CBD Flower: How To Tell the Difference From THC

medical marijuana flower buds
Shutterstock / Creativan

CBD flower is a popular way for people to consume cannabidiol traditionally, like smoking or vaping. Hemp flowers have the same appearance, smell, and texture as THC-dominant flowers, but they are very different. The most crucial difference between them is unseen. It is noticeable only when users inhale CBD hemp flower smoke or vapor, as it contains no THC, which is the psychoactive component of regular marijuana. The hemp buds deliver a dose of cannabidiol and other cannabinoids and flavonoids, and terpenes, which are among the chief reasons to smoke or vape CBD-dominant hemp flowers. While smoking or vaping CBD-dominant flowers may not be the preferred choice for the health-conscious, it is still popular among those who have smoked it in the past.

Table of Contents

  1. Differences Between CBD Flower and THC
  2. Cannabis Products: Hemp Strains and Terpenes Explained
  3. What is CBD Flower Used For?
  4. Choosing the Best CBD Flower
  5. CBD Flower vs. CBD Oil
  6. FAQ About CBD Flower
  7. Closing Thoughts

Table of Contents

  1. Differences Between CBD Flower and THC
  2. Cannabis Products: Hemp Strains and Terpenes Explained
  3. What is CBD Flower Used For?
  4. Choosing the Best CBD Flower
  5. CBD Flower vs. CBD Oil
  6. FAQ About CBD Flower
  7. Closing Thoughts

How To Tell Between CBD and THC Flower

The only way to tell the difference between CBD and THC flowers is to read the label. Dispensaries and recreational marijuana retail locations all brand which hemp products contain CBD and contain THC and which are a hybrid of the two. There is no other way to tell the difference by sight or by smell and texture, as the two varieties appear identical to the naked eye.

If neither is labeled or marked, users will notice when they smoke or vape a strain, which products contain THC and which contain CBD by the effects. CBD hemp buds will not produce the same intoxicating effect as THC-dominant flowers do. Still, CBD-dominant has its own set of psychoactive properties depending on the strain that you choose.

Growers cultivate cannabis hemp strains to promote different effects like relaxation, sleep, or energy. They also grow CBD-dominant flowers to include several other cannabinoids and flavor-packed terpene, which is one of the main draws of either smoking or vaping hemp flower.

Again, even though smoking or vaping hemp flowers may produce a therapeutic effect, it does so only through the compounds present and not through THC. Users will not feel the “high” that THC produces, nor will they experience any of the expected effects of smoking THC marijuana.

The only way to tell the difference between CBD and THC flowers is to read the label. Dispensaries and recreational marijuana retail locations all brand which hemp products contain CBD and contain THC and which are a hybrid of the two. There is no other way to tell the difference by sight or by smell and texture, as the two varieties appear identical to the naked eye.

If neither is labeled or marked, users will notice when they smoke or vape a strain, which products contain THC and which contain CBD by the effects. CBD hemp buds will not produce the same intoxicating effect as THC-dominant flowers do. Still, CBD-dominant has its own set of psychoactive properties depending on the strain that you choose.

Growers cultivate cannabis hemp strains to promote different effects like relaxation, sleep, or energy. They also grow CBD-dominant flowers to include several other cannabinoids and flavor-packed terpene, which is one of the main draws of either smoking or vaping hemp flower.

Again, even though smoking or vaping hemp flowers may produce a therapeutic effect, it does so only through the compounds present and not through THC. Users will not feel the “high” that THC produces, nor will they experience any of the expected effects of smoking THC marijuana.

What to Know About Strains and Terpenes

Cannabis plants have many varieties among them, so users can experience several different strains that produce different reactions, have a variety of different flavors as well as aromas. The chemicals responsible for creating these different flavors and smells are called terpenes, and they are naturally-occurring compounds found in all cannabis flowers.

The two main strains of cannabis are Indica and Sativa. These two strains have their defining characteristics. Indica has a reputation for being sleep-inducing and giving users a more full-body effect. Sativa is known to promote energy and is not as intoxicating as other, Indica-based strings.

Terpenes are common to both Indica and Sativa and both THC and CBD flowers. Some strains of THC or CBD flowers come with a specific set of terpenes that give it a distinctive flavor profile. But that’s the fun of having so many different terpenes profiles: users can explore which ones they prefer over a wide variety and selection.

Cannabis plants have many varieties among them, so users can experience several different strains that produce different reactions, have a variety of different flavors as well as aromas. The chemicals responsible for creating these different flavors and smells are called terpenes, and they are naturally-occurring compounds found in all cannabis flowers.

The two main strains of cannabis are Indica and Sativa. These two strains have their defining characteristics. Indica has a reputation for being sleep-inducing and giving users a more full-body effect. Sativa is known to promote energy and is not as intoxicating as other, Indica-based strings.

Terpenes are common to both Indica and Sativa and both THC and CBD flowers. Some strains of THC or CBD flowers come with a specific set of terpenes that give it a distinctive flavor profile. But that’s the fun of having so many different terpenes profiles: users can explore which ones they prefer over a wide variety and selection.

What To Do With CBD Hemp Flower

Aerial view of a glass jar with CBD
Shutterstock / Joan Manel

Hemp flowers are most commonly consumed by either smoking or vaping. They are consumed the way people usually consume either THC or CBD dominant flowers. While smoking and vaping may not be the best way for some people to get a CBD dose, the option exists for those who want to try it and have experience smoking or vaping it in the past.

That is the one limitation of hemp flowers: they are not versatile. Unlike other hemp products (oils, CBD-infused edibles), there is not much variety with hemp buds. But that is why people choose to buy it because they want to inhale it and feel the flavors or effects within the hemp plant itself. Smoking or vaping is, in a sense, also the most natural way to consume CBD, as it is not processed or mixed in with other ingredients.

Aerial view of a glass jar with CBD
Shutterstock / Joan Manel

Hemp flowers are most commonly consumed by either smoking or vaping. They are consumed the way people usually consume either THC or CBD dominant flowers. While smoking and vaping may not be the best way for some people to get a CBD dose, the option exists for those who want to try it and have experience smoking or vaping it in the past.

That is the one limitation of hemp flowers: they are not versatile. Unlike other hemp products (oils, CBD-infused edibles), there is not much variety with hemp buds. But that is why people choose to buy it because they want to inhale it and feel the flavors or effects within the hemp plant itself. Smoking or vaping is, in a sense, also the most natural way to consume CBD, as it is not processed or mixed in with other ingredients.

How To Choose the Best CBD Hemp Flower

Choosing the best CBD hemp flower depends on your taste and preference. There are dozens upon dozens of different strains, flavors, and varieties to choose from that appeal to a wide variety of people. Some people like to smoke or vape hemp plants for their taste. At the same time, others prefer a strain that promotes a particular effect like anxiety relief, calmness or helps them go to sleep.

Another common deciding factor for CBD hemp buds is their terpene profile. There are many unique profiles, each with a distinct aroma and taste. Limonene, for example, is one terpene that has a citrusy flavor and smell. Eucalyptol has distinctive regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal to use for specific conditions.

Choosing the best CBD hemp flower depends on your taste and preference. There are dozens upon dozens of different strains, flavors, and varieties to choose from that appeal to a wide variety of people. Some people like to smoke or vape hemp plants for their taste. At the same time, others prefer a strain that promotes a particular effect like anxiety relief, calmness or helps them go to sleep.

Another common deciding factor for CBD hemp buds is their terpene profile. There are many unique profiles, each with a distinct aroma and taste. Limonene, for example, is one terpene that has a citrusy flavor and smell. Eucalyptol has distinctive regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal to use for specific conditions.

CBD Flower or CBD Oil?

While CBD hemp flower is unprocessed and natural, its main disadvantage is that users have to smoke or vape it, which, over time, could lead to respiratory problems. That’s why CBD oil is a more popular form of hemp extract among health-conscious people, as it has many different ingestion methods.

People can take CBD oil in many different ways. They can ingest a few drops of the oil or place a few drops under the tongue to absorb it. They can put it into food and beverage items, even though digestion may reduce its potency. CBD oil can also come in capsule form, which people regularly take throughout the day. People can also blend CBD oil into other food items like edibles.

CBD oil is also the main ingredient in many other non-edible products like creams, lotions, gels, lip balms, etc. Cannabis hemp also has benefits in these formats, and users do not have to worry about the consequences of smoking or vaping it to take advantage of its therapeutic effects. These other formats can also be blended with other health-promoting and all-natural ingredients.

While CBD hemp flower is unprocessed and natural, its main disadvantage is that users have to smoke or vape it, which, over time, could lead to respiratory problems. That’s why CBD oil is a more popular form of hemp extract among health-conscious people, as it has many different ingestion methods.

People can take CBD oil in many different ways. They can ingest a few drops of the oil or place a few drops under the tongue to absorb it. They can put it into food and beverage items, even though digestion may reduce its potency. CBD oil can also come in capsule form, which people regularly take throughout the day. People can also blend CBD oil into other food items like edibles.

CBD oil is also the main ingredient in many other non-edible products like creams, lotions, gels, lip balms, etc. Cannabis hemp also has benefits in these formats, and users do not have to worry about the consequences of smoking or vaping it to take advantage of its therapeutic effects. These other formats can also be blended with other health-promoting and all-natural ingredients.

Everything You Need to Know About CBD Flower

Is there THC in CBD Flower?

There may be trace amounts of THC in CBD hemp flowers, but nowhere above the 0.3% limit allowed by law in the US. While growers cultivate CBD hemp flowers to have as little contact as possible with THC plants to minimize cross-pollination, THC is still present, albeit in trace amounts. It is the same with CBD in THC-dominant plants. If you are worried about THC showing up on drug tests, it’s best to use CBD isolates that contain no THC at all.

What CBD flower is best for sleep?

The best CBD hemp flower for sleep depends on the availability at your local dispensary or marijuana retailer. Indica is most well-known for its sedative effects, more so than its opposite, Sativa, which is more energizing. But there are many varieties of Indica that may promote restful sleep.

Can CBD flower get you high?

No, CBD does not get you “high” in the traditional sense. THC is the component in regular marijuana that makes people high, but its levels in CBD hemp flower are so low that it will not affect your mental or physical state. CBD buds can promote other relaxing feelings that could promote stress-relief or alleviate anxiety, but it will not get you intoxicated.

Is CBD flower legal?

Yes, this hemp flower is legal in all 50 states. Although, there have been cases where law enforcement has mistaken CBD hemp flower for THC cannabis and has confiscated it or arrested people in possession of it. Fortunately, there are portable tests to detect whether the hemp is CBD or THC-dominant, making clear what type it is.

Does CBD flower have side effects?

There are no known side effects from hemp flower, although in rare cases, some people may experience symptoms like:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Fatigue

These side effects are rare and may only appear in people who have never smoked or vaped CBD before. But, even still, there is no risk of intoxication like with THC flowers.

Is there THC in CBD Flower?

There may be trace amounts of THC in CBD hemp flowers, but nowhere above the 0.3% limit allowed by law in the US. While growers cultivate CBD hemp flowers to have as little contact as possible with THC plants to minimize cross-pollination, THC is still present, albeit in trace amounts. It is the same with CBD in THC-dominant plants. If you are worried about THC showing up on drug tests, it’s best to use CBD isolates that contain no THC at all.

What CBD flower is best for sleep?

The best CBD hemp flower for sleep depends on the availability at your local dispensary or marijuana retailer. Indica is most well-known for its sedative effects, more so than its opposite, Sativa, which is more energizing. But there are many varieties of Indica that may promote restful sleep.

Can CBD flower get you high?

No, CBD does not get you “high” in the traditional sense. THC is the component in regular marijuana that makes people high, but its levels in CBD hemp flower are so low that it will not affect your mental or physical state. CBD buds can promote other relaxing feelings that could promote stress-relief or alleviate anxiety, but it will not get you intoxicated.

Is CBD flower legal?

Yes, this hemp flower is legal in all 50 states. Although, there have been cases where law enforcement has mistaken CBD hemp flower for THC cannabis and has confiscated it or arrested people in possession of it. Fortunately, there are portable tests to detect whether the hemp is CBD or THC-dominant, making clear what type it is.

Does CBD flower have side effects?

There are no known side effects from hemp flower, although in rare cases, some people may experience symptoms like:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Fatigue

These side effects are rare and may only appear in people who have never smoked or vaped CBD before. But, even still, there is no risk of intoxication like with THC flowers.

Conclusion: CBD Flower: A Guide to Smoking or Vaping CBD

What is your preferred method of taking CBD? Do you enjoy other ways of ingesting it? Let us know in the comments section below.

Hemp flower was the first way that people started to enjoy the benefits of cannabidiol. Even though the compound is also present in THC flower, growers have been cultivating CBD dominant strains for a long time. Smoking and vaping CBD flowers remains a popular way to enjoy the benefits of the extract. Although attitudes and, most importantly, laws have changed about hemp, and there are new ways to dose cannabidiol, smoking and vaping give users a unique experience.

What is your preferred method of taking CBD? Do you enjoy other ways of ingesting it? Let us know in the comments section below.

Hemp flower was the first way that people started to enjoy the benefits of cannabidiol. Even though the compound is also present in THC flower, growers have been cultivating CBD dominant strains for a long time. Smoking and vaping CBD flowers remains a popular way to enjoy the benefits of the extract. Although attitudes and, most importantly, laws have changed about hemp, and there are new ways to dose cannabidiol, smoking and vaping give users a unique experience.

Published: May 12, 2021 Updated: May 3, 2021


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