What is CBD Flower?

by Kat Austin June 10, 2021 5 min read

What is CBD Flower? - Vida Optima™

CBD flower, a hemp product that mimics cannabis’ aromatic smoking experience, often gets overlooked in the sea of CBD products available in stores and online. Like all other CBD dosing styles, it has its own advantages, drawbacks, and legality concerns.

Here’s what you should know before you try it for yourself:

Table of Contents

CBD Flower vs Cannabis Flower
More About CBD
What Does CBD Flower Feel Like?
What Does Hemp Flower Taste Like?
How is CBD Flower Used?
Is CBD Flower Legal in All 50 States?
CBD Flower Advantages and Drawbacks
Alternatives to CBD Hemp Flower
The Bottomline

Key Takeaways

  • CBD flower is the same as raw hemp flower, or the flowering parts of the hemp plant.
  • Unlike cannabis flower, CBD flower is federally legal and is legal in many states.
  • CBD flower is not psychoactive, but it does have it’s own euphoric, therapeutic effects.

CBD Flower vs Cannabis Flower

Let’s start with the absolute basics—What is CBD flower, and how is it different from traditional cannabis flower?

Well, CBD flower is actually just hemp flower, or the flowering parts of non-psychoactive cannabis plants that are classified as “hemp,” which means they contain less than 0.3% THC.

Alternatively, traditional cannabis flower usually contains much higher levels of THC. The total THC content in medicinal and recreational cannabis ranges greatly, but can reach levels of 20% or higher. These high THC levels are what makes cannabis psychoactive, and also what makes traditional cannabis flower illegal in many areas.

Hemp CBD flower, on the other hand, is federally legal and has been legalized in many states, which makes it much more accessible.

In the same manner that THC is the predominant cannabinoid found in traditional cannabis flower, hemp flower usually contains a high-concentration of CBD, which researchers and consumers have linked to a variety of therapeutic effects.

Let’s Talk More About CBD

A model of CBD's molecular structure near the hemp flower plants it is sourced from.

As we mentioned, CBD is not psychoactive, but it does host a range of effects that give it a therapeutic edge. We talk more about CBD’s effects and potential benefits in “What is CBD?” but we’ll cover the basics here:

  • CBD interacts with the body through the endocannabinoid system, a system of neurotransmitters and neuroreceptors that helps maintain homeostasis.
  • CBD interacts with both portions of the endocannabinoid system, including the portion in the brain and the portion in the immune system.
  • For those with a dysregulated endocannabinoid system, such as endocannabinoid deficiency, CBD may offer significant benefits.
  • Research is still limited, but CBD has been linked to various therapeutic effects in preliminary studies, such as pain relieving effects, anxiolytic properties, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

What Does CBD Flower Feel Like?

We mentioned that CBD flower isn’t psychoactive, but that’s not to say there’s no effects attached to smoking hemp flower.

Hemp flower has fast-acting effects that should peak after only 10-15 minutes. The experience is euphoric and relaxing, and some people describe the effects as “stimulating.” In reality, everyone experiences CBD differently because everyone’s endocannabinoid system is uniquely balanced.

Furthermore, the actual effects you experience from CBD flower depend on the flower’s strain. Different hemp strains have different terpenes and cannabinoid combinations.

Terpenes have their own therapeutic benefits and are the reason that Sativa strains are generally known to be uplifting and Indica’s are usually described as sedating.

For instance, hemp flower with a high myrcene content may be more relaxing, while flower with lots of limonene could be more energizing.

What Does Hemp Flower Taste Like?

Once again, terpenes are at the center of hemp flower’s flavor and aroma. Terpenes are actually the aromatic components that make up every cannabis strain’s unique aroma. The general profile will smell and taste earthy and floral, like plant material should smell, but each strain has its own unique highlights.

For instance, strains with lots of limonene may have a citrusy smell, while caryophyllene-dominant strains may be peppery. Pinene-rich strains may have an evergreen, pine-like flavor. The flavor and aroma combinations are limitless, but you can get an idea of each strain’s profile just by looking at the terpene content.

How is CBD Flower Used?

Hemp flower is the “raw form” of all CBD products, which means it has unlimited potential if you’re crafty enough.

Hand rolled CBD flower joints, a common method used for smoking CBD flower.

The basics are simple. CBD flower can be smoked, like in a smoking piece or rolled in a joint. It can also be vaporized using a dry herb vaporizer.

If you want to go further, CBD flower can be cooked down into oil or butter to make your own infusions, like CBD edibles and even topical salves.

Generally, though, CBD flower is chosen for the brilliantly aromatic smoking experience it offers, which is almost identical to smoking cannabis flower (minus the high).

Is CBD Flower Legal in All 50 States?

We mentioned that CBD flower was federally legal (so long as it matched the federal definition, meaning it contains less than 0.3% THC). Still, every state has different CBD laws, and some have specific restrictions against raw hemp products.

For instance, in Kentucky and Georgia (where CBD is legal), raw hemp flower is not a legal form of CBD. For a full list of CBD laws by state, read “Where is CBD Legal? A State by State Guide to CBD Laws.”

CBD Flower Advantages and Drawbacks

We mentioned that CBD flower has its own advantages and drawbacks, many of which we’ve already covered just by explaining the basics. We’ll touch on these again so you can make a quick comparison to decide if CBD flower is right for you:

  • CBD flower is fast acting and versatile, meaning it can be smoked or used to make a variety of other products.
  • Because it’s a natural, unadulterated hemp product, CBD flower contains a wide variety of different cannabinoids and terpenes. That means it’s naturally a full-spectrum product, which may offer increased therapeutic benefits (known as the “entourage effect.”)
  • CBD flower isn’t legal in all states. Some states specifically prohibit raw forms of hemp or smokable hemp products.
  • CBD flower could be mistaken for cannabis flower by law enforcement (which is why it’s important to choose lab-tested flower and keep those results handy).
  • Smoking anything poses some level of risk because inhaling smoke into the lungs can have adverse effects on lung health.

Alternatives to CBD Hemp Flower

If you’ve decided that CBD flower isn’t quite your style, there are a variety of other products that may offer the CBD dose you need in a style that feels more natural to you. For the closest alternative to CBD flower, choose a full-spectrum product.

At Vida Optima, we have an expansive collection of full-spectrum CBD products, including the ever popular CBD Multivitamin Gummy, which offers a mild 10 mg dose that’s perfect even for beginners.

Our CBD collection also includes simple CBD softgels, delicious fruit chews, potent tinctures, and much more. Everything is full-spectrum, third-party lab tested, and 100% Farm Bill compliant, so you can choose whatever dosing method feels right without worry.

The Bottomline

In conclusion, CBD flower offers a unique experience compared to traditional cannabis flower, as it is made from non-psychoactive hemp plants and contains high levels of CBD. It can be smoked, vaporized or used to make various products, and has fast-acting effects with potential therapeutic benefits. While CBD flower is federally legal, each state may have its own laws and restrictions, so it's important to check local regulations. Ultimately, whether CBD flower is the right choice for you depends on your individual needs and preferences.

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