Hemp is widely believed to be the first plant that was domestically cultivated. Hemp fabric was found in Turkey that dated back to about 8,000 years ago. Today, people are still growing hemp despite some significant bumps in the road. Due to its relation to marijuana (discussed more below), hemp was widely outlawed in the United States for some time. Thankfully, recent progress has allowed for its cultivation and consumption once more. While hemp is used to produce everything from paper to clothing, many choose to consume it for its health benefit claims. But many people still wonder, “what is hemp flower?”
Continue reading to learn the most important things to know about this unique plant.
Although the words hemp and marijuana or weed are often used interchangeably, these are two very different plants. The reason for the confusion is likely because hemp and marijuana are plants from the same species. The two may look similar, but their chemical compounds are drastically different.
The key difference between hemp and marijuana are the amounts of THC and CBD produced by each plant. Marijuana contains high amounts of THC, while hemp contains high levels of CBD. The two plants are essentially cousins from the same plant family.
Hemp may look similar to marijuana, but there are a few key differences in appearance. Hemp plants are hardier, which means they’ll grow faster and require less care when farming. They’re also taller and skinnier than other plants in their species, growing more than twelve feet tall.
Hemp produces flowering buds that vary based on the specific strain. The buds can be of different sizes, shapes, and colors. These buds are the actual “hemp flower” that people can consume.
There are many cannabidiol (CBD) products on the market today, but not all are created equally. Some of these products are made with isolated CBD. This means they’ve scientifically engineered the product to contain only cannabidiol and no other compounds.
Generally, full-spectrum CBD is the best choice because it provides the broadest range of benefits. When a product is labeled “full-spectrum,” it usually means the product was created using the entire hemp flower.
Smoking hemp flower is an easy way to ensure you get full-spectrum CBD versus the isolated version. Some people have chosen to grow their own hemp to reap these benefits and ensure they know exactly what they’re getting.
Hemp flower is safe to consume in most popular formats, with a few exceptions. People with pre-existing lung conditions may not want to choose an inhalation method for consumption without first consulting their doctor. This has nothing to do with the CBD or hemp itself, but rather the smoke, which can irritate already damaged lungs.
You can create hemp or CBD oil from full flowers or purchase it from the store for use. These oils are often used sublingually, meaning a few drops are placed beneath the tongue. The oil can also be incorporated into salves or tinctures for topical use.
Smoking remains one of the most popular methods of consuming hemp flower. People who prefer inhalation can choose to use a water bong, joint, blunt, or pipe. Vaping (especially dry herb vapes) is a similar method to smoking that has become increasingly popular.
Another way to consume hemp flower is to cook with it. Since hemp is fat-soluble, edibles tend to have the longest-lasting effects as the body breaks it down very slowly. The trade-off, however, is that edibles will also take the longest to have an initial impact.
Since it’s often confused with marijuana, many worry that hemp flower will get you high. But it’s the THC in marijuana that’s responsible for making you feel high. Since hemp flower has little to no THC, it doesn’t produce the same psychoactive effects.
Cannabidiol, the primary chemical compound in hemp, doesn’t have the same effects. Most people experience none of the same side effects as they would smoking marijuana.
Since the 2018 farm bill was passed, hemp flower is legal in most states. There are a handful of states that have continued to ban the production and consumption of hemp. But, more states continue to join the growing list of legalization.
As of 2020, only three states entirely ban the cultivation or use of hemp flower. These three states are Idaho, South Dakota, and Mississippi. All other states allow hemp to be grown to some extent.
Many of the states where hemp is legal to grow or use have strict guidelines in place. Farmers are only allowed to grow hemp flower that has less than .03 percent THC content.
There are a few states, however, that don’t have any specific bans or guidelines as to the THC content on hemp flower. These states are also generally the ones where hemp’s cousin, Marijuana, has been fully legalized. The full legalization of marijuana paved the way for the full legalization of hemp.
The states where hemp is fully legalized without restriction include:
If hemp is grown with no more than trace levels of THC, only the three states mentioned above would pose a problem for farmers. Hemp flower consumers should check their local laws and regulations for specific information.
Hemp flower isn’t the same thing as marijuana, despite wide-spread confusion on the subject. Hemp flower can be consumed in multiple ways and is legal in most states. They provide a full-spectrum CBD that is more beneficial than the isolated version in many commercial products.
Do you have more questions about what is hemp flower? Or are you considering growing hemp flower for yourself?