First off let’s start with gathering a good understanding of what CBD even is because...let's be honest, it can be very confusing.
The term CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of many cannabinoids found in the cannabis family. Unlike the most popular element in the hemp plant known as THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning that when using this product you will not get “high”. There are many ways of extracting the oils from the hemp plant to make CBD oil. The most common approach is by CO2 extraction, which isolates the individual compounds. Once the product is extracted, it can be made into many different forms that can be consumed in oil, vapes, edibles, and topicals.
Hemp vs. Marijuana
When talking about CBD flower or even the hemp plant in general, this is where it can get tricky. The two plants are like cousins, they carry very similar if not the same DNA, but they are different in many ways. For one, the appearance in which they grow are their easiest distinguishers. The hemp plant grows much taller in height, and skinnier, but the cannabis plant grows much shorter and more dense. Both plants are able to grow either indoors or outside, but the hemp plant requires a slightly more careful cultivation to produce a good quality, potent bud.
A variety of hemp plant parts can be used in for protein and essential amino acids, and even to make clothing, ropes, and rolling papers. The CBD, however is what we are truly focused on here. The hemp plant contains much higher concentrations of CBD while the cannabis plants tend to be higher in THC.
Hemp extracts: Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum
Many companies that sell hemp may market their products as broad spectrum or full spectrum, this means that the product includes compounds from the hemp plant and not just isolated CBD. Both varieties are carriers for CBD and have benefits of their own; however, when using the whole plant CBD products there can be a slight boost in overall effects and create what's known as the entourage effect. This is due to synergy created by combining all cannabinoids and terpenes found in the hemp flower, the whole form may encourage the cannabinoids to bind more readily and effectively to the endocannabinoid receptors.
Buying Hemp flower
If you decided that you want to indulge in smokeable CBD, there are a few key factors to look into.
• Always research the brand before buying to ensure the product is what it is marketed as.
• Laws in your area may vary based on state. Most of CBD flower will have up to a state defined legal percentage, or under.
• Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The associates that are selling you products are there to help you on our journey, and should have a vast knowledge on the products that they carry. In my personal experience I have always found, if the associates are not willing to answer questions or present the products in a positive light with factual information, chances are that product is not something you should try.
How can I use it?
Hemp flower will come in a very raw form known as biomass and can be combusted (smoked), vaporized, or used in botanical extracts or infusions. For those who are trying this for the first time, don’t worry it is very simple. Ask a friend, or a Zengineer what their favorite method is!
Be patient with yourself. Everyone is different and CBD effects everyone in a personalized way. Don’t be afraid to try different strains, brands, and serving sizes, as each can be very different. In any form, you will need to give your body time to adjust. The more consistent you are, the more likely you will be to experience the great things the hemp plant can offer you!