It’s not easy to find CBD for sale in some states, even after the passage of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill that essentially legalized the sale and use of CBD derived from hemp. In a few states, the situation is even worse; their governments have refused to go along with the federal government, and still consider cannabidiol (CBD’s longer name) to be illegal.
Kentucky isn’t one of those states.
The Bluegrass state certainly has a long and storied agricultural history, and it was once the nation’s leading tobacco-farming state (it’s now #2). But ever since settlers first arrived, Kentucky was also in the forefront of hemp production – back when hemp was a legal and profitable crop in America.
When hemp was again made legal in the late 2010s, Kentucky was already on board. It had legalized hemp-derived CBD even before the federal government did.
That’s why cannabidiol products are easier to find in Kentucky than in almost any other state. They’re sold everywhere from dedicated CBD stores, to supermarkets and gas stations.
Not all CBD is created equal, though. Even though you can pick up CBD oil at your local convenience store, that doesn’t mean you should.
Let’s find out why – while also shedding some light on the best places to buy CBD in Kentucky.
CBD Oils in Kentucky
Full disclosure: you won’t find these CBD oils at your local grocery or convenience store. It’s likely that you won’t find any of them at the CBD store in your town, either. But they’re the best CBD oils you can buy in Kentucky, even if you have to order them online. You might even get lucky and find one of these brands at a store in your area.
The gold standard. It’s created with full-spectrum cannabidiol, carefully sourced from the finest West Coast organic hemp plants, and extracted with the very best technology available, the supercritical CO2 method. There are no artificial ingredients added; in fact, only two natural additives are used to distribute the CBD and provide flavoring. Royal CBD offers a great choice of potencies and flavors.
Just as good as Royal, since it’s produced the same way. It’s a little less expensive as well. However, there are only two flavors and two lower-strength choices in Gold Bee’s product line, and the company’s oil is often sold out since they make it in very small batches for quality control purposes.
CBDPure Hemp Oil
An excellent third choice. It’s produced with the same high-end techniques we’ve already described, and it’s even cheaper than Royal or Gold Bee CBD oil. There’s a trade-off for the lower price, though; their formulations aren’t as strong because they put less cannabidiol in their products, and CBDPure only sells unflavored oil that tastes like you’ve eaten raw hemp. (Some people actually like the taste, believe it or not.)
Is CBD Oil Legal in Kentucky?
If you’re a student of agricultural history – or even geography – you’d assume that Kentucky would be one of the CBD-friendliest states in America.
The United States criminalized both hemp and marijuana in the early part of the 21st century, but until then Kentucky was one of the biggest hemp-producing states in the nation. And when the original Farm Bill was passed in 2014, Kentucky was one of the first to take advantage. The state quickly allowed farmers to grow industrial hemp for research purposes.
That’s no surprise; the Commonwealth’s mild and moderate climate is particularly conducive to the crop, and many of today’s CBD producers source their hemp from Kentucky.
The “next” U.S. Farm Bill passed in late 2018. But it didn’t really matter in the Bluegrass state, which had already legalized the sale and use of hemp-derived CBD in 2017. Just as in the Farm Bill and the legislation passed in most states after that, CBD is legal as long as it has a THC content no higher than 0.3% and the cannabidiol is sourced from hemp. There are no restrictions on how much CBD a person can possess, although actually growing your own hemp is illegal. You need a state license to do that.
There are two exceptions, however.
First, Kentucky’s laws prohibit the sale of hemp flowers, which means you can’t buy them for smoking or dabbing. You’ll have to buy it online and have it shipped instead.
The second exception requires a bit of explanation.
All cannabis plants contain CBD. All of them also contain THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that makes you high when you smoke pot. But there are two types of cannabis, hemp, and marijuana, so you can actually source CBD from either type of plant.
Commercially-available CBD comes from hemp, whose minuscule amount of THC content keeps the cannabidiol legal. But CBD extracted from the pot plant has a lot more THC in it (and can get you stoned). In most states where recreational weed use is legal, this so-called “marijuana oil” is also legal; in states with medicinal marijuana programs (and Kentucky doesn’t have one), it’s usually sold to patients at dispensaries.
In Kentucky, that loophole doesn’t exist. Pot is illegal, and so is CBD derived from marijuana.
As long as CBD is extracted from hemp, though, it’s legal – unless you want to smoke it.
Do You Need a Prescription or Medical Card to Buy CBD Oil in Kentucky?
No special prescriptions or cards are required to purchase CBD oil in Kentucky, although most vendors require customers to be 18 or older; you may need to show a driver’s license to make a purchase. There’s no medical marijuana program currently active in the state, so medical cards don’t even exist.
The only FDA-approved prescription version of cannabidiol, Epidiolex, is available through pharmacies for a small number of patients suffering from certain forms of childhood epilepsy. As you’d guess, you do need a doctor’s prescription to obtain it.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Kentucky for Minors?
Federal and state hemp laws do not specify an acceptable age for CBD use in Kentucky. Vendors may not be willing to sell to minors, of course, but there’s nothing in those laws that prohibits parents or guardians from giving cannabidiol products to their children.
Is Traveling With CBD Oil Legal in Kentucky?
Of course. How else would you bring it home from the store?
Seriously, there’s no danger in carrying CBD oil anywhere in the state as long as it’s legal CBD sourced from hemp. If you’ve come from Illinois where you can purchase marijuana oil derived from pot plants, though, be careful. That oil is illegal as soon as you cross the Kentucky border.
What Type of CBD is The Right One for You?
Most doctors don’t suggest trying CBD just yet. If yours does, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to tell you what type of CBD to buy; doctors don’t really know much about cannabidiol than their patients. That’s a shame because the type of CBD you choose plays a major role in whether it will deliver the relief you’re seeking.
Since your doctor won’t give you any tips, though, we will.
Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum, or CBD Isolate?
Those seeking the highest level of pain relief or health benefits should choose products containing cannabidiol described as “full-spectrum.”
The reason is simple: the name means that the CBD contains the full spectrum of natural components native to the hemp plant. They include flavonoids, terpenes, and more than 100 other cannabinoids in addition to CBD; among those cannabinoids is the small amount of THC allowed by state law. The components in full-spectrum CBD all work together to boost cannabidiol’s effectiveness, through what experts call the “entourage effect.”
The other two options are “broad-spectrum” cannabidiol and “CBD isolate,” each of which has had its THC content removed – meaning they won’t trigger a positive result on a drug test for pot. That’s a quality that some CBD users understandably view as crucial. (In truth, full-spectrum CBD usually doesn’t register on a drug test either, but using CBD with no THC scores 100% instead of 90% on the “are you sure?” scale.)
All of hemp’s other components remain in broad-spectrum CBD so there’s still an entourage effect, although it’s not as powerful as in full-spectrum products. There’s really no reason for most people to choose CBD isolate instead of broad-spectrum since isolate provides no entourage effect. The only exception: isolate is the only type of CBD that’s legal in a few states.
CBD Oil, Capsules, Vape, Edibles, Topicals – Does It Matter?
The form of CBD you use makes a huge difference. In general terms:
- CBD Oil: Not the easiest CBD to use, because it has to be dripped (with a medicine dropper) under the tongue to work best, and it takes a little work to figure out dosages. However, it works quickly since it’s absorbed right into the bloodstream, with almost all of the cannabidiol’s potency retained.
- CBD Vape Juice: Vaping CBD is as fast-acting and effective as using CBD oil. It’s only a good choice, however, if you’re already into vaping or don’t mind starting.
- CBD Capsules: They’re basically just a shell that contains CBD oil, so they’re easier to use. Just swallow one (or two) and you’re done. However, the capsule ends up in the gastrointestinal system and has to be digested before the body can use the cannabidiol it contains. That means the CBD is slower to act and some of its strength is lost in the process.
- CBD Edibles: Gummies and other edibles are an easy (and often tasty) way to take CBD. Sadly, they have to be digested too, so they pose the same problems as capsules and even more of the cannabidiol’s potency is lost.
- Topicals: CBD patches, lotions, and the like are a good choice for skin-level pain, easy to use, and quick to provide relief. The skin blocks cannabidiol from entering the body, though, so they won’t help with any sort of full-body pain or longer-term relief.
Is Marijuana Legal in Kentucky?
Definitely not. Any form of pot is illegal, though the state has slightly lowered the penalties for simple possession. A first offense for possession of fewer than eight ounces is now considered a misdemeanor instead of a felony, but you can still get up to 45 days in jail and be fined as much as $250. A second offense? That’s a felony, with the possibility of significantly-higher penalties.
Kentucky has been staunchly anti-marijuana over recent years, even as other states legalize medicinal or recreational weed use. A bill creating an extremely strict medical marijuana program (no smokables, no home growing) was actually approved in the Kentucky House in 2020 but died in the Senate where the likelihood of passage in the near future is considered non-existent.
Where to Buy CBD in Kentucky?
Have to go out to run an errand? You can probably pick up some CBD wherever you’re headed.
CBD oil and other products are available nearly anywhere and everywhere in Kentucky. As in most states, dedicated CBD stores are seemingly opening on every other block. But since the state had a head start on the legalization of cannabidiol, there’s now widespread distribution through supermarkets, pharmacies, convenience stores, grocery stores – you name the store, and you can probably buy at least some types of CBD product there.
But should you? There are reasons to be careful.
High-end CBD producers, whose products are the most effective, don’t often sell their products through mass-market retailers. Sure, a CBD store here and there will make an effort to stock the very best products they can find. Most, though, will sell the CBD lines that offer the biggest profit margins. That means they’re usually from companies that offer lower-quality or budget CBD products.
The very finest cannabidiol, for the most part, is carefully selected and processed by high-end companies with limited nationwide distribution. For the most part, those products are only available – or easiest to find – when buying online. Asking a store clerk to recommend high-quality CBD oil won’t necessarily help, either; most don’t know much more about CBD than you do.
Best advice: think twice before grabbing a bottle of CBD oil when you’re outgassing up the car or buying dinner. It may not help very much.
Recommended/Trusted CBD Retailers
All of this is not to say that you can’t find some good CBD products when shopping locally in Kentucky; you just have to be careful where you shop. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Louisville: 502 Hemp Wellness Center, One Love Hemp Dispensary, CBD Hemp Oil
- Lexington: Bluegrass Hemp Oil, Daddy Burt Hemp Company, Herbal Health, and Wellness
- Bowling Green: First and Last CBD, Kure CBD and Vape
- Owensboro: Horizon CBD, Tierra Curativa Hemp Products
- Covington: Kentucky Botanical, The CBD Lounge
Buying CBD in Kentucky: Final Thoughts
If you’re looking to buy CBD in Kentucky, consider yourself fortunate. Kentucky legalized the sale and use of cannabidiol products sooner than almost any other state, giving retailers a head start on opening CBD stores or adding cannabidiol product lines to their existing offerings. As a result, you can buy CBD in more places in Kentucky than almost anywhere else.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Cheap convenience store CBD is unlikely to provide the same level of medical or health benefits as the very finest CBD oil carefully crafted by the nation’s top producers, and the latter is rarely available in retail stores, let alone gas stations. High-end producers all sell primarily online, with one guarantee: they’ll quickly deliver high-quality, legal CBD to every address in Kentucky.