of prosecution and may be fined or incarcerated.

Indiana hemp licenses are issued under the regulations of the state’s Industrial Hemp Act. The following are the primary requirements for aspiring hemp growers:

  • Application form containing property GPS coordinates
  • Written consent to perform a background check and applicable fee
  • A signed statement that the applicant has not been convicted of a misdemeanor in the past 10 years

There are application and field site change fees charged for the 2021 season. As of November 2020, an application fee costs $750 for either grower or handler or $1,500 for both. Meanwhile, site change fees cost $50.

Testing Requirements

Cannabis plants in Indiana must test below 0.3% THC to be considered hemp(17). The Office of the Indiana State Chemist regulates hemp processing and production in the state.

Buying CBD Legally

Indiana has zero-tolerance for driving under the influence of marijuana (THC content), cannabis metabolites, and other controlled substances(18). People must be careful when deciding to buy cannabis products, especially since even trace amounts of THC can show up in a drug test.

Here are the key things to keep in mind when buying cannabidiol in Indiana:

  • Check to ensure that the CBD product contains less than 0.3% THC.
  • Select brands that test their products through a third-party lab. Reputable CBD companies readily make their lab test results available to the public.
  • CBD hemp oil is best produced through supercritical CO2 extraction. CO2 extraction is considered a safe and efficient method of obtaining cannabidiol from hemp(19).  
  • Choose a CBD brand that has clear policies on shipping and returns.

To ensure legality and safety, users need to research the CBD products and the brand that sells them. Visiting the brand website to check the company’s transparency is essential. Reading customer reviews and testimonials is equally important.

Reliable brands also include the ingredients used in their CBD hemp products and their recommended dosage in their product label. Most companies offer CBD in varying strengths to meet the different needs of their consumers.

How to Choose Which CBD Products to Buy

The following are some tips that can help buyers select high-quality CBD products for their supposed health benefits:

Check Brand Reviews

Before purchasing CBD products in Indiana, users should check brand reviews, including rating or accreditation, if applicable, from Better Business Bureau (BBB). 

BBB-accredited CBD brands are credible as they have passed in terms of transparency and ethical business practices.

Purchase Organic Hemp-Derived CBD

Some farmers, whether knowingly or unknowingly, grow hemp plants on sites that have industrial contamination. Research has shown that plants absorb minerals from the soil, including any toxins present(20).

Users should choose CBD products made from organic hemp and tested for pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful chemicals.

Reliable CBD brands in Indiana are also members of hemp organizations and have certifications from agencies such as the US Hemp Authority and the US Department of Agriculture.

Check the CBD Extraction Method

Look for brands that use conventional CBD extraction solvents, like food-grade ethanol and carbon dioxide. These natural solvents ensure that CBD products retain all the terpenes and cannabinoids of cannabis plants.

Identify the Type of CBD

There are three types of CBD products sold: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates.

Full-spectrum CBD contains all the chemical compounds of cannabis. Broad-spectrum CBD is the variant that has all the cannabis plant components except THC. Meanwhile, isolates contain pure CBD only.

People should choose the right type of CBD for their needs. Buying CBD that contains THC may be a problem for users who need to undergo a drug test.

Where to Buy CBD Products Legally

Users can buy CBD products from local retailers, dispensaries, and pharmacies in Indiana

These products can be purchased as tinctures, gummies, creams (topicals), capsules, and vapes. Some stores even sell CBD for pets and CBD flowers.

The following are some of the stores that sell CBD products in Indiana with an A rating from BBB:

  • Indy CBD Plus in Indianapolis
  • The CBD Store of Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne
  • Sir Vapes-A-Lot in Indianapolis
  • Bell Family Dispensary in Bloomington (BBB-accredited)
  • Owlslee CBD in Indianapolis

Stores that receive high ratings and accreditation from BBB are credible. BBB evaluates brands in terms of customer service, transparency, and ethical business practices.

Indiana residents can also purchase from CBD retailers online. Many CBD brands sell cannabidiol products through their websites.

Understanding CBD

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound derived from Cannabis sativa plants. It is the second most abundant cannabinoid(21) after tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.

Studies showed that CBD has several potential health benefits. One study discussed cannabidiol’s purported antipsychotic, neuroprotective, and anxiolytic properties(22).

While hemp-derived CBD products containing 0.3% or less THC are allowed in Indiana, doctors cannot technically prescribe CBD to Indiana residents.

However, they can recommend CBD products to their patients for pain relief.

Currently, doctors in Indiana can prescribe Epidiolex only, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved CBD product that helps treat rare cases of epilepsy(23)

Consulting a physician before consuming any CBD product is essential to avoid complications. Doctors familiar with cannabis can give users excellent advice on CBD’s effects on an individual’s medical condition.

What Is the Difference Between Hempseed Oil and CBD Oil?

Despite their nutritional value, hemp seeds do not yield the active cannabidiol compound. Hempseed oil does not contain CBD and has a minimal cannabinoid profile.

Meanwhile, high-quality CBD oil can only come from the leaves, stems, flowers, and stalks of the cannabis plant.

Can Pets Take CBD?

CBD oil intended for human consumption should not be given to animals. CBD products made for pets are less potent than their human counterparts because cannabinoids may affect animals differently.

Pet CBD tinctures can be applied by placing drops of the oil into the dogs’ mouths, in the same way humans can take the substance sublingually (under the tongue).

Conclusion

Although Indiana has been anti-cannabis historically, the state is now more open to producing and distributing hemp-derived CBD products.

Consumers in Indiana can legally buy CBD oil in the state, granted that these items do not contain more than 0.3% THC and adhere to the state’s labeling requirements.

To identify high-quality CBD, users should check the product labels and compare the information with the items’ corresponding lab reports.

Individuals should consult with a doctor before deciding to use any cannabidiol product for their medical conditions.


  1. Indiana General Assembly (2018). Senate Enrolled Act No. 52. Retrieved from: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2018/bills/senate/52#document-6a10d137
  2. Office of Indiana State Chemist. IC 15-15-13 Chapter 13. Industrial Hemp. Retrieved from: https://www.oisc.purdue.edu/hemp/pdf/IC%2015-15-13%20Indiana%20Hemp%20Program%20(OISC).pdf
  3. Office of Indiana State Chemist (2019, Sept. 17). Indiana Hemp Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from: https://www.oisc.purdue.edu/hemp/pdf/hemp_faq.pdf
  4. Indiana General Assembly (2018). Senate Enrolled Act No. 52. Retrieved from: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2018/bills/senate/52#document-6a10d137
  5. Sharma, P., Murthy, P., & Bharath, M. M. (2012). Chemistry, metabolism, and toxicology of cannabis: clinical implications. Iranian journal of psychiatry, 7(4), 149–156. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570572/
  6. Office of Indiana State Chemist. Hemp Update. Retrieved from: https://www.oisc.purdue.edu/seed/hemp.html
  7. Indiana General Assembly (2017). House Enrolled Act No. 1148. Retrieved from: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2017/bills/house/1148#document-f1053500
  8. Indiana General Assembly (2018). Senate Enrolled Act No. 52. op. cit.
  9. Indiana General Assembly (2019). Senate Enrolled Act No. 516. Retrieved from: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/senate/516/#document-d6981537
  10. Indiana General Assembly (2015). Senate Bill No. 284. Retrieved from: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/senate/284#document-b4878942
  11. Indiana General Assembly (2015). House Bill No. 1487. Retrieved from: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/house/1487#document-67c58c7c
  12. Indiana General Assembly (2017). House Enrolled Act. 1148. op. cit.
  13. Indiana General Assembly (2018). Senate Enrolled Act No. 52. op. cit.
  14. Indiana General Assembly (2019). Senate Enrolled Act No. 516. op. cit.
  15. Office of Indiana State Chemist. IC 15-15-13 Chapter 13. Industrial Hemp. op. cit.
  16. Office of Indiana State Chemist (2019, Sept. 17). Indiana Hemp Frequently Asked Questions. op. cit.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Justia US Law. 2019 Indiana Code Title 9. Motor Vehicles Article 30. General Penalty Provisions Chapter 5. Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated 9-30-5-1. Class C misdemeanor; defense. Retrieved from: https://law.justia.com/codes/indiana/2019/title-9/article-30/chapter-5/section-9-30-5-1/
  19. Rochfort, S., Isbel, A., Ezernieks, V., Elkins, A., Vincent, D., Deseo, M. A., & Spangenberg, G. C. (2020). Utilisation of Design of Experiments Approach to Optimise Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Medicinal Cannabis. Scientific reports, 10(1), 9124. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-66119-1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7272408/
  20. Ojuederie, O. B., & Babalola, O. O. (2017). Microbial and Plant-Assisted Bioremediation of Heavy Metal Polluted Environments: A Review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(12), 1504. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121504. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5750922/
  21. Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal, 23, 18–041. https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-041. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/
  22. Crippa, J. A., Guimarães, F. S., Campos, A. C., & Zuardi, A. W. (2018). Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 2009. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6161644/
  23. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2020, Oct. 1). FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD). Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd
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