How to use hemp buds: a CBD-rich species of cannabis

Hemp buds - CBD flower

Updated May 2019

Hemp buds, CBD bud, CBD flowers or high CBD strains of cannabis are exciting products of the CBD and medicinal cannabis movement.

Hemp is a type of cannabis sativa plant, and ‘hemp buds’ are the flowers of the hemp plant. These buds hold high concentrations of cannabinoids compared to the stalk, leaves and roots of the plant. CBD-rich hemp buds offer an alternative to CBD oil as a source of CBD that can be smoked, vaped or used to make edibles and ingested.

CBD bud – flowers

For many years, the primary goal of cannabis breeders and growers was to increase the THC levels in cannabis strains to meet market demand. In recent years, as the benefits of CBD have become realised, a demand for CBD-rich strains of cannabis has emerged.

In the context of hemp buds, CBD richness is referring to the CBD content of a cannabis strain. A ‘CBD-rich’ strain has been specially bred to contain a high-CBD content but low-THC content, allowing it to be sold legally across America.

Strains each have their own unique cannabinoid profile, determined by what cannabinoids they contain and in what quantities. At this stage, 113 different cannabinoids have been isolated from the cannabis plant. CBD and THC are the predominant two, followed by CBDa, THCa, THCv, CBC, CBCa, CBG and CBGa among many others.

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High CBD strains list

For those living in recreationally legal states, buying hemp buds or CBD rich flowers is as easy as visiting a high-quality dispensary. Those in other states are limited to ordering online. The following strains of hemp contain high concentrations of CBD but strictly less than 0.3% THC, allowing them to be shipped across America. They are unavailable to those outside the USA.

Bubba Kush CBD flower

Bubba Kush CBD strain is an indica-dominant hybrid that is grown from breeding Pre’98 Bubba Kush with CBD Mother. Being an indica-based hybrid, this strain has a sedating effect, ideal for pain relief and as a sleeping aid.

Bubba Kush CBD contains a wide range of terpenes, the three most prevalent are: β-Caryophyllene, β-Farnesene and Limonene. The flowers are dense, dark and have an earthy aroma.

Tested to contain 12.8% CBD and 0.37% THC. Tested for pesticide contamination.

Free US shipping and 5% off Bubba Kush buds from Dr.Ganja with the code: hempCBDoil

GramsPriceApprox CBDprice / mg 
3.5$30.00448mg$0.067 Order
7$43.00896mg$0.048 Order

Cascade CBD Flower

Cascade is a terpene rich strain of cannabis containing alpha pinene, beta caryophyllene and geranyl Acetate. Terpenes are organic compounds found in plants which contribute to its fragrance and therapeutic potential. For example, caryophyllene, found in cascade CBD flower, black pepper and leafy greens has anti inflammatory and gastro-protective qualities – source

Cascade CBD Flower has been tested to contain 14.39% CBD and less than .3% Delta 9 THC.

Free US shipping and 5% off Cascade buds from Dr.Ganja with the code: hempCBDoil

GramsPriceApprox CBDprice / mg 
1$12.00143.9mg$0.083 Order
3.5$25.00503.65mg$0.05 Order
7$39.001007.30mg$0.039 Order
14$75.002014.6mg$0.037 Order
28.3 (1oz)$95.004072.37mg$0.023 Order

Lifter CBD strain

Lifter CBD is a balanced hybrid strain resulting from breeding Suver Haze with Early Resin Berry. The mix of both sativa and indica qualities makes it suitable for both day and night use, providing relief without the drowsiness of a pure indica or stimulation of a purebred sativa.

The most dominant terpenes in the strain are caryophyllene, myrcene, farnesene resulting in a predominantly earthy aroma with subtle floral notes. Similarly, the taste is woody and slightly sweet.

Tested to contain 18.3% cbd + cbda and under 0.3% THC.

Free US shipping and 5% off Lifter CBD from Dr.Ganja with the code: hempCBDoil

GramsPriceApprox CBDprice / mg 
1$12.00183mg$0.066 Order
3.5$25.00640.5mg$0.039 Order
7$39.001281mg$0.030 Order
28.3 (1oz)$95.005179mg$0.018 Order

Pineberry CBD Flower

Pineberry is a CBD rich cannabis strain created by cross breeding the two strains Ringo’s Gift and Early Resin Berry. It contains 17.03% CBD and less than .3% Delta 9 THC. As suggested by it’s name, Pineberry buds are very aromatic, this is due to it’s impressive terpene profile. The terpenes it contains include:

  • Alpha Pinene
  • Beta Myrcene
  • Beta Caryophyllene
  • Delta Limonene
  • Delta Humulene
  • Geranyl Acetate

Free US shipping and 5% off Pineberry CBD Flower from Dr.Ganja with the code: hempCBDoil

GramsPriceApprox CBDprice / mg 
1$12.00170.3mg$0.070 Order
3.5$25.00596.05mg$0.042 Order
7$39.001192.1mg$0.033 Order
14$75.002384.2mg$0.031 Order
28.3 (1oz)$95.004819.49mg$0.018 Order

CBD Strain: Otto

Otto, originally named One to One, is a sativa dominant strain with varying genetics, which means that Otto crops have varying cannabinoid concentrations depending on where they are sourced.

The batch currently being sold contains 14.4% CBD and contains less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. The Otto flower is typically large and has an earthy, sweet pine aroma. It is known for relieving inflammation, pain, spasms, stress and headaches.

Free US shipping and 5% off Otto buds from Dr.Ganja with the code: hempCBDoil

GramsPriceApprox CBDprice / mg 
1$10.00144mg$0.069 Order
5$29.00720mg$0.04 Order
7$39.001008mg$0.039 Order
28.3 (1oz)$90.004082.33mg$0.022 Order

CBD Strain: Elektra

A relatively new strain tested at 15.4% CBD and < 0.3% THC. Elektra strains produce very aromatic and dense flowers. Electra is a cross breed between the famous ACDC strain and ERB.

ACDC: is a sativa-dominant strain containing 19% CBD with a THC:CBD ratio of 1:20. Know for relaxing effects and for relieving for stress and pain. ACDC is used to breed many of the high CBD content strains on the market today such as Elektra.

Free US shipping and 5% off Elektra buds from Dr.Ganja with the code: hempCBDoil

GramsPriceApprox CBDprice / mg 
1$10.00154mg$0.065 Order
5$29.00770mg$0.038 Order
7$39.001078mg$0.036 Order
28.3 (1oz)$85.004366mg$0.019 Order

CBD pre rolls

Juicy Fruit CBD joints

Pre rolled CBD joints are the easiest way to try dosing with hemp buds as everything is prepared for you.

These pre rolls each contain 1 gram of Juicy Fruit hemp flower. This would be a particularly large dose for a single person, especially one new to dosing CBD; smoking part of the joint and saving any remaining is feasible.

Juicy Fruit is a sativa strain with a sweet aroma and fruity taste. Being a sativa, this strain has an energizing effect. Tested at 15.05% CBD and contains less than 0.3% THC.

Free US shipping and 5% off CBD pre rolls from Dr.Ganja with the code: hempCBDoil

GramsPriceApprox CBDprice / mg 
1$12.00150.5mg$0.079 Order
2$22.00301mg$0.073 Order
3$30.00451.5mg$0.066 Order

How Different CBD strains are created

Breeders are able to create strains of cannabis with different traits and compositions. The process involves years of genetic selection and crossbreeding between plants that possess desired traits for generations.

In addition to different amounts and ratios of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids, breeders are also looking to manipulate many other traits, including:

  • Plant size and yield
  • Adaptability and resistance to disease
  • Productivity and seed production
  • Flower traits, such as their shape, color, size, aroma, flavour and resin quality

How much CBD is in a gram of hemp flower

One gram of hemp flower will contain between 100 – 200mg of CBD depending on the concentration of CBD in the strain of plant. Concentrations of cannabinoids are often advertised as percentages. I.e. A strain with a CBD concentration of 17% would contain 170mg in a gram of flower.

CBD flower

How to use Hemp buds

Hemp buds or CBD flower can be used to dose CBD in a number of various ways, each with their own advantages and drawbacks. Here are some important things to keep in mind if you decide to take hemp buds, regardless of what method of administration you choose:

  • CBD activation: All methods of dosing using hemp buds involve heating the plant matter e.g. vaporizing, smoking or cooking. The act of heating ‘activates’ the cannabinoids. Consuming raw hemp buds is highly inefficient, as very little CBD can be absorbed by the body in this way.
  • Natural – no additives: Dosing using hemp flowers is a natural and pure way to access CBD. The plant matter hasn’t been processed and no other material has been added to the product. For this reason, hemp buds may be the most suitable CBD option for those who are allergic to common carrying agents, which are often used in CBD oil products.
  • Difficult to dose: A drawback of using hemp flowers is that it’s much harder to calculate a specific dose of CBD in milligrams compared to CBD oil or capsules. Despite this, the strategy of starting with a low dose, i.e. vaping or smoking a small amount and slowly increasing to feel desired effect, is still applicable.

Vaping CBD flower

This method involves using a dry herb atomizer (a type of vape) to heat the CBD buds to a certain temperature, allowing the cannabinoids to be inhaled as a vapor. Vaping CBD flower is a fast acting, effective and an affordable way to dose CBD.

Vaping flowers or buds is highly effective, as it has a higher rate of absorption compared to smoking or digesting. It’s more healthy than smoking the flower, and the plant matter isn’t combusting so you’re not inhaling any smoke matter. There are also no potential risks resulting from the thinning agents in e-juice.

The drawback of vaping CBD flower is the requirement to buy and maintain a dry herb atomizer/vaporizer.

Administration steps:
These are generic notes, we recommend checking your device’s specific instructions in addition.

  1. Break apart or grind the hemp buds using a herb grinder, as this will increase the surface area of the plant matter that is exposed to heat.
  2. Fill the vaporizing device with the ground buds. You can experiment with quantity of plant matter and how tightly you pack the chamber. Ensure the bottom of the chamber closest to the heat source is covered with ground herb, yet be wary of over packing.
  3. To maximise absorption, inhale vapor slowly for about 10 seconds before taking another breath of fresh air and then exhale slowly.
  4. When first starting, begin with a small dose to see how your body responds. As with other forms of CBD administration, each user will prefer different doses and frequency of use.

Smoking hemp buds

Combusting hemp buds and inhaling the smoke results in CBD being absorbed into the bloodstream via the lungs. It’s an effective way to absorb CBD, but comes with the drawback of smoke inhalation, which can be damaging to the respiratory system.

Smoking CBD flower has the advantage of being a familiar feeling for recreational or medicinal marijuana users and cigarette smokers. The only difference between recreational cannabis and hemp buds is the THC and CBD content. This familiar feeling can help users wishing to quit smoking cigarettes or cut back THC consumption.

How much CBD flower should I smoke

Dosage with CBD flower depends on each person and the strain of flower as some are stronger than others. It’s best to start with small doses, one or two puffs of a CBD joint, pipe or vape to determine one’s tolerance to CBD.

Can you smoke hemp

While it’s possible to smoke industrial hemp, it’s not a good idea. There are no beneficial cannabinoids in hemp grown for industrial purposes and may even contain harmful contaminants. To gain any benefit you need specially grown species of hemp with high concentrations of CBD.

Free US shipping and 5% off pre-rolled hemp joints from Dr.Ganja with the code: hempCBDoil

Cooking with CBD flower

Just as recreational cannabis can be used in cooking, hemp buds can be similarly used to make homemade edibles that contain CBD but not the unwanted THC. Once made, edibles are one of the most simple and tasty ways to dose CBD.

CBD edibles take much longer to take effect compared with other dosing methods, approximately 30-90 minutes after eating. The effects, however, last longer. After eating, the body digests the CBD prior to it reaching the bloodstream, meaning the body absorbs less CBD compared to smoking or vaping.

CBD edibles

How to make CBD edibles

There are many methods and recipes for making CBD edibles from cannabis flowers. The same recipes using recreational cannabis containing THC can be replicated with hemp buds. The 2 essential steps of cooking with hemp buds are activating the CBD and extracting it to a carrier. Here’s more detailed information on how to do each of these:

Step 1: decarboxylation
The first step involves gently heating the buds in order to activate the cannabinoids, converting CBDa to CBD. This process is called decarboxylation. As with other aspects of the process, this can be achieved a number of ways. It’s critical that temperatures do not exceed 245° F / 118 °C, because anything above this point will degrade the CBD, resulting in lost potency.

Oven method:

  1. Grind the buds (approx 7 grams – discussed further below) with a herb grinder.
  2. Spread ground bud in a covered casserole dish or on a lined baking tray.
  3. Heat in over for 60-90 minutes at 245° F / 118 °C.
  4. Note: the baking process creates a pungent smell.

Step 2: Extracting the CBD
The next step is to extract the activated CBD into a carrier, for instance butter, ghee or an oil.

Butter in pan method:

  1. Heat the activated (pre-baked) plant material and butter (approx 1 cup – discussed below) very gently for 30 minutes. Do not heat aggressively and do not allow to burn.
  2. Strain the bulk of the plant material from the butter using a sieve.
  3. The remaining butter will be infused with CBD.

Step 3: Using CBD infused butter
The butter remaining from step 2 will be infused with CBD. This butter can be eaten as is or used to replace butter in cookie, brownie or other recipes. When using the butter in further baking or cooking, keep temperature below 315° F (155 °C).

How much bud to use
How much CBD flower and butter to use is dependent on the concentration of CBD flower being used and the desired strength and size of your batch. Below are some examples of quantities used in different recipes. Note that the quantities vary greatly, so you are free to experiment:

  • 7 grams bud per ½ cup butter
  • 7 grams bud per 1 cup butter
  • 1 ounce (28 grams) to 1 pound (2 cups) of butter

Another option is using a large quantity of hemp trim instead of a smaller amount of flower for cooking. ‘Trim’ refers to the excess leaves and plant matter from a cannabis plant. One recipe suggested:

  • 1 ounce trim (28 grams) per every 1/2 pound (1 cup – 227 grams) of butter