Hemp and marijuana are two cannabis plants often confused with each other. With marijuana now legalized in many states with more to follow, dispensaries are popping up everywhere across the country. Smoking marijuana has become a popular activity, but you may be wondering, “Can you smoke hemp?”
Many people don’t fully understand the differences between the two plants and how they affect us. However, smoking hemp flower can have tremendous benefits for both your mind and body. We’ll go over all the fantastic ways hemp can affect you and why you may want to consider hemp for your next wellness journey!
Table of Contents
What is Hemp?
Hemp is a cannabis plant that is one of the oldest domesticated crops dating back to 8,000 BC. The crop was traditionally used to make items like clothing, textiles, rope, paper, and other building materials. Hemp is one of the fastest-growing crops, and it can be used as a renewable, raw material for making health, food, and beauty products.
However, hemp isn’t just used to make fabrics or health foods — it also has many beneficial qualities when consumed or smoked! Hemp plants have lots of CBD, a compound that can support our bodies in many ways. In contrast, marijuana has large amounts of THC, which can induce grogginess, intoxication, and a “high.”
Although both marijuana and hemp are part of the same cannabis species, they are genetically very different compounds. The main difference between hemp and marijuana is that CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it doesn’t have any euphoric effects and won’t leave you feeling high after consumption. On the other hand, marijuana and THC are famous for their euphoric and sedative effects.
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, a legal hemp plant can contain no more than 0.3% THC. Anything over 0.3% THC classifies the plant as marijuana, which is still illegal federally. However, you have nothing to worry about with hemp products and CBD since the bill legalized it nationally!
How CBD Works
Now that you know hemp has high concentrations of CBD, what are its various effects on our body when we consume it? Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound that can have profound and wonderful effects on our bodies. It is a natural cannabinoid (cannabis-derived compound) that can support our endocannabinoid system (ECS) in many ways.
The ECS exists in all animals on earth and plays a significant role in regulating our body’s systems. These include sleep, mood, memory, metabolism, and immune response. CBD helps our ECS address imbalances in the body and works to restore them to a natural equilibrium. Some of the main benefits that CBD provides are:
- Improves sleep
- Relieves discomfort
- Enhances mood
- Boosts appetite
- Aids digestion
By reaching an inner balance and equilibrium, we can focus better, function more efficiently, and feel more clear-headed than ever!
Is Hemp Smokable?
Yes, hemp is entirely safe to smoke! However, you should only smoke hemp flower (also called buds or nugs). The other parts of the plant have different uses and may not be entirely effective if smoked. For example, hemp oil is extracted from the leaves as an ingredient for other products, and fibers are harvested from the stems to create textiles.
What’s the Difference Between Smoking Hemp & Smoking Marijuana?
The main difference between smoking hemp and marijuana is that hemp won’t get you high, while marijuana will. You can use both hemp and marijuana medicinally to help relax or soothe discomfort. Though, marijuana is psychoactive and leaves you feeling high or intoxicated.
One of the main reasons CBD and hemp have become popular in recent years is because many people want to avoid THC’s euphoric and psychoactive effects. With CBD hemp products, there is almost no risk of feeling an altered state of mind. There are also very few side effects when it comes to smoking or consuming hemp flower.
Most people generally have positive experiences with CBD hemp flower and tolerate it exceptionally well. The few reported side effects are typically very minor and go away relatively quickly. Some minor side effects you might experience are:
- Dry mouth
- Fatigue or sleepiness
- Slight dizziness
- Mild diarrhea
- Change in appetite or mood
Is CBD Addictive?
The short answer is no! You cannot become addicted to CBD. This is because CBD is non-psychoactive and does not alter your thinking or judgment.
Addiction is defined as an over-reliance on a substance that can affect motor or brain function. Typically with addictive substances, there is a change in body temperature, heart rate, or blood pressure. Drugs like alcohol or nicotine are examples of these addictive substances that can drastically affect your body.
Luckily, CBD does not consistently cause any of these types of changes to the body the way a substance like tobacco does. Also, it is extremely unlikely such adverse effects will occur. One 2016 study looked into whether CBD can be addictive, and the results are astonishing.
Anatomy of Cannabis
When it comes to cannabis plants, you can utilize every part in some way or another. No parts are left unused or wasted! These are the different parts of the hemp plant:
- Flower/buds/nugs: Arguably the most popular part of the plant, the flower is the smokable part of hemp. Some buds may be more colorful and wild, and many have an abundance of beautiful white trichomes.
- Seeds: Hemp seeds are considered a superfood and have an incredibly high nutritional value. Hemp seeds are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids that are highly beneficial to your health. Many CBD oils are made with hemp seed oil to provide an extra health boost when you take it.
- Stems & stalks: Hemp fiber is harvested from the stems and stalks to make clothing, materials, and even biofuel. The fibers from hemp are far more durable than cotton, and the stalks’ cores can be made into mulch for plants or pet bedding.
- Sugar leaves: Sugar leaves are the small leaves that grow on the side of the bud. These leaves usually have a white coating of trichomes containing compounds like CBD and terpenes (these affect a strain’s smell and flavor). Different strains have different sugar leaves and trichome levels.
- Fan leaves: Fan leaves are the large leaves that grow along the stalks and base of the hemp plant. Hemp essential oils are made from raw hemp fan leaves and are considered one of the most complex oils to extract.
- Roots: Hemp roots have been used in many traditional Chinese medicines to treat the mind and body. The hemp roots contain glycoside, which can help rid the body of toxins. The roots also have high friedelin and epifriedelinol levels, which are are chemical compounds with properties that may reduce swelling.
What Parts of the Hemp Plant are Smokable?
Typically you would only smoke the bud or flower from the hemp plant since that is where the highest concentration of CBD is. Smoking any other part of the plant can yield harsher and more unpleasant smoke.
However, if you can get your hands on some sugar leaves or fan leaves, you can use them in recipes to make CBD-infused tea, blend them into a smoothie, or make CBD edibles!
Benefits of Smoking Hemp
Smoking hemp is also one of the quickest and most efficient ways to absorb the fantastic benefits of CBD. Inhaling any CBD smoke or vapor goes directly into the lungs, which enters our bloodstream almost immediately. You can typically feel the effects of CBD right away, which usually lasts for about 3-4 hours.
Smoking hemp flower also has a bioavailability of over 40%! This means that your body can absorb about 40% of the CBD content from the flower. Other methods like oral ingestion (5-20%) or sublingual (15-20%) have lower bioavailabilities, meaning you won’t feel CBD’s effects as strongly or quickly.
How to Smoke Hemp
There are many fantastic ways you can smoke CBD hemp flower! Here are some of our favorites:
- Joints: Smoking joints are a quick and easy way to enjoy a quick hit of CBD. You can even buy pre-rolled joints if you don’t want the hassle of rolling your own. Pre-rolls are especially beneficial for those new to smoking CBD. You can also share joints amongst friends and family as you pass them around.
- Pipes: Pipes are the old-fashioned way to enjoy a quick puff of flower. Pipes are excellent for smoking small amounts at a time to ensure that no flower is left wasted or unused. They are also simple to clean and easy to share with friends.
- Bongs: Bongs are one of the most popular ways to smoke CBD hemp flower because the water adds some cool moisture to the dryness you might experience when smoking. Many people prefer using bongs because the smoke is often far smoother, leading to a more enjoyable experience.
- Edibles: Using hemp flower in recipes is a great way to experience the soothing and calming effects of CBD! The heat from the oven or stove is also a great way to release the active compounds so that you can gain the most benefits from CBD. There are countless dishes and recipes that you can make for a tasty and delicious CBD meal or snack.
Final Thoughts – Can You Smoke Hemp?
Not only can you smoke hemp, but you can also consume it in many other beneficial ways! The rise of CBD demonstrates the power and clarity many people have felt when enjoying hemp-derived products. Smoking hemp is one of the most effective and fun methods for experiencing the extraordinary properties of CBD!