CBD flowers tend to attract the interest of experienced cannabis users rather than beginners. After all, enjoying them requires a few more steps than CBD gummies, lotions, or oils.
Nonetheless, we encourage everyone to try CBD flowers because they offer a faster and more potent means of taking cannabidiol. Different hemp flower strains also produce varying levels of relaxation and other health benefits. Testing which one of them can also be an exciting affair for smoking or vaping aficionado
If you’re interested in experiencing the therapeutic benefits of CBD flowers, we have compiled in this article the five critical checkpoints to distinguish subpar products from the best ones grown today. We have also shared some key points to remember about selecting and consuming CBD flowers as part of your wellness routine.
Quality Checkpoints for CBD Flowers
You don’t need any fancy equipment or high-level knowledge of cannabis to determine the quality of a CBD flower. By inspecting the buds using your sense of sight, touch, and smell, you will be able to decide whether or not the CBD flowers before you will be worth your money.
Vibrant colors characterize hemp flowers that have been grown carefully. Though primarily green, the best buds feature other colors, including orange, blue, and purple.
You may also notice some tiny and white crystalline growth on the surface of the CBD flowers. Those are trichomes—one of the aerial parts of a hemp plant rich in cannabinoids and terpenes. Be careful in handling these frosty-looking parts of CBD flowers become they are fragile to touch.
Avoid hemp flowers that have turned brown because they denote poor drying, curing, or storage practices. Even yellowish buds should be avoided since they tend to be of lower quality than CBD flowers with purple or blue streaks.
As mentioned earlier, the trichomes of top-quality CBD flowers remain intact. Their presence indicates that the cannabinoid content of the flower has not degraded to the point of losing its expected potency, flavor, and aroma.
Another important flower structure you should look for is the pistil. This refers to the colored strands interspersed with dark or light green hemp flower buds. We recommend going for CBD flowers with purple, blue, or pink pistils because they signify the high level of care and control exerted by growers during the cultivation stage of the hemp plant.
However, unlike the trichomes, the high number of pistils of a CBD flower does not indicate strong potency. Instead, these flower structures serve as hallmarks of an expert hemp farmer.
Low-quality hemp flowers don’t have a lot of trichomes left on the surface. This may be due to the trimmer’s lack of experience or the usage of cheap hemp processing machines. In addition, poorly grown CBD flowers appear shriveled or underdeveloped. They also include the stems, leaves, and seeds of the hemp plant to add to the overall weight. Stay away from such products because you will not be getting your money’s worth.
Sellers of excellent CBD flowers aren’t afraid of inviting potential customers to touch and inspect their products gently. After all, those buds will not break apart too easily. If they crumble upon picking up, then what you have on your hand is not worth buying.
Properly grown hemp flowers feel dense and thick. These qualities demonstrate that the farmer has waited until the buds have reached maturity before harvesting them. Moreover, hemp flowers can only gain this kind of density if nurtured well under optimal conditions throughout their growing stage.
Check if the CBD flower is sticky to touch, too. This quality goes hand in hand with the presence of trichomes because the stickiness emanates from the resin they contain. Again, this is a sign that the CBD flower has high amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Be careful not to pick buds that feel wet instead of sticky. Rather than trichomes, the moisture is more likely due to incorrect drying practices. Wet CBD flowers will develop molds faster, thus making them harmful to smoke or vape.
CBD flower enthusiasts know that a high-quality bud must be distinctly aromatic. The exact scent varies depending on the type of terpenes found in the hemp flower. The most common variants are as follows:
Caryophyllene – Described as woody, but others say it reminds them of cloves
Humulene – Present in certain types of trees, so it gives off a woodsy aroma too
Limonene – Smells like lemon, lime, or other citrus fruits
Linalool – Known for giving hemp flower its floral scent notes
Myrcene – Another fruity-smelling terpene, but the scent resembles that of mangoes
Pinene – As the name implies, expect this to smell like pinewood
As you can see, CBD flowers do not have a single defining scent. One strain may smell like lavender, while others might be reminiscent of freshly chopped wood. While some have dominant aromas, a few types of hemp flowers have nuanced blends that can remind you of different things all at once.
Avoid purchasing CBD flowers that do not bear any of the scents associated with terpenes. That indicates the lack of trichomes since most of the terpenes in hemp flowers are found in these crystalline structures.
Furthermore, a scentless bud may have been left in the open air for too long. Some cannabis stores store samples in containers that aren’t airtight. Therefore, testing a bud through this method may not be the best way to assess the quality of a CBD flower. However, some sellers offer to pinch the samples lightly so that they will give off their natural aroma again.
Hemp flowers that smell stale or musty should not be consumed too. Aside from being a tell-tale sign of mold growth, this may be taken as proof that the product is not potent enough to satisfy your expectations from CBD flowers.
Some qualities of a first-class CBD flower can’t be checked through mere sensory evaluation. That’s why we encourage every buyer to read through the batch test results from an independent but reputable laboratory before purchasing any CBD product.
Through the lab test, you will get to know the cannabinoid profile of the hemp flower. While the FDA has removed CBD from its list of illegal substances in 2018, one condition that growers and manufacturers must meet is the 0.3% limit on THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). If you are not aware of THC, this cannabinoid naturally occurs on cannabis plants—just like CBD. However, this is the compound responsible for the mind-altering properties of marijuana. Therefore, CBD flowers with a THC content that exceeds this limit cannot be sold or consumed legally in the US.
The cannabinoid profile of CBD flowers will also tell you the percentages of other known plant compounds are found in the sample tested by the laboratory. This can indicate how strong the “entourage effect” will be after you have consumed the given CBD flower. The entourage effect happens because of the synergy of CBD with other cannabinoids, such as CBG (cannabigerol), CBN (cannabinol), and THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin). When activated, expect to experience the therapeutic benefits of CBD to a higher degree than what you will feel from CBD isolates.
Lab test results of CBD flowers will also inform the consumers of the product’s purity. Comprehensive testing contains data on how many harmful substances have been identified in the sample. Typical purity testing scope includes the presence of molds, heavy metals, pesticides, and fungicides on the CBD product.
As tedious as it may sound, we recommend evaluating a CBD flower using the checkpoints discussed above. Stay away from any hemp flower that fails to meet the criteria because you will not only be wasting your money—you might also be putting your health at risk.
Important Reminders About CBD Flowers
Now that you’re better equipped at recognizing high-quality hemp flowers let’s go over the other essential things to keep in mind while you are CBD shopping.
Consult your doctor first before buying any CBD flower
Though the WHO (World Health Organization) considers CBD safe to consume, you should err on the side of caution by seeking the professional opinion of a medical expert first. There is a chance you are taking medications or undergoing treatments that are not compatible with CBD consumption. Once you have gotten clearance from your medical care provider, you’d feel more reassured about your intention to enhance your lifestyle through CBD.
Explore different ways to consume CBD flowers
While most opt to smoke or vape these buds, you may want to consider mixing it with coconut oil to enjoy it as an edible or skin balm. We don’t suggest eating CBD flowers raw, however.
Aside from not being as tasty as your other favorite greens, the cannabinoids in the hemp flower won’t be activated unless it has been subjected to heat. You may, however, boil it with water and drink it as you do with tea or coffee. Refrain from reusing boiled CBD flowers because most of the cannabinoids and terpenes it contains have seeped out to the water.
Go for organically grown CBD flowers from domestic farms
Organic farming practices lessen the risk of consuming plants laden with harmful substances, such as pesticides and fungicides. We also encourage buyers to favor US-based hemp farms because they operate under the FDA guidelines on CBD. In this way, you can be assured that you will not be going over the 0.3% limit on THC.
Smoking or vaping CBD flowers will lead to quicker results
In general, you will feel the effects of CBD within 30 seconds after inhaling it. A few more puffs will extend the duration up to 60 minutes. So, even if smoking or vaping works faster than eating or applying CBD on your skin, you will likely have to repeatedly light a CBD flower joint or use your vaping pen to ensure its effects will last for hours.
CBD flowers may cause different side effects
Like any CBD product, CBD flowers can lead to adverse—albeit mild—side effects, such as nausea, changes in appetite, fatigue, or diarrhea. If you have not tried a specific flower strain before, we recommend trying a small amount first. Doing so will allow you to observe how the CBD flower will affect you before purchasing it in greater quantities.
And there you have it! Feel free to bookmark this guide on recognizing top-quality CBD flowers so that you can refer to it while searching for the perfect strain to match your expectations. If you want to learn more about the power of hemp flowers and other hemp-derived products, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking the button below. We will be sending notifications right to your inbox whenever we update our blog with comprehensive guides and exciting developments in the CBD industry.