Medicinal hemp products are all the rage these day. While most consumers choose to use oil tinctures and capsules, an increasing number of users are turning to raw, unprocessed hemp flowers as a more enjoyable way of reaping the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD flower is the commonly used name for CBD-rich hemp flower buds that come from certain varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa (the same family that also includes marijuana). Unlike marijuana flowers, however, hemp flowers contain a high amount of CBD and a tiny amount of THC (less than 0.3%), which does not cause a “high” effect.
Hemp/CBD flower buds with less than 0.3% THC are legal to buy without a prescription in all 50 states. The demand for these has been exponentially growing over the past few years — particularly after the legalization of industrial hemp in the USA in 2018.
There are different ways to consume hemp flowers. Some people incorporate them into edibles, such as cookies, but most users prefer to smoke them for their potential relaxing and calming effect. CBD cigarettes and smokables are also used to help quit marijuana/weed and nicotine (more research needed to establish efficacy).
Because they are normally sold in their raw form, hemp flower buds are a cheap option compared to other product forms that require more complex processing, such as tinctures, edibles and topicals.
Numerous varieties and strains of CBD hemp flower buds are offered for sale on the market in the USA and other countries. They vary in the amount of CBD and other cannabinoids they contain, their flavor, quality, price, etc.
Potency Lab Reports: CBD vs. CBDA
One of the most important things to look for before you buy any CBD product is a third-party lab report that shows the exact amount of different cannabinoids in the product, most importantly CBD and THC.
A basic fact that not many people may be aware of is that raw hemp flowers do not actually contain a significant amount of CBD, but rather they contain its precursor compound: CBDA (cannabidiolic acid). When exposed to heat (e.g. during smoking), CBDA is decarboxylated and converted into CBD.
Not all of the CBDA may be converted to CBD though, so you are likely to end up taking in a combination of both compounds. While most studies focus on the effects and benefits of CBD, some studies have also shown that CBDA may have medicinal effects of its own.
So, it’s normal if you see CBDA (or CBDa) on the lab report instead of CBD because that’s the way it should be. There may still be tiny amounts of CBD present in raw hemp flowers, but for the most part, it will be in the CBDA form.
3 Legit Vendors of CBD Flowers
You won’t find CBD flowers for sale on Amazon and most other popular online marketplaces due to their policies prohibiting the sale of cannabidiol. But there are many reliable retailers where one can buy quality CBD products from.
The following are three of the best online shops that offer different strains of CBD flower buds for sale. These are all based in the USA and use hemp that is grown in the USA.
1. Dr. Strains
The Dr. Strains CBD company is known for their high-quality, full-spectrum hemp flowers. They carry several strains and flavors of hemp flowers with a high CBD content of around %18 (varies for each strain). They do third-party lab tests and you can view the lab reports on their website. Their top strains include: Cherry Blossom, Illinois Suver Haze, Bubba Kush and Sour Apple.
Cannaflower, formerly Berkshire CBD, is another trusted supplier of full-spectrum CBD hemp flowers. They have different strains for different suggested uses. A third-party lab COA is provided online for each of their products. Their top-seller strains include: Lifter, Cherry Wine, Hawaiian Haze, Sour Space Candy and Bubba Kush.
3. Savage CBD
Unlike the above stores, which mainly sell hemp flowers, Savage CBD offers a more diverse selection of decent CBD products, including oil tinctures, gummies, topicals, vape juices, disposable pens, and yes, flowers. They only have two strains: Richie Rich and Lifter Sauce. Third-party lab reports are posted on their website.