Hemp flower is simply the flowering buds of mature female hemp plants.
Compared to the rest of the plant, hemp flower has a few obvious attributes — it’s dense, resinous, fragrant, and sticky! That’s because hemp flower produces all sorts of oil-based plant compounds, including the cannabinoids (like CBD) and terpenes we’ve come to know and love.
Speaking of cannabinoids...hemp flower contains < .3% THC and 5-25% CBD. In addition to being good for us, these special compounds are great for hemp because they help repel insects.
What Is Hemp Flower Made Of?
Hemp flower grows out of the flowering tops of female hemp as it’s progressing to maturity, eventually forming dense structures called colas. It’s within the cola that all the magic happens!
More specifically, it’s within the cola’s tiny crystal-shaped trichomes that all the good stuff is produced. Trichomes are actually present throughout nature and give the plants they grow from a soft whitish look.
But hemp trichomes are unique. They’re the epicenters of hemp’s cannabinoid and terpene production! If you zoomed in very close, you’d actually see that each little trichome is shaped like a bulb. As hemp flower matures these bulbs swell with CBD-rich resin.
There’s a method to all the madness. Like many plants hemp comes in both male and female varieties, and the trichomes and budded structures of female hemp may serve to protect its reproductive organs.
Female hemp is grown apart from male hemp in order to ensure its flowering buds get the chance to fully develop. If it does get fertilized by male plants (which can happen from miles away!) flowers start producing seeds — and stop producing cannabinoids. Premium hemp flower must remain unpollinated and unseeded until harvest.
How Is Hemp Flower Used?
After hemp flower is harvested and dried, it’s usually used in one of two ways: either as a smokeable product...or as the perfect source of CBD oil.
Let’s take a look at the idea of smoking hemp flower first. After all, smokable hemp is quickly growing in popularity. And why wouldn’t it be? Premium hemp flower often tastes and smokes just as good as more conventional high-THC cannabis. Smoking hemp can be very relaxing, but it doesn’t produce an intoxicating high. Talk about the best of both worlds!
Mature hemp flower can also be processed into other types of hemp products, notably CBD oil. This requires a special process where hemp’s active ingredients are extracted out of its resinous buds and into a concentrated oil. You can think of CBD oil as the essential oil of hemp flower...it’s not quite the same thing, but close.