Hemp flower is getting a lot of attention now that it’s legal. Some states still have hemp flower (also called CBD flower) banned. Can you smoke hemp flower? Is there any point to it? How do you know it’s a specific strain of hemp? We’ll get to all of that. But first, it’s important to point out that yes, there are different strains of hemp and you can smoke the flower.
What is Hemp Flower?
You might not know much about the hemp plant, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s very new to millions of people. Just like cannabis, hemp plants produce flowers. Hemp flower looks visually the same as cannabis, but the buds may be a little thinner in some strains.
Hemp’s scientific name is Cannabis Sativa L. It’s a member of the cannabis plant family, it just has a different type of profile – meaning, it’s high in CBD and very low in THC.
Hemp plants have 0.3% or less THC, in most circumstances. There are rare occasions when a strain will test higher, but that cannot be sold as a legal hemp product – it would then be considered a high-CBD, low-THC cannabis strain. Yes, we know this is confusing.
If you see CBD flower or hemp flower sold in a local shop and you live in a state where neither medical nor recreational cannabis is legal – what you have is hemp flower. Of course that retailer does not want to risk criminal charges or loss of their business license, so they will ensure that the hemp flower meets the federal limitations required to keep the classification of hemp. This means that the flower crop must test at or below 0.3% THC, as we mentioned above.
Where can you get Hemp Flower?
Where you can purchase hemp flower really depends on the laws where you live. At the moment, not every state has rules in place for hemp. Hemp flower is mostly available at CBD dispensaries, retail CBD stores, vape shops and some state-licensed cannabis businesses.
Smokable hemp flower is one of the fastest growing trends in the U.S. In Europe, hemp flower has been available for quite some time.
Advantages of Hemp Flower
Smoking or vaporizing the dry flowers is one way to use the plant in one of its rawest forms. For farmers, it’s another way to market their crops. It adds a use to the crop and they know it doesn’t have to be sold for industrial or extraction purposes only.
Another advantage is – lower cost for hemp farmers and consumers. Hemp flower doesn’t require any actual processing other than being dried, cured and trimmed – just like cannabis flowers.
Head of the National Association of Minority Farmers in Industrial Hemp Charles Peterson said, “We had some plants with great flowers, and we thought we’d give it a try, just selling them like that.”
The prices of hemp flower are very comparable to cannabis flower prices.
What is Smoking Hemp Flower Like?
You might wonder what to expect if you smoke hemp flower. Well, aesthetically speaking – it’s the same as smoking cannabis flower. You just don’t get high. It’s a fast way for your body to get CBD, a small amount of THC and any other cannabinoids and terpenes that are present in that particular strain of hemp.
You’ll enjoy the full flavor of the hemp strain.
You can use hemp flower the same way that you would use cannabis flower – grind it up and add it to a pipe, bong or roll it up into a joint. You can also use the flower in a dry herb vaporizer. Using a dry herb vaporizer makes the inhale a little less harsh. Some people like to use their ABV (already been vaped) flower to make teas, butters and other applications.
What are the Top Hemp Strains to Look For?
The number of hemp strains available in the U.S. is slowly growing as more states open up their hemp farming programs. There are individual strains of hemp, which you aren’t likely to see listed if you are enjoying a hemp CBD extract product, like those offered at Canna Trading Co. However, there are some tasty strains to check out.
Cascade is known for its strong terpene profile. IT’s very rich in alpha pinene and beta caryophyllene. It also has a little geranyl acetate in it – which is another natural terpene. With this terpene profile, it’s a little peppery and a little piney with a few other hints of smooth flavor.
Berry Blossom is already becoming a very popular hemp strain. Not only does it taste like fresh berries with a little floral background, it produces gorgeous flowers. The flowers on this hemp strain are a little larger than others, which makes it attractive to hemp farmers and hemp flower users.
It’s the result of crossbreeding Cherry Kandahar and Chardonnay.
Pineberry is the result of crossbreeding Early Resin Berry and Ringo’s Gift. This leaves the strain with a wider variety of terpenes. The flowers have more aroma. The average CBD percentage of Pineberry is 17%.
The terpene profile of Pineberry is:
- Alpha pinene
- Beta caryophyllene
- Beta myrcene (often listed just as myrcene)
- Delta humulene (humulene)
- Delta limonene (limonene)
- Geranyl acetate
It’s a well-balanced strain with a complex flavor and aroma.
Elektra is pretty new to the hemp market. ACDC and Early Resin Berry were crossbred to make this high CBD hemp strain. It typically has just over 15% CBD, but if the ACDC dominance prevails a little more, it can push closer to 20% CBD. ACDC typically has a CBD:THC ratio of 20:1.
We can’t mention top hemp strains without including Lifter. This is one of the most sought after hemp strains by hemp farmers. It has one of the most consistent yields of all hemp strains and is very terpene rich. In the right growing conditions, its flowers can be quite dense, just like the flowers you’d associate with a well-grown cannabis strain.
Hemp flower has just as many uses as cannabis flower – you just don’t get high. For those that are avid CBD users, the option of having hemp CBD flower available provides another option for using the non-intoxicating cannabinoid. Keep in mind that these hemp CBD flowers aren’t available everywhere, and likely can’t be shipped yet since they do share a similar aroma to cannabis and could raise red flags — so it’s best to just source your hemp flower locally.