Can I Smoke CBD in Public?

You’re pretty sure it’s legal to smoke CBD in your own home, but what happens if you try to light up a hemp freedom torch in public? Find out whether or not smoking CBD in public is legal where you live, and learn what to do if the wrong person mistakes your hemp for weed.

Can I smoke hemp in public?

In most cases, it is now safe to say that smoking hemp in public in the United States isn’t likely to get you in trouble. True, some states and counties have put forth restrictions on CBD flower sale or consumption, but anti-hemp sentiment is rapidly becoming antiquated as more and more people embrace the benefits of cannabis.

As long as you do it discreetly and respectfully, smoking hemp in a public place is unlikely to draw any attention either negative or positive. Going into the middle of a state where cannabis probation is still in effect, wearing a Rasta dreadlock wig, and lighting up a fat blunt right in front of the capitol building probably still isn’t advised, though.

If this all seems a little bit general so far, don’t worry: we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details as we continue.

Smoking CBD across the USA

In the United States, hemp flower containing less than 0.3% delta 9 THC is generally considered to be industrial hemp due to the 2018 Farm Bill. As a result, restrictions that apply to marijuana do not necessarily apply to hemp even if hemp flower looks smells and tastes exactly like THC-rich marijuana.

Despite what some overzealous hemp fans may think, the 2018 Farm Bill isn’t some kind of magic shield you can use to save yourself from hemp flower prosecution of any kind. Even if what you’re smoking is technically hemp, an anti-cannabis judge may simply decide to see things differently, and law enforcement officers around the country are still prone to mixing up hemp with marijuana.

Generally speaking, though, it’s true to say that the social climate in the United States has shifted favorably toward cannabis in a major way. Simply tread with caution, stay within the letter of the law, and you should be all right.

Is it legal to smoke CBD in public in Texas?

Texas is probably one of the worst places in the country to smoke CBD flower right now. Despite a rapid influx of coastal city-dwellers, perspectives toward cannabis in Texas remain remarkably conservative. Depending on where you are located in this geographically massive state, local law enforcement may have a very powerfully negative perspective toward your hemp smoking.

Is it legal to smoke CBD in public in California?

Both medical and recreational cannabis are legal in California, so it is almost unthinkable that anyone would bat an eye at your public use of CBD-rich cannabis. To be fair, you aren’t supposed to consume cannabis publicly in California, but pretty much everyone does it, and at least in major metro areas, law-enforcement has essentially given up on policing cannabis use of any kind. California recently moved to restrict sales of hemp flower, but this is an economic move that has nothing to do with California’s cultural perspective toward cannabis, which remains immensely favorable.

Is it legal to smoke CBD in public in PA?

Medical cannabis is now legal in Pennsylvania, but recreational cannabis is not. As a result, law enforcement is likely to still have a keen eye out for cannabis use — whether the buds in question contain CBD, delta 9 THC, or any other cannabinoid.

In Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other major metro areas in Pennsylvania, lawmakers have issued local edicts decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis. Within these metro areas, law enforcement may turn a blind eye to public hemp flower consumption.

Smoking CBD around the world

Despite its patchwork of regulations that vary state-by-state, America remains the world’s most progressive nation in its stance on cannabis use. Looking at other areas of the world, you’ll find immensely restrictive hemp flower regulations that almost invariably still treat CBD the same way as THC. Let’s explore:

Is it legal to smoke CBD in the UK?

As we have covered extensively in another guide, CBD flower laws in the UK remain mostly silly and oppressive. Regardless of the cannabinoids it contains, the UK’s Home Office still maintains that any plant component of cannabis remains defined as the illegal drug cannabis under an outdated 1971 law. Since it is still in unprocessed plant form, therefore, the UK government considers hemp flower to be an illegal drug.

Is it legal to smoke CBD in Canada?

Recreational and medical cannabis are both legal in Canada, so the Canadian government is generally more interested in where you bought your hemp then which cannabinoids it contains. Offering abysmal product selection and sky-high prices, the Canadian recreational cannabis market is essentially a complete failure. As long as you don’t make the Canadian cannabis market more jealous of success than it already is, you probably won’t get in trouble for discreetly smoking some American-grown hemp flower in the Great White North.

Smoking CBD in public FAQ

1. What do you say to the police if you get pulled over for hemp flower?

In general when dealing with law enforcement, it is best to be as non-confrontational and direct as possible. Don’t tell officers they are wrong for thinking your hemp is marijuana. Simply explain that it contains less than 0.3% THC, and if possible, provide lab results that back up your claim.

2. What’s the easiest way to prove CBD hemp flower bud isn’t weed?

Since CBD hemp flower looks and smells exactly like THC-rich weed, there’s no point in telling law-enforcement you’re smoking hemp, not marijuana unless you have lab results to back up your case. Conveniently, some hemp flower brands print QR codes on their product packaging that you or a law enforcement officer can quickly scan to access the lab reports for that particular product. The law enforcement officer you are interacting with may not consider this evidence to be proof you are smoking hemp and not marijuana, but showing lab reports is still the best way to quickly and efficiently state your case.

3. Can I smoke CBD hemp flower on probation?

You should definitely consult with your probation officer before smoking CBD hemp flower. It is possible, however unlikely, to test positive for marijuana after smoking CBD since hemp flower contains trace amounts of THC. Don’t take a chance on this one; cover your bases ahead of time.


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