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%.
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.
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.