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Domestic vs Imported CBD

September 20th, 2017 by Brandy Palmer

imported cbd


Before we begin the discussion about imported versus domestic CBD, there are a number of things that need to be clarified. Cannabidiol (‘CBD’) is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. The plant contains many cannabinoids, but the two most popular compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (‘THC’) and cannabidiol (‘CBD’).

Having said this, there are variations in the cannabis plant itself. One variant contains a high amount of THC and a low amount of CBD. This variant is known as marijuana, popular for its recreational use. The other variant contains a high amount of CBD and a low amount of THC. This is known as industrial hemp.

Industrial hemp is used to make innumerable products like paper, clothing, textiles, supplements and even foods and supplements like the ones on this website. Now let’s talk about how we can legally obtain it.

Imported CBD / Hemp

The US is the biggest importer of hemp in the world. The total hemp imports of the US amount to approximately $300 million, with the composition of the imports being between materials for raw hemp and hemp products for commercial use. The biggest exporters of hemp to the US are Canada, Europe and China.

The rule is that hemp and hemp or CBD oil can be imported legally if the composition contains less than 0.3% THC. The oil can then used to make food, makeup, skincare, and supplements. All hemp and CBD oil is not the same. The hemp plant has a highly absorbent stalk which soaks up nutrients and everything else that is present in the soil in which it has grown. This can very possibly include heavy metals, pesticides and other materials that are harmful for your body. It has been observed that there tends to be more of these materials in hemp that is imported from nations which are non-European.

There are some variants of the hemp plant that do not have that much CBD content. Others, on the other hand, are full of it. Given that there are no laws that restrict hemp on the basis of the CBD content available in it, CBD strength does not affect the legality of the hemp that is imported.

Domestic CBD / Hemp

It is ironic that, given the extremely high amounts of hemp that the US imports, there is a constant debate between the state and federal governments regarding growing hemp on US territory.

Prior to the Agricultural Act of 2014, otherwise known as the Farm Bill, it was illegal to grow hemp on US soil, without permission from the DEA. The Farm Bill allowed a number of states to relax their laws regarding the production of cannabis. There may still be strict limitations on the usage of the products manufactured. In some states, They can either only be used for conducting research or can be only sold within the boundaries of that state.


Our nation is making a change in attitudes toward hemp and CBD. It’s happening slowly, but it is happening. The fact that we can now legally product hemp on US soil is evidence of that. When looking to purchase CBD oil, you need to ensure that retailer you are purchasing from, is importing the oil from a reputable source or selling products that are grown legally under the Agricultural Act of 2014.

About Brandy Palmer

Brandy PalmerAfter years in banking and manufacturing management, Brandy went to work for a hemp manufacturer in West Michigan. What was intended to be a fun summer gig turned into a passion for hemp. Brandy founded GWL in 2015 and is still excited every day to share that passion. Brandy has Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations and a Master's Degree in Management from Grand Valley State University. Go Lakers! Her journey as an entrepreneur has been featured in Revue magazine and on investcourier.com, among others. When she's not talking hemp, you can find her playing chauffer to her two kids or cuddling at home with her husband, Jim, and their 4 (yes, 4) cats.

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