by William Goodall January 19, 2021
Hemp is fairly new to the cannabis spotlight. When you think of hemp, you may think of the strong fiber that is used to make rope, clothing, food, paper, biofuel, among many other things. It was, after all, one of the first plants spun into usable fiber 50,000 years ago. Even though it has been used for centuries as industrial hemp, it is new on the smoke scene due to its recent legalization. Have you tried smokinghemp flower yet?
Hemp, orCannabis Sativa L., is often confused with marijuana (Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalis). Both hemp and marijuana are forms of the cannabis plant. However, hemp is a plant that has less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana has more than 0.3% THC. This means hemp does not have the high associated with marijuana, yet it still has so many amazingbenefits. This makes it a good option for users who don’t want to get the psychoactive effects but still want to relax. And to top it off, did we mention it is federally legal?
Hemp contains over 100 phytocannabinoids, which are chemical compounds with high medicinal value. Most of these compounds are found in the crown, or flower of the female hemp plant which is the main smokable part of the plant. Female flowers have bigger and more concentrated resin glands than male plants. The sticky resin, or trichomes, of the hemp flower, are where most of the cannabinoids are found. Trichomes are tiny shiny crystals covering the bud. This is where known and unknown cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are made. Let’s explore the beneficial components of the hemp flower:
Cannabidiol (CBD): Hemp contains large amounts of CBD content, which is one of the most well-known and researched cannabinoids. CBD is one of the most popular cannabinoids because it has many potential health benefits, yet doesn’t have the psychotropic effects that THC does. CBD is a cannabinoid that enables hemp products a high bioavailability, making them easy to absorb. Hemp flowers have some of the highest levels of CBD, so much so that the flower is often called CBD flower or CBD bud.
Cannabichromene (CBC): Though not as popular as other cannabinoids, CBC may show great promise in pain treatment. CBC is found in substantial amounts in the hemp flower, and when paired with THC, researchers believe it may magnify its analgesic effects.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): THC is present in hemp, but only in amounts of 0.3% or less. This is the same compound that produces the “high” that marijuana users experience. However, the low amounts in hemp will not produce a high. Even though THC may be highly controversial, it has proven potential health benefits. Due to these potential benefits, it is often recommended to be consumed in small amounts alongside other cannabinoids to balance out effects. Hemp provides the perfect balance of it all, in our opinion.
Cannabigerol (CBG):Sometimes known as “the mother of all cannabinoids,” CBG is the precursor to both THC and CBD. This cannabinoid is showing a lot of potential in the treatment of various health conditions, but more research is needed. Though CBG is found in smaller amounts in hemp and is not well known, growers are producing more and more hemp varieties that have higher levels of it.
Cannabinol (CBN):Another compound found in hemp, CBN is known for its potentially relaxing effects. It is created when THC is heated and broken down and is one of the rarest cannabinoids in hemp. Even though it is created as a byproduct of THC, it is not strong enough to produce a THC-like high.
Terpenes:Not only does the CBD hemp flower contain beneficial cannabinoids, but other beneficial compounds as well. Terpenes are phytonutrients that can be found in cannabis and many other plants. They produce a variety of tastes and aromas, as well as antioxidants that may enhance skin, joint, and heart health. The scents and flavors may play a part in hemp’s healing qualities.
Quality hemp flower has a distinct smell, which can indicate high levels of terpenes. One of the great things about hemp is the versatility of the strains. Every hemp flower has its combination of terpenes that give its color, smell, taste, as well as benefit. Some may be more floral, some may be more fruity. Be aware that if there is no smell, or it has a hay aroma, your buds are probably not a potent quality. To get you familiar with some common terpenes, we have picked out a few of our favorites among the hundreds out there:
Other phytocannabinoids can be extracted from the flower and used to produce oil and other cannabis products. However, researchers have shown that hemp has more potent effects when smoked as a whole plant including all its cannabinoids and terpenes, rather than isolated compounds consumed separately. When these compounds naturally interact, anentourage effect is produced.
The entourage effect is the theory that the terpenes and phytocannabinoids can enhance the effects of each component. For instance, CBD works great on its own, but when combined with other hemp components, its effects are much greater when working synergistically. Even if there are only trace amounts of a certain component, it is still important for the overall entourage effect that is produced.
Most consumers are unaware of this great benefit of smoking hemp. These consumers, most people with medical issues, want to use CBD for its beneficial aspects without getting high from THC. Therefore, they buy CBD in the form of tinctures or topicals that have been produced by marijuana growers in legalized states that have isolated CBD from marijuana biomass in a lab. And with the legalization of hemp, CBD oil products have become even more widespread. Hemp plants are sent straight to the lab and synthesized into pure CBD tinctures. However, since the compound has been isolated it does not produce all the possible entourage benefits. For this reason, many consumers have wisened up and moved toward smokable hemp rather than buying isolated CBD tinctures.
As of this day, the biggest use for the flower is the smokable form. And even though the smoking of hemp has only become popular recently, it is still relatively unknown by most. A lot of misinformation tends to spread common myths surrounding the subject. One such myth is that smoking hemp flower will give you a headache. We think this is because hemp has been cultivated for centuries, there have seen so many varieties of hemp bred for different uses. Any number of these varieties may cause headaches since consumption was not what they were produced for. However, today’s varieties that are bred to yield flowers with high CBD and low THC content don’t do that. These are bred specifically to optimize their health benefits and will make you feel better, rather than worse.
Besides the entourage effect, one of the main reasons people smoke hemp rather than ingest it is because smoking is one of the fastest delivery methods of CBD to the body. This is because smoking CBD gives it a higher bioavailability (from 25 to 50%) than consuming it in CBD products. Bioavailability refers to your body’s ability to absorb it more naturally than if ingested or topically applied. Smoking hemp flower allows you to experience CBD to its maximum natural extent. You can directly absorb the cannabis by your lungs, which is the quickest way for the cannabinoids to get into your bloodstream, then flow directly to your brain and body. This method allows you to experience the effects almost immediately. The bodily effects then last about an hour.
Not only does it kick in faster than ingesting, when you light apre-roll, but you are also activating the cannabinoids in the flower. Exposing it to a high temperature when you smoke, dab, or vaporize it is called decarboxylation. Cannabinoids are inactive or in their acidic forms when present in the hemp flower, making them unable to interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the body. CBD is cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) before decarboxylation. Once the cannabinoids are exposed to heat, CBDA converts to CBD, causing the molecule to lose its acidic carboxyl group. This allows it to interact with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors, which is where the potentially beneficial effects can take place.
CBD edibles have the lowest bioavailability rates due to what is known as the first-pass metabolism where most of it gets destroyed. When ingesting hemp flower, CBD is digested and metabolized in the liver. The cytochrome P450 (CYP450) oxidases the enzymes in the liver, which reduces the CBD concentration and is eventually sent to the bloodstream. This is a huge contrast to the smokable form in that you must wait 30 minutes to an hour for edibles or other methods of ingesting to kick in. The peak comes after 90 minutes.
Another alternative would be vaping hemp flower. Since vapor absorbs better into your lungs than smoke, you can pack a bowl in dry herb vaporizers and still enjoy the pleasant effects. A CBD vape will still get the effects of the terpenes and flavonoids that provide the flower its unique flavors.
The benefits of CBD flower are truly astonishing. And since hemp has only recently come into public view, there hasn’t been as much research done on it. This means that even more benefits can be occurring which we are yet unaware of. The following are some exciting potential hemp flower benefits for the world of medicine:
If you are looking for a calm, relaxing high without the psychoactive effects of traditional cannabis, smoking hemp flower is for you. Not only can it provide a soothing, clear-headed effect, but it also adds to many other potential benefits to health. This exciting flower found in nature is full of possibilities. We here at Bay Smokes hope that this information has brought a little more light to what can be a confusing subject. Check out our selection of hemp products and find the right strain for you. We wish you health, happiness, and good vibes.
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