What is CBD Flower?
CBD flower is a beneficial flower that comes from the cannabis plant. Depending on the THC content, cannabis plants are classified as either hemp or marijuana. Like most CBD flower, we source ours from hemp because of its low THC content. Our CBD flower has been specifically bred to be rich in CBD (Cannabidiol) and low in THC (delta–9–tetrahydrocannabinol).
THC is the psychoactive ingredient of the cannabis plant. Fortunately, the THC levels in hemp (CBD flower) are so low that they will not get you “high”. However, there is just enough THC to allow the “synergistic effects” of the plant to take action. CBD flowers contain all the natural properties of the plant which makes them a true full-spectrum product. Full-spectrum products offer the greatest synergistic effects amongst CBD products.
Typically there are two grades of hemp flower available on the market today; biomass and premium CBD flower. Cheef Botanicals CBD flower is always premium grade. Our farmers use greenhouse and light deprivation grow technologies to produce award-winning hemp flowers. They select only the finest “buds” which are then hand-trimmed to perfection. Besides smoking, CBD flowers are commonly used to make CBD-rich products such as raw CBD oil, CBD topicals, tinctures, CBD edibles, vape juices, and concentrates.
Why Are People Smoking CBD Flower?
Looking for quick relief? Smoking or vaporizing CBD flower/buds is the fastest way to ingest this beneficial phytocannabinoid? Meaning it supplies cannabinoids to your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) quicker than other CBD products. The CBD will cross the blood-brain barrier and start working in a matter of seconds, as opposed to a few minutes (with CBD tincture) or up to an hour (when ingested orally).
One of the most fascinating things about the cannabis plant is something known as the entourage effect. This term was coined in 1999 by the famous cannabis researchers Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat. It refers to a synergistic effect in which cannabis is most effective when the plant material is ingested as a whole. This way the full range of phytocannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids can work their “magic” together.
Heat activates phytocannabinoids
Raw plant material is made up of cannabinoid acids that need to be “activated” via the application of heat. This process, known as decarboxylation, takes the inactive cannabinoid acids and transforms them into active phytocannabinoids.
It can help with cigarette cravings
There is some anecdotal evidence that smoking the CBD flower can curb cravings for cigarettes. Furthermore, there is also research evidence that CBD itself can help with nicotine addiction via the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
It’s more social
For some people, the act of smoking the CBD flower is a more social activity than simply ingesting the CBD at home alone. For example, you can step outside of a social event to smoke a CBD cigarette/hempette with a fellow cannabis enthusiast or you can even use a water pipe like a hookah or bong to smoke the CBD with a group!
It’s a cost-effective way to ingest CBD
Smoking hemp flower is particularly effective, especially considering that some of the products on the market deliver over 100 milligrams of CBD per cigarette/hempette. Additionally, most CBD products require additional processing after the crop is complete, but hemp flower is ready for sale once it’s pruned and trimmed. Less processing time usually entails a lower price tag.
How Do CBD Flowers Grow
CBD flower goes by many names such as hemp flower, hemp buds, or CBD buds. So how do these “buds” or “flowers” grow and where are they found? Well, cannabis is a dioecious species, meaning it can be either male or female. When the female plant is about six weeks old, it matures past its vegetative states, sprouts two white hairs, and then develops flowers. The flowers ususally take anywhere from five to ten weeks to fully mature.
If the female remains unfertilized throughout the plant’s life cycle the buds will remain seedless. However, if the female receives pollen (from a male) during its lifecycle it will start to produce seeds. Seeds are an unfavorable trait for most consumers. Usually, if the flower has seeds it is automatically deemed a lower grade smoke.
Researchers estimate that there are over 400 different elements involved in the cannabis plant. Known as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, these elements become highly concentrated in the flowering sections of the plant as it matures. Therefore, all hemp flower will have dense concentrations of the following:
Also known as phytocannabinoids, these include THC, CBD, and many other cannabinoids. In fact, there are over 100 other phytocannabinoids that researchers have identified. Each may have their own respective qualities and each may also help to amplify the synergistic effects of the plant.
Also referred to as “terpenes” or as some people like to call them “terps”. These compounds contribute to the efficacy and effects of the phytocannabinoids. Did you know when you smell cannabis you are smelling its terpenes? It’s true, terpenoids are responsible for cannabis’s distinct flavor and smell. Research has shown that terpenes can also help to increase the synergistic effects of the plant.
These organic compounds make up about 10% of the chemical constituents in cannabis and are found in various fruits and vegetables. However, there are flavinoids only found in cannabis, aka canniflavins. Primarily, flavonoids are responsible for the colors of the plant, flowers, and fruit. Additionally, some flavonoids produce antimicrobial properties supplying anti-bacterial and anti-fungal support to the plant. Researchers suggest that flavinoids may also help amplify the synergistic effects of the plant.
How Are CBD Flowers Processed?
Once the CBD flowers reach full maturity, the next step is to harvest and process them for retail. Processing includes “curing” the buds and “trimming” them. The quality of processing can directly reflect in the end product. Therefore, premium CBD flowers should always be manicured to perfection. After all, better quality buds equals more enjoyable smoke sessions. During cultivation, most growers will trim down the flowers into neat little buds for the following reasons:
1) They look better.
This is simply for aesthetic purposes. Known as “bag appeal”, people often associate quality cannabis products with nicely trimmed or pruned buds.
2) They are easier to smoke.
The various leaves that sprout out from the flowers/buds are considerably harsher on the throat and lungs, so trimming/pruning this extra plant matter will make the CBD flowers “smoother” to smoke.
3) There is a higher concentration of phytocannabinoids/terpenoids.
If you look closely at a hemp bud, you’ll see tiny crystals peppered all over the surface. These are known as trichomes and they are filled with all the beneficial phytocannabinoids and terpenoids. These trichomes are much more concentrated in the flowering sections of the plant than anywhere else. Therefore, clipping all excess plant material from the bud will increase its overall concentration of trichomes.
4) They smell better.
The leaves of the plant don’t hold many terpenes, therefore, they tend to smell and taste like plant material (grassy or hay flavor). Consequently, leaves will degrade the overall smell or “nose” of CBD flower. When you trim away fan and sugar leaves from the flowers it allows the full aroma of the bud to prevail.
How Do You Smoke CBD Flower
Once these hemp buds are manicured and dried, they are ready to be smoked! This can be done in any number of ways, including:
2) Water pipes (bubbler, bong, hookah)
3) Rolling papers/blunts
4) Vaporizer (with plant material instead of vape juice)
Each of these methods will have their respective devotees. It basically depends on how you prefer to smoke your CBD flower. That being said, rolling the hemp up in rolling papers to inhale it like a cigarette is particularly easy and effective. You can buy the hemp in loose form and roll it yourself or you can purchase them pre-rolled.
These are not joints, as those are filled with THC-rich marijuana. “CBD prerolls” or “hempettes” as some people refer to them, will not get you high. Remember, with CBD flower you get all the plant’s benefits with none of the intoxicating effects of THC.
Is CBD Flower Legal?
The legalities of CBD flower can seem confusing, but in reality, they are pretty straight forward. The laws regulating CBD flower are based on THC content and the flower’s source. Did the flower come from a hemp crop or marijuana crop?
Any flower that comes from marijuana, no matter the THC content, is illegal (in most states) because it comes from marijuana. According to the DEA (and the 2018 farm bill), marijuana is considered a schedule 1 drug. Additionally, any flower with THC content measuring above 0.3% is also deemed illegal no matter its source (marijuana or hemp).
Therefore, in order for CBD flower to be considered legal throughout the states, it must be derived from hemp and have a THC level no greater than 0.3%. Here are some bullet points to help determine the legality of any CBD flower.
Legal CBD flower:
- Derived from hemp
- THC content is 0.3% or less
Illegal CBD flower:
- Derived from marijuana
- THC content exceeds 0.3%
- If the THC in hemp exceeds 0.3% it is considered marijuana thus making the flowers illegal.
Is CBD flower legal in all 50 States?
Yes, CBD flower from hemp is 100% legal throughout the United States. When the 2018 Farm Bill passed (December 11, 2018), it became legal for U.S. farmers to cultivate, process and sell hemp. Furthermore, this bill legalized the production and sales of hemp CBD products nationwide. As long as the flower comes from hemp and the THC content remains below the 0.3% limit, it is legal within the U.S.
What Are the Best CBD Flower Strains?
Before we jump into strains one important factor to note is that some of these strains can have THC levels above 0.3%. Any legitimate CBD company should offer customers access to the Certificate of Analysis (COA) of each strain. COAs can be used to verify the THC content. Always check for THC levels and only purchase products that are legal in your area.
If you search the internet you will find many CBD rich strains available, but which strains are the best? Every other site seems to list different strains as their “top choices”, making opinions seem bias. However, if you compare the “top CBD strain” lists of different websites you will notice some of the same strains pop up on every list. Here is a list of some popular CBD strains that consistently appear at the top of the list.
Genetics: (Cannatonic, Ruderalis)
This popular strain has earned several cannabis cup awards, thanks to its high CBD content. Typically ACDC has around 20% CBD and 0.5-1% THC. It’s 50% Indica and 50% Sativa which makes it a perfectly balanced hybrid.
Although, some people report they feel more Sativa effects rather than Indica. This explains why users feel uplifted, focused, and sociable. However, ACDC can also help you wind down, rest, and relax because it’s half Indica. The flowers smell earthy, sweet, and skunky. The smoke will envelop your taste buds with lemongrass and cherry flavor.
Genetics: (Nepali indica, Thailand landris, Switzerland landris, Columbian Gold)
A cross between four strains, Harlequin is 75% Sativa and 25% Indica, making it Sativa dominant. It predates many CBD-rich strains. This strain offers a CBD to THC ratio of 5:2 with CBD content measuring between 6% and 15%. THC content can fall in between 4% and 10%.
This amount of THC may be enough to cause impairment but the CBD should counteract any THC “high”. This sativa dominate strain can ease your mind and sooth tension. It may also improve perspective and focus. Cured flowers smell musky with tropical undertones and the smoke is reminiscent of citrus and mango.
Genetics: (Hawaiian, Haze genetics)
This Indica dominant strain was bred to produce high levels of CBD. Testing confirms the CBD content of this strain can be upwards of 19%. As for THC levels, Hawaiian Haze rarely breaches the 0.3% limit which makes it perfectly legal nationwide.
The buds are dense and light green with orange hairs. As for terpenes, it is dominated by a-Pinene which gives it an overall pine smell accompanied by pineapple, lemon, and floral tones. The smoke isn’t harsh, it offers a sweet, earthy flavor with a hint of sourness.
Genetics: (ACDC, Early Resin Berry)
Elektra is a modern CBD strain that has become quite popular among CBD enthusiasts. Elektra is sought after for its delicious aroma and taste. It boasts flavors that are reminiscent of red wine, citrus fruit, and chocolate.
Elektra flowers will usually test between 15% to 20% CBD and normally contain THC levels well below the legal limit. It’s great for those who want to enjoy using the plant and avoid any “head high”. Elektra is a Sativa dominant strain that offers users uplifting experiences along with mental clarity and motivation. Additionally, some people advocate that Elektra is a great strain for relief, relaxation, and rest when needed.
Genetics: (Unknown strain, hemp strain)
Probably the most famous CBD strain, Charlotte’s Web was created by renowned Colorado growers, the Stanley Brothers. As the story goes, the brothers bred this strain for a young girl named Charlotte Figi who suffers from Dravots Syndrome which is a severe form of epilepsy. The strain they created involves high CBD content (between 15% and 20%) and low THC content (below 1%).
Not much is known about its genetics, it seems the Stanley Bros want to keep this beauty a secret. What we do know is that they crossed a high yielding CBD strain with an unknown hemp strain. Cured Charlotte Web buds offer a pleasant aroma full of earthy and piney tones. The buds are usually a sage-green hue speckled with orange hairs. This strain offers a woodsy smooth smoke that tastes sweet with sage and citrus undertones.
Genetics: (Suver Haze #50, Early Resin Berry)
This CBD-rich strain is highly sought after due to its complex cannabinoid profile. As the name suggests, Lifter is an uplifting Sativa dominant hybrid. This strain can be motivationally stimulating and may help to improve mental focus or mental clarity. Thanks to its Indica side, Lifter may also ease tension to help users relax and possibly improve sleep quality.
Lifter has a strong aroma often described as a “sweet funk” coupled with undertones of citrus and tart berry. The smoke is not as strong as the smell. Lifter will treat your taste buds to a pleasantly subtle mixture of woodsy and sweetgrass flavors.
Other Popular CBD Strains
There are several other CBD flower strains and many of them are quite popular in their own right. The above 6 are just examples of popular CBD strains along with a brief description. Here are 10 other popular CBD strains, minus the descriptions.
- Stephen Hawking Kush
- Sour Tsunami
- Ringo’s Gift
- Suver Haze
- CB Dream
- Cherry Wine
Does CBD Flower Smell?
In regards to smell, the aroma of hemp buds can rival the robust scent of marijuana. In fact, the smell of CBD flower can be used as an indicator to gauge its quality. If the product smells strong and flavorful it’s usually a positive indication of a quality product. Although there are some quality CBD strains with less aroma and flavor for those who prefer a mild smoke.
Buyers should be aware of and avoid flowers that smell like grass or hay. It is also a good idea to stay away from CBD flowers that lack smell. These poor characteristics can serve as indicators of low-grade or outdated CBD products.
Both hemp and marijuana boast aromas that are very pungent due to the numerous terpenes involved in the plant. Like the many other properties of the plant, terpenes are highly concentrated in the flowering sections of the plant.
Smelling buds can also help verify what strain it is. Each strain of CBD hemp flower has a specific ratio of these terpenes which gives every strain its own specific scent. Researchers estimate that there are over 200 different terpenes contained in the hemp plant, each with their own unique aroma. Here are 10 of the most common (or dominant) terpenes found in hemp along with their correlating scents:
- Myrcene (earthy, spicy, peppery)
- Terpinolene (piney, herbal, floral)
- Geraniol (sweet, rose)
- Limonene (lemon, grapefruit, tangerine)
- Linalool (sweet, orange, lavender)
- Beta-Caryophyllene (cloves, cinnamon, black pepper)
- Alpha-Pinene (piney, fresh, earthy)
- Eucalyptol (eucalyptus, fresh, minty)
- Trans-nerolidol (woody, citrus, floral)
- Alpha-Humulene (hoppy, woody, spicy)
As you can see each terpene has its own complex identity. Besides smelling amazing these terpenes may also help to elevate the synergistic effects of certain cannabinoids like CBD. Some researchers also believe that terpenes can be used therapeutically, similar to aromatherapy.
Is Smoking CBD Flower Safe?
There is limited evidence about the safety of inhaling cannabis smoke. So, it’s always best to consult with your physician if you’re looking to start. Ultimately, smoking hemp buds/flowers is a viable option if you’re a healthy adult who wants to start ingesting CBD. As for CBD itself, it is exceptionally safe. in fact, there has never been a recorded instance of overdose. Furthermore, a 2011 study in Current Drug Safety found that:
1) A healthy person can take up to 1.5 grams (or 1,500 milligrams) in a single day without serious side effects.
2) A potentially toxic dose of CBD, if taken quickly, is approximately 20 grams (or 20,000 milligrams).
Can You Fail a Drug Test Due to CBD Flower?
We know that hemp flower won’t get you high but what will happen if you take a drug test after you smoke some? Will the CBD or THC content cause you to test “dirty”?
Remember CBD flower has very high concentrations of CBD and extremely low concentrations of THC. The standard drug test is designed to search for the presence of THC and THC metabolites, not CBD. So it is not the CBD content we need to worry about causing a positive drug test, it’s the THC.
Since the THC concentration level of hemp cannot exceed 0.3%, it is highly unlikely that you will test positive after a couple of uses. However, if you use hemp flower often, daily, or in large amounts, it is possible to fail a drug test due to the THC content in your system.
So how long can THC remain in the body? It depends on the flower’s THC content and how often or heavy you smoke. THC is considered a lipid base chemical which means it gets stored in your fat cells. Lipid base chemicals take much longer to eliminate then water-based chemicals such as alcohol.
This makes THC levels susceptible to build up. If you use CBD flower often or in large amounts the THC level can accumulate over time. For heavy users, this means, eventually the accumulation of THC could be enough to test positive for THC on a drug test.
How Much Does CBD Hemp Flower Cost?
Hemp flower is commonly sold in grams, eighths, and quarters. The quality of the overall product is usually judged to help determine its value. The price of hemp flower can vary depending on many factors such as:
- The strain
- The quality
- Where was it grown?
- Is it outdoor, or greenhouse?
- The time of year
Each of these factors can affect the overall price of hemp flower. For example, prices of cannabis have been known to adjust throughout the year (decreasing during harvest season and increasing during dry seasons).
Most CBD flower is grown outdoors and therefore it is only harvested once a year. Every year all outdoor crops hit the market around the same time and when they do prices drop. When the market starts to dry up in the summer months the prices tend to rise.
As stated earlier CBD flowers fall into two categories which are biomass and premium grade CBD flower. If you plan on buying CBD flower we suggest only purchasing premium-grade flowers. Premium flowers are crafted with extreme care and detail. They must pass physical and visual inspections and they should contain no contaminants. This should be verified by a third party who provides a COA.
CBD hemp flowers that do not pass quality control become biomass. Biomass flower is low grade and it is not intended for smoking. It usually goes through some type of filtration process to eliminate any contaminants. Once purified, what remains gets turned into CBD products. However, consumer beware, there are some shady companies that package up biomass flower and label it as premium grade flower. It pays to know the difference, here are some pointers to help guide you.
Premium grade hemp flower (high-grade):
- Smells strong
- Smells like terpenes
- Nice size buds
- Little to no shake
- Greenhouse or Indoor
- Minimal leaf
Biomass hemp flower (low-grade):
- Mild smell
- Low/no terpenes
- Smells like hay or grass clippings
- Minimal trim/Machine trimmed
- Small/popcorn buds
- Includes shake
- Very leafy
Cheef Botanicals CBD flower is always premium grade with competitive pricing. Although wholesale prices of CBD flower may fluctuate throughout the year the average consumer price remains the same.
If you search the internet for CBD flower you can find premium strains selling between 9 and 15 dollars a gram. Eighths (⅛ of an ounce) of primo hemp flower typically sell between 25 to 45 dollars, and quarters (¼ of an ounce) generally fall within the 40 and 60 dollar range. If you find premium CBD flower for much less than these minimal values it could be biomass disguised as premium flower.