What Is Hemp Flower? (And The Difference Between Hemp Vs. Weed)
Hemp And Weed: What Is hemp Flower?
The CBD industry has been exploding and growing exponentially over the last 5 years. The CBD marketplace is full of hemp derived CBD products. It generates billions of dollars worldwide in annual sales. Estimates say that the global CBD industry could exceed 20 billion dollars by the year 2025.
CBD has gotten a lot of attention for its potential health benefits It can be used for a wide variety of conditions, including muscle relief, nausea, depression, and more. Despite all of the fanfare, many do not know where this cannabinoid actually comes from. In this article we will explain the plant that CBD is harvested from - hemp. We'll cover why hemp, with it's low THC content, is legal- and "What Is Hemp Flower"?
Hemp-Derived CBD - What Is It?
With CBD products like tinctures, bath bombs, and even dog treats flooding the market, many do not realize that all of these products come from hemp. Any hemp products first start out as a hemp plant. The plant contains the cannabinoids or CBD. Since the buds of the hemp flower are the starting point for all CBD, let's start with the difference between hemp and marijuana.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEMP VS WEED
First, let's take a look at the difference between hemp and "weed." Both weed and hemp plants contain over 100 different cannabinoids – including cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabigerol (CBG) to name a few.
Female hemp and marijuana plants produce buds. It is in these buds that the cannabinoids are contained. So when we refer to hemp buds, we are talking about female plants (not the males which produce seeds.) Unpollinated female plants produce larger amounts of cannabinoids than the pollinated ones. Cannabis growers usually grow strictly female plants for this reason. That is, unless they are breeding different plant types and need to pollinate their crop.
Since they don't need the males, farmers often grow only female plants. They can either use feminized seeds or clones. Industrial farms focus more on plant fibers - they grow their hemp for stalks as well as flowers. Some farmers sell to the textile industry and the burgeoning “hempcrete” market.
At this point, the main difference between weed and hemp plants lies in the amount of THC contained. Technically, it is a legal definition. They are both cannabis. But hemp lacks the psychoactive properties of "weed" cannabis flowers. The 2108 farm bill states that all cannabis sativa plants that contain less than .3% THC content are legally considered hemp. These plants have only trace amounts of THC content. The hemp buds are instead rich in the cannabinoids CBD and CBG.
Hemp farms that focus on craft hemp buds will naturally choose to select the hemp strains that produce the highest amount of CBD, CBG and terpenes. While some will focus strictly on the cannabinoid content, at Dreamland Organics, we are just as concerned with growing hemp strains with a high terpene content.
Terpenes along with cannabinoids create the “entourage effect." We have an equal interest in terpenes and not merely CBD or CBG. We feel the flavor of the terpenes enhance the experience. They provide an added amount of pleasure for those smoking our hemp buds. As long time cannabis and hemp growers, we have learned that taste is one of the biggest factors that defines a good hemp nug and actual premium, top shelf hemp flowers.
CBD HEMP FLOWER FARMS VS. HEMP BIOMASS FARMS
There is a stark difference between growing CBD flowers and CBD biomass. It can be said that growing hemp flower is considerably more difficult. Along every step of the growing process from planting to harvest, extra care must be given to produce a top shelf hemp nug. Hemp biomass growers can use more commercial agricultural methods during harvesting - but flower farms often have to harvest each plant by hand without the use of machines.
Biomass is sold as an unprocessed hemp plant with the stalk, stems, fan leaves and hemp buds all intact. This means that the concentration of CBD or CBG will be greatly reduced. The stalk and fan leaves contain very little to no cannabinoids, reducing the overall CBD content.
On the other hand, hemp nugs have all of the extraneous plant material removed. This leaves behind only the terpene and cannabinoid rich buds. For this reason, a pound of craft wholesale hemp can cost over $1000. Compare that to biomass, which usually sells between $10-$100.
During harvest, large hemp biomass farms (which are typically 10-100 acres) use industrial agriculture machinery to harvest. With thousands - and sometimes billions - of plants, it would be near impossible to harvest them all by hand!
The same cannot be said for craft hemp farms. Each plant must be cut down by hand and properly harvested. The hemp nugs themselves are quite delicate. Precautions must be taken to not damage the precious flower.
This can be costly, if outside labor must be used, but it is simply part of the process of producing premium CBD. Hand harvesting ensures that the trichomes (the resin glands in the bud that contain terpenes and cannabinoids) are not disturbed, or damaged, or simply knocked off.
Hemp biomass is often dried in hours or days in a kiln, or left out in the sun. Drying hemp flower, on the other hand, can take weeks to dry properly. It must be done under the correct drying regime. Premium CBD buds require the proper temperature and humidity.
In order to produce smooth smoking hemp buds, the proper curing process must also be adhered to after drying. Properly drying and curing hemp buds is not as easy as it appears at first. Experienced hemp farmers learn over time just how vital this process is. Often an otherwise good CBD nug becomes low quality due to mistakes in drying and curing. Drying hemp too quickly can lead to a harsh smoke. Conversely drying in an environment which has too much humidity can lead to mold. It’s a delicate process that has been mastered by the master growers at Dreamland Organics.
It’s near impossible to grow a proper hemp bud at scale. This is why most large industrial hemp farms focus on producing biomass. True craft farms are usually a lot smaller in size as more care has to be given to each plant.
PRODUCTS MADE FROM HEMP
The first and most obvious product is the ever popular CBD tincture which is sold in stores worldwide. You can also make CBG oil, though CBD and CBG are often combined to create a 1:1 hemp tincture. Other popular hemp products include CBD salves for skin health, CBD gummies and even CBD pet treats. CBD oil pens for vaporizing are also popular, along with CBD concentrates like our bubble hash.
The first step to creating CBD products from hemp is to extract the cannabinoid. This can be done in several ways. A hemp bud itself is the unprocessed flower from a mature hemp plant. Hemp buds are the main focus here at Dreamland Organics.
The great thing about hemp buds are they have the full spectrum of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes contained naturally. Smokable hemp is actually the fastest growing segment of the overall CBD market. Many industrial hemp farms are trying their luck at producing hemp buds, with mixed results.
SMOKABLE HEMP (THE PROOF IS IN THE PUFF)
A lot of ex cannabis smokers are discovering the many benefits of smoking CBD. Because of their low THC content, they are not psychoactive or intoxicating. You'll feel the effects as they work, but you won't feel "stoned." Many are still unsure how to use hemp flowers, so let us explain.
Smoking hemp in a pre roll, bong, or vaporizer provides an instant hit of CBD, which lowers anxiety and stress and eases muscle aches. Some choose to vape CBD oil extracted from the bud in a vape oil pen. Some elect to vape the flower directly via a dried herb vaporizer.
It’s notable to mention that some municipalities have placed a ban on the selling of buds for smoking. But Texas for example, just declared smokable hemp legal for sale in their state. Law enforcement has had a tough time distinguishing between hemp and cannabis. That has been one of the reasons why some states and cities have imposed temporary bans.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently gave the green light for hemp buds to be shipped within their system. That is a good sign for craft farms nationwide.
Those looking to grow or sell CDD nugs should look into their local laws. Always make sure to operate within the proper guidelines set forth by your state.
HEMP-DERIVED CBD BENEFITS
So what’s the deal with the current CBD craze sweeping the globe?
CALM WITHOUT THE PSYCHOACTIVE EFFECTS
Much is still yet to be learned about how exactly the cannabinoids in hemp plants affect the body’s endocannabinoid system, They seem to help with sleep, appetite, and memory.
It has been shown that CBD does relieve seizures, regulate mood, reduce anxiety and is a proven anti-inflammatory. There have been some studies performed by top scientists. But there is still much to learn about cannabinoids like CBD and CBG.
People who once used cannabis for stress or pain relief can now smoke CBD instead. This gives them the health and medical benefits of CBD, but without any psychoactive effects. This is due to the trace amounts of THC . which is too low to produce that same "stoned" sensation. That’s why we call CBD cannabis without the ”high”. For those looking to enjoy the benefits of CBD and CBG, without feeling intoxicated, then hemp buds are for you!.
CBD has also proven to be an effective replacement for tobacco smoking. Those wanting a healthier smoking option can opt for hemp buds instead of cancer causing tobacco cigarettes. There have been studies done on people trying to quit smoking. They found that people using CBD flower as a replacement were 40% more successful at quitting than those who did not.
One of the reasons why smokable hemp has become so popular is the taste! An advantage is that smoking the buds allows the user to enjoy the flavor. This is mostly contained in the plant oils, which are called terpenes.
Terpene profiles of hemp come in various different flavors. There is literally a profile for everyone out there. Ranging from floral to fruity, or earthy and skunky, almost every known flavor is represented in the terpenes. Even the most picky eater will find a terpene profile available that is pleasing to them.
At Dreamland Organics we have several unique hemp strains. One of our signature strains is “Immortal”, which has the smell of grape jam or jelly. For those that prefer a more earthy flavor, our “Dream Fuel” strain would be the appropriate choice.
One of the downsides of consuming CBD edibles is they must pass through the liver and this process slows down the time it takes to feel the effects. Compare this with smoking, where the user can begin to feel the effects in seconds. The inhaled smoke is passed directly into the bloodstream, speeding up absorption.
An additional benefit of smoking hemp is that the user can regulate their dose a lot easier. One of the common complaints with CBD edibles is that it’s hard to properly dose. It may take a few tries to figure out just how much CBD effect you want to feel in any given CBD product. This process is eliminated when opting to smoke CBD.
THE ENTOURAGE EFFECT AND FULL SPECTRUM CBD
With hemp being an unprocessed product it is considered full spectrum. Full spectrum means is all of the cannabinoids and terpenes are present. When a full spectrum products are consumed, you experience what is referred to as the “entourage effect”.
That basically means is that all the cannabinoids and terpenes play off each other, to create an enhanced effect. In addition to CBD, CBG and small amounts of THC, hemp buds have over 100 other different compounds. That is precisely why many CBD consumers prefer a full spectrum product over one that has had a cannabinoid or cannabinoids isolated. Sure, isolation has some benefits, but you will not get the “entourage effect”.
Think of the difference between eating a single vegetable and a whole salad. Most would opt for a whole salad where all the flavors play off each other.
WHO SHOULD GROW HEMP PLANTS?
First off, if you have no passion for smokable CBD, it is not advisable to grow it. You will have a hard time figuring out if your product is good or bad. Growing it for the prospect of money will not be worthwhile in the long run.
In that case it would be better to stick to hemp biomass, where it is less of a hands-on process. But if you are a hemp lover like the master growers at Dreamland Organics, then by all means put your seeds in the ground and join the club! Our belief is the more passionate, dedicated craft farms out there, the better!
CBD shops are popping up all over the globe, They will need high quality, premium hemp buds to stock their shelves. With our small batch approach, we certainly cannot produce enough CBD products for the whole world!
One caveat we want to also mention is that with CBD in its infancy, the laws are changing almost daily. Be sure to do your due diligence before becoming a farmer and weigh all the pros and cons. It could be a costly venture if you haven't planned - especially if you don't understand your region's laws.
Another thing to be aware of is that hemp genetics can be hard to come by. That is, unless you plan on buying industrial sized amounts of seeds or clones. We have seen minimum hemp seed orders of 10,000 and minimum hemp clone orders of 1,000. Make sure to secure your genetics before obtaining your license. We have seen hemp farmers literally have to sit the year out due to not finding any seeds or clones that fit their farm requirements.
Bottom line, do your homework. Follow our blog and Youtube channel for hemp growing tips. And, of course, educate yourself on all things CBD. Before you know it, you will be producing premium hemp flowers just like the master growers at Dreamland Organics!