Smoking CBD has its benefits! It's more affordable than other methods, smokable CBD enters your bloodstream faster, and it may help you quit tobacco. Find out the benefits of CBD, what it is, and the associated risks.
The 5 Benefits of Smoking CBD Flower
You may be familiar with CBD’s benefits; it’s the second most popular cannabinoid behind THC and touted by some companies as having explicit medicinal benefits (a big no-no according to the FDA.) We’re not going to make any medical claims about CBD in this post.
Instead, we’re going to talk about the benefits of smoking CBD flower, one of the most popular ways that people enjoy their daily dose of CBD.
In this post, we’ll also be covering:
- The difference between CBD flower and marijuana,
- What smoking CBD feels like,
- And, the risks associated with smoking CBD.
Can You Smoke CBD?
One of the most common questions we get from first-time customers: can you smoke CBD flower … like the “other stuff?”
The short answer is yes, you can.
In fact, you can even buy smokable hemp online and have it shipped directly to your door. Isn’t the internet great?
The 5 Benefits of Smoking CBD Flower
1. Smoking CBD Increases Its Bioavailability
Bioavailabilty – “The ability of a drug or other substance to be absorbed and used by the body.”
Smoking CBD flower increases CBD’s bioavailability. According to a 2017 Chemistry & Biodiversity study , about 50% of the CBD you smoke makes it into your bloodstream, as opposed to only 5% of the CBD you eat.
Why? Edible CBD doesn’t absorb into your bloodstream via your digestive tract as readily as vaporized CBD does when it comes in contact with your lung tissue.
2. Smoking CBD Works Faster Than Other Methods
One of the more noticeable benefits of smoking CBD is the speed at which it enters your bloodstream. When you inhale vaporized CBD, it comes in contact with your lung tissue almost immediately.
Some studies suggest that after smoking CBD, concentrations in your bloodstream will reach their peak in just three minutes. That’s opposed to two or three hours when eaten .
Because smoking CBD is the fastest way to ingest and metabolize CBD, it would make sense that your body will process and dispose of CBD faster when you smoke it than compared to other ingestion methods. In other words, smokable CBD will leave your system faster .
3. Smoking CBD Is More Affordable Than Other Methods
Because CBD flower requires relatively little processing as compared to edibles, oils, and topicals, one of the biggest benefits of smoking CBD is the price tag.
If you want to get the most milligrams of CBD for your dollar, look no further than hemp flower. Most hemp farms will carry CBD flower as it requires almost no specialized equipment to produce, it’s easy to store , and it’s easy to ship.
4. Full-Spectrum Benefits From Smoking CBD Flower
You may notice that some CBD products are labeled “full-spectrum” or “broad-spectrum.” Those labels indicate whether or not that product contains cannabinoids other than CBD.
Full-spectrum refers to CBD products that still contain trace amounts of THC in them.
Broad-spectrum refers to CBD products that have had its trace amounts of THC removed. Broad-spectrum CBD products may or may not contain the other 100+ native cannabinoids native to the hemp plant.
When you smoke CBD flower, you’re consuming full-spectrum CBD. Many believe that this is the best way to consume CBD as it provides the users with the entourage effect— aptly named for the effect produced when all cannabinoids work together to provide feelings of calm and relief.
5. The Relaxation of Smokable Cannabis Without The “High”
Smoking CBD flower will not make you feel “high.”
THC is a cannabinoid produced in high concentrations by some cannabis plants (classified as marijuana.) It’s responsible for the psychoactive high that users feel from recreational and medicinal marijuana.
Note: All of that said, there are some “CBD” flowers on the market today that have compliant levels of delta-9 THC and high levels of THCa, the precursor to delta-9. When smoked, THCa converts into delta-9 THC. This type of hemp flower exploits a loophole in the system and will make you feel intoxicated. If you’re looking for a CBD flower that will not get you high , make sure to look at the flower’s certificate of analysis. This third-party lab document should tell you the total THC and total CBD present in your flower. Be sure to pick a strain with relatively low total THC concentrations.
Honorable Mention: Smoking CBD Can Help Some Quit Tobacco
This benefit of smoking CBD didn’t make it into our list of five because it’s not a universally shared benefit, though it still deserves some attention.
If you’re ready to quit cigarettes, but don’t want to do so cold turkey, smoking CBD might be the answer. Some studies have concluded that CBD may ease the anxiety common in folks quitting tobacco and help curb cravings.
Is Smoking CBD Addictive?
Smoking CBD is not addictive that we know of. Cannabis science is still relatively young and there is still much to learn, but as of right now we don’t believe that smoking CBD will cause any dependencies.
What’s the Difference Between CBD Flower and Marijuana?
CBD hemp flower and THC marijuana look, smell, taste, and smoke similarly. There’s a reason for that. High-yielding THC marijuana strains were used and bred to create many of the CBD flower strains that we know and love today.
But, and this is a very important distinction, to be classified as industrial hemp and compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD flower must contain no more than a 0.3% concentration of delta-9 THC by dry weight. Most CBD flower you’ll find on the market today contains less than 1% of total THC.
Because of its higher THC concentration, smoking marijuana will make you feel intoxicated. As we’ve mentioned, one of the benefits of smoking CBD is that you will not feel the “high,” but will reap the benefits of consuming full-spectrum cannabis.
What Does Smoking CBD Feel Like?
Smoking CBD will feel different for everyone based on a number of factors:
- Context – are you smoking for a specific reason?
- How much you’ve smoked
- How long have you been smoking CBD – have you built up a tolerance?
Many users report feelings like a deep sense of calm, focus, sociability, and some sleep benefits after smoking CBD.
Smoking higher doses of CBD may make you feel more tired than anything, and if you’ve been smoking for a long time, you may need higher doses to maintain the same benefits.
How Do You Smoke CBD?
There are several ways to smoke CBD, some methods are more convenient than others.
- Pre-rolls – Great for the on-the-go and social smokers who like to share with friends.
- CBD Cigarettes – A nice substitute for smokers trying to ween themselves from tobacco.
- Flower – If you have a pipe at home, CBD flower is a great option.
Does Smoking CBD Have Any Side Effects?
Smoking anything involves risks. When you smoke dried plant material, tars and carcinogens will inevitably make contact with your throat and lungs.
Smoking CBD flower does not present the same risks as smoking cigarettes does. While smoking excessive amounts of CBD flower may cause some respiratory issues, it’s not made with excessive cancer-causing chemical additives that cigarette tobacco is.
Smoking CBD can also interact with some prescription drugs, so please do check with your doctor or pharmacist before trying CBD.
Health Benefits of CBD
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabinoid. Cannabinoid is a natural substance found in cannabis, also known as marijuana, and also in hemp plants. Today, you can find CBD oil in capsules, oil bases for vaporizers, tinctures, food items, and beauty products such as bath bombs or lotions.
Unlike its cousin THC, CBD is not intoxicating or psychoactive. Proponents of CBD oil and other CBD products claim that it can be used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, depression, and anxiety.
Research into some of these claims is ongoing, and there is still a lot about CBD that we don’t know but researchers are trying to find out.
Researchers are looking for answers when it comes to the full potential of CBD. What have they discovered in the meantime? So far, we know that CBD is a proven treatment when it comes to certain types of epilepsy, and early research is showing promise in regards to various anxiety disorders.
Approved to Treat Epilepsy
In 2018, the first FDA-approved drug, cannabidiol (Epidiolex), containing CBD was released on the market to treat two different kinds of epilepsy — Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
The FDA approved the treatment for patients as young as two years old. Studies showed it was effective in comparison to a placebo in reducing the frequency of seizures.
Though we need more research, a 2015 medical journal review article looked at CBD and its effect on multiple anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, seasonal affective disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The results showed that there was “strong preclinical evidence” to support the treatment of anxiety disorders with CBD, though more research is needed on long-term dosing.
Research surrounding CBD is ongoing, and there are many questions that researchers do not have the answers to yet, such as whether or not the means of taking CBD impacts the risks or efficacy. Some common means of taking CBD include inhaling through a vaporizer, ingesting through food, or taking orally as a pill.
Here is a list of a few potential risks and side effects that come with CBD. Some of these risks are controllable if taking CBD under the guidance of your doctor.
During drug trials for Epidiolex, the FDA determined liver injury to be a side effect of CBD. Signs of liver injury showed up on blood work used to detect early problems with the liver. You can manage this risk by only taking CBD under the supervision of your doctor.
Interaction with Other Medications
If you are taking other medications, CBD can impact their efficacy, and the dose you are taking may need to be re-evaluated by your doctor. CBD can potentially interact with other medications to cause side effects.
Because there is limited research on how CBD interacts with prescription drugs and with standard over-the-counter supplements, it is best to talk to your doctor before taking CBD if you are taking other medications.
Though not much research has looked specifically at CBD, it seems that there is a negative relationship between cannabis use and sperm count, as well as other measures of male fertility, including sperm viability and motility.
Most of these studies have focused on animal participants, and further research is needed. Experts recommend awareness around these potential side effects when prescribing cannabis to patients who are of reproductive age.
Amounts and Dosage
Because the FDA currently does not regulate CBD, there are no specific recommended doses. Doses in most clinical trials have ranged from 100 to 800 milligrams a day.
Before using any CBD product, you should speak to your doctor to come up with a safe dosage plan that works for you. This plan should also take into account your symptoms and any other medications or supplements that you may be taking.
Neurotherapeutics: “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders.”
The Journal of Urology: “Cannabis and Male Fertility: A Systematic Review.“
U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy.”
U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD.”