If you’ve never smoked hemp buds in the past, you may be surprised to learn that more than 400 strains of the plant exist, and each one offers different benefits in terms of potency, flavor, aroma, and effects. To help you narrow down your search, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 CBD buds you can purchase online.
Legal Status of Consuming Hemp in 2021
In recent years, hemp flower has entered the scene as a popular way to experience the benefits of cannabis without any of the “high” feelings that come with marijuana because of the elevated tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) levels in marijuana strains.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp* (containing less than 0.3% of THC) at the federal level, and hemp flower is now legal to grow in 46 states across the United States (a special licence may be needed in some states).
All states except Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and South Dakota allow hemp production, while the status of the sale and consumption of CBD and hemp products is a “confusing patchwork” between various state regulations and those of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as of February 2021.
Be sure to find out the laws in your state. Be aware also that the FDA distinguishes between applying hemp-derived products topically and ingesting them in edible products or supplements.
Smoking CBD and CBG is Gaining in Popularity
CBD has taken the world by storm over the past ten years. While CBD oils, gummies, and topical creams have topped the market in popularity, smokable hemp flower has begun making its breakthrough in the last three years.
Smokable hemp offers a very different experience from smoking marijuana since hemp by legal definition contains less than 0.3% of THC and therefore creates no psychoactive effect. Smoking pure hemp buds is also the quickest way to get CBD into your bloodstream making it a popular alternative for people with acute need for CBD.
The market for both CBD hemp flower (cannabidiol) and CBG hemp flower (cannabigerol) has grown tremendously and is projected to continue growing as more people learn the benefits of smokable CBD flower. Also, because hemp flower is hemp in its most natural form, you can enjoy the benefits of CBD and CBG without any of the additives, artificial fillers, and sugars you might find in other hemp products.
Smokable hemp flower is an excellent choice for CBD or CBG purists who want a potent, relaxing CBD or CBG flower product that produces a range of health benefits. Hemp flower is also a convenient, easy solution for new users to dive into the CBD or CBG world without risking any of the psychoactive effects of high-THC cannabis.
As a bonus, people who previously smoked cigarettes have found that switching to smokable hemp flower instead has helped them drop their tobacco habit. Hemp flower contains zero additives, making it a healthier, safer choice compared to cigarettes or vaping.
Hemp flower has grown in popularity for all the right reasons, and if you’re interested in trying it for yourself, these are the strains you should consider first.
10 Best CBD Flower Strains of 2021
Make sure to consider the time-of-day you will consume the hemp buds. Some strains will energize you while some will make you feel sleepy so plan your consumption accordingly.
If you are still not sure which strain to pick after reading our recommendations, you can complete this CBD strain quiz to get a personalized suggestion.
1. Sour Space Candy
Expect over 17% CBD and 22% total cannabinoids, making it one of the most potent hemp flower varieties on the market. Its scent and flavor live up to its name, containing elements of citrus, tropical fruit, and a hint of cherry. Many customers compare its flavor profile to sour candies, and its sharp, sweet taste can help you feel more alert and energetic.
Sour space Candy has two dominant terpenes: limonene and pinene. Both these terpenes help you feel motivated, clear minded, and energetic. We recommend this strain for daytime use — smoking a joint before work or a day of cleaning can keep you on task and brighten your mood.
Lifter CBD nugs contain over 17% CBD and 20% total cannabinoids, giving it a strong potency compared to a lot of other hemp strains. It offers a sweet, piny aroma with hints of grape, lemon and diesel. Its buds are beautifully dense with sticky trichomes and orange pistils.
This industrial hemp flower is one of the most popular in the United States because of its inviting flavor profile and peaceful, uplifting feeling.
It’s a perfect hemp strain for daytime use, giving you creativity and focus while keeping you calm and relaxed at the same time. The blend of organic terpenes gives this hemp flower a unique energy that can help you start your morning right and stay focused throughout the day.
3. Bubba Kush
Bubba Kush is a CBD flower strain with a medium-high CBD content, heavily sedating properties, and an exotic flavor profile. This high-quality hemp strain is a crossbreed between the pre-’98 classic Bubba Kush and an unknown Indica strain.
Bubba Kush usually contains around 15% CBD and 16% total cannabinoids. This industrial hemp flower is a popular strain among hemp purists, and because it has a lower CBD content than other strains on our list, its dosage is perfect for anyone new to the CBD game.
Bubba Kush contains an enjoyable flavor profile and aroma, featuring hints of coffee, chocolate, and coconut with a spicy and citrusy finish. Its terpene profile includes large amounts of myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene, each of which can keep you calm, content, and peaceful.
Smoking this hemp strain before bed can help you sleep through the night, and its fast-acting nature helps many people drift off quickly. Bubba Kush feels smooth, fresh, and earthy on your palette, and its flavor is great for people who do not have much experience with hemp flower strains and as well as CBD enthusiasts.
4. Special Sauce
Special Sauce is a CBD flower with a very high CBD content, relaxing nighttime effects, and berry, citrusy flavor. This hemp strain is a cross between the original Special Sauce strain and the Early Resin Berry strain.
This industrial hemp flower often contains over 20% CBD and total cannabinoids, and its high CBD content puts it at the top of our list for CBD potency. The strain’s high CBD levels and myrcene content can help you feel sleepy and at peace, making Special Sauce a natural solution for insomnia or nighttime anxiety.
Special Sauce offers a unique flavor profile and aroma that includes notes of cinnamon, berries, wood, and earthiness. Breaking apart the hemp flower buds allows the inviting scent of berry candy to shine through, reminding many customers of fruit snacks or cinnamon cereal. These smooth flavors give users a mellow, enjoyable smoking experience.
Smoking this CBD-rich strain can help you turn off your mind and body after a long day and invite you into a peaceful, stress-free state. And because it still contains less than 0.3% THC, you can reap the full-spectrum benefits of its CBD content without experiencing any mind-altering effects of THC.
5. Sour Lifter
Sour Lifter contains around 15-17% CBD and +17% total cannabinoids, putting it in the middle of our potency ranking. This strain’s rich terpene profile contains limonene, bisabolol, and caryophyllene, giving it the perfect blend to jumpstart the Entourage Effect and provide the most benefits to your health and wellness.
You’ll smell and taste strong notes of diesel, citrus, wood, pine, and hops when smoking this strain, and many people enjoy the balance of sweet and sour in the flower’s flavor profile. Visually, Sour Lifter flower buds have an attractive light green color, orange pistils, and a sticky trichome coating.
Sour Lifter is best for daytime use, as smoking this industrial hemp flower can help you feel alert and focused while providing calming, clarifying effects.
6. Magic Bullet
Magic Bullet contains aruond 18% CBD and +20% total cannabinoids, giving it a higher potency than a few other strain on this list. Consumers love this strain’s exotic flavor profile and aroma, including notes of citrus, pepper, grape, and tropical floral flavors. Its complex, unique flavors allow you to experience a new taste with every smoke.
You can smoke this hemp flower strain day or night. Its calming effects can help prepare you for your day, relax after a long shift, or feel more mellow while hanging out with friends. Its dominant terpenes myrcene, caryophyllene, and bisabolol create the perfect mellowing, soothing effects to help you chill out and enjoy the day.
7. Super Sour Space Candy
Super Sour Space Candy is an excellent strain for lovers of the original Sour Space Candy strain (#1 on this list) who want an even more robust, tangy flavor. This strain has around 16% CBD and 18% total cannabinoids, and its soothing effects are perfect for both day and night use.
This hemp strain contains flavorful notes of green apple, lemon, sour candies, and hints of pine needles. Many consumers also taste sweeter, fruity flavors on the exhale, so this strain is perfect for anyone who enjoys a sour and sweet flavor combination.
Super Sour Space Candy contains the dominant terpenes terpinolene, myrcene, and caryophyllene, making it an excellent choice for any time of the day. Smoking this strain can help you feel relaxed, content, and clear-minded, giving you the right mindset to get through your day and forget your worries.
8. Hawaiian Haze
If you’re looking to experience a relaxing getaway to tropical Hawai’i, Hawaiian Haze is the perfect industrial hemp flower for you. This hemp flower is a medium-low-potency variety with energetic effects, tropical flavors, and sharp, floral aromas.
This hemp strain has a unique, inviting flavor profile that makes it one of the most popular strains on the market. Many customers notice hints of pineapple, lemon, flowers, and mango on an earthy, peppery backdrop, allowing this flower to transport you straight to a tropical paradise.
Hawaiian Haze contains +13% CBD and +16% total cannabinoids, giving it a lower potency than other hemp plants on our list. This strain is the best hemp plant for new users, as it allows you to experience the benefits of CBD in a small, controlled dosage. The smooth, inviting flavors also make this plant more appealing to beginners. Hawaiian Haze is terpene-rich, meaning that the effects of the CBD is enhanced by the beneficial effects of the terpenes in the buds.
We recommend smoking this strain during the day, as its clarifying, awakening effects can give you the energy and social relaxation you need to make it through a social event or day out.
Elektra is an incredibly flavorful, intense CBD hemp flower that offers uplifting, motivating effects. This strain often contains over 18% CBD and 19% total cannabinoids, giving it a fairly high potency.
Elektra has intense, vivid flavors that include a sweet, fruity, citrusy, and spicy blend. Some users taste a hint of diesel and hoppy spice as well. Because this strain is so potent, many customers turn their hemp flower into CBD oil to use when they cannot smoke it.
Elektra is a daytime CBD flower strain, as it can help you feel alert and focused while keeping you calm. This strain is also ideal for social situations, and many users reported feeling more talkative and at-ease in larger groups.
10. Cherry Abacus
Cherry Abacus offers a fruity, floral scent that resembles red berries (cherries to be precise). Some customers compare its aroma to Cherry Coke, giving it a pleasant, inviting scent that draws in new and old CBD users alike.
The strain’s dominant terpenes gives it an overall relaxing, calming effect, making it a perfect option for an evening smoke. Many people enjoy smoking Cherry Abacus after a long, stressful day, since its myrcene and caryophyllene content can help you zone out and wind down.
Why Smoke CBD Hemp Flowers?
Farmers trim and cure hemp flowers directly from hemp plant stalks, so unlike other products, industrial hemp flowers do not undergo any further purification or manufacturing processes that would limit their effects. Smoking these hemp strains right from the plant allows you to maximize their results and feel their calming, focusing impacts to the fullest.
Even better, because hemp flowers do not contain any additives, they are safer and cleaner than many kinds of CBD oil or other CBD products. The best vendors will always give you a COA (certificate of analysis) that shows you all the details on cannabinoid content before you purchase.
CBD hemp flowers contain the full spectrum of the hemp plants’ cannabinoids, terpenes, and oils, meaning they contain trace amounts of THC. However, a hemp plant’s THC content must be lower than 0.3% to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill, so you can be sure that smoking hemp flower will not produce psychoactive effects or make you feel “high”.
*If you have no experience with cannabis or other smokable herbs you may feel a sensation that is similar to a high but rest assured that the low levels of THC are insufficient to cause any real intoxicating effect.
While CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, most researchers agree that smoking hemp is safe and can benefit your health in several ways.
Every CBD flower strain is different, so you can easily customize your smoking experience to obtain your desired benefits. If you want to smoke CBD flower before bed, you can look for nighttime strains. If you would like your hemp to keep you alert and focused, you can smoke a daytime strain with clarifying effects.
You can also mix CBD and CBG strains (or mix with THC if you are in a legal state) to maximize the entourage effect.
How Does Smoking Hemp Flower Make You Feel?
However, it’s important to keep in mind that CBD hemp flower does not contain much THC, so you will not feel high after smoking these buds. The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp flower legal at the federal level as long as it has lower than 0.3% THC*.
Smoking hemp will not treat, cure, or prevent any disease. People experience CBD hemp flower benefits in different ways, depending on a range of internal and external factors. However, the only way to know how smoking hemp will make you feel is to give it a try yourself. Maintain your expectations and don’t wait for instant miracles. Experiment with different strains and remember that you need to keep consuming consistently in order to get the best effects.
The Entourage Effect
High-quality hemp flowers contain a range of terpenes, flavonoids, cannabinoids—including CBD, THC, CBN and CBG—and other compounds. When you smoke full-spectrum hemp flowers, the Entourage Effect allows each of these compounds to work together, interact with each other, and change its benefits depending on the other compounds around them.