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The ins and outs of smoking CBD

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  1. The difference between smoking CBD and THC
  2. Why consumption method matters
  3. The benefits of smoking CBD
  4. The side effects of smoking CBD
  5. Hemp flower vs. high-CBD flower
  6. How does smoking CBD feel?
  7. 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.

smoking a bubbler

Many consumers typically prefer consuming or smoking CBD through a pipe, joint, or vape pen. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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smoking a bubbler

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

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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.

smoking joint in bed

The bioavailability of CBD is greater through the lungs than through the gut. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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smoking joint in bed

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.

cbd joints

Smoking CBD flower is an efficient way to experience the potential benefits of CBD. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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cbd joints

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

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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.

marijuana plant

Hemp flower and high-CBD flower may look the same, but they’re legally very different. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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marijuana plant

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

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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.

weed concentrate vape pen

CBD can be infused into a variety of products, including vape juice, edibles, capsules, and CBD oil tinctures. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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weed concentrate vape pen

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

Why Should I Smoke CBD Flower?

Are you sure you know the best way to use CBD? Did you know, for instance, that CBD tinctures have low bioavailability ?

There’s nothing wrong with tinctures — we even offer our own high-quality organic tincture here at Secret Nature. If you want a CBD product with a serious kick, however, even the most potent tincture’s effects might be too mild.

CBD flower, on the other hand, unlocks the potency of this cannabinoid to the maximum extent possible. Learn all the reasons you should have started smoking CBD flower yesterday.

Benefits of smoking CBD flower

Inhaling substances into your lungs, called pulmonary administration , has long been understood to provide impressive bioavailability. It’s common sense, therefore, that inhaling CBD into your lungs would have a similarly enhanced effect versus oral ingestion.

Plus, smoking or vaping hemp flower allows you to enjoy the full entourage of terpenes and minor cannabinoids oils that accompany CBD. It’s possible that CBD becomes weaker when stripped of its friends, and there’s no better way to get the cannabinoid party going than by flooding your system with clouds of combusted or vaporized organic Secret Nature flower.

Smoking CBD flower effects

  • Smoking or vaping CBD flower has much faster and more potent effects than other CBD administration methods
  • Effects of smoking CBD flower generally begin within 3 minutes and last 60-90 minutes
  • While non-intoxicating, smoking or vaping CBD can gently affect the way you see the world
  • Most users report a sense of relaxation or even sedation
  • People who want to get over brief bouts of anxiety or reduce pain long enough to fall asleep often choose Secret Nature CBD flower
  • Try supplementing smoking CBD flower with ingesting this cannabinoid orally or applying it topically
  • You don’t have to use rolling papers—tabletop vaporizers, bongs, and even CBD vape cartridges are all options.

What is the entourage effect?

Apart from CBD and THC, cannabis is also host to a variety of other cannabinoids including CBG, CBC, and CBN. There’s still a lot we need to learn about every cannabinoid. It’s clear, however, that cannabinoids have potent medicinal properties, and these hemp substances appear to work together in synergy.

For years, scientists considered the other cannabinoids and terpenes to be the “entourage” of THC, leading to the coining of the phrase “entourage effect” in reference to observes synergy between cannabinoids.

There’s plenty of reason to believe cannabinoids might modify each other’s effects. Initial evidence suggests, for instance, that CBD modifies the psychosis risk of THC , and the overall similarity between cannabinoids and cannabis terpenes lends credence to the idea that these plant oils might affect one another through a complex neurochemical web.

Benefits of the entourage effect

Based on the evidence that CBD might modify the effects of THC, it’s also possible to conclude that CBN, CBG, or THCV might, in turn, modify CBD. Adding small concentrations of other cannabinoids to your CBD intake could reasonably change your experience.

What are the best CBD flowers to smoke?

There are a few clear winners among the Secret Nature CBD flower lineup. With packages as small as 3.6g and as large as a full zip, customers choose the following three strains as their go-to CBD flower solutions of choice time and again. Get ready to meet Mr. Rainbow, Papaya Nights, and Frosted Kush:

1. Secret Nature Mr. Rainbow – 22.3% CBD

The first thing you’ll notice about Mr. Rainbow is this strain’s incredibly high CBD content. Strong overtones of haze melt into cookie-dough sweetness as the first puffs of Mr. Rainbow waft their way into your lungs. Enjoy in a blunt or grind a bowl into your tabletop vaporizer to experience what 22.3% CBD feels like.

“From the moment you open the package and see the super cool can this flower comes in, you know it’s going to be good. Skunky with some slight floral notes on the nose. Tastes clean, smooth, and floral. no burn, which I LOVE. The effects are incredible.” – JoAnna

“I used to buy in store. But now i only purchase from secret nature. Quality stuff!!” – Joshua P.

Flower tech specs

  • 22.3% CBD, 24.2% total cannabinoids
  • Hybrid
  • Haze, sweet, and cookie terpene profile
  • 3.5g, 14g, and 28g options
  • 100% organic, indoor-grown sustainable bud
  • Hermetically sealed containers
  • Artisan trimmed and manicured

2. Secret Nature Papaya Nights – 19.7% CBD

As a true sativa strain, Papaya Nights is a little bit lankier than some of its indica cousins. The light fruitiness of this cultivar is a delight to the nostrils from the moment you open your hermetically sealed Secret Nature flower package, and you’ll love the sense of energy without the high that the perfectly-balanced terpene blend in Papaya Nights delivers every time.

“This was my first time ordering from Secret Nature and i have to say that the Papaya Nights is pretty great. Smells great, tastes great, and makes me feel great. Looking forward to trying their Frosted Kush next!” – Tyler S.

“just the look of the tin that the flower is packaged in, instantly let me know I was dealing with a product of superior quality. When I peeled back the sealed metal lid. I was instantly hit with the bright fragrance of freshness and earthiness that is unmistakably really good “hemp flower”.” – Avin O.

Flower tech specs

  • 19.7% CBD 21.5% total cannabinoids
  • Sativa
  • Fruit, haze, and earthy terpene profile
  • 3.5g, 14g, and 28g options
  • 100% organic, indoor-grown sustainable bud
  • Hermetically sealed containers
  • Artisan trimmed and manicured

3. Secret Nature Frosted Kush – 19.5% CBD

Frosted Kush stands at the pinnacle of the Secret Nature lineup. It’s understandable that people want indica when it comes to relaxing CBD bud, and nothing truly says “indica” like kush. For those who want to experience the exact nostalgic feeling of OG Kush without the high, Secret Nature CBD Frosted Kush will knock your socks off in the best possible way.

“This cbd bud is really smooth and has a great flavor. The terpenes really show up well and is very relaxing to the body.” – Michael M.

“I’ve tried many CBD flower distributors.. Secret Nature has by far the best product. It is what is says, frosty. Taste great and the effects are legit. The main difference I’ve experienced is the quality, you can tell this is indoor and not a false claim.” – Justin D.

Flower tech specs

  • 19.5% CBD, 22.4% total cannabinoids
  • Cupcake, berry, and gas terpene profile
  • Indica
  • 3.5g, 14g, and 28g options
  • 100% organic, indoor-grown sustainable bud
  • Hermetically sealed containers
  • Artisan trimmed and manicured

Smoking CBD flower FAQ

Now that you’re familiar with the top trio of CBD flower options on the market, it’s time to wrap things up with answers to the most frequently asked smoking CBD flower questions:

1. What does smoking CBD flower feel like?

The first thing you’ll notice is a rich, robust flavor. Smoking CBD flower brings out a bud’s full taste profile.

If you want to become a serious cannabis connoisseur, try vaping. Avoiding incinerating plant matter allows you to enjoy gasified cannabinoids and terpenes efficiently and with high bioavailability.

2. Do you get high smoking CBD flower?

No. CBD does not cause the intoxicating “high” characteristic of THC. Instead, most users report the effects of CBD are mild and non-intoxicating.

3. Can smoking CBD flower make you fail a drug test?

Drug tests do not test for CBD — just THC. However, CBD-rich hemp flower contains small amounts of THC.

If drug testing is an issue for you occupationally or otherwise, make sure the party requesting the tests knows you’re using non-intoxicating CBD flower since there’s a small chance of a false positive result for THC.

4. Does smoking CBD flower with regular weed help?

We advise you to follow all relevant regulations when using THC-rich substances. All products sold at contain less than 0.3% THC.

With that said, the evidence certainly suggests that CBD and THC interact with each other in the human nervous system. The exact nature of this interaction remains to be determined, but it does not appear to be negative in any way.

5. How much of a CBD joint should I smoke?

You should smoke somewhere between 1/3 of the joint and the entire joint. Any less than a third of a joint is just hard to smoke, but an entire Secret Nature joint might be a little bit too much for some smokers.

It varies from strain to strain, but most Secret Nature CBD pre-rolls contain around 100mg CBD each. Compare that to the average hemp capsule or edible containing 20mg or so total CBD, and you’ll see why smoking a whole Secret Nature hemp pre-roll in one sitting might be overkill depending on the situation.

6. Should I try smoking CBD flower for anxiety?

Many people smoke or vape CBD to help with anxiety specifically because of the fast activation times this CBD ingestion method offers. As hundreds of Secret Nature reviewers have related in their firsthand accounts, it’s convenient to smoke CBD whenever you feel an anxiety attack coming on.

7. Is smoking CBD bad for you?

That remains to be seen. Smoking is always something best done in moderation, but it appears the act of smoking itself is far less harmful than the artificial additives present in tobacco cigarettes . Human beings have smoked cannabis for millennia without any reports of serious side effects, indicating the negative effects of smoking CBD-rich hemp flower might not be as pronounced as you’d expect.

Sweet puffs without the high with Secret Nature

Top-shelf CBD flower from Secret Nature continues to gain exponential popularity nationwide. Whether you’re looking for a tobacco substitute or you just want to compare tobacco vs. CBD flower, you’ll love the smooth, fruity taste of Secret Nature flower.

For smokers who want to roll a joint without getting intoxicated, rolling papers made from pure hemp combined with incredibly high CBD concentrations will never disappoint. You always have the option of vaping your Secret Nature bud as well if smoke isn’t your thing.

These days, anyone can buy CBD flower online and start enjoying the benefits. Only with Secret Nature, however, can you enjoy CBD-rich cannabis flower the way nature intended.

We treat the whole plant with respect, and we’re rightfully proud of our top-shelf, high-free CBD nugs. Start by taking a quick peek through our hundreds of five-star reviews to get an idea of just how special smoking Secret Nature CBD flower can be.

Inhaling CBD flower is the best way to experience non-intoxicating hemp to the fullest. Learn the best ways to smoke and vape Secret Nature CBD flower.