The “Volunteer State” better known as Tennessee isn’t quite a leader in the cannabis policy reform. Yet many years ago, the local government enacted the House Bill 2445 to remove hemp from the definition of marijuana (cannabis). And that was a step in the right direction. H.B 2445 went into effect shortly after President Obama signed the 2014 Farm Bill on February 7th.
Before this Farm Bill, states all over the nation couldn't legally grow hemp for personal nor commercial use. But when the Bill passed in 2014, hemp pilot programs were able to study the plant. Pilot programs were only authorized to educational institutions and state departments of agriculture (where medical or recreational cannabis was legal). The goal was to research and make conclusions about the role of hemp and its usefulness in U.S. agriculture.
Turns out, they discovered a truth that many of our ancestors already knew. Hemp is in fact, an extremely valuable crop. Local leaders and residents of Tennessee also understood this. They knew hemp was grown for centuries in America prior to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Before then, hemp was an agricultural commodity. It was used to make textiles, clothing, rope, paper, food, oil, shoes, biodegradable plastics, and the list goes on.
More recently, the U.S. government recognized the importance of hemp and make some monumental changes.
How the 2018 Farm Bill Revised the 2014 Farm Bill
On December 12, 2018, the federal government removed hemp from the list of Schedule 1 drugs through the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. As of this date, growing hemp was no longer limited to educational institutions and a handful of state departments of agriculture. This updated Bill allowed any state in the U.S. to propose their own Hemp Program to the USDA. And that’s precisely what Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture did.
Let’s take a look at how Tennessee defined its hemp growing rules and regulations.
Who Can Grow Hemp Flower in Tennessee?
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) outlined and defined the state’s rules for growing industrial hemp. Under its Hemp Program, Tennessee residents must apply for a hemp growing license before laying any seeds in the ground. The application process takes place each year on July 1st.
Along with the required application, related fees are also due at this time. Fees are calculated based on the farmer’s growing area, which is measured in total acres. Once a license gets approved or renewed, those farmers can legally grow hemp in the state of Tennessee.
But, there are certain regulations hemp farmers must abide by when growing hemp. For starters, they’re subject to inspection by the TDA. During the inspection, the department may collect samples for testing. The testing will determine whether or not the sample has less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis.
This percentage is outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill as well as Tennessee's Hemp Program. If the results come back with a higher amount than 0.3%, the department will remove or destroy the plants. The Hemp Program outlines several other rules as well, but the THC percentage rule is by far the most important.
In summary, hemp farming is legal in Tennessee and this includes hemp flower, one of the primary components of the plant.
Is CBD Legal in Tennessee?
After talking about the legalities of growing hemp in Tennessee, it’s time to talk about CBD. Cannabidiol (CBD) made its way into our discussion because the hemp plant produces abundant amounts of CBD. So, if hemp is legal to grow for commercial use, is it also legal to buy it? Great question.
Yes, you can legally buy CBD hemp flower for personal use as long as the percentage of Delta 9 THC is less than 0.3%. Even though the THC percentage is capped, there’s no cap on the percentage of CBD.
Is Smoking Hemp Flower Legal in Tennessee?
Now that you’re comfortable with the Tennessee CBD laws, let’s answer a question about smoking hemp. Yes, you can smoke hemp flower in Tennessee, but we have a few suggestions for you before you do.
Hemp and marijuana both come from the same species of plant — Cannabis sativa. They can look and smell very similar. Herein, lies a slight problem. When you’re ready to smoke your CBD hemp flower, you may want to do it somewhere discreet.
Tennessee has strict laws on marijuana. Until they adopt a medical and/or recreational cannabis program, law enforcement won’t know if you’re smoking hemp or marijuana. As of now, there’s no quick way to discern the difference.
So, as a word of caution, don’t smoke your hemp buds in a public setting. Enjoy your hemp strain somewhere you feel comfortable to smoke it. This way you can enjoy all the wonderful effects it has to offer without the worry of someone or something getting in the way.
What’s the Main Difference Between Hemp Flower & Marijuana Flower?
Hemp flower comes from the hemp plant and has large concentrations of the cannabinoid, CBD. It also contains other cannabinoids like CBG, CBC, CBN, and even THC, but in tiny amounts. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the well-known cannabinoid in cannabis that has psychoactive effects. Like we mentioned earlier, hemp cannot have more than 0.3% THC, otherwise, it’s illegal in the state of Tennessee.
Marijuana, on the other hand, is a different type of cannabis plant. Many people refer to it as the cousin of hemp — the same family, but different genetics. Because hemp and marijuana have different chemical structures they also have their own set of effects. Marijuana’s chemical profile consists of high levels of THC. And over the years, many people bred marijuana to produce even higher levels of THC content.
So in short, this is the main difference between hemp vs marijuana. Hemp strains are generally high in CBD, low in THC, with a unique set of effects. And marijuana strains are typically high in THC and low in CBD, which is how they produce intoxicating effects.
What Are The Benefits of Hemp Flower?
When you smoke hemp flower, the contents enter your lungs immediately which then gets passed into your bloodstream. This is why you can feel the effects of hemp flower quickly.
These effects range from person to person, and a lot of them depend on the actual hemp strain you buy. The company that’s selling the flower will generally include a description of the effects. They can include feelings of euphoria, clarity, motivation, relaxation, focus, or calm.
Besides the fast-acting effects of smoking hemp flower, another benefit is to make your own CBD oil or topical from the hemp flower. There are lots of recipes online that teach you how to make oils and from there you can make edibles or topical ointments. If you can think it up, there’s likely a video on the web that can teach you.
Is It Legal To Buy Hemp Flower Online?
Yes, you can legally buy hemp flower online. The real question is, who are you going to buy it from? There are many important factors to consider when you’re looking for a high quality hemp flower. Put safety first. You can do this by finding or requesting a copy of the lab report. This is often called the Certificate of Analysis (COA).
In this report, there’s a cannabinoid profile that shows the level of CBD and THC. It will also show the levels of hemp’s other major cannabinoids like CBDA, CBDV, CBC, CBG, CBN, and so forth. Make sure the strain you’re interested in has less than the legal amount of Delta 9 THC (0.3%). And aim to find a CBD strain with a total CBD percentage of 12 percent or higher.
Other tests on the COA can include an analysis of pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, mycotoxins, and microbial content. Organic CBD nugs are always the best choice because you don’t have to worry about having any of these contaminants in your flower.
If you need a place to start your search, consider the artisan hemp flower we carry in our online hemp marketplace. All our CBD hemp strains are grown in Oregon using sustainable and organic farming methods. This preserves the quality, freshness, and therapeutic benefits of the plant.
Also, you’ll find copies of the ‘Cannabinoid Analysis’ to show you the total CBD percentage in each of our six strains. Find what you love, and we’ll do the rest. Shipping to Tennessee is free on orders above $50. If you’re not sure which to buy, we have a sampler pack that lets you try all six.