Alright, we’re on the bandwagon and have given CBD flower a serious try. It took me a while to accept smoking something that didn’t get me high but in January, after having worked and reviewed CBD products for over 3 years I finally felt it was time to do an in-depth CBD flower tasting.
These is the best CBD flower I tried and how the buds made me feel.
I am not going to lie and say that I will change my regular cannabis for smokable hemp flower but I can in all honesty say that smoking premium CBD buds offer a unique and delightful break from high-THC flower.
What’s the deal with low-THC flower?
If you have visited a cannabis dispensary any time in the past years and bought a bag of high-THC buds, you doubtlessly know how powerful recreational cannabis has gotten.
High-THC can be great but for many people it hits too hard and just one or two puffs send them to the moon in a paranoia-infested spaceship.
While the cannabis industry has focused on breeding more and more potent weed with as high THC content as possible, another revolution has taken place in the hemp industry where skilled hemp farmers successfully created stable low-THC and very CBD-rich flower with incredible flavor and mellow effects without the high.
These high-CBD strains are being taken to the next level by CBD companies that invested in farming methods and techniques that were previously only used by cannabis growers. They are now able to produce connoisseur grade CBD flower that is federally legal and can be purchased online in (almost) every state in the United States.
The 10 best CBD strains
To make this review I tried a wide array of buds and have found a selection of can’t miss hemp strains that always seem to hit the spot.
When you browse the web you’ll notice that a lot of the popular strains are the same across all of the best CBD flower companies. That is due to the many rules and regulations regarding lab testing and cannabinoid content that only the most stable genetics make the cut to grow smokable hemp.
1. Sour Space Candy
Unparalleled flavor & effects
Sour Space Candy is an OG in the hemp flower world. It is the strain that I find has the most consistent quality and best flavor out of all top-shelf CBD buds.
The genetics come from Oregon CBD which is the leading hemp genetics company in the US. You will find that a lot of the strains on this list (and in online stores) are created by Oregon CBD.
It’s a pretty sexy strain as far as hemp flower goes. The buds are big, dense and bright green with orange pistils and nice trichome formations. It is citrusy, piney and sweet with hints of sour candies and cherries.
Sour Space Candy is my “best in class” for its uplifting effects and marvellous flavor profile.
2. Bubba Kush
Will put your ass right to sleep
Bubba Kush causes some confusion in among smokers since is shares its name with the classic cannabis strain. Thanks to Oregon CBD it is now also available as a CBD hemp flower strain with similar sedating effects and heady body feeling.
Bubba is my go-to strain for the evening. It’s like having a glass of wine or whiskey to end the day and let anxious thoughts melt away.
The flavor is pretty bold and heavy and is probably the most similar to regular cannabis out of all the strains that I have tried.
Mood boosting energy shot
Lifter is a high cannabinoid CBD bud and if probably one of the most potent strains available. The flavor is full of pine and woody notes with smooth smoke and very good effect.
As far as effects goes, I would compare it to Sour Space Candy but with a bit more mental clarity. Lifter is a nice strain for smoking in the morning and the daytime while working. I like smoking Lifter while I am writing for its focusing effects.
The buds are very big and beautiful with bright green color and yellowish pistils.
4. Special Sauce
The people’s champ
Special Sauce seems to be the peoples favorite. It’s the strain with the most powerful effect over all in my opinion. When I hit my Special Sauce pre-rolls at night I sleep like a log.
Instantly after smoking a Special Sauce joint I can feel my eyes get heavy and my thoughts just kind of get quiet. It creates a strange feeling of entering into a trance without being high.
The flavors are bold and earthy with notes of cinnamon and chocolate. The taste is pretty nice but the effects really is where the magic is at.
5. Magic Bullet
Shoot anxiety between the eyes
Magic Bullet is pretty similar to Special Sauce in effects. Quick hitting, heavy and sedating with strong body feeling that makes every touch feel like getting caressed with a silk cloth.
It is a CBD-rich strain with high cannabinoid content that promotes something called the entourage effect in which the sum of all the cannabinoids, terpenes and plant material gives a greater effect than the each individual part can produce on its own.
When I share buds with friends, most people gravitated to Magic Bullet and said that it was their favorite.
Your everyday fu** the world strain
Elektra is another terpene-rich CBD flower strain that works well during the daytime and mornings. The flavor is really fun and different with sweet and spicy notes that are smooth and easy on the throat.
It is probably the most mellow of all the strains I have smoked. It creates a great anti-anxiety feeling of calm and presence of mind while leaving you alert and awake. I found that Elektra works perfectly for mixing with regular cannabis to create a long lasting smooth high without causing any of that high-THC paranoia.
7. Hawaiian Haze
A trip to a tropical paradise
Hawaiian Haze has a great terpene profile and smells absolutely wonderful. I would keep a few buds around the house just to keep the aroma present at all times.
It is sweet and tropical and fruity with buds that smell like cannabis mixed with sweet jasmines. Someone should make a perfume out of it.
The effects are mellow and smooth. Not that hard shot to the head that you get from Magic Bullet or Sour Space Candy but it is still nice. It feels uplifting and fresh and like a CBD strain you can smoke more than one joint of without it being too much. Hawaiian Haze is the Bud Light of hemp flower. It always hits the spot.
A trip to flavor country
Abacus and Cherry Abacus are two sibling strains that I have come to really like for their relaxing effects. The flavor is of cherries and pine needles and the effects are heavy and couch locky without hitting too much in the head.
If you are not looking to instantly to sleep but rather to put you in the right state of mind for a relaxing evening, I would recommend Cherry Abacus.
Casino Cookies is dope! It would make it higher up on the list but the price per pre-roll is a little steep for everyday consumption. I smoke Casino Cookies like a fine cigar with a glass of rum.
The aroma is fantastic and the effects are creeping and well rounded. It’s like a soft slow summer breeze that removes anything uncomfortable and leaves you confident, relaxed and feeling like your best self.
I would like to have a bunch of Casino Cookies pre-rolls ready for social events. Smoking one with a buddy sets the mood in a perfect place for a really chill and good night.
10. White CBG
A different experience all together
So I am on the fence about CBG flower. The effects really aren’t as nice as CBD flower and the smell and flavor are different too. From what I understand, people generally smoke CBG buds for the focusing effects and for its anti-inflammatory properties.
CBG flower is essentially hemp buds that are low in CBD but high in CBG (cannabigerol) which is the “mother” or “stem cell” cannabinoid. It’s the precursor to other cannabinoids.
After reading up on the health benefits of CBG I got more interested and excited about it but I don’t think I would consume it as smokable hemp flower. I would prefer to make my own edible products and tinctures with the loose buds for its healing benefits.
Best CBD flower companies of 2021
At Cannaverse Solutions we know that starting a business in today’s CBD market is very difficult and requires both business savvy and a lot of hustle.
Saying that, I want to highlight that there are a few companies that stand out as CBD flower vendors for their superior quality, price and/or customer service and experience. I also urge you to do your own research and find the vendor that works best for you.
My recommendations based on personal experience and research include (in no particular order):
- Secret Nature (CA)
- Green Unicorn Farms (CA)
- Golden Eagle Farms (CA)
- CannaFlower (VT)
- Plain Jane (OR)
- Monrow Farms (OR)
- Horn Creek Hemp (OR)
- Jaxon (OR)
- Eight Horses Hemp (NY)
- WNC CBD (NC)
Since the smokable hemp flower industry is fairly new you are bound to get a lot of opportunist businesses trying to make a quick buck. I recommend that you ask yourself these questions before you pick a CBD flower brand to buy from:
Where the company is located?
Try to shop local
Do they give back to the industry?
Giving back is a sign of higher purpose than just $$$
Are they available when you reach out to them?
Via phone, email, live chat during local office hours
Do they actively educate about CBD?
Are they just pushing products or are they helping you learn more?
Are lab reports easy to find?
They should be easy to locate for all products
What are the actual effects of smokable hemp?
So how does it feel to smoke CBD flower? Well as you saw above, the effects vary quite a lot from strain to strain but overall the feeling is very relaxing, anti-anxiety and relieving. The biggest difference between the strains is that some make you really sleepy while others make you clear-headed and awake.
I do understand what the hype is all about and I can see myself keeping a few jars of my favorite buds around in case I cannot sleep or if I feel my mind racing with anxiety.
The difference in effects come down to the terpenes and the cannabinoid content in each strain.
How does it feel to smoke CBD?
Overall, smoking CBD flower is a very interesting experience. I like mixing the CBD with THC to get a personalized joint with a balanced and smooth high.
Smoking pure CBD creates a strange body high and a very mellow and relaxing feeling that is difficult to describe. It’s almost as if you are about to get high and then it stops short just before it reaches the head. You feel your entire being melt and blood flow starts rushing to your head and pulses down your body.
Personally I enjoy smoking it at night after a workout. I feel like it creates a very relaxing feeling in the muscles and it really helps with calming racing thoughts that usually cause me to have trouble falling asleep.
I find that smoking too much high THC flower at night makes me wake up with cotton-mouth in the middle of the night and the high makes it difficult to fall back asleep. CBD flower on the other hand just knocks me out cold.
Terpenes & cannabinoids
The terpenes and cannabinoids are what gives each strain its unique effect. The blend of cannabinoids interact with your endocannabinoid system which in turn regulates your body’s way to handle pain, sleep, inflammation and much more. It is the system that keeps your body in homeostasis (balance).
The terpenes give further health benefits and the full terpene profile are what create the flavor profiles of each strain.
Legal status of hemp flower
Hemp flower is legal on a federal level but has some caveats. Some states have banned the retail sale of (obviously) smokable CBD flower. Obviously because pre-rolls can really only be used for smoking while loose CBD buds can be used to make tea and edibles.
You can usually get CBD flower shipped to your home where ever you live in the US though as long as the THC levels remains below the legal limit 0.3% Delta-9 THC.
Hemp (or industrial hemp) is limited to 0.3% Delta-9 THC in order to classify as hemp plants. Anything over that and the plant is reclassified as a cannabis plant. Technically though, hemp is the same as cannabis sativa plants (type L.)
The new ruling (April 2021) forces all NEW harvests to contain 0.3% total THC instead of Delta-9 THC. This seemingly small change in legislation may have massive impact on the cultivation process that hemp farmers use in the future. It is a step back in the growth of the CBD industry and will likely have some push back.
Why the lab reports?
When you buy CBD flower you need to make sure that the vendor has easily accessible lab reports (or COA’s – Certificate of Analysis) available on their website. Most of the best CBD flower companies will also add the COA to your shipment along with a letter to law enforcement. This is done as a way to prove that the content of the package is legal for shipping and receiving.
The lab reports contain information about:
- Terpene content
- Cannabinoid content
- Moisture content
What about Delta-8 THC 🤯
Delta-8 THC has become all the rage as of 2020 when people found out that it can be derived from legal hemp plants, remain under the legal limit of 0.3% Delta-9 THC and still produces a pretty similar high to Delta-9.
Delta-8 THC gives you a nice buzz that feels like a softer version of regular cannabis but with less paranoia and more functionality. The psychoactive effects are powerful and relaxing without getting you super high.
There is a growing concern that Delta-8 THC will create push back from legislators who see D8 as too similar to cannabis with intoxicating drug like effects that need further federal regulation.
In the short term, many people turn to D8 THC for it’s therapeutic effects on both health and chronic pain.
Undisputed Δ8 THC Kings
Hempire Direct has made quite the splash on the CBD and D8 THC market since early 2020. Their flamboyant style and rowdy, fun and frankly pretty crazy marketing has earned them both fame and shame.
There is no denying that Hempire Direct moved the needle for putting Delta-8 THC front and center in the media when they sued the DEA for their (attempted) ruling to keep D8 illegal. With support from old school rapper Redman and a fleet of exotic delivery cars in Miami, they are your best choice for legal THC (almost) nationwide.
Buy their delicious Delta-8 THC edibles and feel how crazy the effects really are. Unless you are a hard core cannabis consumer you will most definitely get a nice smooth and relaxing high out of these!
🇺🇸 Legal to buy online without medical card
In closing I will say that CBD flower deserves some of the hype that it is getting on Reddit and in the cannabis community. It offers a wide range of health benefits and medical benefits as well as true smoking pleasure.
I personally enjoy the sense of calm and sense of euphoria along with the therapeutic benefits of pain relief and enhanced sleep.
I definitely recommend trying CBD flower for anyone who enjoys smoking and who experiences from paranoia when smoking cannabis. And to people who suffers from sleep problems, anxiety or pain and who need fast acting relief.