The Surprising Benefit of Smoking CBD
It might seem like cannabinol (CBD) has become the cure-all for nearly everything. With rapidly evolving research, new therapeutic potentials for this miracle molecule are revealed almost daily.
And if you’re like most people, you’re probably heard a lot about CBD oil. It has quickly become the most popular way to experience the benefits of CBD.
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But here’s the thing…
While CBD oil certainly deserves its time in the spotlight, there are also benefits to be had from smoking CBD-rich hemp flower.
And the number one reason people choose to smoke CBD rather than use CBD oil may surprise you.
We’ll cover that in just a minute.
What is CBD Flower?
The dried bud of a hemp plant is called a CBD flower. Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD flower is non-psychoactive, meaning it will not intoxicate you or leave you impaired.
Since both cannabinoids exist naturally in hemp and cannabis, licensed farmers cultivate strains of hemp that offer high levels of CBD, and very little THC.
In America, the legal amount of THC that is allowed in a CBD hemp plant is less than 0.3% – well below the amount needed to induce psychoactive effects. In Europe the permitted amount is even less – 0.2%.
Here’s another interesting fact..
Not only is CBD non-intoxicating, but it also reduces the psychoactive effects of THC. That’s right, CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC.
Does CBD Flower as Effective as CBD Oil?
Yes! CBD flower is just as effective as CBD oil at treating a wide range of conditions. And we have our endocannabinoid systems to thank for that.
The endocannabinoid system is an intricate network of receptors found throughout the body and brain. These receptors react with CBD and other cannabinoids to produce many positive therapeutic benefits.
CBD, whether smoked or consumed as an oil, effectively treats conditions like —
Studies have shown that CBD interferes with the lipid production that is responsible for causing acne. In addition, CBD’s strong anti-inflammatory properties also make it effective as a topical treatment.Alzheimer’s Disease
With well-documented neuroprotective properties, CBD may be an effective prevention and treatment for Alzheimer’s. This is an exciting area of research that is getting much attention.ADHD
Early research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology shows that CBD inhibits hyperactivity in ADHD and “normalizes social investigative behavior.” More research is needed, but the future looks bright.
CBD boosts appetite. Although it may not be as powerful an appetite stimulant as THC, CBD has the distinction of being non-psychoactive.
Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
With the ability to ease chronic stress and anxiety, CBD is showing great promise as an effective treatment for PTSD.
Anti-inflammatory properties make CBD ideal for treating arthritis and other conditions associated with chronic inflammation.
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Associated with free radicals and oxidative stress, bipolar disorder may have a new treatment on the horizon. CBD’s anti-oxidative and neuroprotective properties may be effective for treating bipolar disorder, along with other mood disorders.Cancer Fighting Properties
CBD and other cannabinoids have been effective at inhibiting the growth of tumors. In addition, CBD is helps treat a wide range of cancer-related symptoms, like nausea and pain.Diabetes
CBD as a treatment for diabetes is an exciting, and well-researched area of study. Recent research has uncovered that CBD interacts with receptors in the pancreas – precisely where insulin is made in the body. While more studies are needed, this is certainly a remarkable discovery.
The hippocampus region of the brain shrinks when a person is suffering from depression. CBD may be able to reverse this condition by stimulating the growth of new neurons and repairing the damaged area of the brain.
One of the most advanced areas of CBD research is as a treatment for epilepsy. CBD can reduce seizures and clinical trials of the CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, have been so successful, the drug has now been approved by the FDA for use in the United States.
Early research is indicating that CBD may be able to reduce the severity of pain associated with fibromyalgia and make episodes less frequent.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are proving to be effective at treating chronic inflammation which is thought to be the root cause of many diseases.
Early research is showing that CBD may improve the mobility of MS patients. It may ease other symptoms of the disease as well, like pain and fatigue.
These are just some of the most anticipated areas of CBD research currently underway. There are many more therapeutic uses for CBD.
And here’s one benefit that might surprise you —
Preliminary findings published in the journal, Addictive Behavior, found that smokers who took CBD regularly for one week smoked 40% fewer cigarettes during that period than the participants who were given a placebo.
In another study, Early research out of University College London found that CBD can reduce attentional bias to tobacco-related imagery.
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What does this mean, exactly?
Attentional bias happens when we hone in on certain queues while ignoring others. For example, if you’re watching a movie and your favorite food appears on screen, you’re likely to start craving it.
And CBD has the power to curb those attentional biases, at least when it comes to smoking.
If you’re a smoker trying to quit and you start using CBD, the next time you’re watching someone smoke a cigarette on the big screen, you’ll probably be a lot less likely to want one yourself.
What’s more, smoking CBD flower can provide the sensation of smoking without the addictive ingredients, which some people may find helpful as part of the quitting process.
The Specific Benefits of Smoking CBD Flower
While CBD flower and CBD oil have a lot in common in terms of their therapeutic benefits, there are some specific benefits that are unique to smoking (and vaping) CBD.
More Bioavailability When Smoked
One of the biggest benefits of smoking (and vaping) CBD flower is that the bioavailability of the cannabinoid is significantly increased.
What is CBD Bioavailability?
CBD bioavailability refers to the degree and rate at which it is absorbed into the bloodstream.
The higher the bioavailability, the more effective the CBD will be. And how you consume CBD plays a large factor in how much bioavailability it has.
This is important because…
Understanding the CBD products on the market and their bioavailability will help you choose a product that’s right for you.
Here’s a quick look at the bioavailability for the most common ways CBD is consumed —
There are many CBD edibles on the market – everything from chewing gum to syrups, chocolates, and sodas. But here’s what you need to know – CBD edibles have the lowest bioavailability, with 4-20%. That means, if you consume a 100mg CBD edible, you’ll only absorb, at best 20mg. The problem is our stomach acid is too strong for CBD to survive.
CBD tinctures, sprays, and lozenges are often administered under the tongue for the best effects. This works so well because our sublingual gland is located under our tongue. CBD permeates this gland and enters our bloodstream. This quick route to the bloodstream allows for a greater amount of CBD to be absorbed and the effects to be felt faster.
By far, the method of consuming CBD that provides the most bioavailability is smoking and vaping. Many studies have concluded that this is the quickest way to experience the benefits of CBD.
Why is inhaling CBD so effective?
Smoking and vaping CBD is so effective because there is very little chance for the CBD to breakdown before it enters the bloodstream. It does not have to contend with saliva or stomach acids, which diminishes its potency.
Rather, this method puts CBD in direct contact with the lung’s many tiny air sacs called, alveoli. Once the alveoli absorb the CBD, it is directly transferred to the bloodstream.
Typically, the effects of this method of administration take about 5-10 minutes to feel.
But before smoking CBD-rich hemp flower, consider this…
Risks Associated with Smoking CBD
Nearly everyone agrees, smoking hemp flower almost certainly exposes you to fewer cancer-causing carcinogens than does smoking cigarettes.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no health risk at all.
Any kind of smoke is harmful to your lungs – whether it’s coming from a cigarette, hemp flower, or campfire.
Smoke irritates lungs and depending on the chemicals present, and the frequency of exposure, it can also increase the risk of chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, cancer, and lung disease.
Which may cause you to ask..
Is Vaping Safer than Smoking?
In short, yes, in general. But remember, whichever way you choose to consume CBD, the safety of your product will be directly linked to the quality of it.
In general, vaping CBD allows you to avoid the harmful carcinogens associated with smoking, but low-quality CBD products may contain harmful propellants and thinners. That’s why it’s important to always shop for the highest quality products when choosing your CBD.
Here’s what makes vaping different…
The primary difference between smoking and vaping is temperature. Vaping allows you to heat CBD to precisely the temperature at which it begins to turn into a gas.
By heating CBD to the exact temperature it needs to become a gas – but no further, means you avoid combustion and get none of its harmful byproducts, like particulates and carbon monoxide.
It’s interesting to note that the average lighter burns at over 1000 degrees F.
And now you may be wondering…
If vaping is as effective as smoking, but without the harmful carcinogens, why do some people still choose to smoke CBD flower?
Which brings me to the number one reason people choose to smoke CBD flower —
The number one reason people choose to smoke CBD over any other method is that smoking is the quickest, least expensive way to experience the full range of benefits CBD has to offer.
CBD flowers contain the full suite of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, and they can be experienced simply by smoking them.
And smoking CBD flower allows you to take advantage of the entourage effect, which is the synergistic nature between compounds that make them more effective together than alone.
Here’s the key takeaway…
CBD flowers are versatile and offer many ways to experience their therapeutic benefits – but the traditional method of smoking may be your best bet if you are looking for a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to experience CBD.
And if you’re concerned about inhaling carcinogens, you may want to give vaping a try– you just need to understand the basics of vaping, which we’ve outlined here.
Once you are familiar with the basics, all you need to do next is choose a high-quality CBD oil.
Most people opt for a full-spectrum oil. Full-spectrum oils are thought to provide more therapeutic benefits than CBD isolates.
That’s because full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the beneficial compounds present in the hemp plant – which means you get the full benefits of the entourage effect.