Smoking or vaping CBD hemp flower is starting to gain more traction in the industry as consumers slowly turn to it to get their daily dose of CBD.
CBD flower refers to the buds of the hemp plant, which look remarkably similar to those of the marijuana plant.
The big difference between the two?
Hemp flower won't get you high.
It can make you pretty relaxed though.
Using CBD in this form comes with all the benefits of taking it's oily alternative, but has a much higher bio-availability rate.
Not all of the CBD that you take will be used by your body, and some of it is lost as it's being processed.
The percentage of what is used is known as bio-availability, and this is the rate at which your body absorbs and utilizes CBD.
How you ingest it makes a big impact on the final number.
Regular CBD oils and tinctures have a bio-availability rate of anywhere between 12-35%. Compare that to vaping CBD and that number jumps considerably to around 60%.
Just like marijuana, CBD flower has different strains, which produce different effects. A strain is a particular breed of plant that has differing amounts of CBD and terpenes.
What benefits does smoking or vaping hemp flower have?
People all around the world are using CBD for a number of ailments, though the research only really supports a few things.
The most common benefits reported from CBD are:
- Anxiety and depression relief
- Improvement in mood, less mood swings
- Pain and inflammation relief
- Better skin, relief from skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne
- Insomnia relief
- Less frequent seizures from people suffering from hard to treat epilepsy, such as Dravet's Syndrome
While there are many more claims from users for a vast number of health issues, much more study is needed in these areas before it can be classified as a valid treatment option.
How does smoking or vaping hemp flower feel?
When you vape or smoke CBD flower, it immediately gets absorbed through the lungs and into the bloodstream. The effects are felt from it almost instantaneously, and this is what makes this method of ingestion so popular.
Users report a feeling of deep relaxation and calm within minutes of ingesting, and depending on the strain you may feel more energized, or on the opposite side of the spectrum, a little drowsy.
It may be able to aid in pain relief, and studies have shown CBD to be a potent anti-inflammatory.
Some people who smoke or vape CBD report a head buzz, but not like the high you get from THC.
The more sedating effects of CBD are generally felt in higher doses, or with higher levels of terpenes and other cannabinoids, like CBN(Cannabinol).
Smoking CBD flower in low doses normally has the effect of making you feel more alert, or awake, and is a great way to dose throughout the day if you are struggling with energy issues.
How long do the effects of CBD flower last for?
The effects of smoking or vaping CBD have a shorter life span than other methods, such as sublingual oils or tinctures.
While the oils keep working in the body for up to 6-8 hours, you're only going to get around 2-3 with vaping.
This means that if you choose to use this method of ingestion, you may find yourself needing to dose more frequently.
This may be an issue for some people, especially if you work full time.
One way to get around this is by combing your CBD vaping/smoking with a high quality oil or tincture. You can vape or smoke before heading out, and use a more discreet method such as an oil out in public.
What are terpenes and why do they matter?
Throughout history, oils from plants, and the plants themselves, have been used to treat all sorts of health issues.
Terpenes are essentially the fragrant oils within the plant that give it its unique scent and flavor profile.
These oils don't just taste and smell good though, they also have reported health benefits all on their own.
For example, Myrcene is a great terpene to look for if you're having trouble sleeping, while Limonene is a fantastic choice if you struggle with anxiety.
Check out this detailed post on the most popular terpenes and their health benefits for more information.
The Best CBD Hemp Flower Strains & Their Effects
Now, on to what you came here for. Below is a list of some of the best hemp strains in the industry, descriptions of the CBD content and terpenes, and the effects that you will experience with them.
With slightly sweet peppery notes and a touch of citrus, Lifter is one of the top choices for flower for its ability to both give you a slight focus and energy boost, while at the same time relax you completely.
Coming in at 14-16% CBD, this flower also boasts a great terpene profile including high levels of Myrcene, Carophyllene, Pinene, and to a lesser extent, Ocimene.
Created by a cross of Early Resin Bud and Suver Haze, these dense buds have a funky, cheese like aroma with a whiff of fuel. While the description may put you off, it's not as gross as it sounds.
The flavor coming through on this strain is sweet, fruity, earthy, with slightly spicy notes.
Lifter hemp flower effects:
- Pain Relieving
With its dense green buds and long orange hairs twisting in and around, the pain and anxiety relieving effects of Elektra are second to none.
Elektra is a result of cross breeding ACDC and Early Resin Berry, and has a CBD content of around 15%.
The terpene content in Elektra is also a selling point,, with high myrcene and pinene levels. Carophyllene is also a prominent terpene found in this particular strain.
The aroma that Elektra gives off is woodsy with a hint of pine, citrus, and berries. The taste that comes through the most when inhaled is pine, with strong citrus notes.
Elektra hemp flower effects:
- Pain and inflammation relief
Known for its high CBD content and great terpene profile, Suver haze is not only effective, but tastes great as well.
With close to 18% CBD content, the main terpenes you'll find in this strain are Bisabolol, Caryophyllene, Myrcene, Pinene, and Humulene, with minor amounts of others.
Suver Haze was created out of a cross between Special Sauce and Neville's Haze, smelling of tropical fruit. With a sweet fruity taste, it also has a peppery note to it.
Suver Haze hemp flower effects:
- Body buzz
- Stress relieving
- Mood enhancing
Sour Space Candy has been getting a lot of love lately, and it's not hard to see why. With a herbal, fruity taste and high CBD content, it is a top choice among users for its uplifting, stress relieving qualities.
SSC comes in sround 16-18% CBD content, with Myrcene, Terpinolene, and Carophyllene as the main terpenes.
The dense buds are colorful, with a mix of green, orange, and purple throughout. Sour notes color this fruity, herbal strain, with tastes of apple and cherry.
Born as a result of the crossing between Sour Tsunami and Early Resin Bud, this strain has a pungent, fruity aroma, with a bit of citrus.
Sour Space Candy hemp flower effects:
- Stress relieving
While the CBD content is average for this strain, between 11 and 15%, its sweet, berry flavor and anxiety reducing effects rate high among users.
Special Sauce has a strong, sharp berry aroma, with hints of citrus and pine notes. The taste comes through as sweet, earthy, and hoppy, with berries being at the forefront.
This strain hosts a good level of Myrcene, Bisabool, Carophyllene, and Pinene, and is a top choice for making extractions due to its high resin content.
Special Sauce hemp flower effects:
- Anxiety relief
- Stress relief
- Pain reducing
A cross between The Wife and Charlotte's Cherries, Cherry Wine is a strain both calming and energizing at the same time. Its high CBD and terpene content, along with its great taste make this a very desirable strain.
Cherry Wine has a strong, sweet cherry aroma, tinged with a mild hint of cheese and black pepper, and the taste is earthy, hoppy, citrus, and berries, with slight pine tinging it.
The most prominent terpenes in Cherry Wine are Myrcene, Carophyllene, Humulene, Limonene, and Linalool. It boasts an impressive 15-20% CBD content, one of the higher CBD strains.
Cherry Wine hemp flower effects:
- Stress Relief
- Mood Lifting
- Pain Relieving
Which one should you choose?
Which strain you decide to go with is ultimately going to come down to what your personal health issues are, and what you'd like to address.
Struggling with low energy? Choose a strain that has uplifting and mood elevating properties. Can't sleep? Your best bet is a strain rich in Myrcene and other terpenes known to aid in sleep issues.
At the end of the day, a lot of finding out what works best for you is only known through trying out different strains and seeing how you react to them.
Many companies offer bundles with several strains so that you can try a few out and find the one you like the best.
You may also want different strains for different times of the day. An energizing strain for the morning, and one with a little more chill as you wind down for the night.
Decided on a strain? Make sure you get it from a company with high standards.
While there may be plenty of companies to choose from, they aren't all up to par.
The companies who go the extra mile in transparency, great customer service, quality products, and above all, focus on the customer first, are the ones you want to buy from.
Always make sure that you are provided with up to date 3rd party lab testing on the products you are consuming. Any reputable company in the industry will offer this.
Check out our list of some of the top names for CBD hemp flower right now, and you can be sure they check every box on the list of what we look for in a solid company.
Have questions? Leave a comment below!