CannabisIRL 101: Smoking CBD
by Dan Larkin.
CannabisIRL 101 takes a closer look at smoking CBD. Sure, we all know that CBD is everywhere now. It’s available in malls, gas stations, grocery stores and on-line. You can slater it on in lotions, rub it on in creams, drink it in a beverage, or soak it up in your bath.
Of course, there’s also vaping. We’ve all heard by now about the dangers of bootleg vaping devices and that includes bootleg, unlicensed CBD carts too. So, just stay away from that. Only buy from licensed, inspected, and/or reputable legal sources.
There is, however, another way to ingest CBD that seems to have escaped a lot of new CBD consumers. And it’s one that should seem obvious but so far has not caught on. I’m talking about smoking CBD.
What do you mean by “smoking CBD”?
What exactly do I mean by “smoking CBD”? Good question. You see, CBD is a constituent of the cannabis plant. Other constituents include THC, CBG, CBN, terpenes, and many more. (Over 150 identified, so far.) But for the sake of this CannabisIRL101, when I say “smoking CBD”, I’m talking about smoking dried hemp flowers.
Hemp is, of course, cannabis. It’s just, generally speaking, the cannabis that contains very little THC but a lot of CBD. Again, I’m talking in general terms here. So let’s focus on smoking hemp that is CBD-dominant, with less than .3% THC.
Why would I want to smoke CBD?
So, why would you want to smoke CBD? I mean, first of all, it won’t get you “high” and second, isn’t smoking bad for you? I mean, I smoked what we called “ditch weed” a few times back in the day without knowing it was hemp, and it didn’t do anything for me. So, why would I want to smoke it now?
Well, for one thing, smoking CBD (CBD-dominant hemp) can deliver it to your bloodstream very quickly. In fact, a study, Human Cannabinoid Pharmacokinetics, which was published in 2017, found that it took approximately 3 minutes for smoked CBD to reach its “peak concentration” in the body’s plasma. That means its effects are virtually immediate.
Compare that to ingesting CBD from a food or beverage product where the CBD has wind its way through your digestive tract and then it has to be metabolized through your liver. That process takes roughly 90 minutes. That’s an hour and a half of waiting for relief that may be unbearable in some cases.
CBD creams, lotions, and other topicals can also take up to 90 minutes to be fully absorbed into your bloodstream and be fully bioavailable. So, while there can be an immediate effect topically, on your skin (because of all the cannabinoid receptors in your dermis), the full effect will still take time.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a Boomer. (OK, Boomer) I use CBD tinctures and creams to take away some of my aches and pains and have been thrilled with the results. But, if you want or need a faster-acting, virtually immediate effect from your CBD, smoking is an option you should consider.
How should I smoke CBD?
How you choose to smoke CBD is really up to you. If you’re a regular consumer of cannabis, you probably have one or two methods of ingestion that you prefer. If you’re new to the idea, here are the simplest methods to try.
One of the easiest methods is to roll a “joint”. Well, I mean it’s an easy method if you can indeed roll a joint!. Not everyone can, but if you are somewhat dexterous and have rolling papers you can get a tutorial from YouTube.
Or, buy a nice glass pipe or bong. They are available on-line, in dispensaries, and even in what we used to call “head shops”. Of course, there are also lots of specialty glass stores where you can sometimes find hand-blown glassware, including pipes and bongs that elevate them to a level of art suitable for displaying in your home. But to each their own as far as that goes.
These are definitely not the only methods. Seriously, an apple would suffice as a “McGyver’ ed” pipe in a pinch! I’m sure many of you experienced smokers have lots of creative ways to smoke CBD or whatever, right? There are methods like “dabbing” that involve using CBD isolates but that’s more of a CannabisIRL 201 level topic for another day.
What should I expect after smoking CBD?
Let’s assume you’ve rolled a decent CBD joint, purchased a pre-rolled joint, or have packed a bowl or bong with your favorite hemp flower. Now you are about to light it up and inhale the smoke. What should you expect?
The answer to that question will vary from person to person, naturally, because we are all different. We all have our own distinct physiology and our endocannabinoid systems (the system that receives the cannabinoids like CBD into your body) are all unique as well.
Other factors that will affect what you feel and experience would include the amount of CBD and other constituents in the hemp itself. Each compound works in concert with the others to produce a broad spectrum of effects. This is called the “entourage effect”. SO, when buying hemp flower for smoking, be sure to ask questions and ask to see a Certificate of Analysis that will break out specifically what compounds are in your product.
But let’s again, talk generally about what you will probably feel from smoking CBD. While CBD won’t get you high, it has been known to provide a sense of calm, relaxation, and well-being. It can make some people feel sleepy, relaxed, happy, or even energetic. The main benefit for people in pain or suffering from other ailments or medical conditions is that it often works immediately to wipe out symptoms or lessen them to a greater degree than other delivery methods.
While there aren’t any serious side effects reported with CBD, you could experience nausea, fatigue, or irritability if you smoke too much. So like the sage advice you probably have heard regarding other cannabis products, remember to start “Low and Slow” until you know.
CannabisIRL 101: Smoking CBD Conclusion
So, that’s CannabisIRL 101: Smoking CBD. Now we’d like to hear from you. Will you try smoking CBD? What are your thoughts or questions about it? Are you a “seasoned pro” who already incorporates smoking CBD into your life? Share your experiences and advice with the rest of us at info@CannabisIRL.com or in the comments sections. Let’s keep learning together about all the great things cannabis has to offer.
Want to read more CannabisIRL articles about CBD? you’ll find them here.