While cannabis still remains illegal on a federal level, the 2018 Farm Bill has allowed for the legal cultivation and use of industrial hemp and hemp products. This has resulted in a flood of new and innovative CBD products, allowing people to harness the potential benefits of cannabis without the associated high. One product that has become increasingly in vogue is smokable CBD hemp flower. Read on to learn more about the CBD hemp flower trend.
What is CBD Hemp Flower?
CBD hemp flowers are the same as the flowers off regular cannabis strains. However, most modern cannabis strains contain concentrations of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) generally ranging from 10 to 25 percent. THC is the most prominent cannabinoid in cannabis, and while it may present potential benefits of its own, it’s best known as the psychoactive compound that initiates the high associated with using cannabis.
Learn the difference between CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil
On the other hand, CBD hemp flower contains higher CBD concentrations, often testing at concentrations over 15 percent. At the same time, CBD hemp flower has a minimal THC content with concentrations less than 0.3 percent, which not only makes it federally legal as per the 2018 Farm Bill but also virtually eliminates the potential psychoactive effects. In other words, you likely won’t get high from smoking CBD hemp flower.
The Benefits of CBD Hemp Flower
CBD has been studied for its wide range of potential effects and health benefits. It most prominently helps to provide physical calm and relaxation, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. CBD may also provide relief for:
The Entourage Effect
Where other CBD products focus entirely on CBD extracts, CBD hemp flower still contains all the components present in the plant. Along with CBD, you’re getting trace amounts of THC, as well as a variety of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. All of these compounds can work together to influence and accentuate their potential effects, essentially providing more benefits than CBD on its own. This synergistic effect is known as the entourage effect. For example, using the whole plant combines the potential of CBD with several terpenes, like humulene (a potential anti-inflammatory), linalool (a potential sleep aid), and myrcene (which may allow for easier passage of beneficial compounds through the blood-brain barrier), along with other cannabinoids, like CBC, CBN, and CBG, that can further help to manage pain, sleep issues, mood problems, and more.
Unlike other forms of CBD, smoking CBD flower results in faster effects. Smoking hemp flower sends the CBD and other compounds directly to your lungs to get absorbed into your bloodstream, allowing for near-instant effects. By comparison, edibles and tinctures have to go through your entire digestive system before your CBD reaches your gut to get absorbed into your bloodstream. That can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.
How the Trend Has Grown
While cannabis usage has expanded over the past few years, the growth of CBD and smokable hemp came more recently from the 2018 Farm Bill. Officially known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, the Farm Bill legally allowed for the broad cultivation and use of industrial hemp, albeit with some restrictions. The most prominent of these restrictions states that hemp cannot contain THC concentrations higher than 0.3 percent. Any cannabis plant containing more than 0.3 percent THC is legally not categorized as industrial hemp and would thus have no legal protections under the Farm Bill.
The 2018 Farm Bill also laid out regulations for hemp production and cultivation shared between both federal and state programs, along with violations and punishments for those violations.
By the end of 2018, the smokable hemp market occupied about 2 percent of the entire CBD market and had an estimated profit of about $11.5 million, up about 250 percent from 2017. Along with changing legislation, the growth of the trend comes down to production. The market has few regulations, and startup costs are low compared to other forms of cannabis. Smokable hemp flower doesn’t require extraction, which can be complex, time-consuming, and, above all, expensive.
Even more interesting, the smokable CBD hemp trend has been more prominent in areas once known for tobacco production. Farms that once produced tobacco are easy to convert to hemp drying facilities. While CBD offers plenty of benefits on its own, many have turned to smokable hemp as a tobacco cessation aid. In a survey of 5,000 CBD users, 24 percent used smokable hemp to help quit smoking. About 41 percent of those who quit replaced their tobacco use entirely with hemp.
Where the Trend Goes from Here
It’s hard to predict exactly where the smokable hemp trend is headed, but you can expect the boom to continue. The market for hemp-derived CBD is already growing faster than the legal weed market. Experts estimate that the market for CBD derived from industrial hemp will surpass $22 billion by 2022.
The most promising thing we have to look forward to is greater research into industrial hemp and CBD. This can lead to exciting new products, as well as a better understanding of what smokable hemp flower could actually contribute to your health and wellbeing.