Smokable hemp may be the latest CBD fad, but it shows no signs of fading away. In fact, it’s projected the hemp smoking market could reach a staggering $80 million. As more states relax their restrictions on marijuana, it’s even more likely hemp smoking will become increasingly popular. Incredibly, there’s even talk that hemp could eclipse tobacco smoking and high-THC marijuana in the ensuing decades.
If you’re new to the hemp smoking scene, you probably have many questions surrounding this plant. Don’t worry, we’ve got all the answers you’re looking for. After you learn all that hemp flower could offer, we bet you’ll be tempted to give it a try.
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Cannabis 101 – Is Hemp The Same As Marijuana?
First off, we have to go over a few crucial cannabis classifications. We know that nomenclature isn’t the most exciting topic, but it’s essential to understand these terms.
The main distinction customers must keep in mind is between hemp and marijuana. Both of these plants belong to the Cannabis sativa genus, but there are significant chemical differences between them.
Most significantly, hemp doesn’t produce as much THC as marijuana. For those who aren’t aware, THC is the cannabinoid that’s responsible for marijuana’s “high” effects. The US government classifies any cannabis strain with over 0.3 percent THC as “marijuana,” which remains a Schedule I substance. To be considered legal hemp, a cannabis plant must register ≤ 0.3 percent THC.
Instead of THC, hemp strains tend to have elevated levels of CBD. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a popular cannabinoid that does not have psychoactive properties.
Although CBD won’t make users “stoned,” many customers claim it has significant therapeutic potential. Scientists are also very interested in CBD’s potential as a natural pain reliever and anti-anxiety agent.
However, please remember that studies into CBD’s supposed benefits are only in their initial phases. At this point, we cannot say anything definitive about CBD or hemp’s effects.
So, Does That Mean Hemp Flower Is Legal?
According to the 2018 US Farm Bill, hemp is federally legal. Americans can legally grow, sell, and use hemp flower—provided it has ≤ 0.3 percent THC.
Note: this doesn’t mean hemp smoking is legal in every US state. The 2018 US Farm Bill allows each territory to craft unique laws regarding CBD and hemp. While most states are on board with the new federal guidelines, a few still refuse to sell or manufacture smokable hemp goods.
In general, if a state already has a medical or recreational marijuana program, it will likely have relaxed hemp laws. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
Customers need to research the latest hemp statutes in their state for the most accurate legal info. Typically, you can find the most up-to-date info on a state’s hemp program by visiting the Department of Agriculture’s website. If you’re struggling to find your state’s stance on hemp, you might want to reach out to a local attorney familiar with cannabis laws.
Seriously, Hemp Flower Won’t Make Me Feel Stoned?
Hemp looks remarkably similar to marijuana, but it’s worlds away in terms of effects. While most marijuana strains are bred for optimal THC content, hemp can’t have over 0.3 percent THC. Hence, when you’re smoking legal hemp flower, there’s no risk of feeling “high.”
As a side note: not all marijuana strains are designed to get users stoned. In fact, there’s a growing number of cultivators who are interested in breeding high-CBD cultivars. Of course, only people living in states with relaxed cannabis laws could legally purchase high-CBD marijuana hybrids.
If Hemp Doesn’t Get Users “High,” What’s The Point?
Smokable hemp flower may not make you “stoned,” but that doesn’t mean it has no effect. Indeed, many people who smoke high-CBD hemp flower report feeling a clear-headed sense of relaxation. Depending on what strain you have, smokable hemp might also help you de-stress before bedtime.
Not only are customers interested in hemp flower’s effects, they also claim it’s one of the fastest-acting CBD products. This makes sense when you consider smokable hemp goes directly into your lungs. Since hemp smoke bypasses the digestive system, CBD smokers enjoy an incredibly high absorption rate.
Yet another reason people get into hemp smoking is to experiment with different flavor profiles. Contrary to popular belief, well-cured hemp buds do not taste like “grass.” Indeed, if you get your hands on artisan-grade hemp buds, they will smell like many iconic ganja strains.
From diesel and lemon to hash and skunk, there’s a huge variety of terpene profiles for “cannaseurs” to try. Plus, since CBD doesn’t get users high, it’s easier to appreciate hemp’s nuanced flavors.
Can I Vape Ground Hemp Flower?
If you’re a vaper, you’ve probably already seen a ton of CBD e-juices flood your local vape shop. But have you heard about vaping ground hemp flower?
Yes, it’s possible to vape finely ground hemp flower in a dry herb vaporizer. Whether you’re using a conduction or convection-based device, all you have to do is load your vaporizer, turn it on, and vape. There are even a few hi-tech dry herb vaporizers that allow you to control your vaping temperature.
Some users claim vaping hemp is cleaner and smoother than smoking a CBD joint. Since you’re inhaling vapor rather than smoke, it’s less likely you’ll experience harsh notes due to combustion. Dry herb vaporizers also tend to be more discreet than hemp joints, especially in public settings.
On the other hand, many smoking aficionados enjoy the harsher notes from a well-rolled hemp joint. Plus, you won’t have to worry about cleaning or maintaining a (potentially) expensive vaporizer. Hemp cigarettes are also a good solution if you don’t know how to roll a spliff.
Honestly, the only way to decide whether you prefer vaping or smoking hemp is to give both a try. Many people find they enjoy both of these methods on different occasions.
What Could You Do Besides Smoke Hemp Flower?
Even if you’re not a fan of smoking, there are many alternative ways you could use hemp flower. For starters, you could use hemp buds to make potent DIY CBD concentrates. Indeed, it’s quite common for people to seek out trichome-rich hemp flowers to press rosin, brew tinctures, or create CBD hash at home.
It’s also increasingly common for people to incorporate hemp flower into their favorite edibles, infusions, or topicals. In recent years, we’ve heard of people adding CBD flower to salads, cooking oils, brownies, cookies, bath bombs…well, you get the idea! Pretty much anything you use, drink, or eat could be enhanced with a bit of CBD.
Before you add hemp flower to edibles, please remember to heat your buds beforehand. If you don’t properly warm your hemp buds before using them, they will only have CBD in its inactive acidic form (CBD-A). While CBD-A might have some benefits, it’s not as bioavailable as active CBD.
Thankfully, it’s not difficult to transform CBD-A into CBD. All you have to do is place your desired amount of hemp on a baking sheet in a 230° F oven. Remove your hemp after about two hours, or when you notice the leaves are starting to turn brown. Let these buds rest a few hours before adding them to your edibles or topicals.
Do Hemp Smokers Have To Worry About Drug Tests?
Even though hemp flower can’t have over 0.3 percent THC, that doesn’t mean employees shouldn’t be concerned about drug screenings. Since everybody has a different metabolism, there’s no way to guarantee THC won’t show up in a urine analysis. For this reason, you have to be extra cautious about smoking hemp before a routine drug inspection.
Anyone who knows there’s an upcoming drug test should avoid hemp flower and full-spectrum CBD goods for a minimum of two days. But don’t worry; you could still get your CBD fix! Just be sure to purchase an ultra-purified, zero-THC product like CBD isolate powder.
Where Could I Grab Some Hemp Buds?
Good news: it has never been easier for customers to find an exceptional variety of hemp buds in stores and online. Indeed, if you live in a state that has legalized marijuana, you might’ve run across well-cured hemp strains in your local dispensaries. There are also many smoke shops, vape shops, and health & wellness stores adding high-quality hemp buds to their shelves.
Can’t find the hemp strains you want nearby? Well, there’s always the Internet! Indeed, it seems like every month dozens of high-quality hemp companies spring up online.
As with any other product online, please carefully evaluate a company’s products before clicking the “buy” button. Always insist on reading third-party lab screenings to examine the quality of a company’s hemp. You should also research reviews from customers to get a better feel for this company’s offerings.
Want To Try Hemp Flower? Be Sure You Know The Laws!
As a final reminder: anyone interested in smokable hemp should check their local laws before buying anything CBD-related online. Hemp is federally legal, but some states have strict bans on smokable products. Most often, governments don’t want to allow hemp smoking because it’s too difficult to distinguish from marijuana.
Once you’ve verified your state allows smokable hemp, you must double-check the company you’re buying from has lab results with ≤ 0.3 percent THC. As long as everything clears out, feel free to give your desired hemp strain a try!