Is Hemp Flower Legal?
If you’ve ever seen CBD hemp flower before, you’ve probably noted how much it resembles its illicit cousin, marijuana. When it comes to its look, smell, and taste, there is hardly any clear distinction that you can draw between the two, so it makes sense that you might question whether hemp flower is also considered to be an illicit substance.
In short, the answer is no. CBD hemp flower is not illegal. You can purchase it and enjoy it at your leisure without the threat of being ticketed, fined, or arrested. So what exactly is the distinction between hemp flower and marijuana that makes one totally legal and the other a DEA-classified Schedule 1 substance? To answer that, let’s take a closer look at the two.
The Difference Between Hemp Flower and Marijuana
Hemp flower and marijuana are very closely related to one another. They’re both members of the Cannabis sativa species and share a number of similar properties, including cannabinoids (CBD), CBG, and even THC, which is the psychoactive component in marijuana. The big difference between the two is that marijuana commonly contains somewhere between 20-30% THC, while hemp flower has <0.3% THC, which is not enough to cause any psychoactive effects.
THC content is the reason why marijuana is illegal on the federal level and hemp flower is not. In fact, THC is the real banned substance, while the cannabis plant is just the carrier. If the plant has a THC content of <0.3%, it is not considered to be illegal, which is why you can enjoy all of the wonderful benefits of CBD hemp flower, hemp oil, or any other CBD product without the threat of the DEA knocking down your door.
Has Hemp Flower Always Been Legal?
If you’re wondering why you hadn’t heard about hemp flower until recently, that’s because it hasn’t been legal for very long. While industrial hemp has a storied history in the United States, production was effectively eliminated in the mid-20th century through punitive taxation brought on by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. The plant was made fully illegal with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Both of these pieces of legislation failed to acknowledge the distinction between hemp flower and marijuana, combining the two in an attempt to fight what was considered to be a growing substance abuse issue in the country.
Fortunately, the 2018 Farm Bill reversed the controversial acts that prevented the production of hemp in the 20th century. Now, people are free to purchase and enjoy a wide variety of CBD products from bud lotions to tinctures to CBD oil to CBD tea...and of course, the smokable hemp flower, too! You can even grow your own if you’d like to.
Studies into the wide array of positive benefits that CBD is thought to offer are ongoing, but until it receives official FDA approval, it should be noted that CBD is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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