With all of the buzz about CBD (cannabidiol) these days, an increasingly popular question we hear is “can you smoke hemp?” The short answer is YES, you CAN smoke hemp! After all, the vast majority of CBD available on the market is derived from high-CBD varieties of hemp. 

However, it is very important to note that when smoking hemp, some additional research into your product of choice is highly advisable. 

Some things to consider when choosing a hemp product to smoke include:

  • The part of the hemp plant that is used (flower or leaves)
  • The farming practices where the hemp was grown
  • The quality of the ingredients
  • The effects of smoking, in general, on the body

Our RASTi family uses a proprietary blend of organic smoking herbs to bring our customers the highest quality hemp smoking product available. The hemp from our farm in Southern Oregon is hand harvested, slow-cured and trimmed to perfection. Then, it’s blended and wrapped up with unbleached, biodegradable papers and filters, so you can feel great about your smoking experience!

What’s the Process For Getting Hemp Ready for Smoking?

When we talk about smoking cannabis (hemp or marijuana) we’re almost exclusively talking about the flowers. In order to facilitate an enjoyable smoking experience for the end user, it must undergo a degree of processing. 

Up to a certain point, the more processing that is done, the better the end product and the higher the market price. It is possible to smoke fresh, wet cannabis flower, but it isn’t a very enjoyable experience. The process for getting hemp ready for smoking includes:

  • Drying: The flowers must be cut and dried, ideally over a number of days in a dark, cool, high airflow environment. It is possible to “flash dry” cannabis, but doing so typically hurts the smell, lowers the cannabinoid content and turns the color from green to brownish yellow. Once the flower has been sufficiently dried, it must be removed from the stalk in a process called bucking. 
  • Bucking: This can be done in one of two ways. You can either shuck the flower (this can be done mechanically or manually) or you can cut the flowers off with a pair of scissors. Shucking is a significantly more efficient way to do it, but destroys the flower structure in the process. If you want big nugs, you need to cut them off with scissors in order to maintain their structural integrity. Once the flower has been removed from the stalk, it is ready to be trimmed.
  • Trimming: This is the process of removing the protective outer layer of leaf from the coveted flower. Trimmed flower tastes better when smoked, and looks better in a jar. Generally speaking, the less leaf, the better the taste. Cannabis can be trimmed either by machine or by hand. Trim machines can get a lot of the leaf off, but never do a perfect job. Additionally, for many machines to be effective, the cannabis must be excessively dry.  Hand trimming yields the best results, but is by far the most expensive route due to the tedious, labor intensive nature of the work.
Untrimmed Machine Trimmed Hand Trimmed
Untrimmed ET.jpg Machine Trimmed ET.jpg Trimmed ET.jpg
Trimmed flower
  • Curing: The curing process can be done before or after the trimming process. A good cure is necessary to bring out the flower’s full potential in regard to taste and smell. In order to get a good cure, the flower must be stored in the dark in a relatively airtight container. The best results are typically achieved with glass but a number of other containers will work as well, including plastic totes and even plastic contractor bags. Fill the container approximately 90%, and open it for about 10 minutes once per day every day for about two weeks. Once the flower is properly cured it will smell much more pungent and when smoked will taste better and smoke much more smoothly. 

So, Can You Smoke Hemp? Yes You Can.

We know, that was a lot of information for a question with a seemingly simple yes or no answer. To make things easier, here is a summary of the main takeaways:

  • Can you smoke hemp? Yes, you can smoke the flowers, and if you really want to for some odd reason, you can smoke the leaves.
  • Do your research. Generally speaking you get what you pay for. It’s hard to know the quality of the ingredients used in most hemp pre-rolls available on the market. The price is usually a good indicator of quality. The best and typically most expensive smokeable products are made with trimmed, well-cured, organic hemp flower. 
  • Make sure it’s organically grown. Nobody wants to smoke pesticides!
  • Use at your own risk. Lungs evolved to ingest air, not smoke. Though most people would agree that smoking hemp is better than smoking tobacco, smoking anything is going to be taxing on your respiratory system.
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