This may come as a surprise to many, but hemp flower is legal in the US. That being said, since the hemp flower is closely related to the marijuana flower, which is illegal, there are a couple of precautions that one must take in order to be on the safe side of the law.
CBD is concentrated in the flower of the hemp plant, but small amounts may be found in the stalks and roots. Consequently, when hemp is cultivated for CBD a lot of attention is given to the flowers. On the other hand, when hemp is cultivated for fiber a lot of attention is given to the stalks and seeds, which are a rich source of fiber.
What is CBD Hemp Flower?
CBD hemp flower is the flower of the female hemp plant which is rich in cannabidiol content. Once the hemp plant is fully mature and reaches the flowering stage, it develops resinous glands that secrete cannabinoids, such as CBD. Some strains of hemp will contain more CBD content than others.
Hemp strains will also have varying levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the cannabinoid that gives cannabis strains their psychoactive properties. For hemp to be considered legal in the US, it must have less than 0.3% THC. Note that this amount of THC is not sufficient to cause the “cerebral high” that is associated with cannabis strains.
Hemp flower cultivated for the production of CBD is propagated to produce bigger buds with dense trichome glands. The amount of CBD produced will depend on the genetics of the hemp cultivar and could vary from 0.1% – 30%.
When hemp plants are left to mature for a long time their THC content may increase. As a result, one should harvest hemp flowers as soon as they mature before cannabis plants get "hot" and THC levels increase pass the legal limit of the hemp flower.
Legality of Hemp Flower
Hemp is defined as “cannabis strains that contain less than 0.3% THC.” The Agricultural Act of 2018 legalized hemp at a federal level by removing it from the list of scheduled substances and reclassifying it as an agricultural commodity. This means it is legal to produce, transport, consume, and sell hemp commercially.
Hemp production in the US is regulated under the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). As of now, 47 states have created hemp programs to regulate the production and sale of hemp within their respective jurisdictions. Hemp flowers can be cultivated, transported, and sold legally throughout the US.
What is the Difference Between Hemp Flowers and Cannabis Flowers?
In appearance, hemp flowers and cannabis flowers are very similar, but you may observe slight differences between different cultivars of both. The differences may lie in color, dependent on the plant’s flavonoids, and/or aroma, depending on the plant’s terpene profile.
The appearances of both may vary slightly in other ways. Since hemp is mostly cultivated for high-fiber content, most hemp plants will be tall and skinny. Cannabis plants, on the other hand, are likely to be short and dense with big buds.
As previously discussed, the biggest difference between hemp and cannabis is their THC content. While hemp flower contains low levels of THC, cannabis flower contains high amounts of THC. Since THC is responsible for the high feeling associated with marijuana, you should expect to observe a difference in the effects caused by each.
How to Consume CBD Hemp Flower
CBD hemp flower is rich in cannabinoid content. It is mostly consumed for relaxation as well as for therapeutic and health benefits. CBD hemp flower can be smoked, as it is when freshly harvested and dried, and it can also be made into smokable hemp cigarettes, which are steadily growing in popularity. It can also be used to make hemp-derived CBD tinctures, oils, edibles, and topicals.
Some states have banned smokable hemp products because of the difficulty in differentiating CBD hemp flower from CBD cannabis flower. As a result, it is important to remember that the cannabinoid content in CBD hemp flower should be less than 0.3% THC in any case.