Smoking CBD flower is quickly becoming the go-to activity for newbs (Welcome, all! The more the merrier.) and long-time stoners alike.
But there’s still a lot of confusion about CBD versus hemp and the best way to consume them both.
In this article, Ganja Distro cannabis experts tell you everything you need to know about smoking CBD flower so you can decide for yourself whether it’s right for you.
Two Different Things
First off, let’s make a distinction between CBD flowers and hemp because they really are two different things.
Hemp is a relative of the sativa and indica plants that get you high, but growers have bred it in such a way that it’s extremely low in THC (0.3%). That’s so low you won’t feel a trace of psychedelia no matter how much you take — that’s why it’s been grown legally for decades.
Similarly, hemp contains very low levels of CBD (0.5 to 2.0%) and other cannabinoids, such as CBG and CBN
So why grow it? Because it’s great as a foodstuff and an industrial product.
Check any health food shop, “big box” grocery store, or corner bodega and you’ll likely find hemp seeds in there somewhere.
Hemp seeds are high in polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6), vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B1 and B2. This makes them a healthy addition to any balanced diet. We love sprinkling them in soups, salads, and smoothies for a delicious and nutritious kick.
But the benefits of hemp don’t stop with the seeds. Manufacturers use hemp in everything from shampoo to plastics to paint to rope and clothing. It’s a very versatile plant!
For the sake of this discussion, we’ll define CBD flower as the final product of a high-CBD/low THC cannabis strain like Charlotte’s Web or Sour Tsunami.
True CBD flowers — not the low-everything variety at the top of the hemp plant — contain high levels of CBD (anywhere from single digits all the way up to 22% or higher), which makes them ideal as a medicine for all sorts of ailments, including:
- Parkinson’s disease
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Now that we’ve introduced you to the differences between hemp and regular marijuana strains, let’s delve into the topic of smoking hemp versus smoking CBD flower.
At first glance, it may seem like smoking hemp would be an easy way to get a bit of CBD into your system — it’s legal, and the act of smoking sends cannabinoids right to your brain.
But trust us, folks, consuming hemp like this is not a good idea. Smoking hemp is basically the same as trying to smoke a plant from your garden or a piece of rope.
The main reason for trying to smoke hemp would be to get the CBD. Unfortunately, the CBD levels are so low that you won’t feel anything.
The only thing you will get is a lung full of harsh smoke that might make you sick.
But don’t give up just yet! There is a better way to experience the benefits of CBD from a hemp-based product.
A Better Way To Use Hemp
As we mentioned, hemp does contain low levels of CBD (up to 2%), so smoking it won’t do you any good.
But if you extract the CBD from a large quantity of hemp plant and put it all in one place, now you’ve got something!
Sure, you won’t be able to smoke it, but you can enjoy the effects of CBD from hemp in other ways, including:
- Hemp Oil Pain Cream
- Hemp Oil Extract Tincture
- Hemp Oil Gummies
Whether you choose to rub the CBD into your skin as a cream, squirt a few drops under your tongue as a tincture, or pop a gummy at breakfast, you’ll get the CBD you need without the harsh smoke.
So smoking hemp is out. But what about smoking CBD flower? Is that OK? Let’s take a look.
Is Smoking CBD Flower Different Than Smoking Hemp?
Yes, smoking CBD flower is much different than smoking hemp!
As we mentioned, true CBD flowers — from high-CBD/low-THC strains — contain very potent levels of CBD.
So if you do choose to consume a true CBD flower by smoking it, you’ll feel the benefits of the cannabinoid — be it relief from pain, reduced nausea, or less anxiety — almost immediately.
The real question then becomes, should you smoke CBD flower?
The benefits of CBD are pretty much all medicinal. And there are so many CBD products on the market these days that are safer and easier to take (some just as fast-acting as inhaling it) that smoking it might not be the best choice for your situation.
Sure, it’s still an option, but tinctures, strips, edibles, and patches are so much easier to administer and are much more discreet than standing around in a cloud of smoke.
Plus, if you’re taking CBD as a medicine, do you really want to introduce smoke into your body? You already feel bad enough. Don’t complicate the situation even more by drying out your throat and making yourself cough.
We’re not saying that you should never smoke again. Passing a joint or blunt amongst a circle of friends is one of the most enjoyable activities on the planet. But this is mostly because of the THC.
We suggest trying a variety of different products and methods of consumption to find the one that works best for you. If, for you, that’s smoking, we wish you well! If you like CBD coffee or CBD pills better, that’s fine too.
If you do choose smoking CBD flower over some other activity, please read on for tips on how to keep yourself safe and enjoy the experience all the more.
Smoking CBD Flower: Safety
The healthiest CBD flower grows naturally — as Mother Nature intended — without the addition of damaging fertilizers, harsh chemicals, or pesticides.
Unfortunately, many growers resort to these methods in an effort to get the largest crop possible. But just because it’s a large crop doesn’t mean the CBD flowers themselves are good quality.
Fertilizers and pesticides contain harmful chemicals and toxins that remain on the CBD flower in trace amounts after harvesting, drying, and curing. These toxins are not natural and are not supposed to find their way into your body.
When you smoke, eat, or otherwise consume CBD flowers that have been treated with these damaging fertilizers or pesticides, over time, the toxins build up in your body and cause real problems.
Similarly, some growers spray their plants with heavy metals (such as cadmium, mercury, and lead) and salts in order to provide nutrients for the growing plants and to prevent mineral deficiency.
Just like the toxins and harsh chemicals, trace amounts of these heavy metals and salts stay on the plant after harvesting, drying, and curing and find their way into whatever ganja-based product you take (even external-use products like lubes, creams, and patches).
Not only are these metals and salts potentially dangerous for you, but they are also dangerous for the environment.
Some of these substances mix with the water you use to grow your plants, where they eventually run off into and pollute the soil, rivers, lakes, and oceans of the world.
So think about it for a minute. Would you be comfortable taking a deep breath of a chemical used to wipe out organisms en masse?
We certainly hope not.
But smoking CBD flower from low-quality, non-organically grown strains introduces those substances into your body, where they can collect and cause problems down the road.