By now, Cannabidiol (CBD), a once-misunderstood substance and one of last decade’s revolutionary substances, has now become quite popular among people looking for ways to find relief from various agonizing diseases and medical conditions.
Known for its multifaceted therapeutic benefits (rightfully so – thanks to the innumerable studies conducted on it), CBD is famous for maintaining an individual’s overall health and well-being.
Many have heard of Cannabidiol – the non-psychoactive substance found in cannabis plants. Many others already use it in their daily lives. However, most of them use it as an extract, in a varied range of products available in the market.
But not everyone understands the pros and cons of these different types of products and their delivery methods.
Tinctures can be highly potent, especially if the doses contain high concentrations of CBD. However, they have very low bioavailability, not to mention they are quite expensive too!
Bioavailability is the effective potency of a drug, i.e. the portion of the dose that reaches your bloodstream or target organ.
While there’s no question about the efficacy or usefulness of CBD products, like tinctures, edibles, capsules, or topicals, there are several reasons why vaping and smoking are so popular.
And no, it is not just the experience of smoking up!
The CBD vapor, which passes directly through your lungs and into your bloodstream, impacts your body and mind instantaneously – giving you relief and calming your nerves within barely seconds.
This delivery method unlocks the potency of all the natural cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytonutrients instantly and to the fullest possible extent – and no, this is not like smoking marijuana – it doesn’t get you high!
CBD flower is a type of Cannabis sativa flower that contains less than 0.3% THC (that’s why it is called hemp and not marijuana!).
Instead, legal cannabis (or hemp) is bred to be high on eight other non-psychedelic cannabinoids, including CBD, CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), and CBC (cannabichromene).
Get to Know The CBD Flower & Where to Find Them
CBD-rich cannabis flowers can be grown both indoors and outdoors. However, they are different in quality.
While CBD flowers grown indoors offer significantly higher quality in terms of their flavors and cannabinoid concentrations, those grown outdoors often lose most of both.
Some strains of indoor-grown CBD flowers contain up to 25 – 27% CBD by dry weight, far surpassing any THC-rich strains in their overall cannabinoid content and even better than the ones sold online.
If you’re growing them, you should adopt organic practices to ensure the blend’s purity, cannabinoid content, and quality.
CBD-rich hemp strains take about 4 weeks to grow and another 8 to 9 weeks to flower. At their highest potency, these flowers can be harvested, dried, and then cured (decarboxylated) in air-tight containers. These cured flowers can be ground to small grain-sized particles and used.
But…if you want to avoid the hassle of growing them, you can always buy them online. Several big and reputed brands stock CBD (hemp) flowers. These are lab-tested and optimized to meet different health needs.
Benefits of Using CBD Flowers Over CBD Extracts
Freedom to Customize Strains & Their Effects
Everyone knows that if you can control the raw materials, you can get the best end-product. The same applies to CBD. With CBD flowers, you can breed them as per your liking of cannabinoid and terpene content. You can use different variants of cannabis – indica, sativa, or even hybrid strains.
While indica strains are known for their relaxing and pain-relieving properties, sativa strains provide clarity of mind, energy, and focus.
Besides, individual strains contain a different combination of cannabis-specific terpenes, which, too, have some therapeutic value. They can enhance or balance the overall properties of these strains. Additionally, each strain has it’s a different combination of flavonoids and chlorophyll that give it its unmistakable aroma.
This’s why many prefer different variants of hybrid strains as they give you a more balanced effect.
Spoiled for Choice of Delivery Methods
With CBD flowers, you can choose how you want to use them. Once cured, CBD flowers can be broken down into granular particles and smoked (wrapped in cigarette paper), vaped (treated in e-liquids), used sublingually as tinctures (treated in carrier oils), or the extracts added in food products.
The Entourage Effect
Scientific research indicates that the presence of a wide variety of cannabinoids, terpenes, proteins, flavonoids, fatty acids, minerals, and other phytonutrients offers a more balanced and enhanced effect, making them more potent and effective.
This synergistic impact of all the diverse chemical compounds of cannabis on the body is known as the “entourage effect”. This synergy not only enhances the effects of CBD but also provides a more potent therapeutic benefit that is richer than all the components taken individually.
The issue with buying CBD products is that most brands create their unique formulation by isolating certain cannabinoids or completely removing other cannabinoids and terpenes. But with CBD flowers, you get the entourage effect.
To Smoke or Not to Smoke: Is It A Beneficial Ingestion Method?
If you’re making your CBD tincture from your homegrown CBD flowers, you should be getting the best and the most out of your flower’s quality content. However, how much of the dose actually enters your system depends on how you deliver the dose.
That’s why we are talking about the ingestion method.
Why is Inhalation The Most Popular Delivery Method?
Smoking or vaping CBD flowers don’t give you a high as marijuana smoking does, but you can smoke CBD flowers all the same.
Inhalation or pulmonary administration provides higher bioavailability than most other delivery methods. It’s comparable with intravenous administration, i.e. injection into your blood vessels.
CBD inhalation gives you a more pronounced, enhanced, and stronger impact than other ingestion methods, as it bypasses the filtration mechanism, known as the first-pass effect, in which the substance undergoes substantial loss of potency while being metabolized in the digestive system.
For the same reason, CBD intake via inhalation offers rapid effects. In this case, the time it takes for you to inhale and the vapor to reach your bloodstream through your lungs is barely a minute. The blood vessels directly transport the vaporized cannabinoids and terpenes to your brain, and the effects kick in within 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
To sum it up, the Benefits of Smoking/Vaping CBD Flowers are:
- It’s the most enjoyable CBD ingestion method. The better the quality of strain used, the more improved will be the taste and quality of experience. A high-quality aroma offers not just satisfaction, but also significantly higher energy level, relaxation, and relief from symptoms.
- Smoking and vaping CBD flowers have a faster and higher impact than any other form of CBD use. Its effects generally begin within 2 minutes and last for at least an hour.
- CBD intake via inhalation also offers a more intensive and wholesome effect owing t0 the enhanced entourage effect of CBD smoking/vaping.
Side-Effects of Smoking CBD Flowers
Like every other CBD delivery method, smoking too has a few downsides. They are:
- The effects of CBD usually last only up to a little over an hour. You may need to have more joints at hand if you need CBD for pain relief or curb your anxiety issues. You can also supplement it with other forms of CBD use (as the residual CBD content in your blood enhances the effects of each puff, even when the former’s effects have died down).
- Smoking can have harmful effects on your lungs and pulmonary system. So, you should avoid this delivery method if you’re a pulmonary disease patient.
- Apart from pulmonary issues, CBD flower inhalation may also cause heart problems in people with a weak heart (even though CBD promotes heart health).
- Other mild side-effects may include dry mouth, nausea, and dizziness – most of which are associated with too heavy doses taken back-to-back.
Are CBD Flowers Edible?
Yes, they are. But, eating raw CBD flowers is a good idea.
Not only do raw CBD flowers (even after being cured) taste bad, you won’t get the desired effects either. The cannabinoids and terpenes activate only when they are heated.
So, it’s best to cook the buds in oil, butter, or similar fat-based carriers, so that you can add it to edibles and consume. This ensures the adequate activation of cannabis chemicals.
Will Using CBD Flowers Make You High?
People generally associate smoking weed with getting high.
What they fail to understand is that you can get high ONLY if the cannabis you’re smoking contains high enough levels of THC (or ∆-9 tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is THE compound in cannabis plants that can make you high. No other cannabinoid or terpene has the psychoactive property.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and all its derivatives are federally legal, making sure their cannabinoid content is adequately checked to maintain a low THC-content.
For a CBD flower strain to be legally hemp, it must contain only up to 0.3% THC (by dry weight). So, as long as you’re buying your CBD flower or hemp seeds from a licensed grower, you’ve nothing to fear. YOU WON’T GET HIGH!