Joints vs blunts. Bong vs pipe. Indica vs sativa. Blaze in the mountains of Colorado vs burn one down on the beach in California.
For womxn that love weed, the world is full of some real tough this or that decisions. But the good news is, we have ~choices~. When it comes to consuming cannabis, especially if you live in a legal state, the options are practically endless.
A few weeks back, I set for answers on a THIS THAT quest of my own. I’ve been using cannabidiol, aka CBD, for a while now. I love it in all its forms. If I want to get in the zone for some yoga, prepare for a big meeting, or ease my anxiety, I turn to CBD. I love a good tincture, I’ve tried all kinds of CBD gummies and sodas, and even CBD infused dried fruit. But when it comes down to it, I’ve personally found that smoking has the most efficient effects.
Check out one of our OG posts, “So, what really is CBD?”.
To further test out what works best for me, I decided to put smoking CBD flower vs CBD concentrate, head-to-head. When our friends at Thrive Flower reached out to collab, I knew this would be a fun partnership and the perfect way to experiment. They generously gifted me a 200mg CBD vape pen and an eighth of their Suver Haze CBD flower. When the package arrived, I was ready to put ’em to the test, and all opinions are 100% my own.
CBD: Vape Concentrate
The first product I tested was the Thrive Flower CBD vape pen. I had plans to go hiking later in the day, so I unboxed it, preparing to plug it in and juice up the battery. I was surprised (and stoked) to see it came fully charged and ready to go! This was incredibly convenient as I was able to focus on packing the rest of my outdoor gear rather than having to find a charger, plug it in, and remember it before I left. Major points there for convenience.
The slim, sophisticated profile of the pen was also a plus. I always reach for a low-key looking vape when I’m out in public, and this one checked that box. In terms of consuming CBD on the go, having a vape handy is the way to go. The one thing I will say for vapes is that you must make sure you’re buying one from a reputable source. Garbage CBD is sold at every gas station these days, and even reputable-looking companies use additives and flavors that can be harmful. I was happy to see that Thrive Flower prominently lists their lab test results for every product on their site
In terms of the medicinal effects from vaping CBD, I found they come on quick but fade fast. This is a personal pattern I’ve noticed, across a range of CBD vapes I’ve tried. With this particular pen, since it has a built-in battery you’ll want to let it cool for about 45 seconds between puffs. I found the natural flavor to be slightly fruity, and the vapor had no smell which added to it being a great discreet option.
CBD: Flower Power
Now, on to the CBD flower experience. Smoking flower may not be the first method you think of when it comes to CBD, but here’s why you might want to reconsider.
Flower that is high in CBD has what’s called the “entourage effect”. Like many other claims in cannabis, this theory is far from “proven”, as much more professional research is needed. But the concept here is that cannabis works best when all of it’s natural components work together, rather than in isolation.
Note: If you want to really nerd out on the “entourage effect” concept, check out “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects,” by neurologist and pharmacologist Dr. Ethan Russo.
When I first noticed that Thrive Flower had CBD flower for sale, I was curious about the quality of the product. I opened the cute, eco-friendly stash jar it arrived in, my senses lit up immediately. The first thing I noticed was the smell – this was the good stuff. Most smokers can tell the difference between good and bad cannabis, but might not be able to put words to it. As you train your nose, you’ll be able to speak to what you smell – and for Thrive Flower’s Suver Haze, that was fresh cut fruit, flowers and a hint of pine for me (full disclosure, I’m still training my sniffer).
Next was the visual. The nugs arrived big, fresh and covered in shining, sticky dots of resin. Inside the resin is where the 100s of therapeutic compounds that power the medicinal effects of CBD flower are found. I literally opened the jar and was like, . Then, I got ready to roll up. Compared to the ease of use with the vape pen, preparing CBD flower is much more involved. I got out my grinder, papers, filters, lighter and went to work. I’ll be 100% honest, I’m no joint rolling pro – so about 10 minutes later, I was ready to spark up.
Right away I felt that “entourage effect” that the pros talk about. I enjoyed the delicious flavor of the flower, and long-lasting, powerful medicinal effects. Many strains of CBD flower contain trace amounts of THC, so be sure to read the lab results if you’re sensitive. I experienced a light body and mind buzz, but not enough to say I was “high”.
And The Winner Is…
TBH, both Thrive Flower products get a big shiny participation trophy for showing up and slinging some serious CBD. But in the spirit of competition, I am going to pick a winner. Based on my personal preference, here’s how it breaks down.
I love CBD concentrate (in it’s vape pen form) because it’s convenient and discreet. When it comes to CBD on the go, vapes get a round of applause. But, pens just don’t pack the same punch for me. I turn to CBD when I’m looking for strong medicinal effects, and in that category, flower gets the gold . Whether it’s the idea of the “entourage effect” that’s primed my mind for the strongest CBD feeling, or flower really is better, it’s the green stuff that’s the winner in my mind.
While some may go for what’s easy, I’m willing to put in the work for the better sensory experience and effects. For me, it’s the difference between picking up a cheeseburger to go vs making one at home myself. Yes, they may start with the same ingredients. And yes, one is clearly more effort. But the end result of freshness and flavor makes putting in the extra work totally worth it.
That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it! What are your thoughts on flower vs concentrate when it comes to CBD, babes? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks to Thrive Flower for sponsoring this fun experiment. Support the businesses that support HeyHelloHigh by checking out their online shop here.