Ditch weed seeds


There are no publicly available seed collections of hemp (Cannabis Sativa) in the United States after previous collections were destroyed when the government never expected hemp would return as a crop. However, this prohibition has now effectively ended.

The Hemp Farming Act, part of the 2018 Farm Bill, removed hemp, previously labeled a Schedule 1 narcotic, from the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Now that hemp is once again federally legal to grow there is a great need develop a new seed bank so researchers and breeders can produce high quality and high yielding cultivars that are regionally adaptive.

Despite active efforts to kill feral hemp populations throughout the Midwest, there are still large standing populations. Collecting seeds from these populations will be key to the success of the hemp industry in the United States.

If you are aware of any feral hemp populations, please contact Dr. Shelby Ellison of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Ellison will send along collection instructions or make arrangements
to collect seeds.

Please Contact: Shelby Ellison, PhD
Department of Horticulture | University of Wisconsin, Madison
1575 Linden Dr. | Madison, WI 53703 | 715-570-0217 | [email protected]

What is Ditch Weed?

In the world of marijuana, when we talk about ditch weed, we are referring to wild marijuana. So, does marijuana grow in the wild? And where does wild marijuana grow? Or better still, where does weed grow naturally?

We’ll answer all these and many more questions about ditch weed in the subsequent paragraphs. Cannabis plants grow in many different varieties, and ditch weed is just one of them.

What is Ditch Weed?

Ditch weed, also known as feral cannabis, or wild marijuana, refers to a group of wild-growing cannabis plants that originated from industrial hemp plants previously cultivated for fiber.

One distinguishing characteristic of ditch weed is its low or negligible tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. You’ll usually find them growing in the ditch, off the roadside, or places, where they weren’t planted or tended by choice.

Some people smoke ditch weed, but the effect you get from it is not comparable to that obtainable from a well-grown marijuana strain.

Nonetheless, according to reports from a handful of consumers, ditch weed still produces a classic cannabis high if dried and appropriately cured. However, this isn’t generally the case.

One exciting thing about ditch weed is that they grow in numbers, i.e., you’ll typically find many of them growing on their own. Perhaps the lack of human care and tending is why they are deficient in THC.

Early in the 20th century, farmers and many locals observed (in line with the report of the U.S. Division of Agriculture) cannabis growing in the wild and abundance in many Midwestern territories, including western Iowa, Missouri, and southern Minnesota.

To date, ditch weed continues to grow, even in Nebraska, Indiana, and Kansas. If you take a road trip across Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska, you’ll notice them growing in large fields, distinguished by their tall green leaves and pungent odor.

It would interest you to know that the United States Drug Enforcement Administration believes that 90-98% of weed consumed by lots of folks in the US is a feral weed.

Is Ditch Weed Legal?

Generally speaking, the legal status of cannabis in the United States can be a tad confusing in the sense that the laws governing the growing, sale, and use of cannabis differ from state to state. Ditch weed, despite being very low in THC, is not exempt from regulations.

Expectedly, whether the level of THC is high or low, if in the wrong hands and used inappropriately, significant damage may arise.

However, ditch weed is legal as it descended from industrial hemp and has very low THC. The Farm Bill stipulates that it is legal to grow industrial hemp anywhere in the United States. There are still places in the United States, such as Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas, where the use of cannabis is prohibited.

Eradicating Ditch Weed

A considerable amount of effort exercised by the DEA is actually channeled towards eradicating ditch weed from America. In 1979, the DEA created the Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression program. The program uses federal funds to eradicate the growth and spread of ditch weed.