Hemp is a variant of Cannabis Sativa plant species. Thus, hemp flower refers to the flower on a female hemp plant. The dried buds of hemp flower are rich in cannabidiol or CBD and low in tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. CBD and THC are two of many cannabinoids produced by members of Cannabis Sativa species. CBD does not affect the cognitive activity of the brain, unlike THC. THC is present in very high quantities of marijuana. Thus, hemp flower does not give a high, which is associated with marijuana. CBD found in the buds of hemp flower is non-psychoactive.
The buds of hemp flower are rich in therapeutic cannabidiol. The percentage of CBD in a bud is 14%-20% while the THC content is just 0.3%. The combination of high CBD and low THC makes it beneficial for health. This because high CBD means the hemp flower has good medicinal value while low THC ensures that one doesn’t get high on consuming it. Hemp flower buds also contain terpenes, aromatic molecules, fatty acids, proteins and minerals. Many other types of cannabinoids are also present in the buds of hemp flowers which have various medicinal benefits.
All varieties of hemp flowers do not contain the same levels of CBD. A particular percentage of CBD is associated with each strain of hemp plant. Farmers grow specially bred hemp plants which have bigger buds containing high levels of CBD and low levels of THC.
The beneficial effects of various cannabinoids in hemp flowers are as follows.
- CBD is the main cannabinoid present in hemp flower buds. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system of the body. This system is responsible for homeostasis, the process by which the body maintains a stable state by regulating temperature, blood pressure and other vital parameters. CBD supports homeostasis by indirectly interacting with the CB receptors. CBD has anti-inflammatory properties which help in managing chronic pain, inflammation and stress. CBD also helps in relieving anxiety. The neuroprotective properties of CBD help in providing relief from epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. Other pathological conditions which can be managed by CBD include post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorder, depression and diabetes.
- CBG cannabinoid is anti-bacterial and also reduces pain and inflammation. It is non-psychoactive.
- CBDA is a precursor to CBD which reduces pain and inflammation due to its possible interaction with cyclooxygenase enzyme.
- CBC helps in bone growth and prevents the growth of abnormal cells. This cannabinoid also has an anti-bacterial effect and reduces pain and inflammation.
- Terpenes have a plethora of beneficial effects such as anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and neuroprotective effects.
How is CBD extracted from Hemp Flower
CBD extracted from hemp flowers can be consumed in a plethora of ways such as smokables, vape juices, edibles, tinctures, CBD oils, hemp cigarettes and ointments. There are many methods of CBD extraction. Two of the common methods of extracting CBD from hemp flowers have been mentioned here.
- CO2 extraction method uses carbon dioxide as an agent to extract CBD from hemp flower. The method is supercritical when the temperature of CO2 is above 88 degrees F and pressure is 1083 psi while the method is supercritical when the temperature is below 88 degrees F.
- High-grade ethanol can also be used to extract CBD from hemp flower. Ethanol can be either at room temperature or supercooled.
Even though the full benefits of hemp flower is yet to be discovered, it has already emerged as a good option for farmers in terms of earning money while being beneficial for consumers due to its known therapeutic properties.