How TO & How NOT to Smoke CBD Flower
What People Who Smoke CBD Flower Have Been Doing Wrong for Years
The passing of the Farm Bill, which allows the cultivation and production of the hemp plant, has created more hype around CBD as a natural therapeutic treatment than ever before. And with the debate over the legality of having and smoking CBD bud in its whole-plant, full-spectrum form currently heating up, increased attention has turned to the various ways to smoke CBD and the benefits and risks of each.
To provide some insight into the different ways to smoke CBD and the impact on health and treatment outlook, I turned to the medical community. But what I found was completely unexpected. Pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to about these findings has been smoking flower incorrectly since day 1. And this goes for smoking CBD buds and CBD joint pre-rolls, and for vaping whole-plant CBD flower and CBD oil.
So what does the medical community have to say about how TO and how NOT to smoke CBD?
But First...Can You Smoke CBD? Is That a Thing?
Before evaluating the right and wrong way to smoke dry leaf, whole-plant CBD flower on our health, it’s important to have a clear picture of the differences between hemp and marijuana in terms of chemical makeup and application. When people refer to herb, green, weed, flower, grass, bud, pot, tree, nug, reefer and hundreds of other smokable marijuana nicknames, they’re referring to flower from the marijuana or cannabis plant.
The various species of the Cannabis flowering plant used for medical and recreational marijuana use have 120+ active ingredients that function similar to the way our body’s natural chemicals are designed to work. In addition to the non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) itself, the other main component in whole-plant CBD flower is THC, the popular psychoactive cannabinoid. Various other beneficial cannabinoids, nutritious vitamins, minerals, immunity-boosting antioxidants, essential Omega 3 fatty acids, terpenes, and flavonoids are also in full-spectrum CBD flower.
What about the hemp plant? Can you smoke CBD from hemp? The hemp plant is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that has an insignificant amount of mind-altering THC (< 0.3%) but a high percentage of CBD. Similar to marijuana, hemp-derived cannabinoids and our inherent endocannabinoids interact with our body in a similar way. But although hemp has high CBD, smoking hemp isn’t a thing. Rather, the hemp plant is used for industrial applications and in body care products.
If you were trying to smoke CBD from the hemp plant, you’d get the benefits of CBD but you wouldn’t get “high”. You’d probably get dizzy instead and maybe even a slight headache. You’d also just be putting unnecessary pressure on your lungs, just like if you smoked any random plant or flower.
Why Smoke CBD?
While all forms of smoking full-spectrum CBD bud have their unique pros and cons, they all play a direct hand in modulating our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD functions like our inherent endocannabinoid neurotransmitters by binding with cannabinoid receptor proteins in our ECS.
So when you smoke CBD oil or whole-plant CBD flower, the activated CBD cannabinoid improves the regulation of our ECS and helps our body reach homeostasis or the internal state of being balanced and stable. Other phytocannabinoids, or naturally-occurring cannabinoids, in smokable marijuana also facilitate our ECS, but activated CBD is the most noteworthy chemical messenger.
People also like to smoke CBD flower for some of the reasons why people like to smoke cigarettes. But smoking CBD doesn’t come with the notorious health risks of tobacco. Smoking CBD joints wrapped with hemp paper instead of cigarette paper, for example, helps people calm down, enjoy a moment of peace and serenity outside, and ultimately relax without inhaling cigarette toxins.
Why Vaping Smokable Marijuana is Richer in Nutrients & Fuller in Flavor
When you smoke CBD using a vaporizer, you activate and consume the full scope of therapeutic elements in cannabis without burning the nutrients or inhaling ash in weed smoke. So the vapor or mist produced from vaping full-range CBD is rich in nutrients and full in flavor.
When vaporizing whole-plant CBD flower, you grind the bud and pack it into a chamber that works like an oven. When you vape it, hot air is pushed through the chamber and transitions the medication from its trichome (or “hairy” smokable marijuana form) into a clean vapor that you inhale.
How SHOULD you & How Should you NOT Vape or Smoke CBD Flower?
Did you know that it’s a waste to take more vitamin supplements than recommended? When you consume more than your body can systematically handle during a given time frame, you just pee them out. Habituation (i.e. getting used to something) is another reason why folks who consistently take more vitamins than needed don’t usually find them helpful when they’re actually sick and need the immunity boost. Something similar happens when you incorrectly vape or smoke CBD. There’s a right way to smoke CBD and a wrong way.
Contrary to common belief, holding in smoke from whole-plant CBD buds longer than necessary doesn’t maximize the benefits or help to conserve the amount you have in the long run. The opposite is true actually. Consuming more smoke than the threshold (aka the first bronchial split) of what the lungs can handle and holding it in longer than necessary leads to wasted medicine and unnecessary strain on the lungs. Instead, it’s best to inhale slowly but deeply to fill the lunges with just the right amount of smoke, along with about a third of good ole’, life-sustaining fresh air. Taking in fresh oxygen when you smoke CBD enhances the health benefits of activated cannabinoids.
It’s also best to pause between hits when you smoke CBD bud. One or two hits of a whole-plant CBD joint or any full-spectrum smokable marijuana may do the trick. So waiting a few minutes between hits reduces any health risks associated with smoking CBD, helps to conserve the longevity of CBD flower, and ensures you get the most out of activated whole-plant CBD.
Impact of Smoking CBD without a Vape
Contrary to common belief, there’s no link that’s been found between smoking CBD joints or smokable marijuana of any kind and the development or of lung cancer OR chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) symptoms (e.g. wheezing, lack of breath, etc.). CBD and other cannabis ingredients may actually help kill cancer-causing cells. And the vast majority of COPD cases are linked to tobacco use.
But there’s a significant need for research investigating how methods to smoke CBD flower may impact the worsening of existing COPD symptoms. In particular, there’s a high demand for longitudinal studies exploring the health progression of patients with and without COPD who consistently smoke CBD BUT who don’t use a vaporizer OR tobacco of any kind. Such research would greatly improve our understanding of how active cannabinoids impact our health and whether it’s safe to smoke CBD.
Different ways to smoke CBD in whole-plant form may also be more cost-effective than other CBD consumptions methods, pharmaceutical drugs, and over-the-counter medications. Furthermore, a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University, which was published just this week in the journal Human Reproduction, indicates that smoking flower is linked to a higher sperm count. Smoking tobacco, on the other hand, is widely known to have the opposite effect on sperm production.
It’s All in the Process: Best Way to Vape or Smoke CBD
The legalization of hemp has set the stage for the generation, distribution and continued improvement of a variety of new CBD products. With all the craze surrounding CBD as a natural remedy for a range of complaints and illnesses, more and more people are curious about the methods to smoke CBD and the treatment effectiveness of each. But as we’ve seen, there’s a right way to smoke CBD...and a wrong way to do it, no matter if you’re vaping or smoking flower.
If you want to vape or smoke CBD from whole-plant marijuana buds, there’s no need to go blue in the face trying to hold in the smoke. If you want to save your CBD flower for smoking or vaping, inhaling just the right amount of smoke along with some fresh oxygen is key to maximizing your medicine and minimizing any negative health impacts.
Want to learn more about whether it’s safe to smoke CBD? Browse our article What are Effects of Smoking Weed for Medical Purposes? Or...interested in how the legalization of whole-plant CBD flower and the ability to smoke CBD will alter your experience? Check out our article, How Legal Weed Flower Changes Patient Experience.