“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change." -Buddha
AUTHOR: ARIANA SILVERA
The iconic cannabis leaf has gained popularity over the years and can be found on apparel, products, stickers, etc., but it is actually the flower that carries the largest concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes. These cannabinoids and terpenes hold the medicinal attributes of the cannabis plant and are unlocked when smoking or extracting oils from the flower. To learn more about the effect of cannabinoids on your body, read our post about your endocannabinoid system.
What are the different names for flower?
With so many varying names for flower, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Even though there are hundreds of ways to refer to flower, they all mean the same thing - the sticky buds that are harvested off of the cannabis plant, dried/cured, and later trimmed down to an appealing nug that can be ground and smoked or used for extraction. Here are a few other names you may hear in reference to cannabis flowers:
What are the different ways I can purchase flower?
Loose flower, like these, refers to flowers that have been harvested, dried, trimmed, and packaged for your consumption. Once it is in your hands, you can grind the loose flower and roll a joint, put it in a pipe, or even cook with it! This is a preferred method for many experienced consumers due to its versatility.
Pre-rolls are joints that have been, well, pre-rolled for you. This means that we take the loose flower, grind it, and roll it into joints for you. This is the most convenient option since all you have to do is light it, and smoke it! Pro tip: Make sure your joints are rolled in papers that are free of additives, dyes, etc.. We use Raw papers because they offer a clean, smooth smoke.
So, can I only smoke hemp flower?
Smoking is one of the most effective ways to consume flower (the other is under the tongue, like our tinctures, as it bypasses the digestive process and goes straight into absorption. However, you can also cook with your flower or vape it!
Cooking with hemp flowers requires you to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes into butter or oil. This process is called decarboxylation and you can learn more about that on our How To Guide. Cooking flower is a great option if you're not a smoker and want to find a way to consume your CBD without tasting it too much. Once you convert your flower into oil or butter, you can use it as a substitute in any recipe. You can also use tinctures in recipes that call for oil as well. There are hundreds of recipes and tutorials online that can help you turn your flower into an oil at home! Click here for some simple recipes incorporating CBD.
Vaping your flower would require you to purchase a vaping device. The largest difference between smoking and vaping is that vaping your flower does not take the flower to the point of combustion, while smoking it would. Vaping devices can be quite expensive but are a great investment if you want the effectiveness of smoking without the harsh feeling from the smoke. To use a vape device, you would grind your flower and put it into the device’s flower chamber, which is essentially a small oven. The device will then warm the oven enough to create a vapor but not smoke. This allows you to get all of the benefits of your flower without burning it and being harsh on your lungs.
How do I know if I am purchasing high-quality flower?
There are multiple factors that go into cultivating high-quality flower. The flower must be taken care of from the quality of the soil all the way to consumption. Ask yourself the following questions next time you are going to purchase hemp flower.
Where was it grown?
The first step is knowing your source. Oftentimes, companies are selling you flower that has been sitting in a warehouse across the country before it ever gets shipped to you. The supplier doesn’t know the farmer, which means they don’t know the amount of care that went into the growing process. There could also be mold growing in your flower from waiting in a humid environment. Our flower has received its “Fresh from Florida” certification since it is grown in Florida by local farmers that care for the plant every step of the way.
Are there lab results?
In the state of Florida, a certificate of analysis (COA)is required. A COA will show you if there are pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, microbials and much more. If you are buying hemp flower in Florida and it doesn’t have a QR code or link to the COA, it is not compliant with state regulations. While other states may not require COA’s, it is still a good practice to ask. Although consumers should be concerned that the products cannabinoid content is as reported, these other contaminants should be a larger concern for many. You’d be surprised with what could be in your products.
How does it appeal to your 5 senses?
- Look - High-quality flower should be a nice green, with small crystals surrounding the buds. Stay away from dull, brown, flowers that look smushed or damp. Visible seeds are also a no-no.
- Touch - The buds should feel dry and sticky to the touch. If the buds feel moist, they were not dried properly.
- Smell - Depending on the terpene profile, flower can smell very different. It may be piney, peppery, lemoney, etc.. There isn’t a specific smell that you want, but you do want to make sure that scent is potent.
- Taste - Your flower should taste like it’s terpene profile and smooth. Flower that has a bitter, rough taste may mean that there are seeds or stems present.
- Hear - While your flower shouldn’t be speaking to you, you do want to hear a nice crackle/crunch when you’re grinding it. This means that it was cured very well!