Although our ancestors might not have called it “cannabidiol,” using CBD in the form of hemp flower dates back centuries. (And we’re pretty sure they didn’t know anything about our endocannabinoid system.) But that’s OK. Today, it is celebrated for its soothing effect and health benefits in many parts of the world. But what are the pros and cons of CBD flower?
But what is CBD flower? CBD flower is CBD-rich hemp flower. It looks and smells like a cannabis flower, but it’s quite different. Essentially, hemp contains 0.3 percent or less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that makes you feel intoxicated. Because of this, hemp can’t make you feel intoxicated, but cannabis can.
Are you new to CBD flower or a veteran who would like to know more? We’ve highlighted some of the positives and negatives of CBD flower. Knowing the good and bad about the product also better equips newbies to decide whether they would like to delve into the world of CBD or not.
Let’s break down the pros and cons of CBD flower
First, the Pros of CBD flower
For many people, CBD flower is their go-to delivery method. CBD flower has a few advantages that make it stand out from other forms.
1) CBD flower is relatively inexpensive
CBD comes in a range of products, including oils, tinctures, vape juice, and topicals. Although these different forms give consumers the chance to choose a product tailored to their needs, they do not come cheap.
CBD flower, on the other hand, is relatively cheap when you compare it to other CBD products. The product is mostly sold dry weight. So buying it in bulk also means you get the best bang for your buck. You can also use it in different ways to ensure that the product does not go to waste when buying in bulk.
2) It is absorbed by the body quickly when smoked
CBD flower works faster than other delivery methods when it is smoked. This is because CBD goes straight to your lungs when inhaled. It is then quickly absorbed into your bloodstream, after which you can feel the effects almost immediately.
CBD is also thought to have higher bioavailability when it is smoked. What this means is that more of the compound is absorbed by your body than with other methods. For example, when taken orally, the compound first has to pass through the digestive tract, where some of it is expelled from your body.
If you are looking for a method that will provide quicker results, smoking CBD flower would be a more practical option.
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3) You don’t have to smoke it
Although it is commonly smoked, you don’t have to smoke CBD flower. You can also use it for cooking to create your own homemade edibles. This is great news for those with respiratory conditions, and those who simply don’t like smoking. But before baking a CBD-infused treat, you need to decarb it.
Decarbing (or decarboxylating) CBD flower involves heating the flower for a specified time to “activate” the CBD. If you are keen on baking with CBD flower, you can easily find recipes online and most come with guides on how to decarb. A popular way of using CBD flower in cooking is by making CBD butter and incorporating it into dishes.
Another plus is that CBD flower is not as expensive as other CBD products, so it won’t leave a gaping hole in your pocket if you don’t like it.
Also Read: Is CBD flower legal to smoke?
And now, the Cons of CBD flower
Unfortunately, there are also some negatives.Here, we have detailed some of the cons.
1) The product can go stale
You may be surprised to find that hemp flower can go bad. While it is not always dangerous, the flower will lose its potency if it is beyond its expiration date or stored incorrectly. If your flower smells stale, has mold in it, has a change in color or texture, it is a sign that it may have gone bad.
Some spores of mold may be harmful when inhaled, so it is best to dispose of the flower that has traces of mold. To avoid wasting money, you’ll need to store your flower properly.
Store your product in an airtight container in a cool, dark place to extend its shelf life. Glass containers are ideal for storing hemp flower. It should usually last anywhere from six months to a year if stored correctly.
Also Read: Should you start drinking hemp milk?
2) You may experience side effects from smoking CBD flower
Unfortunately, excessive smoking of any kind ups your risk of developing a respiratory condition. That includes CBD flower or cigarettes. But smoking CBD flower does not appear to be as high-risk as smoking cigarettes. Currently no evidence links smoking CBD flower to cancer. But there are still some other side effects of excessive smoking.
Because you’re burning something and inhaling it, you can irritate your lungs and throat. This is something you should try to avoid if you have a respiratory condition, like asthma. Or an illness like bronchitis.
CBD may interact with some medications. Which means that it can cause certain side effects when combined with certain kinds of medicine. Consult a medical doctor before using CBD to ensure it is safe for you to use. We give that advice whether you’re on any medication or not.
3) It is less convenient to use than other delivery methods
Using CBD flower needs a bit more effort than other delivery methods. CBD oils just require a few swirls in your mouth, and gummies can swiftly be munched away. But you need to prepare CBD flower before using it.
If you want to smoke it, you need a little equipment. And that’s either a bong or rolling papers to roll it into a joint. Rolling a joint can be quite tricky for beginners. Baking with the flower also needs some preparation, and you need to be careful not to burn your buds.
There are many benefits to using CBD flower, but as with any CBD delivery method, it has its drawbacks. It’s important to be aware of these advantages and disadvantages before you use CBD flower yourself. As always, we recommend talking to your doctor before using CBD products.
Sian Ferguson is a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa and she has written for publications such as Healthline, Greatist, and Psych Central to name a few.