Anyone who has been paying attention to health news in recent years will likely have heard about cannabinoids, particularly Cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as CBD.
In essence, CBD is one of the many biochemical compounds that have been identified in cannabis plants, and it has been subject to extensive medical research in recent years. Prior to the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana in various jurisdictions, the phytocannabinoid that attracted most research was Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly abbreviated to THC.
The fact that CBD is finally getting the attention it deserves is good news for people interested in the various health benefits that can be derived from cannabis plants.
Before we get into the therapeutic reasons that make smoking hemp flower a recommended practice, we should first establish the difference between Cannabidiol and THC molecules, which can both be found in flowers of cannabis plants.
Hemp Flower Vs. CBD Oil
There is a strong chance that you have heard more about CBD oil than hemp flower, and this has a lot to do with legalization and commercialization.
Cannabis flowers with higher content of cannabidiol are used to extract oil, but they are not your typical buds from wild marijuana plants and shrubs. Hemp plants are not cultivated in the same fashion as cannabis intended to be used for medicinal or recreational purposes; you need a different strain that yields plenty of THC in order to satisfy the needs of the dispensary market.
Cannabis plants that are high on cannabidiol and low on THC are cultivated for the purpose of providing people with either oil or a flower from Mr Hemp Flower that can be smoked. In order for the bud to become flammable, it has to be grown, harvested, and dried a certain way.
To a certain extent, the cultivation process is similar to that of THC plants, but farmers hold a different operational license. You can safely consume CBD as an oil or as a dried flower; the benefits are very similar, but smoking is preferred by many because of tradition as well as effectiveness.
If you are used to smoking as a social activity, chances are that you will enjoy taking CBD in this manner. For many people, smoking CBD feels more natural because the oil extraction process involves the use of synthetic compounds, thus smoking hemp flower feel more natural.
Now that we have settled the CBD oil vs. hemp flower debate, let’s review their benefits:
Stimulating the Human Endocannabinoid System
Without the endocannabinoid system, we would not be able to feel or enjoy the effects of CBD, THC, or any other cannabinoids; in fact, we would feel pretty miserable because of poor homeostasis.
This complex system is cellular in nature, and it consists of tiny receptors stimulated by cannabinoids that our bodies produce naturally. When cannabis strains are smoked or ingested, these receptors are stimulated and their functions are enhanced.
Homeostasis is a biological process that regulates other biological processes. Our neurotransmitters must operate at certain levels when we manage pain, when we relax, when we try to consciously activate our defenses against illness, and when we need to focus on accomplishing something important.
Our endocannabinoid system is pleasantly stimulated by CBD without having to experience the psychoactive storm caused by THC.
Keeping Bipolar Disorder Under Control
Many mood disorders are intrinsically tied to neurochemical imbalances; this is particularly the case with bipolar disorder, which some people know as extreme “mood swings.”
The antioxidant properties of hemp flowers protect neurotransmitters in a way that they do not trigger signals that can cause our emotions to overreact or misinterpret stressful situations.
To a certain extent, THC can also provide this benefit, but the body cannot easily regulate psychoactive effects, thus making CBD a better option.
Tobacco Smoking Reduction
As unusual as it may seem, smoking hemp flower can help you quit smoking cigarettes. On the surface, this may appear to be counterintuitive or a poor homeopathic treatment, but behavioral addiction researchers are pleased with the results of controlled studies in which test subjects were given placebos to smoke.
Nearly 40% of subjects who smoke cigarettes on a habitual basis reported less cravings based on visual stimulation, which means that they were less likely to reach for another cigarette when they saw someone else smoking.
Patients who live with conditions such as fibromyalgia know that painful episodes may come and go without warning. In some cases, sharp onset pain only lasts a few minutes; in other cases, dull pain sets in for a long haul that is very uncomfortable to manage.
In 2007, pharmaceutical researchers found that occasional doses of CBD compounds were more efficient in reducing the frequency of neuropathic pain episodes in fibromyalgia patients. It should be noted that this is not a fibromyalgia cure, but it helps to improve quality of life for patients who suffer from chronic pain conditions.