What is Hemp CBD Flower?
As mentioned many times throughout our blogs, CBD is a cannabinoid derived from all cannabis plants. While there are two main sources of CBD (hemp and marijuana), most of the CBD available to the general public is extracted from the stalks and stems of industrial hemp plants, not actual hemp CBD flower. This is because the stalks and stems of the hemp plants are where majority of the CBD is extracted from, not the flowers.
Since hemp and marijuana are closely related, you may not be too surprised to learn that CBD is also found in the flowers of hemp plants. While hemp flower is a legitimate source of CBD, you may have noticed that many reliable, reputable CBD companies are not offering this alternative, and with good reason. Once you understand why tinctures, topicals, edibles, and vape products are the better options, you may want to avoid hemp flower altogether.
What Is Hemp Flower?
Hemp plants produce small, yellowish-green flowers. These spike-like flowers are what produce hemp seeds. Dried hemp flowers, more commonly called “buds,” can be ground up and then smoked or used as a food additive.
What Is the Difference Between Marijuana Flower and Hemp Flower?
Although hemp and marijuana flower both contain CBD, flowers cultivated from marijuana plants are significantly higher in THC, the cannabinoid that causes the type of intoxication marijuana is known for. Hemp flowers contain 0.3 percent or less of THC, thus smoking or ingesting hemp flower will not cause an intoxicating high.
If you do decide to purchase hemp flower products, it’s important to know how the crops were cultivated. While CBD flower may look completely natural, the buds sold at local gas stations, vape shops, or smoke shops may not be as pure or natural as they look. Many hemp flowers are heavily processed to protect their shelf life. So, unless you have access to third-party test results, there is no way to know if these “buds” are contaminated with heavy metals, chemicals, or even mold.
Why CBD Flower Isn’t the Best Option
While some people may initially believe hemp flower is the more natural option because the buds appear less processed, smoking hemp flower could cause more problems than you realize. In a side-by-side comparison, hemp and marijuana flowers look and smell very much the same. Since they are most often used in the same manner, when compared to other products, CBD flower is not your best option for the following reasons:
Harm from Smoking
When paper and cannabis burn, the combustion releases the same toxins and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Plus, cannabis smokers tend to inhale deeply and hold the smoke in their lungs longer. There are far too many safe ways of ingesting CBD to justify smoking hemp flower. If you prefer the option of inhaling CBD, it is far better to stick with vaping, a delivery method devised to simulate smoking without the known harmful effects.
When you purchase hemp-derived CBD tinctures, topicals, vapes and capsules, you have access to important information about the products you select. Such as, how the plants were cultivated, how the oil was extracted, and a list of the ingredients used to create your products. You may also have access to third-party test results that verify the safety, quality, and potency of your purchases. When you purchase dried hemp flower, you may not have access to this vital information.
Low Concentration of CBD
With hemp CBD flower, it is difficult to know exactly how much CBD is in the product you purchase. While hemp flower contains a significant number of cannabinoids, the flower is commonly high in CBDA, not CBD. CBDA is the inactive form of CBD. CBDA becomes active CBD in a process called decarboxylation. This is important because your body utilizes CBDA differently than CBD, and has to work harder to break down the molecules
Confusion with Marijuana
It is not unusual to find smoke shops selling hemp flower as cannabis flower in an effort to confuse consumers on the distinction between hemp and marijuana. While the word cannabis has been used to categorized hemp and marijuana together, there is a difference between the two. Selling hemp-derived “cannabis flower” leads many people to mistakenly believe they are purchasing a product high in THC.
High Cost for Questionable Potency
While some people may consider smoking CBD flower a natural, efficient method of CBD delivery, it’s important to know that smoking CBD flower is not a budget-friendly option. When you use a tincture, capsule, or vape product, the CBD content is clearly stated, and you know how much CBD you are using per dose. When smoking hemp flower, you will likely pay much more per mg of CBD compared to other products, and the actual CBD content is not guaranteed. If you are looking for a cost-effective delivery method, CBD hemp flower is not the way to go.
If you are looking for a safe, reliable, gimmick-free alternative to CBD flower, consider CBD tinctures, vapes, edibles, and isolates. Not only are these products safer, you also know what is being put into them through third party lab results, and they will typically cost less per mg of CBD.
Read our previous blog: Absorption of CBD When Applied Topically by clicking here.