Updated: Sep 17, 2020
2020 has been a confusing year on many levels. One of those levels is the popularity increase of smokeable hemp flower. Some states are banning the use, some are allowing it, and some are just plain confused. What is smokeable hemp flower and how does it work? That is the question on everyone's mind.
Many people are already familiar with CBD products such as tinctures, soft gels, topicals, and pet products. However, they are less familiar with hemp flower itself.
Hemp flower is the "buds" from the hemp plant that are taken and extracted for their oil to use in the products consumers are familiar with. The flower is usually sold is in 1/8's, half ounces, and ounces to consumers to smoke in dry flower vaporizers or bongs, or is packaged in joints or as hemp cigarettes.
But wait, that sounds like marijuana. Won't that get me in trouble?
Any hemp flower sold in the USA is required to be tested to ensure the THC levels are below .3%. The results are given as what is known as a Certificate of Analysis (Or COA for short). The COA will show the CBD potency of the flower, as well as the THC content. It is worth mentioning that a retailer should always have a COA on hand of all hemp flower sold in their stores.
Hemp flower will not get you high, there is not enough THC for any psychoactive effects to take place. However, smoking CBD hemp flower will work in the same way as ingesting a soft gel or a tincture. In fact, in some individuals, it can work quicker based on how the CBD is internally absorbed.
But while smokeable hemp flower is legal in many states, some states are still on the fence. Many states are concerned law enforcement cannot tell the difference between hemp flower and marijuana. As a result, some states have banned the sale of smokeable hemp flower to avoid confusion. Texas has banned the sale of smokeable flower, while states like Arkansas allow the sale of smokeable flower (as long as it is not grown within the state). This confusion and laws that differ state by state have left many consumers hesitant to try smokeable hemp flower.
PEW* covered the topic of hemp flower confusion in an article, saying, "The rise of hemp products so similar to marijuana has caught some lawmakers by surprise. Nobody talked about smoking hemp or said police couldn’t tell the difference between hemp and marijuana when North Carolina created a hemp pilot program in 2015."
While the article was published in early 2020, it shows that our lawmakers and law enforcement are working off of out-of-date information and have a lack of knowledge when it comes to hemp.
The largest obstacle consumers face when it comes to hemp is the stigma. For those that do not live in a state with recreational marijuana, they can feel like they are doing something taboo. However, legal adults should have no concern about smoking a legal plant that has gone through state and federal testing.
Education is a key part of erasing the stigma. By promoting accurate information and funding research on cannabis, we can further promote the benefits of Cannabis as a whole has on society.
*To read the PEW article, click here.