Have you been wondering where to buy the best hemp flower?
If you’ve been thinking about trying smokable hemp but aren’t sure how to go about purchasing it, you’re in luck. We’ll answer all your questions about buying hemp flower in this article, including whether you should buy hemp flower online or at a local CBD shop. We’ve even included a hemp flower FAQ just in case you’re completely new to the hemp and CBD scene.
But first, let’s examine some ways you can tell if the hemp flower you buy is high quality.
How to Judge Hemp Flower Quality
Before you run out and make your first hemp flower purchase, you’ll want to equip yourself with some knowledge about how to judge the quality. The last thing a new consumer needs is to pay top dollar for “boutique” hemp flower only to discover that it’s really mass-produced schwag.
You can tell the difference by making some simple observations.
Growing and Harvesting Methods
Farmers who adhere to organic growing methods help ensure that you won’t need to worry about chemical herbicides and pesticides in your hemp flower. Furthermore, organic cannabis farms are usually smaller, allowing gardeners to give more attention to each plant.
Whether you choose indoor or outdoor buds is mostly a matter of personal preference. Indoor cultivation allows farmers to control the growing environment, which can result in hemp flowers with frostier trichome layers. On the other hand, many consumers prefer outdoor buds. Natural light and mild exposure to pests may encourage sun-grown hemp to produce a broader range of terpenes.
Harvesting methods are equally important as proper harvesting and curing can make or break the final quality of hemp flowers. Hemp farms can begin with the best genetic stock and apply state-of-the-art growing methods, but the result will still be subpar buds if they rush the curing stage. Consumers should look for hemp flower sources that adhere to at least a 60-day curing window.
Taking a closer look at the hemp flower you’re thinking of purchasing can tell you a lot about the quality. Here are a few factors consumers should consider when buying hemp flower:
- Freshness: You’ll want to avoid overly dry or brownish buds, which will be less potent and lacking in flavor. Fresh and well-cured hemp flowers will be relatively green, slightly sticky to the touch, and have squishy centers.
- Manicure: Most connoisseurs agree that hand-trimmed hemp flower is better. Machine-trimming disturbs the delicate trichome layer that contains all the beneficial cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes.
- Trichome layer: An even layer of frosty crystals is an excellent indicator of high-quality hemp flower.
Hemp flower flavors and aromas vary considerably. It all depends upon the individual strain and the terpenes present. Choosing your favorite hemp flower varieties comes down to which particular tastes and fragrances appeal to you.
That said, there are a few key indicators that indicate low-quality hemp flower. You’ll want to avoid buds that smell like mold or hay, which means either contamination, age, or improper curing. You’ll also want to pass on buds that smell like freshly-cut grass as they may have been harvested too early or cured too quickly.
Even if the hemp flower passes all the previous tests, you’ll still want to be sure it was tested by an independent third-party lab. Lab testing checks each batch of hemp buds for purity and potency. You can find out all this information in the product’s Certificate of Analysis (COA).
Choosing Hemp Flower Strains
The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re selecting hemp flower strains is to choose buds that appeal to your unique sense of smell and taste. However, there are a few other factors to keep in mind when you’re shopping for hemp flowers.
Cannabinoids are the primary active ingredients in hemp flower. Standard hemp flower contains high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) with only trace amounts of other cannabinoids. High-CBD hemp flower provides you with the same therapeutic benefits you get from full-spectrum CBD oils, vapes, or edibles.
Specialty strains like Jack Frost contain substantial quantities of another beneficial cannabinoid, cannabigerol (CBG). Known as the “Mother Cannabinoid,” CBG is non-intoxicating and offers a unique set of therapeutic properties.
Another type of hemp flower has recently become available, featuring a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid called delta-8. Delta-8 is a close isomer to regular THC that offers a more clear-headed and manageable high. Delta-8 hemp flowers remain federally legal, although they are only available in certain states. You can also find delta-8 vape cartridges and edibles online or in select CBD shops.
Sativa, Indica, and Balanced Hybrids
There are three principal types of hemp flower strains: sativa-dominant, indica-dominant, or balanced strains, also called hybrids. In general, sativa-dominant strains like Sour Space Candy and Elektra offer more uplifting and energetic effects. Indica-dominant hemp strains like Bubba Kush are more calming and well-suited for evening use. Balanced hybrids like Special Sauce feature around 50:50 indica-to-sativa genetics and combine characteristics of both types, making them excellent all-purpose strains.
Buying Hemp Flower in Local Shops
Buying hemp flower locally can be a good option for beginners. That is if you’re lucky enough to have a shop nearby that sells it. Local CBD outlets may carry a limited selection of hemp flower strains that you can try without waiting for shipping.
However, more seasoned consumers generally buy hemp flower online to take advantage of lower prices and a larger variety. Freshness can also be a problem with store-bought hemp flower. You’ll want to check the date on both the package and lab reports before buying hemp flower at a local shop.
- You can inspect the hemp flowers in the store before purchasing them.
- You can take your buds home the same day.
- The local budtender can help you select strains.
- Hemp flowers may not be available in shops where you live, or you may need to drive long distances to find a store.
- Local shops offer a limited selection of strains compared to online sources.
- Hemp flowers may lack freshness due to limited turnover.
- You’ll have to transport your buds to your home, which can result in misunderstandings with law enforcement.
- Hemp flowers from local shops are generally more expensive due to higher overhead.
Buying Hemp Flower Online
Most consumers agree that buying hemp flower online offers the lowest prices and best selection. Additionally, you’re often dealing directly from the farmer or the farm's trusted distributors when you buy hemp flower online. You can also find out a host of information by consulting the company’s website, such as:
- The company's values: Do they practice sustainable farming and support the local community? How do they treat their employees?
- Customer reviews: What are people saying about the quality of the hemp flower and the customer service?
- Lab reports: Does the company publish official Certificates of Analysis (COAs) on their website? Are the hemp flowers sufficiently potent and free of contaminants?
- You get to choose from a wider selection of hemp flower strains.
- Consumers have easy access to product COAs.
- You’ll benefit from more economical prices and the ability to comparison shop.
- You can take advantage of bulk discounts.
- Online companies deliver hemp flower right to your front door.
- You can’t see the hemp flower in person before buying.
- You have to wait a few days before receiving your order.
- You may have to pay for shipping, especially for smaller quantities.
Buying Hemp Flower FAQ
What is hemp flower?
Hemp flowers are the harvested and cured reproductive organs of mature female industrial hemp plants. They typically contain high CBD levels and feature less than .3% delta-9 THC.
Will hemp flower get me high?
Standard CBD hemp flower and CBG buds contain only non-psychoactive cannabinoids and won’t produce any intoxicating effects. In contrast, delta-8 flower produces a mild sense of euphoria.
What can I do with hemp flower?
You can inhale hemp flowers by vaping them in a dry-herb vaporizer, smoking them in a bowl or joint, or buying convenient CBD pre-rolls. You can also use hemp flower for cooking homemade edibles or creating custom body lotions and other topicals. You can even formulate your own CBD oils and tinctures.
How much hemp flower should I consume?
Every person’s body responds differently to cannabinoids like CBD. The best approach for beginners is to start low and go slow. If you’re smoking or vaping, you’ll want to take one or two small puffs and wait 15 minutes to see how you feel before inhaling more. If you’re trying edibles made from hemp flower, you’ll need to wait at least 90 minutes to gauge the effects since the active ingredients need to be processed by the digestive system before hitting the bloodstream.
Is hemp flower legal in the United States?
Hemp flower is federally legal as long as it contains less than .3% delta-9 THC, the limit outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill.