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5 Things You Must Look For When Buying CBD Flower in 2020

So, you’re ready to try CBD flower for the first time. It’s the perfect opportunity to get involved, with CBD products enjoying a massive boom, and the hemp flower market going through a stunning phase of growth.

Choosing the ideal CBD flower strain is just like finding your new favorite marijuana strain. There is plenty of variety, and new strains are hitting the shelves all the time as growers come up with new crossbreeds.

This is great for enthusiasts who get to sample different kinds of flower. But we appreciate CBD flower novices may be a little daunted by all the choice and quirky names! That’s why we’re going to cut through the jargon in this guide, and show you what to look for when picking a flower.

By the time you’re finished, you’ll be an expert on CBD buds, and ready to start finding strains for yourself! But first, let’s start with a refresher on CBD, and discuss what flower actually is.

Understanding CBD and CBD flower

Cannabidiol (CBD) comes from hemp and cannabis, has several therapeutic properties, and critically doesn’t give you a psychoactive high that regular weed does. As a non-intoxicating and non-psychotropic substance, CBD has broad appeal among those seeking natural relief, free from nasty side effects.

With the legalization of hemp products a few years ago, the CBD industry was born. And it didn’t take long for some major brands to emerge with tincture oils, edibles, vape products, creams, concentrates and, of course, hemp flower.

When you first look at or get a whiff of hemp flower, the untrained eye and nose could be forgiven for assuming it’s no different to marijuana. And indeed, the appearance is deceptively similar and the smell is practically the same!

To find the vital difference, you must look at the cannabinoid compositions of the two. Cannabis may have a make-up predominant in psychoactive THC, but as the name suggests, CBD flower is completely the opposite. Some CBD strains have in excess of 20% CBD, and minute amounts of THC. 

Federal law states that hemp products – including CBD flower for sale – must have less than 0.3% THC. This low threshold stops CBD buds from being abused or taken recreationally. Interestingly, the law makes no comment on tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa), which is essentially just THC in its preheated form. Even so, hemp flower strains typically have very low levels of THCa, too.

CBD flower is perfect for smoking in joints, blunts, bongs and bowls. It’s also ideal for dry-herb vaping, and if you make a flower extract from your product, you can concoct homemade tinctures, creams, delicious edibles and more. That’s what makes the legal CBD flower for sale so fantastic. With a little creativity, you can do just about anything with it, and sample lots of different CBD effects.

Now you’re up to speed with CBD flower, let’s look at what you must consider when deciding on a product.

CBD concentrations 

Each hemp strain has a unique CBD concentration which determines its potency. Unsurprisingly, the richer a strain is in CBD, the more expensive and ultimately higher quality it is. All reputable CBD flower vendors should provide this information, along with the THC concentration. Some brands will even give you the data for other cannabinoids, such as cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBN) and cannabinol (CBN).

What do the percentages mean? Here’s an example. Say you’ve found a gorgeous strain boasting a 20.5% CBD concentration. For every 1-gram of flower, this equates to 205mg of CBD alone. A fair-sized 0.5-gram joint will deliver more than 100mg of CBD – a pretty hefty serving!

Now, you probably won’t want to measure out your dosage to the milligram. This would be time-consuming and you’ll never get it 100% accurate. But some simple math will throw up a ballpark figure, so you know roughly how much you’re taking and what you need to do to increase or reduce your dose.

The type of strain

Getting the right strain is absolutely essential if you want a good CBD experience. The last thing you need when trying to sleep is a stimulating strain, and a relaxing flower is far from ideal first thing in the morning. Thankfully, CBD flower strains are divided up into three broad categories – sativas, indicas and hybrids – making it easier to find something suitable.

Whether a strain boosts concentration and wakefulness or promotes all-body relaxation isn’t so much down to the cannabinoids, but the terpenes. These compounds are renowned for their super-strong and recognizable scent, but they also act as therapeutic agents. 

Soothing terpenes include myrcene and beta-caryophyllene (BCP), while limonene and geraniol are associated with more energizing effects.

Sativas: Finding yourself demotivated? Lacking energy and overcome with fatigue in the mornings? Suffering from a mood slump? If so, CBD-rich sativa strains could help to clear your head and get you back fighting fit. 

These strains often, although not exclusively, have a fruity and citrusy flavor and a pleasant cerebral effect. Although not psychoactive, some enjoy enhanced creativity levels even from sativa hemp flowers. 

Popular sativas: Green House Electra, Sweet Tooth and Emerald Star 

Indicas: Do you find it difficult to relax? Experiencing poor quality sleep? Bogged down and mentally paralysed by anxiety at the worst moments? Try some calming indica hemp buds.

Indica CBD flower couples the naturally relaxing properties of CBD with an array of soothing terpenes to provide a delightful, yet controlled physical and mental experience. With indica strains, aches and pains wash away in minutes, leaving behind an enjoyable buzz throughout the body. 

On the psychological side, these flowers help with de-stressing and dissolving worries, stopping all that needless chatter from your inner monologue. 

Popular indicas: Green House Bubba Kush, Tropic Thunder and Catatonic 

Hybrids: You guessed it. True hybrid strains are neither as stimulating as sativas nor relaxing as indicas. Although you can get sativa-dominant and indica-dominant hybrids that tend toward either end of the hemp flower spectrum.

Because of the balanced and moderate effects, hybrid hemp flowers do the trick at all points throughout the day and are a dependable option if you only want to make one purchase.

Popular hybrids: Green House Lifter, AC Diesel, Super Haze and Berry Wine 

Independent lab tests

Third-party or independent testing has become all but a requirement in the CBD market nowadays. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no involvement with CBD flower regulation or any other CBD products. Initially, this created a dilemma for hemp companies, who found themselves grouped in with the grifters and con artists manufacturing low quality and possibly even dangerous products.

But the solution was ultimately simple: shine a bright light on the manufacturing process and get products independently tested, so customers could be confident that they were buying legitimate CBD products. Hence the emergence of independent and third-party testing to the industry, which all leading brands now conform with.

Lab reports for flower products should be easy to find from the company. Indeed, if they aren’t, this is suspicious in itself. A quality brand will want you to see these results – it’s the closest thing to a seal of approval!

So, what exactly is in a lab report? Most important is the CBD figure – you need to know just how potent a strain is and decide if it’s worth the price tag! The THC statistic comes next, just to confirm it’s less than 0.3% and legal. The most thorough lab reports also state concentrations for secondary cannabinoids like CBG, and the most common terpenes. But there’s no need to fret if you can’t find these.

Purity assurances are another crucial component of lab reports. This is where you’ll see if the hemp flower was grown with pesticides, solvents or any other nasty chemicals. Checks for heavy metals, foreign matter, microbes and bacteria are also useful.

That just about covers all bases. However, it’s always nice to see regular testing and recent lab reports. Check the report for testing dates and information on where the flower was grown – although the latter isn’t a deal-breaker if all the other information is provided.

Great reviews

Authentic reviews are paramount for any product, but perhaps even more so with CBD hemp flower for sale. As companies can’t make any explicit medical or health claims about CBD, product descriptions are unsurprisingly a little ambiguous. Therefore, some informative reviews by people who have tried the strain you’re interested in can go a long way to deciding if it’s right for you. Good reviews discuss effects, aroma, flavor and overall experience.

Reviews are also important for determining the general quality of a CBD flower brand or product. Here you’ll find how well the product is packaged and shipped and whether the reality matches up with the pictures. Of course, new entrants to the market don’t have the luxury to tens or hundreds of reviews, so always use your judgement. But as a rule – and especially for new users – look for brands that are already established in the industry.

Final thoughts

The temptation is there to pick a strain that sounds cool and just dive right in with CBD flower. But it makes much more sense to be a little circumspect! Especially considering that when you buy CBD flower online, you have a treasure trove of information and a wide range of choice at your fingertips! 

The most important thing is to know that your CBD flower is safe, hence why you should get clued up on independent lab reports. Any CBD brand that fails to provide these are simply not worth bothering with – if they can’t be honest with you, why should you put your trust in them?

Beyond that, establishing exactly why you want to take CBD, and whether you want a subtle or more potent experience, will help you determine the ideal strength and type of strain. Although unlike with psychoactive cannabis, there aren’t any risks to getting the “wrong” flower for your needs. 

And indeed, if you’re a CBD herb enthusiast, you may enjoy sampling all the market has to offer! We have some of the top CBD flower for sale online, from CBD Genesis, CBD For the People, Plain Jane and Blue Moon Hemp.

If you’re a CBD newbie, we hope this guide has shown you where to buy CBD flower, and introduced you to the various strains available. And if you’re already familiar with hemp or cannabis, we hope you’ve learned something new! Got any cool facts or tips about flower to share with our readers? Write us a comment – we would love to hear from you!

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