By Joy Johnston
The more I researched CBD, the more I read that hemp flower was the best way to consume CBD to gain the greatest effect. As I've mentioned before on the CBD for Caregivers blog, I have never been a pot smoker, so I was a bit intimidated at first at the thought of smoking or vaping any kind cannabis flower.
I read a lot of reviews, mainly on Reddit's /CBD community channel. It was convenient for me that hemp flower and other necessary supplies can be purchased online. I was able to buy hemp flower, a dry herb vaporizer and an herb grinder online with no issues.
If you've smoked marijuana before, then the process is basically the same. Grind the herb, put it in your device (or roll it into a joint) and vape or smoke away. Since I'm not a smoker, I optd to vape hemp flower with the Pulsar APX 2. I bought the Pulsar from VaporNation.com and was able to purchase a cheap herb grinder there as well.
The process was pretty much idiot-proof. Hemp flower is typically sold in sealed pouches to keep it fresh. Consumers take a bud, grind it and then add the ground-up contents to their vaping device (or into a rolling paper if you prefer to smoke as a joint.) Follow the directions on your vaping device. Typically users take a few puffs, and then wait awhile to see what effects they feel. There is no right or wrong, minimum or maximum amount to consume when it comes to hemp flower. It won't get you high in the way that marijuana does. It often provides a calming effect.
So far I've tried hemp flower from Empire, Starseed Botanicals and CBD Hemp Direct. I felt that Starseed offered the best quality, while CBD Hemp Direct offered the best value. Empire was available in a CBD store that I visited in Nashville, so for those who would prefer to buy in person, Empire may be a brand to look for.
The varieties of hemp flower that are available can be overwhelming for the newbie. Again, if you are familiar with marijuana, you will recognize some of the strain names. I chose to focus on the percentage of CBD in a strain, as well as the terpene profile. It's important to find a strain that addresses your needs, as there are strains that ease anxiety better while other strains may offer pain relief.
After trying a variety of strains, I found that those higher in CBD offered the most immediate and effective relief of my symptoms. The effects were faster-acting than other forms of CBD, such as oils or edibles. The effects may not have lasted as long, but the quick relief was impressive.
I don't ever think I will be completely comfortable in smoking or vaping any kind of plant product. It's just not who I am and I feel the jury is still out when it comes to the health risks of vaping. But I also can state that the most effective CBD form I've tried has been vaping hemp flower.