Since congress voted for CBD to be removed from a schedule 1 controlled substance in 2008, we have seen a surge of CBD products hit the market. Tinctures and topicals were first to hit the shelves soon followed by edibles to beauty care products. We see new forms of treats and drops for pets. In an ever-growing market we are now seeing Cannabis return to its roots in the form of the hemp flower. The very bud collected from the plant plays an important role in developing all these wonderful CBD products. This herb is now being sought by consumers in the raw form for smoking, vaping and even eating.
What are the benefits of hemp flower? Are there any precautions?
Hemp flower (also known as the buds) of the cannabis plant is very similar to its THC-laden sister plant. The harvesting and processing of which a CBD rich cannabis plant follows very strict government guidance. This is to ensure more than 0.3% THC content in the resulting product or the grown plants. These rules allow for growers to produce a CBD-rich plant that allows for only a trace amount of THC but in such a small amount that there is no psychoactive effect. The psychoactive impact is commonly found with THC abundant cannabis. It is important, however, to have the small amount of THC present since it allows for an entourage effect of all the other 100 plus cannabinoids. This means when the THC (even in trace amounts) binds with the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors better health impacts are achieved from the plant.
Just like with THC-rich cannabis you will find that the CBD-rich counterparts offer a variety of strains with their own terpene profiles providing not just a different taste and smell but also different effects. For instance, a strain of Pineberry hemp flower contains the terpene Myrcene which is also found in mangos and basil. This terpene has been known to provide a sedating effect and has been used in Brazil as a medicinal treatment for hypertension, diarrhea, and diabetes. Pinene, another prominent terpene in Pineberry, it is one of the more commonly found terpenes in various plants. This terpene offers anti-bacterial benefits while also aiding in improved breathing, reduction of inflammation and improved memory. These two, Pinene and Myrcene, are just some of the many terpenes present in the Pineberry strain, each offering a different flavor profile or effect all culminating to the overall taste and experience of Pineberry flower.
CBD Content Varies with Hemp Flower Strains and Crops
Next and probably the most important deciding factor for CBD flower is the actual CBD content found in the flower. CBD content can vary between different strains. It also varies significantly based upon growing and harvesting practices. This creates inconsistencies in the CBD content even in a single strain crop. It can readily have changes in the overall quantity of CBD present among any of the plants. For this reason, it is important for retailers to be transparent on where their product is grown and that a certificate of analysis (COA) is done and available. These COAs provide a snapshot of the crops’ CBD content (something every COA in every shop should contain). Better COA reports also have terpene profiles, the most abundant cannabinoids present and whether there were any toxins or heavy metals present in the analysis. This information is vital in truly knowing what you are getting plus it also aids in finding what strain would best suit your needs.
The reason for a large portion of consumers to choose smoking or vaping hemp flower is the quick acting effect of the cannabinoids and terpenes from the inhalation of the products. Inhalation or pulmonary administration is the fastest way to introduce a substance into your bloodstream aside from injecting it. The moment you inhale a substance into your lungs, millions of tiny Alveoli start transferring the active ingredients into your blood. Additionally, studies have shown that CBD could be a potent anti-inflammatory compound. Science has already discovered that many diseases are related to inflammation and some researchers suspect that inflammation might be the primary cause of most diseases.
Methods for Administering CBD with Natural Hemp and Flower
If the decision is made to give hemp flower a try in its raw form one has options in how to take it. Smoking is the most common and this method much like vaping provides the benefits and effects of the plant almost instantly. The effects of the plant can last from a couple of hours to longer depending on various factors. Most who smoke the flower are typically looking for a relaxing, calming, unwinding effect which is generally a common effect of CBD flower. Others might be looking more to treating discomfort from an ailment such as pain, sleeplessness/insomnia, PTSD, anxiety, or depression. Regardless of the reason smoking provides a more immediate response with a shorter duration of effect. Now with smoking there are inherent risks such as pulmonary or cardiovascular disease. This is not in relation to the CBD or any of the cannabinoids but rather just the inhalation of burning plant matter. Another good reason to eschew smoking is that it can lead to tooth decay, teeth yellowing and possible cavities. The key thing to understand is moderation, negative effects are typically resulting from constant, abundant use.
Vaping Hemp Flower – Similar to Vaping Oils, But…
The next option is vaping and much like smoking you get the more immediate effect of the concentrated cannabinoids. Vaping is normally considered by many to be the form of a thick oil in a glass cartridge. A form of vaping exists using a similar battery along with a miniature oven. With this, heating of the flower as opposed to burning it as covered earlier, there is less combustion of plant material. Through heating the flower, you are extracting the vapors from the heated oils of the plant. This allows for a cleaner less harsh way of inhalation. Once again moderation is key as vaping has its own possible risks to the respiratory system.
The last common option and the overall safest is raw ingestion. Eating hemp flower in the raw provides what is known as CBDA or the acid form of CBD. In this state you get the pure form of CBD which recent studies have shown aids greatly with inflammation and digestion. Whether you are eating a pinch of the flower raw or mixing it in food you are getting the various benefits of the strain. The effects can take a bit longer as most of the plant matter is absorbed through the digestive process. However, the effects can be stronger and tend to last much longer than that of smoking or vaping. The only adverse effects could be a sense of tiredness, fatigue, dry mouth, and possible diarrhea. These symptoms can typically be mild but do depend on the strain and quantity consumed.
At cannabis shops such as the Carolina Hemp Hut, the consultants and budtenders are trained to help you understand and appreciate the various strains and their benefits, terpenes, and associated cannabinoid profile. If you are looking to enjoy the recreational benefits of CBD or to treat an ailment you will find that the hemp flower can provide a wide range of options.
CBD Content Varies with Hemp Flower Strains and Crops
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