Drug charges in the federal criminal system aren't based on California laws. Instead, they are based on federal laws. This includes acts like the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which divides certain drugs into different categories. Each category is called a schedule.
One of the scariest things that you have to think about when you are facing federal criminal charges is having to stand trial for those charges. This is because of the unknowns: You never know how a jury will perceive each case.
When you found out that you were facing criminal charges, the fact that the charges were on the federal level likely incited a new fear. These are very serious and can lead to time in the federal penitentiary.