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In this guide, we’ll give you a brief overview of what CBD flower is and the benefits it offers. Then, we’ll jump into a detailed explanation of the best ways to consume. A guide to the most common CBD products and how they affect the body.

Smoking CBD Flower vs Vaping CBD Flower | How-To Consumption Guide

Not sure what to do with the CBD flower you just bought? You’ve come to the right place. Using CBD flower can be complicated for beginners, and even veteran CBD flower users might learn a thing or two by examining the most popular hemp ingestion methods in more detail.

In this guide, we’ll give you a brief overview of what CBD flower is and the benefits it offers. Then, we’ll jump into a detailed explanation of the best ways to use Secret Nature hemp flower.

How do you consume CBD flower? Let’s find out.

What is CBD flower?

CBD flower is just like THC-rich cannabis, but it contains less than 0.3% THC. There’s a common misconception that hemp and cannabis are different plant species, but the only difference between high-THC cannabis and low-THC hemp is the dominant cannabinoid .

Cannabis can, in fact, be bred to be dominant in a few different cannabinoids. The only reason CBD-dominant hemp flower is more common than CBG-dominant flower is that CBD became popular first.

CBD flower can be grown either indoors or outdoors, but indoor CBD flower offers substantially increased quality and potency. Some indoor CBD flower strains contain close to 25% CBD, which means they rival the potency of top-shelf THC-rich cannabis.

How is CBD flower made?

Most CBD-rich hemp strains take around four weeks to grow to their full size, and they take a further 8-9 weeks to flower. Once they have reached peak potency, the flowers of CBD-rich hemp plants are harvested and cured conventionally or flash-frozen.

At this point, CBD flower is ready to consume. What are the best ways to consume CBD flower, however, and what are the benefits of consuming CBD flower in contrast to using CBD extract?

Does CBD flower offer the entourage effect?

According to scientific research, the various cannabinoids present in hemp flower might become more effective when they are kept together . Via a phenomenon called the entourage effect, it appears cannabinoids engage in a form of synergy with each other to deliver benefits that go beyond their individual attributes.

Many types of hemp products remove or isolate certain cannabinoids, eliminating any potential for the entourage effect to manifest. CBD-rich hemp flower, however, keeps the entire medley of cannabinoids in hemp intact.

Are there indica and sativa CBD flowers?

Yes, there are indica, sativa, and hybrid options with CBD flower just as there are with THC-rich cannabis. It appears the unique terpene combinations in CBD flower are responsible for these varying effects, and CBD flower users report that:

  • Indica strains provide relaxing effects,
  • Sativa strains provide energizing effects,
  • And hybrid strains provide balanced effects.

How do you use CBD flower?

People primarily either smoke or vape CBD flower. These ingestion methods might be the most popular, but you can let your creativity run wild when you use CBD flower since it’s the source from which all other CBD products come. It’s possible, for instance, to infuse CBD flower into coconut oil , and from there you can make pretty much any hemp-infused edible treat or oil-based topical under the sun.

Let’s run down the three most popular options for using CBD flower:

OPTION 1 — Can you smoke CBD buds?

Even though they contain less than 0.3% THC, you can smoke CBD buds just like you’d smoke any other form of cannabis. With that said, there are significant differences between the quality of smoke provided by different types of CBD bud.

Hemp flower that’s grown indoors with organic processes, abundant in terpenes, and dried and cured to perfection is what you’re looking for. CBD buds that were grown outdoors might not taste as good, and outdoor bud usually has lower cannabinoid concentrations. You’ll also need to check lab tests to make sure your CBD flower contains compliant levels of THC.

What are the benefits of smoking hemp flower?

One of the most impressive benefits of CBD flower is how fast it activates — inhaling hemp flower allows the CBD it contains to absorb into your bloodstream rapidly. From there, the blood vessels in your lungs carry CBD directly to your brain, and the effects of inhaled CBD generally set in within 30 seconds.

Smoking hemp flower is one of the most beneficial ways to use CBD. These benefits can only be unlocked to their full potential, however, when you smoke high-quality, organic CBD flower.

Is smoking CBD flower stronger than using it other ways?

If you’re looking for quick, potent relief, there’s no better ingestion method than inhaling CBD. Because inhaling CBD bypasses the digestive system’s filtration mechanisms and delivers CBD to your brain so quickly, the effects of inhaled CBD are also considerably stronger than other ingestion methods.

Keep in mind that the effects of smoked CBD flower usually only last 30-60 minutes. Therefore, you’ll need to smoke CBD flower frequently if you want to experience the benefits of this ingestion method continuously.

OPTION 2 — Can you vape CBD flower?

You might prefer not to let smoke into your lungs. Secret Nature hemp nugs are the cleanest smokeables in the world, but smoke is smoke.

Since vapor absorbs into your lungs better than smoke, vaping hemp flower may be more potent than smoking it . Vaping also preserves the terpenes that imbue CBD flower with its unique flavors.

To vape Secret Nature hemp flower on the go, pack a bowl in a dry herb vaporizer and bring it along. At home, use your tabletop vaporizer to bring out the fullest flavors and bring about the chillest vibes.

What are the benefits of vaping hemp flower?

Vaping hemp flower is just as convenient as smoking it, but it might offer even more bioavailability . As the measurement of how much of a substance your body can use before excreting it, bioavailability has a massive impact on the potency of your CBD experience, and the higher bioavailability of vaping CBD flower may make using CBD this way feel more potent.

Some users also appreciate the mildness of CBD flower vapor compared to smoke. When you load your CBD buds into a dry herb vaporizer and start inhaling, the clouds you breathe in won’t contain any combusted materials whatsoever. As a result, you can also hold CBD flower vapor in your lungs for a moment even though it’s never a good idea to hold smoke in your lungs any longer than necessary.

Is vaping CBD flower stronger than using it other ways?

Yes, vaping is considered to be the number-one strongest way to use CBD flower. Not only does vaping your hemp buds offer greater bioavailability and potency, but it also allows you to inhale larger doses at a time due to the mildness of vapor compared to smoke.

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There’s only one way to use CBD that’s more potent than vaping CBD flower: Vaping CBD concentrate in the form of a dab or vape cartridge. If you want to stick to all-natural flower instead of extracts, however, vaping CBD buds is the most potent option at your disposal.

OPTION 3 — Can you eat CBD flower?

You can only eat CBD hemp flower if it has been heated to the extent that the cannabinoids it contains have been properly decarboxylated (activated). We also strongly recommend processing your hemp flower into coconut oil or mixing it into food instead of eating it alone.

Consuming hemp flower raw is a bad idea even when it’s been dried and cured. Not only does raw CBD flower taste bad, but cannabinoids only activate when they’re exposed to heat.

How to choose the right way to use CBD flower

Now that you know you can either smoke, vape, or eat your CBD flower, how do you decide which option is best? Take a moment to think about your needs to find the answer.

If you don’t mind smoke and you’re all about potency, smoking a CBD flower joint or a bowl of hemp might be the best approach. Those who don’t like smoke are welcome to try vaping CBD flower, which can offer stronger effects while remaining entirely smoke-free.

If you don’t like smoking or vaping, on the other hand, making CBD flower into edibles is the best option you have. Making an edible form of CBD flower can be as simple as decarboxylating your buds and sprinkling them into your food, or you can go so far as to make your own CBD oil extract at home.

What is the best CBD flower to smoke or vape?

Regardless of how you use it, you’ll need to choose the right CBD flower to enjoy the effects you’re looking for. First, keep in mind that CBD buds come in sativa (uplifting), indica (relaxing), and hybrid (balanced) terpene profiles that considerably impact their effects.

Also, there are significant discrepancies in quality between CBD flower brands. Some companies grow their buds in climate-controlled indoor conditions, others grow them out in the sun right next to major agricultural operations. Certain CBD buds are high-potency, but others might contain as little as 10% CBD.

One thing you’ll certainly need to look out for as you select an ideal CBD flower product for your purposes is lab reports. A CBD flower company’s lab reports should be batch-specific, third-party, and entirely impartial.

FAQ — how to use CBD flower

Is there anything else you’d like to know about using CBD hemp flower?

1. What else can I do with CBD flower?

As the source material from which all other CBD products come, you can make CBD flower into pretty much anything. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try making your own CBD topicals with Secret Nature CBD flower. Start with our recipe for making CBD flower-infused coconut oil , and then try this coconut oil balm recipe for the finishing touches.

2. How does smoking CBD flower make you feel?

Smoking CBD flower usually offers more potent effects than CBD products you ingest orally or apply topically. Like other types of CBD products, however, CBD flower usually provides a relaxing, calming sensation. The effects of CBD flower vary, though, depending on the strain with indicas delivering the most relaxing effects and sativas being peppier.

3. Can you get high off CBD?

No, CBD cannot make you feel high because it affects the brain differently than THC. Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating, which means it does not make you feel high. CBD interacts with entirely different neuroreceptors from THC, eliminating any potential of intoxication. It seems that CBD might even modify the neuroreceptors responsible for THC’s intoxicating effects.

4. What is the best CBD flower to smoke?

Based on the sheer number of reviews this strain has received, we’d say that Secret Nature customers believe Secret OG is the best CBD flower to smoke. With almost 20% total cannabinoids, Secret Nature Secret OG CBD Flower certainly doesn’t disappoint in terms of potency, and experienced cannabis smokers will find that Secret OG tastes exactly like OG Kush.

5. What is the best CBD flower to vape?

Based on the reviews we’ve received for this strain, we’d have to say that Sour Space Candy is the best CBD flower to vape. Since vaping CBD flower brings out the terpenes in hemp to the greatest extent, it’s best to choose a truly tasty strain when you’ve decided to vape CBD flower instead of smoking it. Secret Nature Sour Space Candy CBD Flower packs more than 22% total cannabinoids, and it has a delicious, candy-sweet flavor profile.

6. What is the best CBD flower to eat?

We think Dough Boy is the best Secret Nature CBD flower strain to make into edibles based on the reviews we’ve received. With terpenes that smell and taste just like dough and cream and nearly 22% total cannabinoids, there’s no better Secret Nature strain than Dough Boy CBD Flower to cook into brownies or cookies.

7. Can I eat CBD flower?

Yes, you can eat CBD flower if you prepare it the right way. If you try to eat hemp flower without cooking it, though, the cannabinoids it contains won’t activate, preventing you from feeling their effects. To eat CBD clower effectively, grind it up and decarboxylate it first.

8. How do you ingest CBD flowers?

There are three main ways that people ingest CBD flower: smoking it, vaping it, and eating it. You can smoke CBD flower in a bong, joint, or pipe. If you prefer vaping, you have your choice of dry herb vaporizers and CBD vape pens. Cooked properly, the cannabinoids present in hemp flower can be infused into a variety of delectable dishes.

9. How is CBD best absorbed?

The latest research indicates that vaporizing CBD might provide the best bioavailability, meaning your body can most likely use the highest percentage of the CBD you ingest when you vape it. You can vape CBD distillate in dab or vape cartridge form, and you can vape CBD flower in a dry herb vaporizer.

10. Can you boil CBD flower?

You can boil CBD flower if you intend to drink the liquid you boil it in. Boiling hemp flower, however, strips it of its cannabinoids and terpenes, so don’t try to use flower after you’ve boiled it.

Boiling CBD flower into tea or coffee is a great way to use your hemp buds. You can fill any average tea strainer with ground-up CBD flower for a convenient and effective at home or on-the-go ingestion option.

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11. What does CBD do when eaten?

When you eat CBD, this cannabinoid gradually absorbs through your digestive tract, delivering effects over the course of 2-3 hours. The effects of orally ingested CBD aren’t very intense, and their main selling point is how long they last. Even if you eat a lot of it, CBD flower won’t get you high, and as long as your hemp buds contain less than 0.3% of it, the trace amounts of THC in your bud won’t cause intoxication either.

12. Can you make cannabutter with hemp?

Yes, you can make cannabis-infused butter or “cannabutter” with hemp instead of THC-rich cannabis. The process is exactly the same even though you might buy your CBD buds online instead of at a dispensary. Check out this great cannabutter recipe to get a basic idea, then just switch out the delta 9 “weed” for your favorite hemp.

13. How do you make CBD flower cookies?

All you need to make CBD flower cookies is an oil like butter or coconut oil, some CBD flower, and a normal cookie recipe . Simply infuse your butter or oil with CBD flower using a crockpot or a double-boiler, and then add the infused concoction to your cookie recipe. Depending on the strain you use, the subtle taste of hemp might add the perfect culinary finish to your fresh-baked cookies.

14. How should CBD be consumed?

You should consume CBD in whichever way best suits your needs. The fastest-acting and most effective way to use CBD might be to inhale it, but both topical and orally ingested CBD products also have their proper place and time.

Whichever way you decide to use CBD, just remember to prioritize quality over all else. Your health is more important than anything else, and not all CBD products are made equal.

15. Is it better to vape CBD or smoke the flower?

When it comes to whether vaping or smoking CBD is best, it’s all a matter of your personal preferences. Vaping provides more cannabinoids per hit and is sometimes considered to be the “cleaner” option, but nothing can replace the full-bodied flavor of top-shelf cannabis smoke.

CBD vapes are about 3-4 times as potent as CBD flower, so choose vapes if maximum efficiency is your goal. If you simply want to chill out with a hemp joint, however, smoking might personally be your way to go.

16. How does vaping CBD flower make you feel?

Smoking CBD flower feels considerably more potent than taking this cannabinoid orally, and vaping CBD feels even more potent than that. A single hit of CBD vape is the equivalent of 3-4 hits of CBD flower, so an extended CBD vape session will provide the same number of cannabinoids as an entire joint.

At no point, however, will vaping CBD make you feel high. Whether you vape it, smoke it, or use it any other way, CBD has no intoxicating potential whatsoever.

17. Is vaping CBD the same as smoking it?

No, vaping and smoking CBD are very different things that shouldn’t be mixed up. Smoking CBD involves lighting CBD-rich hemp flower on fire and inhaling the resulting smoke. Vaping CBD flower, however, involves heating purified CBD-rich hemp extract to a comparatively lower temperature, causing it to vaporize instead of incinerate.

CBD vapes are considerably more potent than CBD flower, but CBD flower provides an all-natural experience. Users have trouble agreeing on which type of inhaled CBD experience offers greater purity.

18. Is CBD flower safe to vape?

Yes, you can certainly vaporize CBD flower using a tabletop dry herb vaporizer like the Volcano Classic or a dry herb vape pen. Make sure to use a dry herb vape for this task, however — the technologies used to vaporize cannabis flower and the technologies used to vaporize cannabis extract are completely different.

If you’re looking for the safest CBD flower vaping experience possible, choose indoor-grown, organic hemp buds that come with third-party lab reports and have lots of reviews. Contaminants in CBD flower have a way of diminishing the benefits of your vape session.

19. How much CBD is in a vape puff?

A puff of CBD vape extract can contain anywhere from 10-100mg total cannabinoids with the average sitting at around 25mg for a three-second puff. The potency of your CBD extract plays a role since you’ll inhale more CBD per puff when using an 85% potency cartridge versus a 60% potency cartridge.

Some tools used to vape CBD, such as dab rigs, produce much larger clouds of CBD vapor than smaller tools like battery-powered vape pens. With dab rigs, it isn’t unheard of to inhale as much as 500mg total cannabinoids in a single puff, so make sure you’re familiar with the technology you’re using if accurate dosing is a priority.

20. How many hits of CBD vape should I take?

The number of hits of CBD vape you should take depends on your purposes. For most people, a single three-second hit of a battery-powered vape cartridge delivering 25mg CBD is enough for a session.

You might want to take a second hit, however, if your ideal CBD serving is closer to 50mg. As a general rule, take fewer hits when using CBD vape tools that use higher voltage or heat, and take more hits when using low-heat or low-voltage tools.

21. How many grams of CBD flower should I smoke?

Most people have a hard time smoking more than a single gram of CBD flower at a time. For context, a gram of flower is just about the perfect amount to fill a single joint or 2-3 pipe or bong bowls, which the vast majority of users would consider to be plenty. If you’re smoking with friends, though, a 2-gram blunt would be entirely reasonable.

22. Can you get addicted to CBD flower?

No, CBD-rich hemp flower containing less than 0.3% THC is not known to have any addictive properties. CBD itself is believed to be entirely devoid of addictive potential, and at concentrations of less than 0.3%, there’s no possibility of THC causing dependency. You might come to psychologically rely on the benefits of CBD flower over time, but chemical dependency is a near-impossibility.

23. Can you inhale CBD flower?

Yes, you can certainly inhale CBD flower — as long as you do it the right way. No, don’t grind up your hemp and snort it. You’ll need to heat it up enough to both activate and vaporize the cannabinoids it contains, which can be accomplished either by true vaporization or combustion. In other words, as long as you vape or smoke CBD flower instead of trying to inhale it some other way, you’re on the right track.

24. Should I hold in CBD vape?

Some users choose to hold clouds of CBD vapor in their lungs for a few seconds before exhaling. They believe that doing so provides their lungs with a better chance to absorb the cannabinoids in hemp vapor, and unlike the case with smoke, holding vapor in your lungs for a few moments isn’t known to cause damage.

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Edibles vs. topicals vs. vaping vs. oils: CBD products, explained

A guide to the most common CBD products and how they affect the body.

Danielle Kosecki is an award-winning journalist who has covered health and fitness for 15 years. She’s written for Glamour, More, Prevention and Bicycling magazines, among others, and is the editor of The Bicycling Big Book of Training. A New York native, Danielle now lives in Oakland where she doesn’t miss winter at all.

You’re not imagining it — CBD is everywhere. After the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 legalized hemp-derived cannabidiol, products with it have flooded the market. Burgers , coffee, cartridges , pet shampoo — you name it and there’s probably a version that contains CBD.

This story discusses substances that are legal in some places but not in others and is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You shouldn’t do things that are illegal — this story does not endorse or encourage illegal drug use.

The sheer variety of CBD products can be overwhelming — especially considering they all interact with and affect the body in different ways — but the abundance can also be a good thing.

“Medical cannabis users can kind of mix and match what they use in ways that can potentially be similar to the medication a physician would give them, says Kevin Boehnke, Ph.D., research investigator in the department of anesthesiology and the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan. For example, when it comes to pain management — the top medical use for CBD — a fast-acting form of cannabis (like vaping) and a slower-acting form (like edibles) could potentially be used analogously to fast-acting and extended-release pain relievers.

Research into the potential health effects of CBD, as well as optimal doses for specific conditions, is still preliminary but there are a few things we know about the different delivery methods.

Edibles (including pills and capsules)

CBD is available in many edible forms, including beverages, chocolate and these gumdrop candies.

This class of CBD products includes anything ingestible — from drinks to candy to capsules.

Pros: With such a large variety of edible CBD products available, people may have an easier time finding something that fits their preferences. For example, food products, like chocolate, gummies and granola bars, may have an earthy flavor that some may find unappealing but pills and capsules tend to be tasteless.

Packaged edibles can also make it easier to take a specific dose (though checking a product’s certificate of analysis is the best way to confirm it contains the type and amount of ingredients listed on the package).

Cons: Absorption can be slow, erratic and variable, according to research. “If you eat an edible, it actually takes a while to hit the bloodstream because it has to be digested and metabolized by the liver,” says Boehnke. “So it takes a while to take effect but then that lasts a lot longer and tapers more slowly.”

And things like how much food someone has recently eaten can affect how much CBD is absorbed by the body, which is usually around 20%-30%. Peak bloodstream levels are usually achieved within one to two hours, though it can take up to six. That variability makes edibles the least predictable methods of using CBD.

Vaporizers

Many brands offer vaporizers with CBD.

Similar to e-cigarettes , vaporizers heat up dry cannabis flower or CBD oils, creating an inhalable vapor.

Pros: Vaping is the fastest way to potentially feel results. Peak bloodstream levels occur around 10 minutes but most people can start feeling the effects within a few minutes of the first inhalation and the effects can stick around for three to five hours.

“When you vape or smoke, it quickly hits the bloodstream, so there is a quick effect onset that tapers off more quickly than edibles,” says Boehnke.

Cons: Like edibles, a variety of factors, such as how deeply someone inhales, how long they hold their breath, and how hot a vaporizer runs can affect CBD absorption, which can vary from 10%-60%. Dosing can also be difficult, although prefilled pens that meter out doses help to consistently zero in on the right amount.

Lastly, vape cartridges can contain propylene glycol , a liquid alcohol that’s also found in e-cigarettes and can break down into formaldehyde, a probable carcinogen, at high temperatures. There are “solvent-free” oils on the market that don’t use propylene glycol, and come with a certificate of analysis detailing what chemicals are present.

Oils and tinctures

The CBD in these products are usually extracted from hemp and then diluted with an oil, often sesame. The resulting oil or tincture is then typically placed under the tongue using a dropper or sprayed on the inside the cheek, where it’s absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Pros: After vaping, oils and tinctures are the second-fastest way to feel the effects of CBD — usually within 30 minutes. Unless it’s added to food or immediately swallowed, in which case it will have to be processed by the liver first.

Cons: Depending on the product, dosing can be tricky. Labeled droppers can be a big help, as can shaking the bottle well before use because CBD can get stuck to the side of the container.

Topicals

Marijuana bubble bath and body lotion is seen for sale at the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary in California’s San Fernando Valley.

Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images

Topicals include lotions and balms that are rubbed directly onto the skin, as well as transdermal patches that stick to the skin and gradually release CBD into the bloodstream over a prolonged period of time.

Pros: Topicals can be as effective as oral delivery methods. Lotions work more locally, making them a great option for things like arthritis and menstrual cramps, whereas transdermal patches will have a more wide-reaching effect.

Cons: Topicals generally need to contain higher amounts of active ingredients, like CBD, to be effective, which can drive up the price. There’s also the risk of skin irritation. The time required to take effect can vary.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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