There are many ways to consume CBD flower, like ingesting edibles or rubbing in topicals. But vaping CBD, or cannabidiol, is becoming more and more popular due to how quickly it allows you to feel the effects of the CBD. So should you try vaping instead of smoking CBD?
Yes! But it’s important to understand exactly what vaping is, which vaporizer you’ll need, and even which strains of CBD flower will give you the effects you’re looking for.
CBD flower comes from the hemp plant, a cannabis plant with .3% or less THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Marijuana, on the other hand, is a cannabis plant with more than .3% THC.
Because of the low amount of psychoactive cannabinoids, CBD flower lets you experience its benefits without getting you high. There’s still enough THC that you’ll experience the “synergistic effects” of the plant since CBD flower is a full-spectrum product. This means you’re ingesting the cannabis plant as a whole, allowing you to experience the phytocannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids together.
Related: Should I Take CBD With THC Or Without It?
CBD is becoming more and more popular because it can provide instant relief. Smoking or vaporizing CBD flower is the fastest way to ingest CBD. Why? Well, when you use this method the CBD inevitably reaches the cannabinoid receptors in your body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) the quickest.
In fact, it can start working in a matter of seconds, compared to a couple of minutes for CBD tinctures or an hour with edibles, enabling you to experience the benefits of CBD in a much more immediate fashion.
Smoking or vaping hemp flower is also seen as a more social activity than ingesting CBD. Some people will bring a water pipe or bong for their CBD flower when smoking it with a group. Since CBD flower can be smoked in this manner, it’s also been suggested that it may help curb cigarette cravings.
Even though CBD is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid and CBD flower doesn’t get you high, there are still some hemp laws in place surrounding the use of CBD flower. But if your CBD flower is derived from hemp it’s now 100% legal in all 50 states thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.
This same bill also legalized the production and sales of hemp-derived CBD products throughout the country. Basically, as long as the flower comes from hemp and has .3% THC or less it’s completely legal.
CBD flower is usually consumed by smoking because the CBD is absorbed into your bloodstream almost instantly when it’s inhaled. Once it’s in the blood vessels and in your lungs, the CBD will be carried directly to your brain within 30 seconds to three minutes. That’s when you’ll start to get the full effects of the CBD.
But CBD flower smokers have noted that the effects seem to last for an hour or less, meaning you may end up having to smoke CBD more frequently than other methods. This can sometimes be of concern since inhaling smoke of any kind — even smoke without any harmful ingredients — can be potentially harmful to your lungs. That’s why many people have turned to vaping CBD flower instead.
Related: Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD?
Vapor is absorbed by your lungs better than smoke, so using CBD flower in a vaporizer is thought to be a more effective alternative.
Vaping also preserves more of the hemp’s terpenes and cannabinoids. Since you’re experiencing more of the “entourage effect,” you may feel the CBD’s effects stronger and for longer, limiting the number of times you need to vape CBD flower. People also say you can taste the full flavor of the hemp by vaping, making it an even more enjoyable experience.
Thinking of giving vaping a try but don’t know where to start? Let’s first take a closer look at the different components of a vape.
When you first turn on a vaporizer you will have to wait a minute or two for it to warm up. You’ll see a light or indicator once your desired temperature has been reached signaling that it’s ready. The most widely accepted temperature is a range of 360 to 380 degrees Fahrenheit, but lower temperatures will lead to milder effects while temperatures above 400 result in heavier effects.
Once you see that light turn on, it’s time to load the chamber with the CBD flower — usually between .25 and .5 grams. Make sure that the hemp is finely ground beforehand so the heat activates the CBD more efficiently. You want the heat to penetrate the CBD flower thoroughly.
You can purchase a grinder if needed. Never try grinding CBD flower by hand. This can reduce the CBD’s potency if the parts of the flower-rich in cannabinoids stick to your fingers.
When you inhale through the mouthpiece make sure you can see and taste the vapor. This lets you know that the unit is working. Always pace yourself and remember that the number of cannabinoids you consume will lessen gradually with each of your inhales.
If the vapor becomes thin and flavorless, you should check that the hemp flower has been loaded properly. Any leftover hemp can be used as mild edibles later if you choose to not toss it out.
Related: How to Vape CBD [The Complete Guide]
Since vaping hemp flower has become much more popular over the years, there’s been an increase in devices specifically created for vaping CBD flower. It might seem overwhelming to find the right product at first, but there are certain things to keep in mind during your search:
You’ll start to notice that vaporizers made for CBD flower are designed a bit differently. A lot of CBD concentrate vaporizers are smaller — and a bit cheaper — but don’t be tempted: they won’t work too well for vaporizing flowers.
You should purchase a vaporizer that’s built specifically for CBD flower since many cost-effective options that claim to be for multiple cannabis products are often lower in quality.
If you prefer a hybrid vape, check out higher-end models that won’t sacrifice quality to achieve this.
If you’re ordering a vape online, make sure to check that it’s not a counterfeit product. Try purchasing your vape from a licensed retailer to make sure that the vape is authentic.
This ensures that the product is of higher quality and safe to use. If you’re still unsure, you can always shop at a local dispensary to learn more about the models they have available.
Authentic flower vaporizers will usually range from $80 to $300 — sometimes more. You’ll quickly notice that the lower price tag often means fewer features and limited functionality.
You can still vape hemp flower with a cost-effective vaporizer. However, some cannabis enthusiasts opt for a more costly investment if they plan on using it more frequently.
When you think of vapes, you probably think of the tiny hand-held units that you can fit in your pocket or purse. But there are also larger vaporizers that often remain stationary on a desk — hence the name desktop vaporizers. The smaller vapes are often powered by a rechargeable battery, while the desktop vapes are kept plugged into a wall.
The vape size you pick depends on your lifestyle and how you plan on using the vape. If you’re the type to use CBD when you get home from work, the desktop vape may be more convenient. But if you often ingest CBD socially, you may want to consider a vape you can easily bring to a friend’s house.