What makes a good CBD Hemp Flower? A Tale of two Lifters

Starseed Botanicals has arguably some of the best CBD hemp flower on the market. When Hayden Gerson started the company they sold various botanical products. Now they focus on well-cured top shelf hemp flower (the CBD equivalent of marijuana bud). Unlike marijuana bud, hemp flower can be bought with a credit card and shipped to your door. The 2018 Farm Bill made it Federally legal in the United States as long as the delta 9 THC content is under .3%.


Heavy Lifter Lab Results

What good is cannabis without the THC?  A growing number of fans are eager to tell you. Visit Reddit’s r/hempflowers forum to read their stories. The CBD provides a quick hit of relaxation without the intoxication of high THC flower. [As of late 2019 CBG Hemp Flower is also available online,]

I ordered an ounce of “Heavy Lifter” CBD flower from Starseed a few weeks ago and they were out.  Instead of letting me know this, they “upgraded” me to their Lifter Private Reserve (PR).  When I looked over the lab tests I saw that Lifter PR had 11% CBD – a little over half of the CBD content of the Heavy Lifter (which had 19% CBD).  Terpene content was also lower. I felt like I had been shortchanged.  I’m vaping hemp flower as an economical way to medicate with CBD, and this company substituted a product with half of the active ingredients.

I contacted Starseed Botanicals and Hayden called me back. He really sang the praises of Lifter PR, telling me about the plot of land that it grew on and the care that was taken to hand trim it and cure it. He stated that it had “strong effects” even though cannabinoid and terpene values were much lower than the Heavy Lifter. (How could this be? I was skeptical.) He told me that a few people had been “upgraded” when their supply of Heavy Lifter ran out temporarily. He shipped me the ounce of Heavy Lifter that I ordered for free and told me to keep the Lifter PR. He suggested that I compare the two.

I did.  Lifter is a strain of high CBD hemp flower from Oregon CBD Seeds.  They describe Lifter this way:

“Our goal was to develop an extremely high oil content hemp plant with dense, weighty flowers. After the initial cross (our Special Sauce mom to a very high content, new world Haze line), we honed in on our target after 3 additional generations of inbreeding and careful selection to remove unwanted chemotypes and phenotypes. The resulting mom carries a farnesene dominant terpene profile, has incredible vegetative vigor and grows like a bush with rock-hard flowers. The resulting cross of SH50 and ERB gives us Lifter (in homage to the famous heirloom tomato, Mortgage Lifter).” – oregoncbdseeds.com

Farnesene has anti-inflammatory and tumor-inhibiting properties. It is found in green apples and tumeric. It has a calming effect and may help suppress spasms.  I have trouble smelling and tasting subtle scents and flavors in cannabis.  I don’t smell any green apple. Most hemp flower smells the same to me.  Tasting notes for Scotch whisky are similar.  I can certainly tell a peaty Islay from a sweeter Highland Scotch, but I don’t get the subtle notes that you read about on the label.

I do notice whether the flower is smooth or rough.  I usually taste a piney flavor in the first few puffs. The Heavy Lifter was a little harsh to vape. It started out fine, but the vapor gave me some dryness and irritation at the back of my throat.  I did feel relaxed and I felt pain relief.  The Lifter Private Reserve was smooth and flavorful.  I did not get any throat irritation.  I felt effects, but they were not a strong as the effects of the Heavy Lifter.

So I guess it boils down to what you are looking for. If you are looking to dose CBD then Heavy Lifter is a good choice. With 19.3% CBD and 23.2% total cannabinoids you are getting 193 milligrams of CBD for each gram of flower. You are also getting 2mg of myrcene and 2mg of beta-Caryophyllene and who knows how much farnesene.  If you are looking for flavor and a smooth smoke or vape then consider the Lifter Private Reserve.  I am trying the two blended together and that seems to be working out for me.

Starseed Botanicals has lowered their prices a bit.  You can get a 15% discount if you use cryptocurrency.  You can also use the coupon code CANNAPHARM to get 15% off.  Like many coupon codes a small amount also supports this site. Please do not post this code on other sites.

New Study on CBD, Anxiety, and Pain implicates Serotonin and other Mechanisms as well as the Endocannabinoid System

A 2019 study has found that CBD’s effect may not be restricted to it’s effect on the endocannabinoid system. CBD also acts on receptors that bind the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT1A) that is involved in anxiety and on receptors that bind vanilloid (TRPV1) that is involved in pain.  The researchers found dose ranges that prevented anxiety-like behaviors and pain behaviors in rats.  The study is complex, but they reported that a range of  5-10 mg/kg had some effect on pain and anxiety.  This is described as a low dose, but it amounts to 340-680mg for a 150 lb human,  much higher than the dose that most people take of hemp-based CBD.  You would need to drink a bottle of CBD oil every 1-3 days to get the effect that they found in this study. Smoking or vaping 1-2 grams of high CBD hemp flower per day would also approach this range.

shutterstock_732789853It had previously been proposed that CBD’s effect on anxiety, pain, and depression are because it affects the endocannabinoid system.  CBD partially binds to the CB1 receptor in a manner that slightly interferes with THC’s ability to bind with the receptor.  It also acts on anandamide – an endocannabinoid produced by the body.  CBD keeps the anandamide from being destroyed – keeping it around longer.

Dr. Gabriella Gobbi’s team at McGill University believe that CBD may become an evidence-based application of cannabis in medicine, offering a safe alternative to THC and opioids for chronic pain, such as back pain, sciatica, diabetic, cancer and post-trauma pain.

What does this mean in practical terms?  It may mean that people taking CBD isolate for pain and anxiety should consider a higher dose if what they are taking doesn’t work. Previous studies have found that CBD is effective at a broader range of doses if it is taken along with other cannabinoids, so full spectrum hemp oil may work at lower doses.


The Police can’t tell that your Hemp Flowers aren’t Marijuana – so Be Careful Out There.

Law enforcement has field tests for marijuana that can’t distinguish CBD hemp flower from marijuana.  If you live in a place where marijuana is illegal and CBD flower is legal you should take care with your hemp flower.  Avoid driving with it in your car and vape (don’t smoke) it in the privacy of your home.  Ok – maybe smoke it if you want.  Details are in this video from your friendly neighborhood Indiana police officer.  I love the caption “Working for You.”  I don’t think he’s working for me.

CBD Hemp Flower – One Grower

Fields of Hemp is a small grower of CBD hemp flower.  Tweedle Farms (a big vendor) has sold some of their flower in the past.  A Reddit contributor recently made a video reviewing all of their offerings.  I especially like the first 5-6 minutes of the video where he explains the whole idea of CBD hemp flower, emphasizing how it relaxes you without the high you get from THC flower. The video is almost 30 minutes – but check out at least the first 5 minutes to get an idea of what quality CBD hemp flower is all about.  (And remember to Vape not Smoke).


Check out sources of CBD Hemp Flower here.