What are they?
They are the buds of the female hemp plant. In particular, these plants have been carefully developed to have very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but high levels of CBD (cannabidiol). This means that they don’t have the psychoactive effects that you might otherwise expect, and depending on where you are, hemp might be legal, as opposed to classic marijuana.
These two plants are often confused for each other, and that makes sense. They share the same ancestry, so you could call them cousins in a sense. If you look at biology textbooks, both will be labeled as “Family: Cannabaceae, Genus: cannabis”. You can click here to learn more about this plant family.
The plant we are interested in right now has the proper scientific name of Cannabis Sativa L and is grown primarily for industrial benefit. As far as we know, it was first used around 10.000 years in the past. Back then, people used it as food as well as a source of fiber for clothmaking.
In our day, with the boom of industrial progress, hemp has shown itself to be incredibly versatile and useful in a range of applications. It is still a resource for food and clothes, as well as textiles in general. In addition to that, it is used in making paper, oils both edible and technical, environmentally friendly plastics, biofuel, as insulation material, and you can find it in certain kinds of animal feed.
Is this the same thing as weed buds?
Short answer: nope. Longer answer: as we mentioned above, the crucial difference between these cousin plants is their THC content. Properly named tetrahydrocannabinol, this substance is what causes the high when you consume marijuana in any form. It is psychoactive, meaning it can and will alter your state of mind. THC causes experiences such as heightened anxiety and induced paranoia.
Psychoactive substances are also sometimes known as “psychotropics”. They affect us by acting on our central nervous system and messing up the signals that are distributed from there. This results in our mood, perception, mental state, and behavioral patterns being altered to varying degrees, for varying amounts of time. If you would like to learn more about psychotropics, their mechanisms and how to deal with them, check out this awesome article: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-psychotropic-drug
Now, hemp, unlike weed, contains extremely low levels of THC. It comes to under 0.2% on average. This is such a tiny amount that it is physically impossible for this plant to get you high. It simply can’t do it. The plants form the Cannabaceae family are chemical treasure troves, featuring more than five hundred compounds in their biochemical makeup. THC is just one of those, and it just so happens to have stolen the spotlight with its bad rep.
What are hemp buds good for?
So, now that we have established what these little beauties are and just how they differ from their relatively illegal relatives, let’s take a look at why anybody would want to consume them in the first place. First, obviously, there’s food. As we mentioned already, hemp is an edible plant, so you might want to add the buds into cakes, soups, dips, or use them as spice or garnish. This really only depends on your own culinary preferences and how creative you are in your cooking. Next up, you must have already heard of medicinal hemp.
Remember how we mentioned high levels of the CBD component in this plant? This translates to great potential for health benefits. In particular, oils and tinctures containing CBD are frequently used to ease various pains, as well as to reduce inflammation. You can find more detailed information in our fellow hemp guides, so make sure to check them out! We’ll get you started with a recommendation: you can find the full post here.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the CBD bud is its reported ability to reduce and help manage anxiety. Users have reported notable relaxation effects on the body, as well as an effect of a clearer mind and increased focus levels. For these reasons, hemp buds are becoming increasingly popular as a measure against anxiety attacks.