Hemp Flower: The Main Source of Cannabidiol (CBD)
Posted on March 22nd, 2021
Hemp plants have recently reclaimed much of the spotlight they once had. They were an important crop for thousands of years before they became illegal in 1970. Now that hemp is legal again, the focus is on the flower. The female hemp plants usually take longer to flower. The buds are typically harvested as soon as they start to mature. The high CBD/low THC content of the hemp flower is this article’s primary focus.
According to the ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System), cannabis is a flowering plant genus that belongs to the Cannabacea family. The species number in this genus has been disputed, but three of the species include Cannabis Ruderalis, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Sativa. All three can be treated or classified as subspecies of the single species, C. Sativa. This genus is indigenous to Central Asia, while some researchers have also included upper South Asia within its origin.
What Is Hemp?
Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a plant that belongs to the family Cannabacea. This plant has been historically used for its seeds and fiber. Many confuse hemp with marijuana plants, though they are different. The United States government classifies hemp as a cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC. Anything higher than that is marijuana, and is federally illegal.
Hemp plants are aromatic, erect, and stout annual herbs. The compound leaves have a palmate shape, while the hemp flower is greenish-yellow in color.
Hemp vs Marijuana Legality
The 2018 Farm Bill introduced a way to legally grow cannabis or hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC in the U.S. The Bill also made CBD products that come from hemp flower federally legal. Marijuana that contains more than 0.3% THC is not federally legal.
However, the laws in different states often vary. For example, some states allow recreational marijuana, while other states only allow it medically. There are also a few states where the cannabis and hemp flower are still completely illegal.
Why Was Cannabis Banned?
Many of the laws have changed over the last few decades. But the cannabis plant became illegal in the U.S. since the early 20th century. People in America started turning to marijuana after alcohol prohibition in 1920. Therefore, many states passed a marijuana prohibition law in the following decades. The intoxicating effect of THC was the reason marijuana ended up on the Schedule 1 drug list.
Characteristics of the Hemp Flower
Industrial hemp plants include more than 100 different cannabinoids, including CBG (cannabigerol) and CBD (cannabidiol). The highest concentrations of these complex chemicals exist in the bud or flower of the female hemp plant. When farmers make sure not to pollinate the plants, they produce even higher levels of cannabinoids.
The flowers contain many phytocannabinoids which are cannabinoids that come from plants. The flavonoids and terpenes are what produce the potent smell. They also contribute to the overall effects of hemp products. All of these compounds working together creates the “entourage effect.”
The way THC interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system is different from how CBD works. THC causes the infamous high partly because it directly bonds with CB1 receptors. CBD on the other hand, does not bind directly to the receptors, instead activating them indirectly. Because of this different interaction, CBD users will not experience a marijuana “high.” The hemp flower contains high levels of CBD and very low levels of THC, so even if you smoke it, you won’t get high.
Smoking Hemp Flower
One reason people choose the smoking/vaping option is for its quick delivery to your system. Many people that smoke a hemp flower will feel some effect the first time they smoke it. The feeling varies from person to person. You could call the calming effect a “buzz” but it is not debilitating like alcohol. In most cases, the “buzz” will only happen the first or second time that you smoke it. In general, it is nothing like the high from marijuana flowers.
Some compare the buzz to the feeling you get after exercising, or “runner’s high.” You won’t feel “less like yourself” but you rather might experience an overall improved sense of wellbeing. Some users describe the experience as a feeling of calmness or relief. There are strains that may assist you with feeling more energized and motivated, while others may relax you to the point of drowsiness.
Many people start smoking CBD or hemp flowers as a substitute for cigarettes. This can be a wise decision as studies show that CBD can help addicts reduce cigarette and other drug usage.
Other Hemp Flower Uses
Using the entire hemp flower could be the most effective way to get the most hemp benefits. Hemp flowers contain a full-spectrum of cannabinoids. This is the goal of products like Tanasi’s full spectrum tinctures. Tanasi aims to squeeze every possible hemp benefit into its products.
When using hemp flowers there are many different options to explore. For example, you can grind up the dried flowers or buds and mix them into butter or oil. This is one of the techniques that make hemp flowers most enjoyable.
Some people also like to use hemp flowers in meals such as soups, pastries, and stews. Many online recipes incorporate hemp flowers. They are also making their way into different cocktails in wellness centers and health bars across the U.S.
The appeal of the entourage effect has more people seeking out the full hemp flower experience. It is advisable to start with the lowest dose possible, slowly increasing the dose until you reach the effect you want. You should also consult with your health practitioner before adding one of these products into your routine. This is especially true if you are already taking other types of medications.