The term “hemp flower” refers to the mature flower found in the female hemp plant. It is popular because it is rich in beneficial cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD). Hemp flowers may also be referred to as the bud or nug of a plant. When the hemp flower fully matures, the bud is covered in milkish white resin glands known as trichomes. These trichomes carry the cannabinoids as well as terpenes, which are the essential oils that produce the different scents in hemp.
In a hemp plant, the flower has the highest amounts of CBD, while the stalks and seeds have much less CBD. The stalks are rich in fiber while the seeds are a rich source of nutrients such as protein and fiber. Hemp flowers are usually harvested when the plant is mature, and then used to make hemp-derived CBD products.
The amount of CBD in hemp flowers will vary depending on the strain of hemp and how it was cultivated. Some strains may be crossbred to ensure that they produce the most CBD possible.
IS HEMP FLOWER LEGAL IN THE UNITED STATES?
Hemp flowers are legal to cultivate and use in the U.S. According to U.S. legislation, legal hemp flowers must contain less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, but it can also be found in smaller amounts in some strains of hemp. THC is a scheduled substance and is therefore illegal under federal law. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and is legal as per the terms of the Agricultural Act of 2018, which legalized hemp-derived CBD in the U.S.
Note that, even though the cultivation of high CBD hemp plants is legal under federal law, hemp must be tested to ensure that it doesn’t contain too much THC.
IS A HEMP FLOWER THE SAME AS A MARIJUANA FLOWER?
Even though they may look very similar, hemp flowers are different from marijuana flowers. Hemp flowers are rich in CBD, while marijuana flowers are rich in THC. Also, marijuana flowers appear more dense than hemp flowers do.
HOW ARE HEMP FLOWERS USED?
Hemp flowers are beneficial because they contain a lot of CBD. The more CBD a flower has, the more valuable it is. Hemp flowers will also have other cannabinoids and terpenes, all of which work together to enhance the healing benefits of CBD.
As previously mentioned, terpenes are the aromatic essential oils that give hemp its different aromas. Common terpenes in hemp flowers include:
Cannabinoids and terpenes have therapeutic benefits, but some of them are still under investigation. Hemp flowers that are rich in CBD can be used to relieve the following conditions:
- Anxiety and depression
- Cancer-related symptoms
- Pain and inflammation
- Brain degenerative diseases
Hemp flowers can be smoked, or their CBD can be extracted and used to make the following products:
- CBD edibles
- CBD vape oils
- CBD tinctures
- CBD creams
- CBD lotions
- CBD capsules
- CBD gummies
- Hemp cigarettes
HOW IS CBD EXTRACTED FROM HEMP FLOWERS?
Once a hemp flower matures, it can be sold as it is or its CBD can be extracted and made into any of the previously mentioned products. The following two methods are commonly used to extract CBD from hemp flowers: ethanol extraction and supercritical carbon dioxide filtration.
In ethanol extraction, ethanol is passed through the hemp to separate the CBD from the plant. This method is straightforward, affordable, and can be easily done at home, but it does leave some impurities in the CBD.
Supercritical carbon dioxide filtration uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract CBD from the plant material. This method is expensive and is used mostly on a commercial scale, but it is very efficient and the CBD it produces is free of impurities.