Even though CBD has gained somewhat of a cult-like following when it comes to oils, tinctures, and topicals, hemp flower is hanging out about half a step behind. Why? That hemp flower looks strikingly like marijuana, which leaves a lot of curious onlookers with the question: Is hemp flower legal?
In short, yes, but with a few caveats when it comes to where you live. Here is a closer look at the legality of hemp flower.
What is Hemp Flower?
Hemp flower, which is sometimes also called CBD flower, is the flowering part of the hemp plant. Once a hemp plant is harvested, the flowers are removed, dried, and then cured before being packaged or incorporated into products. While the full hemp plant contains CBD, the highest concentrations are found in the flowering parts of the plant. Therefore, the best hemp-smoking experience will come from smoking the flower.
Ways Hemp Flower Can Be Used
Hemp flower can be found in several forms. You can pick up raw hemp flower in its most basic form, such as TIMBR ORGANICS Hemp Flower. With raw flower you can roll your own joints, use the flower with a bong, or smoke the hemp in a pipe. You can also find hemp flower rolled up and already ready to smoke, which can be convenient for first-time users. Our Hemp Pre-Rolls are a good example. For a more generalized hemp-smoking experience, you can even get hemp cigarettes, which look just like tobacco cigarettes with a filter and usually come in packs of 10 or 20.
Hemp vs Marijuana: The Difference & Why It Matters
Hemp and marijuana are both plants that are part of the cannabis species of plants, but the two varieties are more like two cousins with two highly different personalities. The two can have some of the same physical traits, some of the same genetic makeup, and even some of the same aromatics. But, when you look more closely, it is clear to see you have plants that are related but not the same.
- Appearance – Most marijuana plants have these dense buds nestled into broad groups of leaves that cover the plant, and the plant itself tends to be shorter and more bush-like. Hemp has leaves and buds closer to the top of its tall, slender stalk.
- Chemical Makeup – Marijuana genetically has high-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and low-CBD. For reference, marijuana can have as high as 25 percent THC. Hemp, on the other hand, is naturally low-THC and high-CBD. THC is intoxicating; CBD is not. For legal purposes, anything containing more than 0.3 percent THC is considered marijuana.
- Cultivation – Hemp is a hardy, easy-to-grow plant; it is not vulnerable to the climate, proximity to other plants, or even many pests. Marijuana, in contrast, needs a controlled environment for a quality yield; plants can prefer heat and humidity and cannot be planted too closely together.
- Usage – Marijuana has long been known for its intoxicating effects; you smoke it, you are likely to feel “high” or inebriated. Hemp plants have been used for industrial purposes, but due to high CBD and low THC, the plant has rapidly gained notoriety for potentially therapeutic actions.
Is Hemp Flower Legal? The Answer Varies by State
As much as we would like to readily proclaim that hemp flower is wholly legal in every state, as of right now, not all 50 states have embraced smokable hemp, legally speaking. Even though the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp products on a federal level as long as they contained less than 0.3 percent THC, states retain the right to create their own laws. Unfortunately, some have been more hesitant to accept smokable hemp than others.
Most states are pretty lax on smokable hemp because it falls under the guidelines set forth by the FDA with the Farm Bill in 2018. However, some states, such as Louisiana have outright created laws against smokable hemp. Some states are caught up in legal battles because they have tried to ban smokable hemp, such as Indiana, which recently voted to reverse the ban. And, in several states, it is illegal to sell smokable hemp in-stores, but residents are allowed to buy smokable hemp from other states online.
Here is a look at the states where smokable hemp is legal, specifically illegal, and those that are in a legally gray zone where firm laws are yet to be established.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
It is important to note that the legalities surrounding smoking hemp are ever-evolving, so it is always a good idea to do your own research about the laws in your state.
Tips to Follow When Using Hemp Flower
So, is it legal to smoke hemp? As shown above, it can depend on where you live. In any case, it is extremely important to follow some good-practice tips when using hemp flower to keep you safe and out of legal red zones.
Stay Up to Date Laws
Keep tabs on both state and federal hemp laws to confirm that it is legal to smoke hemp in your area. Keep in mind that the laws are sort-of “in-process” right now, so they can change from one day to the next.
Check the Certificate of Analysis (or Lab Report)
Be sure to confirm that the product you are smoking has less than 0.3 percent Delta-9 THC. The Certificate of Analysis (COA) or lab report is a test done by an unaffiliated lab to determine the cannabinoid content, purity, and potency of the hemp flower. Any reputable company will offer their lab reports right on their website. For example, you can see lab reports on any TIMBR ORGANICS smokable hemp products here.
Only Purchase Hemp Flower from Reputable Brands
Always get your hemp from a reputable place. Because the hemp market is not regulated by the FDA, you can find a lot of fly-by-night retailers just out to make money. These retailers may not always be offering a quality smokable hemp that has been properly tested. Look for retailers with ample reviews from previous customers, published lab reports, and some level of established credibility.
Use Hemp Flower Responsibly and Discreetly
Hemp is obviously from the cannabis family, so the hemp flower can look just like any other cannabis flower, including the notorious, high-THC marijuana buds. Even further, hemp contains many of the same terpenes that give marijuana its telltale odor. Some bystanders could easily get the wrong impression. Further, law enforcement may not always have equipment on hand to test your perfectly legal hemp to know you don’t have the high-THC relative that is illegal. Due to these similarities, it is always best to err on the side of caution when smoking or carrying hemp. Remember:
- Store your hemp in a safe place away from general view and children
- Carry hemp on you or in your vehicle only when absolutely necessary
- Keep your hemp in its original packaging
- Avoid smoking hemp out in public or around people you don’t know
Stay Legal, Stay Assured, and Stick with a Quality Hemp-Smoking Experience
As the world grows more educated about hemp, we are all bound to see the nuances surrounding smoking hemp dissipate into the backdrop of years passed. In the meantime, as long as you’re in a legal state to do so, be sure to trust a responsible brand like TIMBR ORGANICS for your smokable hemp flower.
All of our hemp is properly tested and carefully harvested with quality in mind. Our top-quality hemp flower is available in a number of strains like Sour Space Candy, Suver Haze, and Lifter, so you can customize your experience.