Spend any time on CBD forums and you will find regular discussions about smoking CBD flower. As an alternative to CBD products, some claim to find relief from smoking industrial hemp flowers. But can you get all the benefits of CBD and terpenes from smoking?
While many people say they get the same feelings from CBD flowers as using a tincture or vape oil, there are many downsides to smoking. From the chemical byproducts to poor CBD delivery, CBD flowers can’t offer comparable health benefits. Before you rush out to by direct from a grower, check out these reasons why you shouldn’t smoke flowers.
What is CBD flower?
CBD flowers come from industrial hemp plants that contain high cannabidiol content. Though most plants go to processing labs after harvest, some farmers elect to clip the flowers from mature plants. Instead of extracting the CBD, those flowers are sold online as a CBD alternative.
CBD flower producers claim smoking them can deliver similar benefits as CBD oil. Regular users say they feel calmer after smoking CBD flower, claiming it reduces anxiety. But there are no peer-reviewed studies on the benefits of CBD flowers – putting them in a gray area when it comes to actual health benefits.
Why smoking CBD flower isn’t a viable alternative
There are many users who would rather ingest CBD through a vapor or smoke than using a tincture or capsule. Some may prefer the flavor, while others are more comfortable using a vape pen. While anecdotal evidence claims CBD flower is a good way to ingest cannabidiol, there are also a lot of downsides that come with it.
First off, smoking a CBD flower is like smoking a cigarette. While smokers could ingest CBD through smoking, they also face carcinogen exposure. Moreover, there is direct evidence that long-term flower smokers could develop respiratory diseases.
A 2016 report published by Respiratory Care investigated current research on long-term flower smoking. Scientists found flower smokers were at a higher risk of developing lung cancer and COPD. Their symptoms included wheezing, shortness of breath and a regular cough.
Although smoking CBD flowers may be appealing, they also come with long term risks. For those who want all the benefits of CBD, there are better ways of getting your dose than lighting CBD flower.
Doctors advise against smoking CBD flower
Scientists aren’t the only ones advising long-term flower smoking. Doctors in the United States and Canada are also warning patients that CBD flower smoking is inefficient and dangerous.
In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), Dr. Mikhail Kogan of George Washington University said smoking CBD flower doesn’t offer enough benefits to negate the hazards. Instead, users who want all the benefits of CBD should use a tincture or capsule instead.
“We have so many other products now, so many modes of delivery, that smoking in my opinion is very archaic and has very little clinical applicability,” Dr. Kogan told CBC News.
Those same concerns are also on the minds of American regulators. Speaking to Bloomberg, U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said smoking anything for a health benefit is unreasonable.
“I prescribed blood pressure pills and all kinds of other things to my patients when I was a practicing physician not too long ago,” Dr. Gottlieb told Bloomberg. “I never told a patient to go home, crush up a pill, roll it in a piece of paper and smoke it.”
If you want to take CBD for the health benefits, there are better ways to get it than from smoking. Doctors agree that using CBD flower isn’t good for using cannabidiol and other terpenes.
CBD flower is rarely subject to lab testing
If carcinogens and doctors’ advising against smoking weren’t enough, there’s also another major flaw attached to using CBD flower. Unlike traditional CBD oil, most flower products don’t go through independent laboratory testing.
After CBD extraction, samples get shipped to independent labs to verify both content and purity. If lab testing reveals pollutants or heavy metals, the batch gets tossed out. This protects CBD users from poisoning or other unwanted side effects through quality control .
CBD flowers don’t always go through the same process. Because there is no extract that comes from smoking a CBD flower, it’s impossible to tell for certain how pure a flower product is.
The flowers that do go through lab testing measure potential CBD by weight, not purity. This means you may not be getting as much CBD from a flower as you think. Moreover, some tests don’t extend to safety concerns. Without safety testing, toxins, pesticides, or heavy metals could be present.
Because flowers have less CBD than traditional products, it’s safe to say that you won’t get the same benefits through smoking. Because of this, we recommend you stay away from CBD flower if you are trying to get the most benefits out of your cannabidiol serving.
The difference between CBD flower and CBD vape oil
At this point, you may be questioning why you should stay away from CBD flowers, but vaping may be okay. Although vaping isn’t the perfect way to get your CBD, it is better than smoking a CBD flower.
CBD vape juice is a processed product made with CBD isolate or hybrid full-spectrum CBD. Because of this, lab workers can control the amount of CBD that goes into every vape oil bottle, often ranging from 300mg to 3000 mg. High-quality CBD vape oils include four ingredients: cannabidiol, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and natural flavors. Through this process, you can still benefit from CBD, while limiting your exposure to unwanted chemicals.
With CBD flowers, your intake of cannabidiol is limited. Because farms can’t control the exact amount of CBD content from crop to crop and flower to flower, you won’t get a set regular amount of cannabidiol with every serving. This potentially negates all health benefits, while exposing you to carcinogens that can have negative long-term impacts on your health.
Although CBD offers health benefits to regular users, some products are all hype risk. If you decide to start using cannabidiol, stay away from CBD flowers. Instead, use tinctures, capsules, or vape oils that are laboratory tested and are proven effective by those who use them.