The Different Levels Of Hemp Flower
With CBD Hemp Flower representing the most growth within the larger CBD Industry, we thought it was high time you understand what you are smoking. In this article we will break down the different grades of hemp flower, from low grade industrial hemp, to high grade, top shelf CBD buds.
Let's first get some misconceptions out of the way, so we can deliver concise information, sans rumor or straight up lies.
All top shelf hemp flower must be grown indoors or in a greenhouse, otherwise it is low grade.
While there is an element of truth to this statement, as a whole it is not entirely true. The truth is in fact that high grade refers to the end product, not the method of growing. Sungrown outdoors, greenhouse and indoor can all produce some premium hemp buds. The real determining factor would lie in genetics and skill of the grower, not the environment per se. I personally have had some outdoor that knocks the socks off better looking indoor. The proof is in the puff, as we like to say. Aesthetics play a part, but at the end of the day, we are smoking hemp flower, not hanging it on our wall.
If it looks good, it smokes good, thus making it high grade hemp flower.
Again, the look of the CBD flower does play a part in aesthetics, as does the packaging, but at the end of the day, the "eye test" will not serve you. We have all had instances where the look was deceiving and hemp buds are no exception. You can infer a bit from the look, but to truly know if you have high grade hemp, it will have to pass the "smoke test".
All CBD hemp flower is pretty much the same, so I'll find the cheapest hemp nugs out there for the win.
If that's how you feel, you definitely need to read to the end, as we cannot stress enough, THERE ARE LEVELS to this HEMP FLOWER game. You can smoke low grade hemp flower if you choose, but realize there are stark differences in taste, potency, and overall effect.
Now let's talk about the 3 basic grades of CBD Hemp Flower, Low Grade, Mids & Top Shelf.
LOW GRADE INDUSTRIAL HEMP FLOWER
We like to call this one trimmed biomass, as that is what it actually is. Before Dreamland Organics coined the term "Craft Hemp Flower" (We literally came up with that term as far as we know. In 2017 a Google search returned 0 results with the term "craft hemp flower"), nobody was smoking hemp. Hemp was strictly used for biomass extraction of CBD.
Industrial hemp is grown like any other industrial crop, industrially. What that means is it is grown in mass, usually between 5-100 acres. The emphasis is not on quality, but on volume. Plants are planted with agricultural machinery and watered with drip lines. Since these lines get clogged with anything accept water, fertilizing is difficult. And since so many crops are grown very closely together, the soil is nutrient deficient.
Couple that with the fact that so much hemp flower cannot be hang dried, as you would need Walmart sized warehouses to facilitate drying tons of hemp buds and you're talking about a low grade product. Most industrial hemp farms dry in a kiln, which evaporates terpenes or on the ground (cringe)!
Hand trimming also is not feasible as you would need to spend literally hundreds of thousands of dollars for trimmers, only to sell your bulk pounds for not much, or no profit at all. Thus, most industrial hemp flower is machine trimmed, under fed, not properly cured and tastes like cardboard, literally.
Throw in some pesticides to compensate for not being able to inspect your hemp plants by hand and you're talking about some lower level hemp on par with brick packed Mexican low grade cannabis. If you're health conscious, or just like your lungs, you would want to steer clear of the budget friendly hemp flower options on the market. In that sense extraction makes sense, as impurities can be removed, leaving you with still viable CBD, for products like tincture or salve.
MIDS (MID GRADE HEMP FLOWER)
Mid grade hemp flower may seem like an alluring option for the thrifty hemp flower enthusiast, however it's called mid grade for a reason, i.e., it's not the top tier.
These hemp buds may come from the same huge acreage industrial farm, but may be a smaller plot, which receives a bit more attention than straight up low grade industrial hemp. Farmers have gotten hip to the fact that biomass sells for $50/lb and trimmed hemp flower can sell for $300/lb on the low end.
They thus set aside a small plot for "premium hemp buds". While this bud may be better than low grade, premium is a stretch. It may be hung dry in a barn and hand trimmed, but will still lack the quality of the coveted top shelf hemp buds most desire.
After all, if you have a huge farm, with tens or hundreds of thousands of plants, it's likely you do not get to tend to your side plot the same way a craft hemp farmer does. The result is hit or miss, depending on genetics and quite frankly, luck.
You can find a decent mid grade hemp bud out there with some terps and a hand trim, but you will have to try and try again. There will likely be no consistency and you will waste money paying a bit more for mids, only to find they are often glorified low grade hemp buds in a pretty package.
If you are truly on a budget, you can try your luck with mid grade hemp, but we suggest spending a few extra bucks for a true premium, craft hemp flower.
And now for the the final level you have been waiting for, DRUM ROLL PLEASE...TOP SHELP HEMP FLOWER!
TOP SHELP HEMP FLOWER (aka CRAFT, ARTISANAL or GOOD GOOD)
This is the "cream of the crop" that everyone claims to have, but few actually do. Why? The answer is simple, you need to have good genetics, a good grower and a lot of time to accomplish a well grown, well dried, well trimmed and well cured CBD hemp flower.
This kind of hemp flower may be dark, or light green, or even a light brown. It may be dense or slightly airy, but one thing is for sure, it is fragrant! Like really dank and pungent. That's the first giveaway that you are dealing with high grade hemp flower. A tight trim and good overall look will likely be present, but the telltale signs are a "loud" smell and smooth, expansive smoke. The proof is in the puff. You know when you are smoking the "Good Good' when you don't want to put the joint down.
Craft hemp flower is grown with more love, care and skill than industrial or mid grade hemp and it comes through in the end product. When you smoke premium craft CBD buds, there is a noticeable difference in smoothness, effect and overall enjoyment. Terpenes contribute to the "entourage effect" and that is why top shelf hemp buds are the most desired CBD product on the market at present.
Products that are hand crafted and focused on quality over quantity will naturally have a bit higher of a price tag, but you know where you money went. You can often smoke less of higher grade hemp flower and get an even stronger effect. Yes, contrary to popular belief, you actually save money smoking quality bud.
At Dreamland Organics, all of our craft hemp flower is "Top Shelf", or else it ends up being turned in to another product. Rest assured that when you smoke DLO buds, you are smoking true craft. We farm less than an acre at present and inspect every plant, by hand, daily. You just can't get craftier than our craft hemp flowers. So try some for yourself and see what all the fuss is about! We have turned many of a low grade, or mid grade hemp flower smoker to a connoisseur.
Put some respect on your lungs!