The ins and outs of smoking CBD
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- The difference between smoking CBD and THC
- Why consumption method matters
- The benefits of smoking CBD
- The side effects of smoking CBD
- Hemp flower vs. high-CBD flower
- How does smoking CBD feel?
- Frequently asked questions
You’ve likely seen cannabidiol (CBD) everywhere from drugstore gummies to boutique coffee concoctions. But there’s reason to believe smoking high-CBD flower might be one of the most effective ways to experience the potential benefits of CBD.
If you’re curious about smoking CBD flower and want to explore the pros and cons, this is the guide for you. And if you’re looking for a literal guide to smoking, we have a guide for that, too.
Many consumers typically prefer consuming or smoking CBD through a pipe, joint, or vape pen. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The difference between smoking CBD and THC
Contrary to popular belief, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD have a lot in common. They’re the most abundant cannabinoids found in cannabis plants and they both have the potential to help with anxiety. They even have the same chemical structure (the atoms are just arranged differently). The main difference between THC and CBD can be summed up in one word: intoxication.
CBD is often touted as nonpsychoactive or having no psychoactive effects, but it’s more accurately described as nonintoxicating. Why? Even though CBD won’t get you high, that subtly calm feeling you might experience after taking some CBD tincture is technically a psychoactive effect. Any substance that has a direct effect on the function of the brain is considered psychoactive. By contrast, THC can be intoxicating even at low doses.
Both THC and CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Why this happens has to do with how THC and CBD interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The human endocannabinoid system consists of the cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body. The body’s most studied cannabinoid receptors are the Cannabinoid-1 and Cannabinoid-2 receptors (CB1 and CB2), and they are found in the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, and the immune system.
THC binds with the CB1 receptors in the brain to produce that classic weed high, while CBD has been shown to have the opposite interaction with CB1 receptors, acting as an antagonist. When consumed together, CBD appears to improve the therapeutic and enjoyable effects of THC by minimizing the unwanted side effects such as anxiety and a rapid heartbeat.
The bioavailability of CBD is greater through the lungs than through the gut. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Why consumption method matters
The consumption method plays a critical role in how long it will take to feel the effects of CBD. Inhalation is considered an effective delivery method for CBD because of how quickly the body absorbs it. When CBD is smoked or vaped, cannabinoids enter the lungs and then the bloodstream, circulating throughout the body from there.
While some cannabis consumers and patients prefer to take their CBD through oral administration or topical application, others have found inhalation to be the most effective way to consume. And there may be some science to support this preference.
According to Dr. Adie Rae, a neuroscientist and scientific adviser to Weedmaps, “The bioavailability of CBD is greater through the lungs than through the gut. Specifically, about half of the CBD you inhale makes it into the blood, but only 5% of the CBD you eat gets into your blood.” A Chemistry & Biodiversity study published in 2017 confirms this, stating that while the bioavailability can vary based on how the CBD is smoked, “smoking… provides a rapid and efficient method of drug delivery from the lungs to the brain.”
As an added benefit, the effects are felt almost immediately after inhalation. The effects of edibles, on the other hand, can take up to two hours to kick in.
Smoking CBD flower is an efficient way to experience the potential benefits of CBD. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The benefits of smoking CBD
Of the emerging research into CBD’s potential medical benefits, there is concrete scientific evidence for its effectiveness in the treatment of epilepsy by reducing seizures. So much so that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD-based drug to treat childhood epilepsy. But that’s the only hard scientific evidence on the cannabinoid.
Anecdotally, cannabis consumers have used CBD to alleviate depression, anxiety, insomnia, and pain. But until multiple studies confirm the anecdotal benefits of CBD and the benefits of smoking CBD specifically, that’s all they are — anecdotal.
The good news is there is a lot of clinical evidence that CBD is safe to consume, even in large quantities. A clinical trial published in CNS Drugs in 2019 showed that healthy individuals who received 1500 mg of CBD twice per day experienced very few adverse reactions and all were mild. For context, most CBD products on the market today contain 10 mg per serving.
Because CBD poses minimal risks even in large quantities, you should be able to experiment with smoking CBD flower without fear of overdoing it.
The only way to find out if CBD works for you is to try it. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The side effects of smoking CBD
Because smoking CBD involves — no shocker here — smoke inhalation, there is the risk of developing respiratory issues. Whenever you combust plant material, toxins called polyaromatic hydrocarbons form. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons exist in both tobacco and cannabis smoke and exposing yourself to those toxins is one of the risks of smoking weed.
Luckily, smoking cannabis doesn’t have the same risks as smoking cigarettes. While smoking CBD flower in excess may lead to respiratory issues (like bronchitis or, in severe cases, COPD), there has been no causal link found between smoking weed and cancer, one of the biggest risks associated with smoking cigarettes. Smoking anything, including cannabis, has potential risks.
A 2007 study published in the Harm Reduction Journal examined self-reported respiratory symptoms in participants who used cigarettes and cannabis. The study found that using a vaporizer could decrease respiratory symptoms in regular cannabis users who smoke.
In addition to possible respiratory issues caused by smoke inhalation, CBD does interact with some prescription drugs so check with your doctor before smoking it.
Hemp flower vs. high-CBD flower
While they may sound similar, the difference will largely dictate where you can buy these products — or if you can buy them at all.
Hemp flower and high-CBD flower may look the same, but they’re legally very different. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The hemp plant produces a broad range of cannabinoids, including THC, the intoxicating cannabinoid in marijuana. However, hemp does not produce enough THC to be intoxicating when consumed.
Although the hemp plant doesn’t produce a significant amount of THC, it is capable of producing the non-intoxicating and medicinally rich CBD in high concentrations. And certain strains of hemp produce flowers that look indistinguishable from the high-THC cannabis you’ll find at legal dispensaries.
Many countries differentiate hemp from marijuana by the amount of THC produced. In the US, industrial hemp is defined as a Cannabis sativa L. plant containing no more than 0.3% THC by weight. Thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018, you can legally buy hemp flower online in nearly every state.
High-CBD flower is only available for purchase in licensed dispensaries in states where it’s legal since it contains THC levels higher than the cutoff for hemp. While it contains higher levels of CBD than most cannabis flower on the legal market, it’ll typically contain significant levels of THC as well.
How does smoking CBD feel?
The experience of smoking CBD vary depending on the product and the individual who is consuming the CBD. For example, dabbing a pure CBD isolate will likely cause different effects than hitting a high-CBD vape pen that also contains some THC.
While CBD won’t get you high or intoxicated, it may provide a sense of calm, relaxation, and well-being. Depending on the dose and the individual, CBD might have sleepy, relaxed, happy, or even energetic vibes. While there are no serious side effects reported with CBD, overconsumption can cause drowsiness.
In addition to feelings of relaxation, some report feeling a quick relief of swelling and pain after smoking CBD.
In addition to a feeling of relaxation, smoking CBD has been reported to provide quick relief of swelling and pain. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Frequently asked questions
Is smoking CBD safe?
While more research into the effectiveness of CBD consumption methods is needed, most evidence suggests that smoking CBD flower will not cause intoxication. The primary concern for users is getting unadulterated CBD and, for those who prefer smoking, the potential long-term consequences for the lungs. CBD does interact with some prescription drugs so check with your doctor before trying it.
Can you smoke CBD oil?
CBD can be infused into a variety of products, including vape juice, edibles, capsules, and CBD oil tinctures. CBD tinctures are strictly for ingestion, while CBD oils are made for inhalation.
CBD vape juice, sometimes referred to as CBD vape oil, may vary in concentration depending on state-specific laws. It is legal in 30 states. Another 17 states have CBD-specific laws that enable some level of use or consumption.
CBD can be infused into a variety of products, including vape juice, edibles, capsules, and CBD oil tinctures. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
The FDA has not stepped in to regulate CBD products, but in 2018 the FDA approved the prescription use of Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD oil, for treating epilepsy.
Rick Simpson Oil, named after its Canadian developer who claims he cured his own skin cancer with a custom blend of cannabis oil, is a popular form of CBD oil that is commonly smoked.
CBD oil derived from industrial hemp plants only contains CBD, while marijuana-derived products, such as Rick Simpson Oil, have a high concentration of THC and the full range of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
Does CBD kill your high?
The answer isn’t clear, but CBD has demonstrated the ability to moderate a high produced from THC by preventing the body from absorbing it. Some people say they use CBD when they get too high to reduce the effects. Evidence suggests CBD actually interferes with the activity of the CB1 receptor, especially in the presence of THC.
So, when THC and CBD work together to affect CB1 receptor activity, users tend to feel a more mellow high and are said to have a reduced chance of experiencing paranoia compared with the effects felt when CBD is absent in a product. This synergistic relationship is often referred to as the “entourage effect,” which explains why certain combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes seem to enhance the benefits of cannabis.
The ins and outs of smoking CBD Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents The difference between smoking CBD and THC Why consumption method matters
How To Consume CBD Flower — Smoke vs. Vape vs. Edibles
Not sure what to do with CBD flower? You’ve come to the right place.
Using CBD flower can be complicated for beginners, and even veteran CBD flower users might learn a thing or two by examining the most popular hemp ingestion methods in more detail.
In this guide, we’ll give you a brief overview of what CBD flower is and the benefits it offers. Then, we’ll jump into a detailed explanation of the best ways to use the lab-tested, indoor-grown CBD flower strains Secret Nature offers .
How do you consume CBD flower? Get all the answers you’ll ever need in this comprehensive guide.
What is CBD flower?
CBD flower is Cannabis sativa flower that contains less than 0.3% THC. There’s a common misconception that hemp and cannabis are different plant species, but the only difference between high-THC cannabis and low-THC hemp is the dominant cannabinoid .
Cannabis can, in fact, be bred to be dominant in a few different cannabinoids. The only reason CBD-dominant hemp flower is more common than CBG-dominant flower is that CBD became popular before any of the other non-intoxicating cannabinoids.
CBD flower can be grown either indoors or outdoors, but indoor CBD flower offers substantially increased quality and potency. Some indoor CBD flower strains contain upwards of 25% CBD, which means they rival the pinnacle of top-shelf THC-rich Cannabis sativa flower in terms of pure cannabinoid potency.
Most CBD-rich hemp strains take around four weeks to grow to their full size, and they take a further 8-9 weeks to flower. Once they have reached peak potency, the flowers of CBD-rich hemp plants are harvested and cured conventionally or flash-frozen.
At this point, CBD flower is now ready to consume. What are the best ways to consume CBD flower, however, and what are the benefits of consuming CBD flower in contrast to using CBD extract?
CBD flower benefits
There are lots of reasons that people choose to use CBD flower instead of other CBD product options. Here are a few of the top benefits of using CBD flower regardless of the consumption method that you choose:
1. The entourage effect
According to scientific research , the various cannabinoids present in hemp flower become more effective when they are kept together. Via a phenomenon called the entourage effect, it appears cannabinoids engage in a form of synergy with each other to deliver benefits that go beyond their individual attributes.
Many types of hemp products remove or isolate certain cannabinoids, eliminating any potential for the entourage effect to manifest. CBD-rich hemp flower, however, keeps the entire medley of cannabinoids that Cannabis sativa expresses intact.
2. Indica, sativa, and hybrid options
When you use CBD flower, you can fine-tune your experience by choosing indica, sativa, or hybrid strains. It appears the unique terpene combinations in CBD flower are responsible for these varying effects, and CBD flower users report that:
- Indica strains provide relaxing effects,
- Sativa strains provide energizing effects,
- And hybrid strains provide balanced effects.
3. Multiple ingestion methods
The sky’s the limit when it comes to methods you can use to ingest CBD flower. While smoking hemp flower is the most popular ingestion method, you can truly let your creativity run wild when you use CBD flower.
How to use CBD flower
Now that you have some basic background on what CBD flower is and the benefits it provides, it’s time to dive into the top three most popular hemp flower ingestion methods:
OPTION 1 — Smoking CBD flower
Smoking CBD is one of the most popular ways to use hemp flower. Let’s help you on your way as you discover the benefits of smoking CBD flower for yourself by answering some common questions.
Can you smoke CBD buds?
Even though they contain less than 0.3% THC, you can smoke CBD buds just like you’d smoke any other form of cannabis. With that said, there are significant differences between the quality of smoke provided by different types of CBD bud.
The CBD buds Secret Nature produces are practically dying to be smoked. They’re grown indoors with organic processes, they’re abundant in terpenes, and they’ve been dried and cured to perfection.
CBD buds that were grown outdoors, however, might not taste as good, and outdoor bud usually has lower cannabinoid concentrations. For the best smoking experience, choose top-shelf quality with Secret Nature indoor-grown hemp nugs.
Smoking CBD flower benefits
There are tons of different benefits of smoking hemp flower, which helps explain why this CBD product category has become so popular over the last few years. These benefits can only be unlocked to their full potential, however, when you use high-quality CBD flower like the organic, lab-tested strains we offer at secretnaturecbd.com.
One of the most impressive benefits of CBD flower is the rapid onset of effects that pulmonary CBD administration provides. “ Pulmonary administration ” is just a fancy term for inhalation, and inhaling hemp flower allows the CBD it contains to absorb into your bloodstream rapidly. From there, the blood vessels in your lungs carry CBD directly to your brain, and the effects of inhaled CBD generally set in within 30 seconds to three minutes.
Because inhaling CBD bypasses the digestive system’s filtration mechanisms and delivers CBD to your brain so quickly, the effects of inhaled CBD are also considerably stronger than other ingestion methods. If you’re looking for quick, potent relief, there’s no better ingestion method than inhaling CBD.
Keep in mind that the effects of smoked CBD flower usually only last 30-60 minutes. Therefore, you’ll need to smoke CBD flower frequently if you want to experience the benefits of this ingestion method continuously.
OPTION 2 — Vaping CBD flower
We understand if you don’t want to put smoke in your lungs. Even though Secret Nature hemp nugs are grown with organic processes and don’t contain any harmful contaminants, smoke is smoke.
Since vapor absorbs into your lungs better than smoke, vaping hemp flower may be more effective than smoking it. Vaping also preserves the terpenes and flavonoids that provide CBD flower with its unique flavors.
To vape Secret Nature hemp flower, you can pack a bowl in a dry herb vaporizer and bring it with you on the go. Or, you can invest in a more advanced tabletop vape that provides thicker clouds of hemp flower vapor when you’re ready to relax at home.
OPTION 3 — Eating CBD flower
Can you eat CBD flower? Yes, but only under certain circumstances.
We certainly don’t recommend you eat CBD flower right off the stalk. Consuming hemp flower raw is a bad idea even when it’s been dried and cured.
Not only does raw CBD flower taste bad, but cannabinoids only activate when they’re exposed to heat. So, eating raw CBD flower won’t provide the effects you desire.
Bottom line — can you eat CBD hemp flower? Only when it’s been cooked or otherwise heated to the extent that the cannabinoids it contains have been properly decarboxylated (activated).
The most effective way to eat CBD flower is to cook your hemp buds into oil, butter, or a similar substance that you can then use when making food. To avoid burning your buds, simmer your concoction on low heat, and keep a strainer on hand to remove the cooked plant matter after your hemp nugs have been cooked to perfection.
There are tons of different ways to cook CBD hemp flower — check out the Secret Nature DIY CBD oil guide to get started.
How to use CBD flower FAQ
Let’s wrap things up with some answers to common questions regarding CBD flower and how to use it. Plus, learn which Secret Nature CBD flower strains are best for the various ingestion methods we’ve covered in this guide.
1. What can I do with CBD flower aside from the options you’ve listed?
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try making your own CBD topicals with Secret Nature CBD flower. Check out this informative Project CBD guide to learn more.
2. How does smoking CBD flower make you feel?
Inhaled CBD flower usually offers more potent effects than CBD you ingest orally or apply topically. Like other types of CBD products, however, CBD flower usually provides a relaxing, calming sensation.
3. Can you get high off CBD?
Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating, which means it does not make you feel high. CBD interacts with entirely different neuroreceptors from THC, eliminating any potential of intoxication. It even seems that CBD might modify the neuroreceptors responsible for THC’s intoxicating effects.
4. What is the best CBD flower to smoke?
With almost 20% total cannabinoids, Secret Nature Secret OG CBD Flower certainly doesn’t disappoint in terms of potency, and experienced cannabis smokers will find that Secret OG tastes and hits exactly like OG Kush without getting you high.
5. What is the best CBD flower to vape?
Since vaping CBD flower brings out the flavors of the terpenes in hemp to the greatest extent, it’s best to choose a truly tasty strain when you’ve decided to use a dry herb vape pen or a tabletop vaporizer instead of smoking CBD flower. Secret Nature Sour Space Candy CBD Flower packs more than 22% total cannabinoids, and it has delicious, candy-like flavors that are expressed best when vaped.
6. What is the best CBD flower to eat?
With terpenes that smell and taste just like dough and cream and nearly 22% total cannabinoids, there’s no better Secret Nature strain than Dough Boy CBD Flower to cook into brownies or cookies.
7. Can I eat CBD flower?
Yes, but if you eat it without cooking it, the cannabinoids it contains won’t activate, preventing you from feeling their effects. To eat CBD clower effectively, grind it up and cook it into an oil using our detailed guide. Don’t forget to decarboxylate it first!
8. How do you ingest CBD flowers?
There are three main ways:
- And eating
CBD flowers can be smoked in bongs, joints, or pipes. They can be vaped in dry herb vape pens or tabletop vaporizers. Cooked into oil, you can eat the cannabinoids present in CBD flowers.
9. How is CBD best absorbed?
The latest research indicates that vaporizing CBD provides the best bioavailability, meaning your body can use the highest percentage of the CBD you ingest when you vape it. CBD can be vaporized in distillate form in vape cartridges or by dabbing, and it can be vaporized in flower form with a dry herb vaporizer.
Find out the best way to use CBD flower with Secret Nature
The best way to learn about any topic is to explore it for yourself. Try one of the strains we’ve linked above to experience the Secret Nature difference and find out just how beneficial CBD flower can be.
Curious about the best ways to use CBD flower? Discover our top tips for smoking, vaping, and eating hemp flower and start consuming CBD like a pro.