Commonly celebrated for its rumored therapeutic benefits, the cannabinoid dubbed CBD has exploded in popularity over the last few years. This widespread acceptance, which is largely due to the fact that it doesn’t get you high, has led to rampant distribution of CBD in many forms, ranging from oils, lotions, candies… and even in CBD flower which you can smoke.
As one of the primary sources and most natural forms of CBD, demand for hemp flower is on the rise, and thousands of questions about the product are going unanswered. In this guide, we’ll give you the scoop on CBD hemp flower by answering all your biggest questions.
What is CBD Flower?
Hemp is a term used to classify varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant that contain a negligible amount of the psychoactive compound called THC. Hemp has literally thousands of industrial applications, and it’s known to have high concentrations of the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD.
Unfortunately, political leaders couldn’t tell the difference between hemp and marijuana; so they banned them both under the Controlled Substance Act in 1970. With the 2018 Farm Bill, though, America returned to its roots and legalized industrial hemp.
After being shunned for over 40 years, hemp-derived products are once again in the spotlight. Hemp seed oil is found in salad dressings, paint, and many body care products. The stalk’s fibers are used in clothing, construction materials, paper and much more. The flowers, which grow on the stalk of the plant, are harvested for CBD – and that’s where things get interesting.
Although hemp flower is commonly processed to create CBD oil, it turns out that you can consume the flower itself to get the same effects.
What’s the Difference Between CBD Hemp Flower and Marijuana?
The difference between hemp and marijuana is a confusing subject to tackle. Because the two names have been used interchangeably for years, the difference has become a little fuzzy. It’s important to make a distinction, though; because they are in fact two different species, and they are entirely different in their effects.
You are probably familiar with cannabidiol, or CBD for short. Because CBD doesn’t get you “high,” it’s completely legal in the US. Its proponents claim that CBD is an awesome way to get the purported health benefits of cannabis without having to sacrifice your cognitive state.
THC, on the other hand, is a different cannabis chemical that does impair the mind; and that’s why cannabis remains illegal in most states. Although cannabis does contain CBD, it’s usually shrouded by high amounts of THC.
In contrast, this distribution is inverted for industrial hemp. Where one would typically find low concentrations of CBD and high concentrations of THC in cannabis flower; hemp flower contains high amounts of CBD and extremely low amounts of THC.
So what’s all this mean?
In short: cannabis gets you high, hemp flower does not.
Does CBD Hemp Flower Smell Like Weed?
Because hemp is part of the cannabis family, yes: to the untrained nose, hemp flower is indistinguishable from marijuana.
Although hemp doesn’t contain much THC, the smell of cannabis actually comes from aromatic molecules called terpenes. Different strains have different terpenes, and with different terpenes comes different smells. There are strains of cannabis that smell fruity, earthy, floral, and so on.
Is Hemp Flower Legal?
While CBD legality can vary from state-to-state, industrial hemp is legal in most states and it is completely legal on a federal level. The 2018 Farm Bill, which is an updated version of the 2014 farm bill, removed industrial hemp from the federal list of controlled substances.
So, is this stuff legal? Yes.
However, we recommend being extremely careful with this type of product. Although it’s completely legal to own and consume hemp flower, it often looks and smells a lot like “the real deal,” and it could potentially attract unwanted attention.
Recent reports from all over the US have made it clear that, because they look and smell so similar, most law enforcement officials are unable to distinguish the difference between marijuana and hemp.
The field tests that officers use on the street will indicate a “positive” result if the substance they’re testing contains THC in any amount. Since hemp flower does contain trace amounts of THC, the tests will come back positive; which means law enforcement could easily mistake your legal hemp for illegal marijuana.
Although a more in-depth test will reveal that the flower is indeed hemp, it’s best to save yourself the headache and be discreet as possible with your consumption.
If you’re in a state where marijuana is illegal, leave your hemp flower in the package until you’re ready to consume it. Don’t flaunt hemp flowers around in public, and do not travel with a large amount of hemp on your person or in your vehicle. Again, this stuff is totally legal; but it’s best to be safe to avoid any misunderstandings.
Will I pass a drug test?
The legal limit for THC in hemp is 0.3% or less, so full spectrum products like hemp flower will usually contain trace amounts of THC. Although this is not nearly enough THC to get you “high”, the low amounts of THC in hemp flower can build up in your system over time, which could potentially cause you to test positive on a drug test.
Here’s the bottom line: if you’re subjected to drug tests for any reason, continue at your own risk. Here at Cornbread Hemp, all of our CBD products contain a legal dose of THC. If enough of this THC is present in your system at the time of your drug screening, you could test positive and face the consequences.
We’re fighting to change these practices; but as long as the War on Drugs continues, it’s an unfortunate truth that you could become a casualty.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Flower?
In theory, hemp has all the benefits that you would get from smoking marijuana; but because it has high amounts of CBD and extremely low amounts of THC, you won’t feel impaired.
Although the scientific community is just starting to understand the effects that cannabinoids have on the human body; many users claim that consuming hemp flower is therapeutic for them.
For example, one user on Reddit writes about helping his 68 year-old mother relieve her arthritis pain with hemp flower. Another user, who claims to suffer from PTSD, writes about using hemp flower to avoid a panic attack. And yet another user says that hemp helped him quit his drinking habit.
As of right now, these claims are entirely unsubstantiated; so take all these stories with a grain of salt. However, it appears that some are seeing huge benefits in CBD-rich hemp flower.
High-CBD Hemp Flower vs. CBD Oil
You’ve probably seen the little bottles marked “CBD” in stores and on the internet. This is the common product known as CBD oil, which is a concentrated form of CBD usually derived from the hemp flower.
If you’re looking for a CBD product, you might consider hemp flower as an alternative to CBD oil. While the two products are wonderful options on their own, they’re different on a technical level.
First, hemp flower is an extremely natural way to consume CBD. It comes straight off the stalk, which means it hasn’t been distilled, and no cannabinoids have been lost in the extraction process.
With hemp flower, you’re getting the full spectrum of THC, terpenes, and other cannabinoids that are found in hemp. Recent studies have shown that these different compounds tend to harmonize with CBD in what’s known as the entourage effect.
Think of it this way: if you’re heading out to a party, it’s usually more enjoyable to have a group of friends accompany you to keep the conversation lively. And so it is with CBD and its cannabinoid friends.
Another awesome benefit of hemp flower is in its compelling uses. Unlike CBD oil, which is typically taken orally, you can inhale hemp flower through combustion or vaporization, and you can even cook the CBD into a recipe!
How is CBD Flower Used?
There are several ways to consume CBD-rich hemp flower. Here, we will explore the three main methods.
Cooking and Baking with Hemp Flower
Yes – you read that right! CBD is actually fat soluble, which means it’s fairly simple to create your own hemp-infused butters and oils, much like you would make a normal cannabutter. From there, you can bake or cook your fat into any dish of your choosing.
With decarboxylated CBD flower, you could make “diet pot” brownies to share with your friends. You could spread CBD-infused butter on pizza crust for a relaxing movie night. The possibilities are nearly endless, so we encourage you to get creative and let us know how it goes!
Although this method is entirely possible at home, the extraction process can be a bit tedious. The effects are also more drawn out, as the CBD has to travel along your digestive tract and make a pit stop at the liver along the way. This typically results in slower absorption and reduced effects.
Regardless of the downsides, cooking and baking with CBD can be extremely fun; and we encourage you to try it out!
Smoking CBD Flower
If you are looking for the full hemp experience in the shortest amount of time, inhaling CBD is the way to go.
Just like marijuana, you can smoke hemp flower to experience its effects. The interesting part about CBD is that it has extremely high bioavailability when it’s inhaled.
Smoking hemp flower puts the cannabinoids in contact with your lungs, where it gets transferred directly into your bloodstream. This means that you will feel the effects quicker, and it will have more of an impact compared to oral administration – giving you the most “bang for your buck.”
But before you smoke your hemp flower, consider this…
Risks of Smoking Hemp Flower
Although smoking hemp flower will not expose you to the amount of cancerous carcinogens that you would find in a cigarette; that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no health risk at all.
When you light anything on fire, it will create carbon monoxide. Whether its a cigarette, marijuana, hemp flower, or even a campfire, any kind of smoke is technically harmful to your lungs. If you choose to smoke hemp flower, it’s important for you to know that it isn’t 100% safe.
And that leads us into our next method…
Vaporizing CBD Flower
If you want to get the benefits of inhaled cannabinoids but you’re worried about the health concerns involved in smoking it, you might consider a dry herb vaporizer.
Although recent news has warned about the dangers of “vaping,” this form of vapor is different. If you buy lab-tested hemp flower from a reputable source, you know exactly what you’re consuming and in what amounts.
Dry herb vaporizers work by heating up the hemp flowers to a temperature that is just below the point of combustion. When the flower gets to this temperature, the CBD, its terpenes, and other cannabinoids are activated to provide the full entourage effect without creating carcinogens.
In general, using a dry herb vaporizer is the easiest, most efficient, and healthiest way to consume hemp flower. As an added benefit, the “smoke” will be much smooth and flavorful in contrast with smoking.
How much CBD flower should I Ccnsume?
Nobody has ever overdosed on CBD, so it all comes down to your personal preference. Some good general advice would be to start small, work your way up, and see how it works for you.