CBD use is now completely mainstream; according to Statista, by 2022, the United States CBD market will be worth more than $1.8 billion up from around $100 million in 2014. But one thing that’s actually a new trend on the CBD market is CBD flower.
CBD hemp flower is quickly changing the face of the CBD industry. Whether this newfound popularity is the result of the more general increased popularity of CBD, or the blossoming interest in recreational and medical marijuana flower across the nation, CBD flower is a fascinating new area.
In this post, we’ll cover the basics and details of what high-CBD flower is, the effects of smoking CBD flower and how it feels, the kinds of health benefits you can expect from smoking CBD hemp flower, differences in types of CBD products and how to consume them, and where to find the best CBD flower.
Table of Contents
- Why Smoke CBD Flower
- What Is High-CBD Flower
- Smoking CBD Flower: The Basics
- The Benefits of Smoking CBD
- Health Benefits of CBD
- What Is the Best Hemp Flower CBD Level?
- How Does Smoking CBD Feel?
- Can You Smoke CBD Oil?
- CBD Oil vs CBD Flower
- How Does CBD Flower Make you Feel
- The Difference Between Smoking CBD and THC
- What Are the Side Effects of CBD Flower?
- How Long After Smoking CBD Flower to Feel Effects
- Does CBD Kill Your High?
- Where Can I Buy CBD Flower Near Me?
- Final Thoughts
Why Smoke CBD Flower
In a market that seems obsessed with higher and higher THC concentrates, you might wonder why people choose to smoke CBD flower. There are actually lots of reasons, and it’s becoming a very popular practice.
To understand why, first understand more about what CBD flower is.
What Is High-CBD Flower
High-CBD hemp flower is basically a version of marijuana with only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC in it. According to Phys.org, marijuana and hemp are both the same plant: Cannabis sativa. The difference is one created by the law.
Any Cannabis sativa plants with levels of THC that are higher than 0.3% are automatically classified as marijuana, while those with THC levels of 0.3% or lower are legally hemp. This is why you read stories about thieves and others getting confused by hemp fields—it’s genuinely hard to tell the difference.
Most authorities at the state and federal levels consider cannabis to be industrial hemp at THC concentrations of 0.3% or lower. The phrase “industrial hemp” is related to the DEA’s Schedule I status for marijuana and to a range of state-level hemp research programs.
Smoking CBD Flower: The Basics
Although it may seem surprising, smoking cannabidiol (the full name for CBD) is among the most effective ways to experience this non-intoxicating cannabinoid’s benefits. There are a whole list of reasons people choose to smoke CBD flower, and we will dive head first into them in detail below.
In short, though, the consumption method plays an important role in the way you feel effects and, more importantly, in how long it will take to feel them. Smoking and vaping CBD sends the cannabinoid directly to the lungs for quick absorption into the bloodstream and effects within minutes.
And of course there’s just something satisfying about the act of smoking something—just ask humanity for eons. The difference is that smoking or vaping CBD isn’t the dangerous gamble that smoking cigarettes is.
Many CBD consumers like smoking CBD through a joint, preroll, pipe, or vape pen, and many just roll their own. You can also consume CBD via a tincture or in pill form, or even topically through a lotion, but there are unique benefits from smoking or vaping CBD that other methods of consumption can’t offer.
The Benefits of Smoking Quality CBD
But what does smoking CBD do, and are there actually benefits to smoking CBD compared to using CBD topicals, CBD edibles, or CBD tinctures?
What is the Entourage Effect?
THC and CBD are not the only cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa plant. There are numerous other cannabinoids that occur naturally in cannabis, including CBC, CBG, and CBN. Although research on these is minimal, and we know less about them than we do about THC and CBD, we do know that each cannabinoid has potent properties and that these phytonutrients work together synergistically.
This produces what has traditionally been called the entourage effect. The term originated based on the belief that THC was responsible for most of the healing properties of the cannabis plant. However, today we know that all of these cannabinoids have important benefits that merely work more effectively together by natural design, a sort of cannabinoid synergistic effect.
Evidence certainly indicates that CBD modifies the effects of THC, including the ability to intoxicate, produce psychoactive effects, and even psychosis in some cases. Furthermore, the overall similarity between cannabis terpenes and the cannabinoids suggests that all of these plant compounds affect each other in a complex web of neurochemical interactions.
Smoking CBD increases bioavailability, how much of the cannabinoid enters the circulatory system. In fact, the reason hospitals use intravenous drugs is that they are instantly bioavailable, or usable by the body. Anything administered in other ways, such as via the digestive tract, is less bioavailable due to first-pass metabolism and incomplete absorption.
Smoking and vaping CBD increases absorption and offers a more efficient and rapid delivery system, although smoking details such as duration, hold time, inhalation volume, and spacing of puffs can affect bioavailability.
Smoking or vaping CBD sends the cannabinoids straight to the lungs. From there, they quickly absorb into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body. Within three minutes after consumption, the smoked or vaped CBD reaches peak concentrations in plasma, meaning you can feel the effects almost right after use.
Ingesting CBD means it has to get past the digestive tract first and then the liver where it is metabolized before eventually hitting the bloodstream. This “first-pass effect” reduces the CBD concentration.
Other than injection, inhalation via smoking or vaping is the fastest way to introduce a substance into your system. This is very similar to the bioavailability issue, but sometimes people think about it differently. The bottom line is, smoking cannabis rich in CBD is the fastest way to feel pain relief from the CBD itself.
Marijuana is expensive, and high-CBD marijuana strains can be even more costly. Although there is no real substitute for a great medical marijuana strain with both high THC levels and high levels of CBD, if the CBD is really what you’re after, buying CBD hemp flower is an excellent and much cheaper choice, even for very high quality.
The safest option for CBD consumption, without a doubt, is organically-grown CBD flower. The plant has been growing on its own in nature for thousands of years, and it is the definition of all natural.
Creating extracts and tinctures is a very safe process if you do it correctly! But there is a reason we direct people to check third-party lab testing results and Certificate of Analysis for CBD tinctures and other products. You have to confirm exactly what you are smoking and know its origins. Verifying this information is a bit easier with CBD flower.
Cannabis Experience But No High
Are you a daily cannabis smoker—or wish you were? Smoking CBD flower lets you be, even if you need to stay safe for work, so to speak. A CBD joint does not produce the intoxicating “high” you get from THC, although you do get the calming body effects and relaxation like you would with an “indica.” However, you retain your energy and stay on task at work. See more on this comparison in the section below, but when you smoke CBD or choose a low THC option, you avoid the temporary side effects of THC, such as: dry mouth, slow reaction times, coordination problems, red eyes, and the dreaded munchies.
We’re not even referring to THC here—we’re talking about smoking. CBD hemp buds are, for some people, a very effective smoking cessation tool for tobacco. It’s extremely difficult to stop smoking tobacco, yet it is proven to be highly dangerous. As you quit, you’ll get withdrawal effects such as constipation and headaches—and smoking CBD flower can help relieve those, too, not just your craving for the act of smoking and the anxiety and stress that prompt many smokers to start in the first place.
In fact, a University College of London study showed that CBD use reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by participants significantly—by roughly 40 percent.
Health Benefits of CBD-Rich Hemp
There are many health benefits to gain from CBD flower strains:
Mood, mental health. CBD appears to mitigate depression, reduce anxiety, and even curtail schizophrenia symptoms in some patients. It is also useful for people experiencing PTSD and trauma.
Neuroprotective, cognition. CBD may have neuroprotective effects in patients with conditions that affect the brain such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Anti-seizure, migraines. The United States Food and Drug Administration FDA has approved a CBD-based drug called Epidiolex to treat childhood epilepsy. CBD is an effective treatment for seizures, and there is some evidence that this may be why it suppresses migraine headaches in the same patients for whom traditional prescription anti-seizure drugs are effective.
Acne. By reducing inflammation and regulating sebum production, CBD can help treat acne.
As research is less restricted and CBD use becomes even more popular, we expect to learn more about the benefits of smoking CBD flower.
What Is the Best Hemp Flower CBD Level?
The optimal level of CBD in hemp flower is very personal and taste-based. It also depends on your goals and needs.
A CBD hemp flower strain with 10 percent CBD content or less might be ideal if you want a lighter dose of CBD. Aim for cannabis flower with higher than 10 percent if you really want or need a fuller suite of CBD effects, however. And remember, just like with traditional marijuana strains, the maximum CBD level is around 18 to 20 percent in any strain of hemp flower.
How Does Smoking CBD Feel?
Although CBD does not intoxicate you or cause a high feeling, it does usually produce a sense of relaxation, calm, and well-being. Some strains of CBD can make users feel happy, socially at ease, focused, or even energetic. Other varieties, especially at high doses, cause users to feel so relaxed that they are sleepy.
These differing effects from smoking CBD are down not just to differences between the people who use CBD products, but also to differences between the products. Delivery methods are also important, as is the quality of the particular product. For example, hitting a high-CBD vape pen with THC will have a different effect than dabbing a pure CBD isolate, which in turn will cause different effects than just smoking a hemp CBD flower preroll.
Research reports no serious side effects associated with CBD use. However, avoid overconsumption, which can cause fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and irritability.
Can You Smoke CBD Oil?
It’s possible to infuse CBD into many products, including balms, capsules, creams, edibles, gums, soaps, CBD oil tinctures, vape juice, and more. CBD oils are made for inhalation, while CBD tinctures are only for ingestion.
CBD vape oil, also marketed as CBD vape juice, varies in concentration by law from state to state. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp is generally legal in all 50 states. CBD products are totally legal in 30 states, and partially legal in another 17 states.
Never smoke or vape anything not specifically formulated for smoking or use in a vaporizer.
CBD Oil vs CBD Flower
What is the difference between CBD oil and CBD flower? CBD flower is simply the high-CBD hemp version of cannabis—dried, trimmed, and ready to go in a baggie or jar. From there you smoke it in a pipe, roll it into a joint, or whatever you choose.
CBD oil is a potent extract of high-CBD hemp. There are three main forms of CBD oil: CBD isolate, full-spectrum CBD oil, and broad-spectrum CBD oil.
To create CBD isolate, the producer extracts and isolates the cannabidiol (CBD) molecule so it is pure. This means all the other beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids found in high-CBD cannabis including THC are gone. CBD isolate does not offer the benefits of the entourage effect because, of course, there is no entourage—only CBD.
Full-spectrum CBD oil leaves all of those cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes from the high-CBD cannabis in the extract to retain the entourage effect. There will be trace amounts of THC in full-spectrum CBD oil.
Broad-spectrum CBD oil is essentially full-spectrum CBD oil with all THC removed.
Users can only vape, smoke, or cook CBD flower into food, but there are many different ways to use CBD oil. Broad-spectrum CBD oil, full-spectrum CBD oil, and CBD isolate are also easier to use and far more discreet than CBD flower, which still smells just like weed, even if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
How Does CBD Flower Make you Feel
Vaping and smoking CBD is much different than smoking pot, which can make you feel high and paranoid. But that’s not to say that smoking or vaping CBD won’t be noticeable to you—it will.
Most users feel a sense of relaxation immediately after smoking or vaping CBD bud, followed quickly by reduced levels of anxiety, depression, and an uplifted mood. Smoking or vaping CBD hemp plant flower might also relieve pain. Depending on how much you smoke and your symptoms, you may feel fatigue relief—or a little sleepy.
The Difference Between Smoking CBD and THC
The most obvious difference between smoking THC or regular marijuana and a CBD product is not being high. But that’s not really a clear answer because you will almost certainly experience a mood boost of sorts from smoking CBD.
Among the 113 cannabinoids that have been identified in cannabis plants, THC and CBD are the first and second most common. And while people often say that CBD is “non-psychoactive,” the truth is that it is non-intoxicating—because it does act on the brain to improve the mood.
Both CBD and THC interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. The ECS is made up of cannabinoid receptors located in the peripheral nervous system, the central nervous system, and the immune system and spread throughout the body.
THC produces a high when it binds with the CB1 receptors, while CBD acts as an antagonist and has the opposite effect. In other words, whether it comes from hemp or marijuana, and whether used by itself or with other compounds, CBD is non-intoxicating, and does not produce a high.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Flower?
Is smoking CBD safe? Almost all research suggests that smoking or vaping CBD itself is not intoxicating or harmful. The real issues to consider are quality and purity of the CBD products you get, and the potential long term effects smoking anything at all has on the lungs.
In terms of quality and purity, consider that there could be potential health risks from toxins, additives, solvents, and other contents of CBD products that you vape or smoke if they are anything other than pure CBD flower. Even CBD flower can be exposed to bad additives, mold, or pesticides if you don’t have a reputable supplier.
Smoking any kind of cannabis, including high-CBD strains, can cause respiratory issues. This has prompted the trend toward vaping, which heats the plant materials at lower temperatures with the end goal of creating fewer byproducts in the cannabis vapor to decrease respiratory symptoms in users.
How Long After Smoking CBD Flower to Feel Effects
Typically, people smoke or vape CBD because inhalation is such an effective uptake method. Due to the better bioavailability in terms of the efficiency of the lungs at transferring CBD into the bloodstream, inhaled CBD from smoking or vaping is very rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream via the lungs.
Whether using a CBD vape pen or smoking a hemp strain that is high in CBD, the body’s response remains the same and it takes about three minutes to see peak CBD concentrations in plasma. As a result, you can feel the effects from the CBD almost right after you smoke or vape it, making these methods feel effective and appealing for those who need quick relief from acute issues like anxiety or even ongoing problems like chronic pain.
Does CBD Kill Your High?
CBD may not exactly “kill” a THC high, but it does have a proven ability to moderate a THC high. It does this by interfering with CB1 receptor activity in the presence of THC.
For this reason, some people use CBD to ensure they do not ever feel “too high” or that panicky feeling of paranoia you might experience as a THC side effect. This moderating effect CBD appears to have on THC is another example of the entourage effect.
Where Can I Buy CBD Flower Near Me?
There are many places to find legal CBD flower, but not all of them are created equally, frankly. You can Google “CBD near me,” but here are your basic options:
Medical or Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries
Medical marijuana dispensaries and recreational cannabis shops in legalized states often sell high-CBD hemp flower. However, these shops typically sell CBD flower that contains much higher THC levels than 0.3%, which could produce a “high” and other effects that could be undesirable.
You are far more likely to find basic CBD oils and CBD tinctures in retail shops, but some general retailers may sell CBD flower. If so, check for freshness and quality if you can.
Get CBD Flower Online
It’s definitely easiest, fastest, and safest to buy CBD flower online. But be careful: more of those online retailers are poor brands than not. Do your research before buying!
We hope this post on CBD hemp flower and everything else related to the benefits of smoking hemp flower and its side effects has been useful to you. Stay tuned to hear more about some of our favorite high-CBD strains and brands!