Where Does the Best CBD Come From?

    by John Reid / February 13, 2019

    In this two part series we’ll look at where hemp is grown, how it’s cultivated, and ultimately extracted in the CBD oil that arrives at your door.

    Hemp grows like a weed across the US and many parts of Canada and Europe. However, not all environments are created equal when it comes to growing hemp to extract CBD oil. We will cover where CBD comes from and what environments produce the best CBD, as well as what state regulations have to do with how and where hemp is sourced. And, yes, of course, the weed pun was intended. Part of the fun in writing about CBD is all the dope puns.

    Why is the source of hemp important?

    Globally, most governments define hemp as Cannabis Sativa with less than .3% THC. In the United States, the 2018 Farm Bill defines cannabis with more than .3% in THC as marijuana. The 2018 Farm bill opened the doors specifically for hemp to be transported and sold across state lines. Now each US state decides if hemp can be legally grown within its borders. But at the end of the day, it’s a joint effort with mother nature. 36 US states have legalized hemp cultivation in some shape or form, but not all environments are ideal for hemp cultivation.

    Where Hemp Cultivation is Legal (1)

    What environment is ideal to grow hemp?

    Hemp can grow in most places with the exception of desert and high mountain environments. Cannabis seeds require an environment with a lot of sun and wind for fresh air to develop plant buds that are harvested each fall. It is a very adaptive plant...we don’t call it a weed for nothing. For example, there are states like Maine, Minnesota, or Vermont where conditions are less than ideal (not enough sun) while other states like Washington, Hawaii, and Tennessee where cultivation is ideal but hemp has remained a niche crop. Things are changing fast in the landscape of hemp; a reported 80,000 acres of hemp are being grown in 2018, compared to 25,000 in 2017. Montana made the biggest shift moving from a niche crop to a leader in total acreage because of ideal growing conditions. Environment of plant cultivation remains of utmost importance before the plant can be extracted cleanly for taste, efficacy, and optimal user experience.

    Where is hemp legally cultivated?

    Hemp is legally planted, extracted, and sold under widely different rules in each state. For example, New York remains a hub for extraction, but only a few licenses to grow. Beyond cultivation, there are states like Kentucky, North Carolina, and Nevada that allow for hemp to be imported from the European Union and extracted within the state for resale. Not all hemp extracted in the US was grown in the US, but this is a sound business practice as long as the hemp is grown in an ideal environment and legally shipped to the US to be converted into CBD oil.

    Where does Relief Scout hemp come from?

    Relief Scout takes into consideration ideal growing environments and legalities as part of a 5-step vetting process. In the big picture, according to Hemp Industry Daily, more than 26,000 acres of hemp were grown in 2017 up from about 6,000 acres in 2016 in United States. You might say hemp is truly is a budding industry, but there are still regulations at the state level that create as much headache as they do opportunity.  So, not all 36 States where hemp is legal make the cut.

    So we don’t get caught in the weeds, we’ll focus on the states where Relief Scout partners source the CBD we offer.


    The national leader in terms of hemp cultivation and extraction. Colorado approved hemp in 2012, 2 years before the original 2014 Hemp Bill. While most states were debating how to run pilot programs, Colorado was laying the blueprint of how to do things the right way. Although, Colorado’s climate is far from ideal compared to many hemp cultivators the state does receive enough sunlight to keep itself in “high demand” and had paved the way for regulations. In fact, Colorado is where our partners Bluebird Botanicals, Hemplucid, Elixinol, and Plus CBD (CV Sciences) grow or source their hemp.


    A west Coast leader thanks to an open market established in 2009 for cultivation and processing. With more than 10,000 acres of hemp grown in 2017 Oregon has quickly become a focal point for hemp growth. In 2018 Oregon became more stringent about hemp trade and transfer to slow explosive growth to more controlled economic trade. The Pacific Northwest is known for dry summers balanced with ample rain to feed hemp plants. Oregon is also expanding beyond its high cannabidoil profiles for medicine and into, you’re not ganja believe this... hemp textiles such as “hempcrete” for building materials. Our favorite high potency partner Lazarus Naturals sources 100% of its hemp from Oregon ripe with sunlight and innovation.


    California was the first state to allow medicinal marijuana in 1996 and to date the state that grows the most cannabis by number of plants, production (in pounds), and value. However, regulatory confusion has not allowed entrepreneurs to realize any profits from legal hemp. In fact, two of our vendors, Plus CBD and Elixinol are located in California but source the hemp from Colorado. Northern California is arguably the most ideal place for cannabis to grow in the US, but hemp is taking a backseat to bureaucracy of bills and politics (stop me if you’ve heard this before…) In 2016, voters passed a law for hemp cultivation, but, to date, laws have favored recreational marijuana sales for confusing reasons. In other words, California maybe be the Oz of cannabis, but you’re not likely to find one oz of hemp actually sourced from the Golden State.

    This half-baked article continues in our two part series that covers:

    • What are the different uses of the hemp plant?
    • Where is hemp extracted?
    • What are the different methods of extraction?

    If confused on what CBD brands are safe and have followed state guidelines and regulations to produce pure CBD products, visit the Relief Scout store or take the 60 second questionnaire to receive a customized product recommendation for your unique needs. Relief Scout does the vetting on quality, effective, and trustworthy products so you can rest easy in knowing a Relief Scout purchase is a dependable one.

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    John Reid

    John Reid

    John has over 13 years of experience in finance and consulting. John has joined the industry-wide mission to educate and introduce people to the value of this often misunderstood component of the hemp plant. When not working with the Relief Scout vendors, you can find John and his wife enjoying the great outdoors and surfing in San Francisco. And if you ever want to talk music, John is all ears.


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