A jar of hemp flower with the text "Can you buy CBD hemp flower online?"

The idea of buying hemp flower online may be uncomfortable to you at first. Folks new to the online hemp market might have questions like: Is this legal, or am I being scammed? Those aren’t out-of-left-field questions. And, if you are harboring any reservations about buying hemp flower online, you’re not alone.

Many folks have reached out to us to ask if they can buy hemp flower online. That’s why we’ve decided to publish this brief how-to this post. By the end, you should know more about,

  • The legality of buying hemp flower online
  • Shipping hemp flower across state lines with the USPS
  • How to find the most reputable online CBD retailers

Can You Buy Hemp Flower Online?

In the following few sections, we’ll cover a few frequently asked-about topics regarding online hemp flowers. We’ll finish this post with a step-by-step guide about how to find a reputable online retailer.

What Is CBD Hemp Flower?

CBD hemp flower, sometimes called hemp buds, are the flowers of female hemp plants. As a female hemp plant enters the flowering stage of its lifecycle, it diverts energy away from growing taller to producing sticky, trichome-covered flowers to catch airborne hemp pollen. 

Female hemp plants that are never pollinated make more trichomes and end up creating more sought-after cannabinoids. The hemp flowers that we smoke and extract CBD from come from unpollinated female hemp plants. 

Is It Legal To Buy Hemp Flower Online?

Yes, it is legal to buy hemp flower online. You may also buy CBD-infused products online, provided that the CBD comes from industrial hemp plants. The 2018 Farm Bill defines industrial hemp as cannabis that contains no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dry weight.1

If cannabis contains more than that amount of THC, the USDA considers it marijuana. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. CBD, on the other hand, isn’t considered psychoactive.

A maturing Lifter hemp plant from Sunset Lake CBD 2022.
CBD-dominant hemp flower

THC Vs. THCa Flower?

THCa flower is a relatively new legal loophole that online retailers are exploiting. Because the Farm Bill only specifically mentioned delta-9 THC, some farmers are claiming that their THCa hemp flower is legal.

THCa is the acidic precursor of THC. When you decarboxylate it via heat (i.e., when you smoke THCa flower), the cannabinoid becomes delta-9 THC. The THCa flower loophole is legally dubious at best. You should know that consuming THCa flower will make you intoxicated.

Can You Ship Hemp In The Mail?

According to the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight is industrial hemp flower. Industrial hemp is an agricultural commodity that can be shipped anywhere via the USPS.

Judge James Gilbert ruled as such in the KAB vs. United States Postal Service case when he declared hemp products could be shipped via the postal service.2 The only CBD products you cannot ship with the USPS are vaping devices and cartridges. The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act of 2019 effectively banned the online sale and shipping of CBD, delta-8, and other THC cartridges.3

Related: What Is CBD-Dominant Hemp Flower?

When You Buy Hemp Flower Online…

Before buying hemp flower online, you should get to know the vendor and learn about the farm.

Try to find retailers who,

Include Receipts Or Packing Slips

The USPIS (United States Postal Inspection Service) used to require packing slips to make sure vendors were shipping CBD. The USPIS has since relaxed this requirement, but many still consider it best practice.

Include Their Grower’s Licence

Online retailers should also include their USDA or state hemp program license in your package.

The USPIS also requires this license. If the mail cops pull aside your package for any reason, this license will indicate that the contents of your package are above board.

Potency results for our Suver Haze Hemp Flower
Sunset Lake’s COA for our 2020 Suver Haze Hemp Flower
Include Certificates Of Analysis

Certificates of Analysis (COAs) are lab documents that give you insight into your product. Not only do they let you know that your product is indeed lab tested, they:

  • Tell you when the vendor last tested your product for potency
  • List relevant cannabinoids and terpenes
  • Will tell you the phenotype (hemp strain) that you are buying
  • Should help you calculate the concentration of your ingestible products (CBD oils, edibles, topicals, etc.)

Every online retailer you buy hemp flower from should include these in your package. Most will also host them somewhere on their website. Be sure to look for them before you consider making a purchase.

Dive Deeper: How to Read Your Certificate of Analysis 

Finding A Reputable Vendor

With the ease of the internet and online platforms like Shopify, many hemp farms have opened digital farmstands. But before you buy any hemp flower online, you should do your research. Look at each farm’s “About Us page to learn more about their farming practices and growing philosophy.

How Was The Hemp Flower Grown?

This writer’s advice for American consumers is to avoid buying hemp flower that wasn’t grown in the United States. (The same is doubly true for hemp grown in China.)

If you buy hemp flower from other countries, customs may take the opportunity to seize your products. Foreign hemp flower may also be contaminated with pesticides, and you may not even know it.

For safety’s sake, go the extra mile. Look for sungrown hemp and source your CBD products from this more sustainable method of farming.

A Vertically Integrated Farm

Try to find online retailers who also produce their own hemp flower. Vertically integrated farms will stand behind their flower’s quality and should be able to offer you better pricing. We here at Sunset Lake CBD take pride in our crop. Not only do we produce the highest-quality CBD buds, but we can do so at affordable prices.

Test Results

You should only buy from online retailers that provide certificates of analysis. If you don’t see any lab documentation or can’t find them hosted online, that’s a red flag.

As we mentioned above, COAs verify your product’s potency and safety. You can also ask each vendor for “full-panel COAs to verify your product’s mold, heavy metal, and pesticide profile. Don’t buy any hemp flower online without seeing any results.


Buying hemp flower is just like sending hemp flower in the mail. The first time you do it, it feels borderline illegal. Take it from this writer who packs and ships your lovely Sunset Lake CBD orders. Getting over that initial hump isn’t too tricky, but do your homework before making your first purchase. See our next post, 5 Things To Do Before You Buy CBD Online, to get started. 


July 2, 2024


  1. Hemp Farming Act of 2018, Wikipedia, Last Updated April 16, 2024, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp_Farming_Act_of_2018
  2. P.S. Docket No. MLB 18-39, KAB, LLC v. UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, USPS.com, Last Updated November 8th, 2018, https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/judicial/admin-decisions/2018/mlb-18-39-fd.html
  3. Brownrout, Adam and Cori Goldberg. “CBD Vapes Are Now Nonmailable via USPS | Perspectives | Reed Smith LLP.” Reedsmith.com, 18 Nov. 2021, https://www.reedsmith.com/en/perspectives/2021/11/cbd-vapes-are-now-nonmailable-via-usps