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Smoking Hemp Flowers: An Effective Way To Take CBD?

Smoking hemp flowers: Lifter
Written by Dr. Leah Zachar

What are CBD flowers and how can you use them?

Hemp flowers, or CBD flowers as they are often called, are the dried buds of the hemp plant. Grown legally by licensed hemp farmers, the flowers are bred to offer high levels of CBD, with less than 0.3% THC in America (and less than 0.2% THC in most of Europe). Is vaping or smoking hemp flowers an effective way to get your CBD?

CBD flowers are versatile.  They can be smoked, vaped, used in cooking, made into tinctures, or used in edibles.  As the hemp flowers are unprocessed, they contain a full profile of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and many other unique compounds.

Is smoking hemp flowers an effective way to take CBD?

Smoking hemp flowers: Cherry Hemp Flower, one of the best CBD flowers in the US

Smoking hemp flowers: Cherry Hemp Flower, one of the best CBD flowers in the US

CBD is one of over 113 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. The hemp plant contains over 400 trace compounds, with all of them working together in synergy to maximize the benefit of the CBD flower. This is known as the ‘entourage effect’.

The term ‘entourage effect’ refers to the therapeutic benefits gained when the whole plant is used rather than just individual parts. When used together the individual components are magnified creating a medicinal impact far greater than when just a part is used. (The whole is greater than the sum of its parts).

Whole-plant extract vs. isolates

Studies performed in rat models have revealed that whole plant extracts are superior to THC/CBD isolate in delivering greater analgesia in the treatment of neuropathic pain. (Cornelly et al. 2008)

Studies in mice models found an increase in the therapeutic window of the CBD extract over the CBD isolate when used as an anti-inflammatory or analgesic. (Gallily et al. 2015)

Scientific studies established that synthetic, single-molecule CBD requires precise, high doses for efficacy, whereas lower dose, whole-plant, CBD-rich treatment regimens such as seen in the CBD flower have been found to be superior in conditions such as refractory epilepsy.   (Pamplona 2018)

Take home point

Hemp flowers offer a balanced benefit to the user because the trace components of the entire plant enhances the effects of CBD.  Monetarily speaking, you get “more for your money” when using the CBD flower as opposed to the CBD isolate.


“Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid‐terpenoid entourage effects.” British journal of pharmacology. 2011; 163(7), 1344-1364.

“Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress.” Free Radic Biol Med. 2011; 51:1054–1061

 “An Overview on Medicinal Chemistry of Synthetic and Natural Derivatives of Cannabidiol.”  Front Pharmacol. 2017; 8: 422.

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About the author

Dr. Leah Zachar

Dr. Leah Zachar, M.D. is a physician who worked for nearly thirty years in Internal Medicine.
She currently is a scientific adviser to CBD Testers. Dr. Zachar believes that there is much that medical cannabis, and cannabidiol in particular can offer to traditional medicine.