Smoking Hemp is One of the Best Ways to Consume CBD — Here’s Why

Smoking hemp flower can be calming, relaxing, or energizing, with a whole host of other benefits.

Smoking hemp CBD flower

Yes, you can smoke hemp. It’s becoming one of the most popular ways of consuming CBD. It doesn’t get you high but you can smoke hemp for a variety of effects and benefits including anxiety, depression, pain, inflammation, and general health and wellness. You can smoke hemp if you need quick relief from your ailments or a faster way to feel relaxed, calm, and revitalized.

What you need to know about smoking hemp:

  • You can smoke hemp but only specific parts of the plant. The leaves and flowers are the best to smoke, while the stalks, roots, and seeds shouldn’t be smoked.
  • Smoking hemp doesn’t get you high but it provides a strong and noticeable sense of calm, balance, and relaxation. 
  • Benefits of smoking hemp include increased bioavailability, immediate effects, and inhalation of a full range of plant cannabinoids including CBD.
  • To smoke hemp, you can buy CBD flower, CBD pre-rolls, or CBD cigarettes online. Just make sure they have at least 10% CBD if you want the therapeutic effects.
  • Hemp is considered any cannabis plant that has less than 0.3% THC. Basically, if you can buy it online, it’s most likely hemp. Cannabis (marijuana) flowers with high THC are only sold through licensed dispensaries.

Can you smoke hemp? 

Yes, you can smoke hemp. It’s an efficient way of delivering hemp plant compounds such as CBD into your body while experiencing the fresh flavors and aromas of natural terpenes. 

However, not all parts of the hemp plant should be smoked. Some parts carry very few beneficial plant compounds, while other parts contain an abundance of CBD, CBG, CBN, THC (up to 0.3%), terpenes, and flavonoids. Inhalation of these plant compounds is almost immediately beneficial and one of the main reasons why so many smoke hemp flower in the first place.

Does smoking hemp get you high?

No, smoking hemp (CBD) will not get you high because hemp doesn’t carry enough THC, the primary intoxicating and psychoactive cannabinoid present in all varieties of cannabis. However, depending on the potency of the CBD and your tolerance, you may feel a slight relaxing buzz (equivalent to drinking a beer).

Marijuana plants typically contain 15-20% THC on average, while hemp plants are bred to carry the legal limit of 0.3% THC. This small percentage of THC in hemp plants isn’t enough to cause noticeable euphoric sensations, nor will it get you high. 

Hemp flower cigarette for smoking

How does smoking hemp flower make you feel? 

As a general rule, smoking hemp CBD flower provides you with a heightened sense of calm, relaxation, and inner balance without causing noticeable euphoria, intoxication, impaired judgment, memory loss, or short-term cognitive decline.

Better still, the effects of smoking hemp flower are almost immediate, which is why so many use it for instant relief from their symptoms such as mild pain, inflammation, and stress.

Related: What’s the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

Which parts of the hemp plant should you smoke? 

The flower (bud) is the best part of a hemp plant to smoke, simply because it’s the most potent and provides your body with a whole range of physiological benefits. 

The hemp flower is the most potent because trichomes (resin glands) grow on the flower’s surface. These trichomes look like tiny little crystals. They’re filled with CBD, CBG, CBN, terpenes, flavonoids, and all other beneficial plant compounds. 

Trimming hemp flower plant

Which parts of the hemp plant shouldn’t you smoke?

The seeds and stems of hemp plants shouldn’t be smoked, nor should the roots. 

Hemp seeds carry very little (if any) plant compounds, meaning you won’t experience any therapeutic benefits. Hemp plant stems contain some CBD and other plant compounds but can be very harsh to smoke. Hemp plant roots have been used throughout history as a medicine for various ailments but only as an orally ingested tea.

In other words, stick to smoking hemp flower if you want an enjoyable and therapeutic CBD experience. 

How does CBD absorb in your body when smoked?

When you smoke hemp flower, CBD and all the other plant compounds enter into your body via your lung’s small air sacs (alveoli). 

From there, CBD will flow through your bloodstream and travel to various receptor sites located in your brain, central nervous system, peripheral organs, immune cells, and connective tissues, all of which belong to the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?

The endocannabinoid system is a complex biological network of receptors, endogenous particles (endocannabinoids), and enzymes present within your body. These three components work around the clock to manage and regulate core functions such as sleep, mood, stress, pain, inflammation, metabolism, immune response, and communication between cells. 

In other words, your endocannabinoid system protects and balances your body while keeping it running as smoothly as possible.

How does hemp flower help your endocannabinoid system?

Inhalation of CBD hemp flower floods your endocannabinoid system with beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes. 

These compounds flow through your blood and bind to cannabinoid receptors located in your brain, central nervous system, peripheral organs, and immune cells. 

This binding affinity with your cannabinoid receptors offers your endocannabinoid system a healthy boost, especially when faced with pain, inflammation, anxiety, or any other ailment that could send your body out of balance.

Benefits of smoking hemp flower

There are three main benefits of smoking CBD hemp flower:

Hemp flower and pre-roll ready for smoking

1. You’ll feel the effects immediately

Inhalation of hemp flower is a form of pulmonary administration, meaning CBD and all other hemp plant compounds are delivered through the airways and into the lungs. This type of administration allows direct entry into the bloodstream while bypassing the digestive system and liver altogether. This causes the compounds to take effect almost immediately without being broken down or metabolized by the liver first.  

2. Your body will absorb CBD faster 

One of the best things about smoking hemp flower is increased bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the rate at which each hemp plant compound absorbs into the body and becomes active in the bloodstream. Since inhalation of hemp flower bypasses the digestive system and liver via your lungs, the compounds don’t get broken down, metabolized, and excreted before reaching the bloodstream. This means a higher percentage (roughly 31-50%) enters the bloodstream ready to provide your body with an enhanced level of relief. 

3. You’ll benefit from all the natural cannabinoids in the plant

Hemp flower carries natural levels of CBD, alongside an abundance of cannabis terpenes and flavonoids. For you to get the most out of your hemp experience, a full range of plant compounds working synergistically within your body is essential. 

Is hemp legal?

Yes. Hemp is federally legal across all 50 states and Washington DC under the guidelines set out by the 2018 Farm Bill. 

For hemp flower to be federally legal, it must only carry up to 0.3% THC by dry weight. If the THC content is above 0.3%, it’s automatically classified as marijuana flower, which is a federally controlled substance under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. 

Can you vaporize hemp flower?

Yes. You can vaporize hemp flower. It’s a popular method of consuming CBD. Many believe it’s better than smoking, simply because it’s known to preserve valuable terpenes and cannabinoids, particularly at lower temperatures. 

Vaping also has no combustible elements, nor does it produce smoke, which is great if you don’t like the idea of smoking any substance. 

The advantages of vaporizing hemp flower vs smoking hemp flower

  1. Temperature control — Unlike smoking hemp joints and pre-rolls, vaporizers allow you to manually adjust the temperature. Why is this important? Temperature affects the flavor and the effects you’ll experience. Lower temperatures (360-400°F) vaporize the terpenes and minor cannabinoids. Higher temperatures (above 400°F) vaporize practically every cannabinoid, terpene, and flavonoid, providing you with stronger effects. 
  2. Convenience and discretion — Smoking hemp flower produces quite a potent aroma, one that’s instantly noticeable and not particularly nice when you have guests in your house. Vaping flower doesn’t produce nearly as strong of an aroma, meaning you can vape anywhere without polluting your house or car. You also won’t draw too much attention to yourself either. 
  3. Potentially safer — Current research suggests vaping is safer and less damaging to your body than smoking since no combustible elements or smoke inhalation occur. 
  4. Better flavor — While some would argue smoking hemp flower provides a better, more natural flavor, vaping highlights each terpene, which gives you a more rounded taste on the inhale and exhale. The subtle hints of myrcene, caryophyllene, limonene, and pinene are arguably more pronounced.

Can you eat hemp flower?

Yes. You can eat hemp flower, but you have to make sure it’s prepared correctly first. Not only is eating unprepared raw hemp unpleasant but you also don’t consume “activated” plant compounds, meaning the effects and benefits won’t be quite as pronounced as, say, consuming CBD oils or CBD gummies. 

Once you’ve prepared hemp flower properly, you can use it to make your own CBD edibles. CBD butter or CBD brownies are a great choice for beginners. They’re super easy to make and only take an hour or so of your time. 

What’s the best way to prepare hemp flower to eat?

  • To prepare CBD hemp flower to make CBD edibles, you first grind it up using a grinder. Make sure you don’t grind it into powder. 
  • Once you’ve ground your flower, you now put it through a decarboxylation process to activate all the plant compounds. The most effective decarboxylation method is heating the flower in an oven at 220 F.
  • Bake the flower for 25-30 minutes until it turns a nice light golden shade of brown. 

Popular hemp flower brands to try

Secret Nature

Considered one of the best brands for CBD flower, extracts, and other hemp-derived products, purchasing from Secret Nature is a sure-fire winner. The company sources its CBD-rich hemp from organic farms in Oregon and Colorado, two locations known for producing some of the best hemp varieties in the US. 

Plain Jane

Plain Jane, a reputable CBD brand launched in Oregon in 2018, offers some of the best artisan CBD hemp flower we’ve tried. The company ensures sustainable practices during the drying, curing, and extraction phases, and sources its hemp from local farms in the southern region of Oregon. Clean, transparent, safe, and above-board in terms of quality and consistency. 

Green Unicorn Farms

Green Unicorn Farms is a lesser-known but no less superior CBD company offering a wide variety of potent CBD hemp flower strains and varieties. Launched in the California Bay Area in 2019, the company has established quite a reputation among CBD hemp flower lovers.

Botany Farms

Botany Farms is a boutique-style CBD company specializing in high-quality, expertly crafted CBD, CBG, delta-8, and delta-10 flower, designed for both beginner and seasoned smokers alike. The company, based in Minnesota, works alongside sustainable, organic, and independent farms to deliver you the very safest and cleanest cannabinoid-rich flower ready to be smoked morning, day, and night. 

Popular hemp flower strains to smoke

  1. Elektra 
  • Indica 
  • 18-22% CBD
  • Common terpenes = myrcene, caryophyllene, bisabolol 
  • Fruity, musky aroma 
  • Relaxing, calming, good as an afternoon or evening smoke 
  1. Lifter
  • Sativa 
  • 25-30% CBD
  • Common terpenes = limonene, myrcene, caryophyllene 
  • Earthy, piney, sometimes fruity aroma
  • Mood-lifting, energizing, good as a morning smoke for focus and concentration 
  1. The Wife 
  • Indica dominant
  • 12-20% CBD 
  • Common terpenes = caryophyllene, myrcene
  • Sweet, floral, skunky aroma 
  • Relaxing, mildly sedating, good for anxiety, pain, nausea 
  1. Hawaiian Haze
  • Sativa 
  • 18-23% CBD
  • Common terpenes = myrcene, pinene, caryophyllene
  • Peppery, slightly spicy aroma with hints of fruit 
  • Energizing, focus-boosting, great for anxiety, concentration, and social situations with your buddies
  1. Magic Bullet 
  • Indica
  • 18-20% CBD
  • Common terpenes = myrcene, caryophyllene 
  • Citrusy, peppery aroma
  • Relaxing, moderately sedating, great for evenings and nighttime for sleep and sleep-related issues

Closing thoughts: Is smoking hemp right for you?

Smoking hemp is great if you require an immediate and potent dose of CBD. Better still, you get the full natural flavor of hemp complete with a full range of terpenes including caryophyllene, myrcene, pinene, and limonene. 

However, while smoking hemp CBD is one of the best ways to consume all the valuable plant compounds, it isn’t for everyone. Maybe you don’t like the thought of inhaling a substance or the smell is just too much. 
If this is the case, why try vaping hemp instead. It’s relatively odorless, and retains all the rich flavors in your hemp flower.