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CBD flower is what CBD oil was five years ago. There’s a huge demand for legal hemp across the country, and enjoying this non-intoxicating form of cannabis is the perfect way to keep stress at bay.
Learn everything you need to know about CBD flower and the best ways to use it in this guide.
Everything You Need to Know About CBD Flower
CBD flower comes from Cannabis sativa, just like marijuana. Unlike its intoxicating cousin, however, CBD does not have any notable psychoactive effects, which is why researchers have determined that this cannabinoid is non-intoxicating.
In every other way, however, CBD flower looks, smells, and feels just like the THC-rich cannabis strains that are available in recreational marijuana states. CBD won’t mess with your head, however, and CBD flower is one of the cleanest and most efficient ways to enjoy this trending cannabinoid.
Most people either smoke or vape CBD flower, but you can also use hemp nugs to make your own CBD edibles or topicals. The flowers from Cannabis sativa are, after all, what are used to make every CBD product on the planet, but it takes a lot of time and technical knowhow to extract CBD oil and formulate products in your kitchen.
Instead, we recommend you vape CBD flower or enjoy a CBD pre-roll from time to time. We’ll cover all the different types of CBD flower products in this guide and help you make the right choice.
CBD Flower Terms You Should Know
- Hemp flower: Is the same thing as CBD flower
- CBD pre-rolls: Are CBD “joints” with less than 0.3% THC
- Non-intoxicating: Indicates that CBD flower does not cause an intoxicating effect
- Terpenes: Flavorful plant oils that are naturally expressed in cannabis
- Flavonoids: Similar to terpenes, flavonoids have potent antioxidant effects
- Manicured: Is a term used to refer to buds that are hand-trimmed and high-quality
- Indica-dominant hemp: Contains terpenes that cause a soothing or relaxing effect
- Sativa-dominant hemp: Has an energizing, uplifting effect
What is CBD Flower?
In short: The dried and cured flower of mature Cannabis sativa plants containing less than 0.3% THC.
Learn more: CBD flower is dried and cured Cannabis sativa flower that has been bred to be high in CBD and low in THC. Contrary to popular belief, hemp and marijuana are not different plants. Both substances are Cannabis sativa, and the only difference is the dominant cannabinoid.
There’s a little bit of CBD in every Cannabis sativa plant, but usually not enough to make a difference. A few decades ago, however, breeders started producing hemp plants with higher and higher CBD concentrations, and now, hemp strains with high CBD and low THC are almost as common as high-THC strains.
What Are CBD Flower Terpenes?
In short: Powerful aromatic compounds in cannabis flower that alter its effects and offer unique flavors and aromas.
Learn more: Cannabis contains lots of different types of plant oils. These natural oils can generally be classified as either cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids. Cannabinoids are only found in cannabis, but terpenes and flavonoids are both found in lots of other plant species aside from hemp.
Terpenes have potent aromas that significantly impact the way you experience cannabis. While some terpenes don’t taste like they smell, every terpene has a flavor, and it’s even possible that the exact terpene ratio in hemp flower alters the way it affects your body.
CBD Flower Aromas
Let’s cover how various common terpenes found in cannabis flower smell:
- Caryophyllene: One of the most common terpenes in cannabis, caryophyllene smells woody or like cloves.
- Myrcene: This terpene is the main culprit responsible for the unmistakably “dank” smell of cannabis, and it’s also found in mangoes.
- Limonene: Also found in citrus peels, limonene has a sharp, fruity aroma.
- Pinene: This terpene smells distinctively piney, and it’s also found in pine trees.
- Humulene: Found in many types of deciduous trees, humulene has a woody aroma.
- Linalool: Also present in lavender, linalool has an iconic floral aroma.
- Terpinolene: As the “mystery terpene,” terpinolene smells like many different things at once.
CBD Flower Flavors
Next, let’s take a look at how each of these terpenes tastes:
- Caryophyllene: Spicier than you’d think, this terpene coats your throat with an almost peppermint-like sensation.
- Myrcene: This terpene doesn’t taste much like anything aside from itself. Hints of mango and dankness abound.
- Limonene: Limonene doesn’t taste as much like citrus juice as you’d expect. Instead, this terpene is relatively sweet.
- Pinene: Thankfully, pinene doesn’t taste like pine sap. Instead, it tastes somewhat earthy or even minty.
- Humulene: Humulene tastes earthy, but it also has a powerful hops undertone.
- Linalool: Linalool has a light, crisp taste that resembles lavender ice cream.
- Terpinolene: Some people say terpinolene has a fruity flavor, but others say it’s more floral or herbal.
CBD Flower Effects
In short: While CBD flower isn’t intoxicating, you might find its effects to be highly soothing and relaxing.
Learn more: Instead of activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors, the two neuroreceptors responsible for the “high” you experience when using cannabis, CBD appears to act at the non-intoxicating 5-HT1A and TRPV1 receptors. Does that sound like a bunch of scientific gobbledegook? Let’s clarify.
The human brain contains an endocannabinoid system involving a few endocannabinoids (body-made cannabinoids) like anandamide and cannabinoid neuroreceptors like CB1 and CB2. Phytocannabinoids (plant-made cannabinoids) affect the endocannabinoid system as well, but each phytocannabinoid is chemically different.
When intoxicating phytocannabinoids like THC activate your CB1 and CB2 receptors, they cause an intoxicating effect. Since CBD doesn’t interact with these receptors, however, it doesn’t get you high. The 5-HT1A receptor is part of your serotonergic system, which controls mood and heart rate. The TRPV1 receptor, on the other hand, deals mainly with inflammatory pain.
CBD Flower Benefits
In short: CBD flower absorbs into your system faster than any other product type, providing instantaneous effects.
Learn more: CBD flower is unlike any other type of CBD product. While the CBD in most hemp products must pass through your liver before it reaches the brain, smoking or vaping CBD flower releases this cannabinoid directly into your lungs, which are connected to your brain by large, fast-flowing blood vessels.
The effects of CBD flower last about 30-60 minutes, and they begin almost immediately after you take this non-intoxicating cannabinoid into your lungs. Since this ingestion method bypasses the liver, which reduces the effectiveness of CBD, the effects of CBD flower are often stronger than you might expect.
At the same time, however, CBD is non-intoxicating, so enjoying a potent dose of this hemp-derived substance won’t make you paranoid or confused. CBD might make you feel slightly tired, but other than that, your first experience with hemp flower should be altogether enjoyable and mild.
What is CBD Flower Good For?
In short: People primarily use CBD flower for stress, anxiety, depression, and similar conditions, but it’s also common to use hemp flower for pain and serious diseases. To combat workplace stress, people are even using CBD at work.
Learn more: Since it appears to have powerful antioxidant and neuroprotective effects, scientists have looked at CBD as an effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions. Check out the “Conditions” page on the independent research site Project CBD for a full list of diseases and illnesses for which CBD has been researched as a treatment, but we’ll cover the basics below:
CBD originally became popular for its effects on epilepsy, and CBD flower might provide more immediate relief. These days, people from all walks of life use CBD for psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression, and using CBD flower might stop negative emotional experiences before they become too much to bear.
Though it’s also been looked at as a treatment for heart disease, digestive conditions, and even cancer, the third most common medical application of CBD is pain. Since this cannabinoid operates at both the 5-HT1A and TRPV1 receptors, it’s possible that CBD could help with both types of pain: inflammatory and neuropathic.
Is CBD Flower Legal?
In short: The 2018 Farm Bill removed CBD from the definition of marijuana under the CSA, essentially making all CBD products with less than 0.3% THC legal.
Learn more: CBD is legal enough now that the TSA even says it’s okay to take your favorite non-intoxicating cannabinoid on planes. It’s likely that further legislation will come soon to clarify the current regulatory status of CBD.
What this all means for recreational marijuana nationwide is the real issue. Meaningful changes to CBD law won’t come until federal cannabis prohibition is lifted. In the meantime, increasingly relaxed regulations are helping reputable hemp manufacturers succeed and continue offering high-quality CBD flower products in all 50 states.
CBD Flower Side Effects
In short: CBD does not have any major side effects, but you’re always putting your health at risk when you choose to smoke.
Learn more: According to the latest research, CBD doesn’t have any common side effects aside from dry mouth and fatigue, but this cannabinoid can interact with certain medications. Smoking hemp appears to be less harmful than smoking cigarettes, but inhaling incinerated plant matter is inherently risky. Hemp companies that focus on organic products produce better smokes, but try vaping to experience all the benefits of CBD flower without the guilt.
CBD Flower Research
In short: We know a lot about the effects of CBD, and there’s also plenty we know about how substances you inhale affect your system.
Learn more: In addition to the research we listed above in relation to the effects of CBD, there’s also some information on pulmonary ingestion that you should know. The scientific term for inhaling, pulmonary ingestion is when you send a substance into your body via the tiny alveoli that line the insides of your lungs. According to some research, the bioavailability of inhaling substances may be higher than other ingestion methods, resulting in a more efficient and effective experience.
CBD Flower vs Hemp Flower
In short: CBD flower comes from hemp, the non-intoxicating form of cannabis.
Learn more: CBD flower and hemp flower are the same thing. While not intoxicating, hemp produces flowers just like marijuana. Since the dominant cannabinoid in hemp is usually CBD, not THC, the flowers of the non-intoxicating hemp plant are often called “CBD flower.”
CBD Flower With THC
In short: In recreational marijuana states, it may be possible to find CBD with THC added, but it might be best to avoid THC altogether.
Learn more: Lots of strains available where recreational marijuana is sold contain about 1:1 CBD:THC, which might be great for some patients. THC is intoxicating, however, and in addition to potentially making psychosis worse, this cannabinoid is also addictive. Use your best judgment when using THC-rich products.
CBD Flower Without THC
In short: All CBD flower contains small amounts of THC. By law, CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC.
Learn more: In the United States, Cannabis sativa must contain less than 0.3% THC to be considered hemp. Cannabis with THC concentrations exceeding this amount is considered marijuana, but hemp with low THC has lots of benefits. It’s non-intoxicating, and the CBD in hemp delivers many of the same benefits as THC without the side effects.
Full-Spectrum CBD Flower
In short: CBD flower contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in cannabis.
Learn more: Full-spectrum CBD contains all the natural oils that express in the flowering buds of Cannabis sativa. Other types of CBD, such as isolate and broad-spectrum, have been processed to remove some of the natural parts of this plant extract. CBD flower, however, is always full-spectrum.
Best Indica CBD Flower
In short: Just like marijuana, hemp flower can either be indica or sativa.
Learn more: It’s terpenes, not cannabinoids, that cause an either “indica” or “sativa” effect when you use cannabis. Whether the dominant cannabinoid is THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, or any other cannabinoid, therefore, indica and sativa traits will continue to express themselves. Indica-dominant CBD flower will help you relax without losing track of reality.
Pure Sativa CBD Flower
In short: Sativa-dominant CBD flower might be the right pick if you want increased energy levels.
Learn more: Just as with THC-rich strains, sativa-dominant CBD flower usually has a fruity aroma. This type of CBD flower gives you an energy rush without making you paranoid or anxious.
Organic CBD Flower
In short: CBD flower grown with organic methods is safer and higher quality.
Learn more: Hemp is a bioaccumulator, which means that it accumulates toxins in the soil. Pesticides, fertilizers, and other common agricultural contaminants are unfortunately common in hemp products, but companies that place a focus on organic, sustainable practices produce safer CBD.
Most Potent CBD Flower
In short: Some CBD flower strains offer as much as 25% CBD.
Learn more: In the beginning of CBD-rich hemp breeding, it was rare to find a strain with more than 10% CBD. These days, however, 15-20% is the average, and some top-shelf CBD strains contain upwards of 25% CBD, which rivals the concentration of the highest grade of THC-rich marijuana.
Where to Buy CBD Flower
In short: There are lots of places to buy CBD flower on the internet, but you get what you pay for.
Learn more: Buy CBD flower from the best to make sure you experience everything the legal hemp Renaissance has to offer. Only a few manufacturers in the country produce CBD flower that’s worth vaping or smoking, however. Use the information we’ve provided in this guide to make the right choice and pick the best CBD flower online.
CBD Flower Prices
In short: CBD flower pricing varies, but prices are usually roughly equal to the cost of medical or recreational marijuana.
Learn more: As you shop the market, you’ll probably find that prices for CBD flower go down the more you buy at a time. Some companies charge more than others, but the best CBD flower companies charge something similar to the prices you see at recreational marijuana shops. Ounces are often in the $200 range with 1/8oz sizes going from between $20 to $50.
There you have it! What has been your experience with CBD flower? Share it with us in the comments below.