When you hear the term cannabis flower, it’s likely that your first thought is marijuana. In many cases, marijuana is referred to as bud or flower, and is in fact packed with CBD.
Hemp flower on the other hand, while also being a form of cannabis, is a bit different.
Marijuana vs. Hemp
While marijuana and hemp both refer to forms of the cannabis plant, mass differences remain between the two.
Marijuana, often referred to as weed, bud, flower, or even just cannabis, refers to a specific type of the cannabis plant which is used primarily for smoking and recreation.
Over the years, this plant has been bred and grown to meet growers’ purposes and goals for specific uses. One of these goals is high THC level, which is the psychoactive element found in cannabis. This is what many people focus on when buying cannabis to be smoked or consumed as a recreational drug.
Another primary goal of growers is an increase in the CBD, or cannabidiol. This chemical found in the cannabis plant is known for its health benefits, and one of the main focuses with medical cannabis uses.
Marijuana regulations remain extremely strict, with only 35 states utilizing medical marijuana, and only 14 states having legalized recreational marijuana use. Outside of these uses and states, possession of marijuana remains a criminal offense.
While marijuana remains heavily restricted, hemp and CBD-based products can be purchased in stores and online and shipped anywhere.
While hemp is a form of sativa cannabis, it remains heavily regulated, and is easily available to consumers.
Until 2018, all cannabis products were illegal within the U.S., causing the benefits and potential of hemp to be overlooked. While hemp is a form of cannabis, it differs greatly from marijuana.
Hemp, originally named sativa cannabis, had been grown for its fibrous materials and health benefits (thanks to high levels of CBD). The plants were grown to be strong and very large, often up to 10 feet tall with their leaves being long and slim.
These growing characteristics allowed hemp to be used for clothing, ropes, building materials, paper, and for its body relieving effects.
Over time, sativa strains of cannabis were mixed with indica strains, which were high in THC, so users could get the body and head high.
Hemp and CBD
To avoid confusion, the term hemp would be used for cannabis plants grown for fibrous materials and CBD. By law, all plants considered hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, causing them to have no psychoactive effects. This allows the growth and use of hemp to be accepted in many regions where marijuana growth and use are still deemed illegal.
With increasing growth in the popularity of CBD products, and the research into CBD in terms of health benefits looking always more promising, many growers have taken the opportunity to grow high-CBD hemp plants.
While every part of the hemp plant is used, the flower has found its path to being utilized as both a tobacco alternative and a potent source of CBD.
Benefits of Hemp Flower
As the cannabis plant is broken down for use, you can expect that the stems can be used for various fibrous uses, such as paper, clothing, and building materials. The leaves and roots are a great source of animal bedding and natural composts, and the seeds are used as a form of healthy fats packed with valuable nutrition.
The flowers or buds of the plant are packed with CBD and other cannabinoids known for a wide range of health benefits.
Especially when used as a smoking alternative, hemp flower is a vital resource.
Concentrates and Distillates
While hemp is highly regulated in terms of THC, there are no restrictions in terms of CBD or cannabidiol levels. This means a plant could have no CBD, or exceptionally high CBD.
With an increase in popularity of CBD products such as CBD cigarettes, lotions, tinctures, capsules, and much more, it’s no surprise that many hemp growers have chosen to grow high-CBD plants.
To use CBD, though, for anything besides smoking, you must first extract it from the flower.
Extraction is a method of removing the oils from the plant, and depending on the method of extraction, will leave you with an oil or wax substance.
Common methods for hemp extractions include heated pressing, where an upper and lower plate are heated to a specific temperature, and the flower is squeezed at high pressures causing the wax to press away from the flower, filtered by a micron bag.
Supercritical chemical methods take a harsh chemical such as CO2 and heats it to a specific temperature where the CO2 is precisely between liquid and chemical form. The CO2 is then able to pass through the hemp flower while attaching to the waxes. The CO2 can then be pressurized and separated from the wax, and re-used. This is considered the most eco-friendly approach.
Chemical extraction uses fuels such as ethanol or butane to break the flower down, and remove the cannabinoids from the plant matter. The fuels will then be evaporated or heated away from the mixture leaving just the CBD rich waxes behind.
With the basic forms of extractions, such as heated pressing or supercritical CO2, you are able to use the concentrates exactly as they are. These can be mixed into oils, butter, turned into lotions, or dissolved into oil to be rubbed on the body or taken as tinctures and vape juices.
The issues with concentrates is the remaining smells and flavors of the cannabis plant, which in some cases aren’t desired.
Distillates take the refining one step further as the concentrates are heated and broken down into individual chemicals. The mix is placed on a temperature controlled surface with a collection tube at the top. As it’s heated, the vapors rise, cool, and drop into a second container which gets changed out.
CBD boils at 320 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that anything collected before this temperature is “waste”, and the mix will be held at 320 degrees to collect pure CBD which is odorless and flavorless.
Distillates, also known as CBD isolate, are often used in vape juices, CBD edibles, drinks, and much more. Since the mix is pure, it can be added to endless products creating precise outcomes, meaning your 2% CBD lotions will actually have 2% by volume.
While concentrates and distillates create a range of beneficial products, the CBD hemp flower by itself plays a major role as an alternative to tobacco use, and a powerful method towards fighting nicotine addiction.
As smokers begin to pull away from tobacco use, the addictive chemical known as nicotine can push them into mental and physical withdrawals.
Initially, smokers may want to relieve their nicotine cravings, which should be done with smoke-free alternatives such as nicotine gums or patches. These resources allow you to carefully control your intake to keep your cravings at bay.
Hemp cigarettes are important to help with the physical aspects of craving, often referred to as triggers or oral fixation -- these include the events that usually lead to a cigarette, such as your morning coffee or smoke breaks at work. In many cases, triggers are what pull people back into smoking.
Hemp cigarettes allow you to smoke, without nicotine or increased intake of harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide, lead, formaldehyde, arcenid, and much more.
Even once you’ve successfully quit smoking, cravings or the want for a cigarette may return. While this is normal, it is irritating and could push you to smoking once again. Having quality CBD hemp cigarettes will allow you to put your cravings at ease, without the risk of being pulled back into tobacco use.
With the growth of hemp-based products filling the shelves of physical and online stores across the nation, research into the benefits and potential uses of hemp and hemp flower continue to grow. Hemp-based production is about a going green with a versatile, quick growing plant with endless potential.
With hemp being highly regulated on the grower and manufacturer end, purchasing products from companies such as Oklahoma Smokes ensures you receive quality, tested smokes every time.
We take pride in their product, and we even post our lab results and hemp testings publicly to give you peace-of-mind that you’ve made the right choice.
It’s time to unleash the potential of hemp and hemp flower products with a goal of renewable resources and a healthier lifestyle.