With the changes at state and federal levels regarding the legality of hemp, CBD flower is now more available online and in local shops. Those new to hemp flower are often marijuana users looking for an alternative that doesn’t involve a “high” and those who didn’t have success with traditional CBD oil products.
One of the most common questions we get regarding hemp flower is “does smoking CBD flower get you high?” Quite frankly, the answer isn’t exactly a straight yes or no.
What Makes Cannabis Psychoactive?
The intoxicating effects of cannabis come from the presence of THC. THC is responsible for causing a user to “get high” if it is in significant enough amounts. How high one gets can vary depending on the method of consumption, the amount of THC, the presence of other cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as the individual’s tolerance level. Someone with a lower tolerance can experience intoxicating effects from very little amounts of THC, while someone with a higher tolerance may require a lot more.
The presence of other cannabinoids can both enhance, or reduce, intoxicating effects. CBD, for example, is largely considered an “anti-THC” molecule. It is thought to be able to reverse intoxicating effects and is commonly used to help calm a high that has gotten out of hand. Products that contain both THC and CBD in equal amounts may still produce intoxicating effects, but they will likely be much less pronounced and less overwhelming.
When an individual smokes or vapes flower, the THCa in the plant is converted to the psychoactive THC form through a process called decarboxylation. This is important to know because the plant itself does not produce THC. Instead, it produces something called THCa. THCa is the non-psychoactive acid precursor. The same can be said for CBD and CBDa.
Is Hemp Flower Psychoactive?
By law, hemp is cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC. But there is much debate regarding the legality surrounding the THCa level. Most hemp flower that you can find online does contain less than 0.3% THC. But more notably, the flower also often contains more than 0.3% of THCa. Not knowing to look at THCa content on lab tests can lead some users to think their hemp flower is completely free of THC and any psychoactive effects.
The psychoactive effects of hemp flower is significantly less than marijuana flower. This is because the THCa and THC content is lower and the CBD content is higher. It’s possible to feel psychoactive effects, but they are usually quite mild and muted. The user may feel more calm and relaxed but is typically able to remain fully functional.
If you are wanting the benefits of hemp flower but want to avoid most of the potential psychoactive effects, look at the 3rd party lab tests and choose strains that are low in both THC and THCa. Minimizing the amount of THCa in the flower will reduce the amount that can decarb and convert into THC.