Yes, You Can Smoke Hemp. And Yes, It’s Gaining Popularity
When Congress legalized hemp farming at the end of last year, CNN’s Harmeet Kaur wrote: “. if you try to smoke hemp, you’ll probably just end up with a headache.”
Kaur may not be spending enough time in Vermont.
Advocates have been at pains to differentiate marijuana, the psychoactive cannabis flower people smoke, from hemp, marijuana’s non-psychoactive relative. But increasingly, Vermonters are smoking hemp buds in the same way Americans have smoked marijuana buds for a hundred years.
“Oh my gosh, they did not do good research,” Kelsy Raap said when I told her about the CNN story.
Raap and her family own Green State Gardner, a cannabis garden store and CBD retailer. There, employees carefully cultivate hemp flower specifically for smoking. That old headache myth? Raap said that’s a relic from the days when hemp plants were only cultivated to make fibers for textiles.
(Having now tried a hemp joint, I can confirm: it didn’t give me a headache.)
At her store in Burlington, Raap gestured to the display case, and apologized. She was out of hemp flower.
“It’s sold out,” she said. Even after doubling their growing capacity, Raap said, “we keep having trouble keeping up with the demand.” Raap did have pre-rolled hemp joints for sale.
There are three reasons Raap said her customers smoke hemp.
Some mix it with today’s extra-potent marijuana to mellow it out, which Raap called “a salad.”
Others desire the purported therapeutic effects of CBD, such as relief from insomnia and anxiety. Smoking, Raap said, offers a faster delivery of CBD than digesting extracts. (Research on CBDs is still early days.)
And, Raap said, many people long for the “ritual of the smoking,” and appreciate that hemp is neither addictive nor psychoactive.
Outside Joey Verga’s hemp store Green Leaf Central in Burlington, hemp farmer Fred Morin said he smokes hemp flower in order to relax.
“If I wanted to smoke pot, but I don’t want to be [high],” Verga said, he’d smoke a hemp joint instead.
Whatever the motivation to smoke, Vermont’s hemp retailers agreed: business is good.
Jonathan Miller is general counsel for U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a national hemp lobbying group.
“Smokeable hemp is a very small part of the hemp and CBD marketplace,” he said, “but it seems to be the one that’s growing most rapidly.”
If a cannabis plant is .3 percent THC (the psychoactive chemical) or greater by dry weight, it’s marijuana, according to the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018; anything lower is hemp. And while Vermont has not legalized marijuana for sale outside of medical dispensaries (yet), it is legal to sell hemp, and to smoke it.
It’s also profitable.
“My name is David Hull and my company is VPR.”
That’s what David Hull said when I asked him to introduce himself for the radio. To be clear, Hull is not a colleague.
“Vermont Pre-Rolls is a company that makes an herbal joint out of Vermont hemp,” he explained.
Hull rolls and packages the joints in Brattleboro, then sells them around Vermont and out of state. He said he is increasingly selling to cafes and boutiques in New York, and bars and clubs in Florida, where you can still smoke indoors. Although about a half dozen states have banned smokeable hemp, it’s legal in most states.
“It was an explosive start,” Hull said. Since then, it’s been steadily growing.
Both Hull and Raap say they started their smokable hemp products in part as placeholders — a way to get a foothold before marijuana is legal for retail. Both were surprised by the degree of demand.
Both also feel conflicted about selling combustible products designed to be inhaled. The research is pretty conclusive: smoking is bad for health.
“It doesn’t feel great but it doesn’t feel horrible,” Hull said. He noted he feels no worse selling hemp joints than he did in his last job, raising animals for slaughter. The meat tasted great, he said, but it was bad for the animals who died, bad for the environment, and not exactly healthy for his customers, either.
At least with hemp, he said, “I’d like to think I’m helping some people smoke less pot, and fewer cigarettes.”
When Congress legalized hemp farming at the end of last year, CNN’s Harmeet Kaur wrote : “… if you try to smoke hemp, you'll probably just end up with a
7 Things You Need to Know About Smoking Hemp Buds
Smoking CBD can be a great experience — but, there are a few things you need to consider beforehand. Here are seven things you should know about smoking hemp buds.
According to the latest research, approximately 814,000 Americans currently use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Many people consume products that contain a high amount of the cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
This isn’t an ideal option for everyone, though.
For those who want to experience the benefits of marijuana without any mind-altering effects, smoking hemp buds is a great alternative.
Never heard of hemp buds before? Not sure how to smoke them or why you should?
Read on to learn seven things every beginner ought to know about smoking hemp buds.
What are Hemp Buds?
Hemp buds are the flowers produced by the hemp plant.
Hemp is part of the Cannabis sativa family. It contains very little THC and a significant amount of CBD.
CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is another cannabinoid that offers many of the benefits of THC. It does not have any mind-altering effects, though.
This makes it a better option for children and those who don’t want to feel high but still want to experience the benefits that cannabinoids have to offer.
Smoking Hemp Buds: What You Need to Know
Now that you know more about hemp buds, let’s get into what you need to know before you start smoking them.
Listed below are some of the benefits of smoking hemp buds, as well as tips on how to get the most out of the experience:
1. The Entourage Effect
There are lots of CBD products on the market these days. In fact, the CBD market, as a whole, is expected to reach a $22 billion valuation by the year 2022.
Some of the most popular products are things like CBD oils and CBD capsules.
These products can be great for some people, but they often only contain isolated CBD. When you consume CBD in this way, you miss out on a lot of the benefits that the hemp plant has to offer.
When you smoke hemp buds, you get to enjoy the benefits of CBD. In many cases, the benefits of CBD are also heightened by the presence of other cannabinoids.
All of the cannabinoids in the hemp plant, along with the terpenes, flavonoids, and other plant compounds, work together to provide the consumer with a better experience and greater outcomes. This is known as the entourage effect.
CBD isolate works well in a lot of cases, but it appears to be much better when it’s combined with all the other plant compounds.
2. Faster Results
When you smoke hemp buds (or other cannabis products), you’ll experience the effects much faster than if you were to consume a hemp oil or edible.
This is because smoking allows CBD and other cannabinoids to reach the bloodstream faster.
When you consume products orally, you have to wait for them to pass through the digestive tract before they can take effect. You tend to lose some of the potency along the way when you take this approach, too.
3. No, You Won’t Get High
Many people associate smoking any kind of cannabis product with getting high.
If you’re smoking high-CBD hemp buds, though, you’re not going to experience any mind-altering effects.
You’ll feel the benefits of the CBD, but the concentration of THC is these products is way too low for you to get high.
4. Heat Before Consuming
In order to experience the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids, you need to make sure the product is fully heated before you try to smoke it.
This activates the CBD and other cannabinoids and ensures that your body can absorb them in an efficient way.
5. Dosing Tips
Dosing hemp buds can be trickier than dosing other CBD products.
Because of this, it’s best to start with a small amount and then work your way up.
Remember, you can always add more if you don’t notice any effects.
Taking this approach saves you from consuming more than you need. It also prevents you from burning (literally) through all of your product.
6. Inhale Properly
Believe it or not, there is a right way to inhale when smoking hemp buds.
It’s best to inhale slowly and deeply.
Think about filling your lungs about two-thirds of the way full of smoke. This allows you to take in more of the cannabinoids and ensure you’re using the hemp buds in the most efficient way.
Be sure to wait for a few minutes in between inhales, too. That way, you won’t overdo it and you’ll get the most out of your supply.
7. Buy High-Quality Hemp Buds
In order to see the greatest outcomes from smoking hemp buds, it’s important to make sure you’re smoking a high-quality product.
It’s not always easy to tell if you’re getting high-quality hemp buds or other CBD products, so you need to know what to look for. Some qualities to watch out for include:
- Use hemp that is organically grown to reduce the risk of pesticide exposure
- Learn about the farm where the hemp is grown — ideally, it’ll be located in the U.S. to further reduce the risk of pesticide and toxin exposure
- Choose products that contain a significant concentration of CBD — the higher the concentration, the greater the effects will be
- Look for a terpene-rich product to enhance the entourage effect
If you find a company that meets all these requirements, there’s a good chance they’re selling safe, effective hemp products that will help you see the benefits you’re looking for.
Try Smoking Hemp Buds Today
The idea of smoking hemp buds might be a bit intimidating at first, especially if you’re new to the idea of medicinal marijuana products in general.
If you keep this information in mind, though, you’ll have a much easier time with it, and you’ll experience greater effects from the hemp.
If you’re ready to start shopping for hemp buds, make sure you’re buying from a reputable brand that sells high-quality, organically grown hemp.
At Fern Valley Farms, we check all those boxes.
Head to our online store today to learn about the different hemp buds we have to offer and place an order for yours.
Smoking CBD can be beneficial — but, there are a few things you need to consider beforehand. Here are seven things you should know about smoking hemp buds.