Given the fact that CBD oil from industrial hemp is legal and most top-shelf manufacturers are able to ship to all 50 U.S. states, we get a lot of the following question: “is it illegal to grow CBD plants?”
Well, first of all, be advised that you don’t really “grow” a CBD plant; CBD is a compound that’s extracted from cannabis, so what most of these people probably mean to be asking is, “is it illegal to grow hemp plants (to extract my own CBD).” Or perhaps, “is it legal to grow high-CBD marijuana plants.
And that’s what we aim to tackle here in this article.
Since CBD oil is largely considered to be legal (federally, at least) in all 50 states, one might assume that they could easily grow their own hemp (or other varieties of cannabis) with the end goal of extracting the CBD, and ultimately producing their own oils. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as this.
First Things First: Where Does CBD Come From?
Like we said, it is “technically” incorrect to ask, “is it legal to grow CBD plants.” If your end goal is to make your own homemade CBD oil, what you would need to grow is either industrial hemp (which contains high amounts of CBD and low amounts of THC), or a CBD-rich cannabis strain. Either way, both of these products are pretty hard to come by unless you live in a select few areas of the U.S.
Basically, unless you live in a state where marijuana has been legalized recreationally (or unless you have a valid medical marijuana card that allows for home cultivation), you are not going to be “growing your own CBD plants.”
As of July 2018, cannabis is currently legal in nine states (plus Washington DC): Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. If you have the fortune of living in one of these states, then yes you could hypothetically “grow your own CBD plants.”
Moreover, if you live in a state where marijuana has been legalized medically and you hold a valid MMJ card in that state (with cultivation privileges), you could technically grow your own CBD-rich cannabis strains.
However, as we’ve mentioned, it is not easy getting ahold of seeds or clones that have been genetically bred to contain high-CBD. More often than not, people who cultivate their own cannabis strains are cultivating THC-rich varieties either for recreational use or for their own personal medication.
In truth, though, more and more people are wanting to grow their own CBD plants in order to self-medicate with no psychoactive effects. So if you do live in an area where it’s possible to grow your own plants, where would you even find a strain that’s high in CBD?
Where to Find High-CBD Cannabis Plants
To be honest, if you live outside California, Colorado, Washington or Oregon, you’re going to have a tough time finding quality seeds or clones that will produce mature, CBD-rich plants. If you do happen to live in one of these four states, however, you’ve got a few options either from dispensaries or cannabis nurseries.
Places like California’s Dark Heart Nursery or the Clone Oregon Hemp Nursery, for example, can provide excellent quality strains that’ve been genetically bred to contain therapeutic amounts of CBD, and almost no THC. Industrial hemp is also available in these states, particularly in Colorado which is part of the 2014 Pilot Hemp Research program.
High-CBD cannabis plants are certainly available in other recreational states as well, but it is not as easy to come by. Moreover, many dispensaries in these states that sell high-quality CBD products (flower, oils, edibles etc), will not sell feminized CBD clones or seeds.
In short, CBD-rich cannabis strains are not a particularly easy thing to come by. And while it is true that industrial hemp provides a good, legal source of CBD, most legal operations here in the U.S. are sanctioned as pilot research programs. As such it is all but impossible for an “average” citizen to obtain a growing permit.
What are my Other Options for Growing CBD Plants?
If you do not live in one of these aforementioned states, your options for growing good quality, high-CBD cannabis plants is going to be very limited. Even though you can buy CBD oil online from dozens of different companies and have it shipped to your door in all 50 U.S. states, it is still illegal to cultivate hemp.
Most of the companies that sell CBD oil online, in fact, have to import the raw hemp material from European growers. Either that, or they have to have a special commercial license with growers in Kentucky or Colorado that operate under the federal Hemp Pilot Program.
There are a couple of other options, however. Most head shops, for instance, will sell some variety of cannabis seeds that may or may not produce workable buds. In most instances, however, you have no idea what kind of cannabinoid profile you’re getting, and it will be all but impossible to know how much CBD you’re actually going to get — if any at all. There are also apparently some online sellers that claim to sell “growable” hemp seeds, but these organizations are sketchy at best both in terms of quality and legality.
You’re best bet (really your only bet, if we’re being honest) for growing high-CBD cannabis or hemp plants is to get genetically bred strains (either in the form of feminized seeds or clones) from a reputable nursery or dispensary in a recreationally legal state. These operations should be able to provide a cannabinoid profile of the strain in question that verifies both the CBD and the THC content. Cannabis strains that have been specifically bred to contain high amounts of CBD include: Charlotte’s Web, ACDC, Remedy, Dancehall, and Sour Tsunami, just to name a few.
What About Hemp Seeds… Aren’t They High in CBD?
You may be thinking “wait a second, I’ve seen hemp seeds for sale at my local grocery store… doesn’t hemp contain CBD?”
This simple answer to this question is ‘yes, hemp does contain CBD.’ However, all legal hemp seeds that are for sale as nutritional products in the U.S. (i.e. the stuff that you see in health food stores etc), are (or at least should be) sterilized — meaning they won’t produce any plants if you put them in soil.
And since the seeds themselves don’t really contain any CBD, you’re pretty much out of luck in this regard.
In short, to answer the initial question of “is it illegal to grow CBD plants,” the most basic answer is ‘yes, it is’ – unless you live in a state where home cultivation is legal and high-CBD clones/seeds are available from a local nursery or dispensary.
Final Thoughts on Whether or Not It’s Illegal to Grow CBD Plants
We’ve got to admit – folks who live in the likes of California, Colorado, Washington or Oregon have got it made. Not only can these people legally grow a handful of cannabis plants without any recommendation from a doctor, but they pretty much have the cream of the crop to choose from when it comes to selecting the highest genetic CBD strains available.
And for all of us other folks out there, well… it’s possible to grow CBD plants, but it sure isn’t easy or convenient.
That being said, if you know of any options in other recreational or medically-legal states for obtaining legitimate high-CBD cannabis strains, feel free to let other readers know in the comments section below! Or of course as always, feel free to get in touch with us directly via our Facebook page!
And lastly, it’s important to point out that growing ANY form of cannabis is still illegal in most parts of the US. As such, we advise that no matter where you live, you do your own research and learn the current laws that are in place in your area. MarijuanaBreak is not responsible for ANY illegal activity, and none of the information in this article should be used for illegal activity.
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