It’s highly likely that you’ve seen or heard about CBD. It’s everywhere -your friends and loved ones are using it, doctors are recommending it, and it’s even on gas station counter tops (don’t buy those). It’s a bit of a therapeutic powerhouse, helping people struggling with a variety of symptoms such as pain, inflammation, and anxiety, but quality is extremely important.
When I first got into medical cannabis I would have told you to avoid industrial hemp at all costs. Fortunately, with improvement in CBD laws over the last few years, the availability of quality CBD ‘hemp’ flower from over the counter sources has greatly improved. Instead of plants grown for industrial uses in a legal consumption grey area, farmers are now breeding and growing ‘hemp’ CBD flower specifically for consumption – cultivating strains with specific terpenes and cannabinoids.
Using Hemp CBD Flower with Medical Cannabis
As much as I love the healing properties of CBD, CBD doesn’t love me. I’ve written this before in my experiences with POTS, Dysautonomia, and Medical Cannabis post. While CBD works wonders for decreasing my inflammation and pain, especially related to my endometriosis, it has the opposite effect on my dysautonomia. Because of this, I’ve had to be really careful in figuring out the proper ratios of CBD to THC and delivery methods for my needs. It took me some time to figure out, but via personal experimentation and guidance from my physician at Florida Medical Cannabis Clinic I’ve learned what works best for me – flower in 1:3 CBD:THC ratio or greater. Any more CBD than this for me and things go sideways.
Unfortunately, these options aren’t readily available in Florida. We have a wide selection of cannabis flower – 99% (that’s 100% an educated guess) of such being THC dominant with little to no CBD, and certainly very few close to a ratio. Our vertical system further complicates availability, causing many patients to get creative to meet their medicinal needs. For over a year I’ve been mixing over the counter hemp CBD flower (purchased online) into my medical dispensary THC flower to create my own ratios.
Bringing these worlds together – the over the counter hemp market and the legal medical cannabis market has allowed me to gain better control over my medicine effectiveness and costs. Hemp CBD flower tends to be much cheaper than medical cannabis flower, helping to spread my other medical cannabis purchases further.
For patients reluctant to give CBD a try, hemp CBD flower is a cost effective way to get your feet wet. Starting with flower instead of oils can feel more natural to long time THC consumers. For those Do It Yourselfers, purchasing large quantities of hemp CBD is extremely cost effective. I’ve purchased ounces of shake for as low as $20 each. This is great for making your own CBD oil, tincture, FECO, topicals, etc. Just like smoking or vaping, you can combine with THC flower to make your own ratios of these products as well.
Blending Your Own Ratios
Knowing that I do best around a 1:3 ratio, I grind 1 part CBD hemp flower for every 3 parts of THC flower (with comparable CBD to THC percentages) together before vaping or smoking. Some of my symptoms respond better to low ratios of CBD, so I make adjustments on the amount added in based on need at the time. Other cannabinoids, such as CBG, that can be difficult to find in the legal medical market are also available in hemp form and can be added in this same way.
Tips For Blending Your Own Ratios:
Try to use strains with comparable CBD and THC percentages to limit math.
Start at a 1:1 ratio (equal amounts of CBD and THC) and work your way over to higher THC or higher CBD ratios from there.
Slowly work across ratios to determine which works best for you, you may find different ratios work best for different symptoms.
Experiment with different strain combinations and journal the results.
Initially, use a scale to ensure you are using proper amounts of flower to form you ratios.
Don’t over think it – once you find your groove, intuition and eyeballing it can go a long way!
If a scale stresses you out or it’s just not for you, trust yourself and eye ball it. You’ll figure it out.
Potential Benefits of Adding Hemp CBD for a Medical Cannabis Patient
CBD has potent anti-inflammatory effects
CBD can be helpful for pain, anxiety, and mood
Hemp CBD is money saving and is typically much less expensive than dispensary purchased CBD flower
Patients often require less THC when adding CBD into the mix – saving even more!
Choosing a Hemp CBD Brand
Purchasing Hemp CBD requires some diligence in the research department, as quality varies wildly. Before embarking into this experiment I did a ton of research on available hemp flower companies – reading through company websites, reading reviews by cannabis professionals and patients, and checking into growing conditions and lab results. My personal favorites are Goat Ridge Hemp and Tweedle Farms. I’ve purchased multiple ounces from both companies and everything has been high quality, packaged well, with a proper cure.
Not a Florida Medical Cannabis Patient? Check out www.flmedcannabis.org to get certified and obtain your card.