People are into smoking their CBD, and we’re kinda into it.
As a current cigarette smoker and occasional “vaper”, “smokeable hemp” is showing up in alluring ways that are making me want to ditch the cigarettes in favor of smokable hemp and CBD products.
Last month, we attended CBD.io, and it was obvious to us that hemp smokeables are on the rise. People were passing out hemp joints like hotcakes, and outside the Las Vegas Convention Center, it was not so easy to distinguish whether what people were smoking was the legal hemp containing THC, or whether they’d visited a cannabis dispensary, figuring their cannabis would pass off for hemp.
It has become obvious that the CBD market is mimicking the still illegal cannabis market, offering the same types of products without the high, yet many are recognizing the benefits of smoking their CBD, and are willing to “ditch the high” for the benefits of combusting (smoking) your hemp.
It is the hope of many that CBD will help to de-stigmatize cannabis use and lead to eventual legalization, although other CBD enthusiasts (including our publication) feel that the two substances are completely different and should not be marketed in the same manner.
What is Hemp CBD Flower?
Hemp CBD flower comes from the industrial hemp plant, and although it looks like its cannabis counterpart, it contains high levels of CBD as opposed to THC, which is the intoxicating substance in cannabis flowers. Under federal law, CBD products must contain less than .3% THC, and be non-intoxicating.
Breeders are getting better at isolating the non-intoxicating cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and producing seeds that are high in CBD or CBG (cannabigerol), and legal for sale in today’s CBD market. The result has been an influx of hemp CBD flowers and pre-rolls available on the recreational CBD market.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Flower?
There are several benefits to using CBD flower over other methods of CBD consumption, including faster delivery to the body and taking advantage of the Entourage Effect.
Ingesting CBD through a tincture, oil, or edible requires the CBD to be processed through the entire digestive system before it is absorbed into the bloodstream, which can take up to 90 minutes to take effect. Smoking CBD flower allows for immediate absorption of CBD into the bloodstream and produces almost immediate effects.
Unlike the use of traditional CBD products, such as tincture, edibles and oils, smoking CBD flowers allows consumers to take advantage of the Entourage Effect. The Entourage Effect basically describes what an entourage is to us: “better together than apart”.
Traditional CBD products use CBD extractions, where the CBD is isolated from other compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids. CBD flowers are “whole plant” products that incorporate all of the wonderous compounds, such as CBD, CBN, CBG, terpenes and flavonoids, that the hemp plant has to offer. When consumed together, these compounds act in conjunction to enhance the effects of each individual compound in the plant. This synergy of all the good things in hemp is what the Entourage Effect is all about.
At the close of 2018, the smokable hemp market made up approximately 2% of the entire CBD market, with profits hitting $11.5 million, which is up 250% from 2017. This growth is understandable due to the passage of the Farm Bill which made hemp a federally legal substance, although the growth in the industry can also be attributed to production, which has low start-up costs and does not require any additional extraction, or fancy equipment, other than space to dry the CBD flowers.
Additionally, hemp farming has become extremely popular in areas once known for tobacco production. Hemp CBD flower has become a popular tool to help with smoking cessation and many tobacco farmers are now converting their facilities to hemp production.
As a current smoker, I got to sample a lot of different hemp products, from ones that were made to mimic joints, to ones that mimicked an actual tobacco cigarette. I was a big fan of Big Chief‘s products especially and look forward to getting my hands on more of their hemp rollies. From my perspective, this offers a valuable and healthy alternative to smoking tobacco, offering a harm reduction option for those, like me, who are trying to kick the habit.
Charles Peterson, a North Carolina hemp farmer and retailer and head of the National Association of Minority Farmers in Industrial Hemp said it like it is: “You get the same taste, the same psychological feeling of smoking a joint, but without the high.” For a more of a joint feel, we really liked trying SavageCBD’s hemp pre-rolls.
It’s no wonder consumers are turning to CBD flower for relief.
New Opportunities Abound
It is likely that the smokable CBD product market will continue to expand and grow as more consumers learn about the benefits of CBD as both a smoking cessation tool and wellness aid.
Manufacturers are currently working hard to keep up with customer demand for smokable CBD products and the market is showing no signs of slowing down.