Is CBD Flower Better Than CBD Oil? – Which Is Best for You

A lush green flowering hemp cola covered in trichomes with a gray background.

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CBD flower and CBD oil are different product types with different purposes, so deciding which is best for you, as necessary as it is, can take some time.

The truth is that there is no one CBD product type that’s “better” than the other; it all depends on what your needs and limitations are. CBD flower is accessible, comes in all sorts of strain options, and acts fast, while CBD oil produces more drawn-out effects. 

But figuring out which of these product types, if either, is the best one for you will likely take some effort (and maybe even some trial and error). Equipping yourself with some background knowledge can make this process much easier, though.

CBD Flower vs. CBD Oil

Standing as perhaps the most popular CBD product types on the market, both CBD flower and CBD oil are great choices to consider if you’re looking to get started with CBD or simply expand your horizons. 

But, before you start shopping, it’s important to note that each product type has unique benefits and potential drawbacks to consider, some of which may rule one or the other out as an option for you. 

CBD flower and CBD oil differ in areas like taste, smell, bioavailability, method of consumption, length and intensity of effects, and more, so it’s truly worthwhile to take some time to consider what you want and what you don’t. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key pros and cons to consider for both product types.

CBD Flower

CBD hemp flower is the base material for other CBD products – it’s the flower, or “buds,” of the plant that produces the cannabinoids itself, but it also contains other natural compounds.

Pros:

Things that set CBD flower apart as an ideal option include:

  • Faster onset time: Because CBD flower is usually consumed via inhalation (smoking or vaping), the cannabinoids it contains quickly enter the lungs and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. This leads to fast, powerful effects that can last up to a few hours.
  • Consuming the plant as nature intended: CBD hemp flower contains a true, full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids; it’s not missing any of the valuable components that give you a well-rounded experience. Plus, you’ll steer clear of consuming any additional ingredients.
  • Wide variety of options: There are quite literally thousands of individual strain and strain options available when it comes to CBD flower, which means just about anyone can find an option that works for them. Whether you’re looking for a pick-me-up, something to manage anxiety, or a flower that can help you sleep at night, there are multiple possibilities out there to take advantage of.
  • Versatility: Though it’s most common to smoke or vape CBD flower, there are lots of ways to branch out. Combining your flower with other products, like concentrates, is easy to do and allows you to fully customize your experience. You can even cook with CBD flower (much like someone might with marijuana)!

Cons:

Though it’s an amazing resource, CBD flower isn’t for everyone. There are a few main reasons why this might be the case:

  • Harder to dose: The nature of flower makes it harder to accurately measure doses. You may be able to estimate doses based on the amount of CBD in your flower and the number of individual buds you have, but this can still give you a skewed idea of how much you’re taking in at a time. 
  • Exposure to smoke: Smoking, in general, isn’t healthy, regardless of the source of the smoke. Of course, CBD hemp flower is not addictive like nicotine is and doesn’t carry the negative consequences THC does, but smoke itself is very harsh on the soft tissue in the mouth, throat, and lungs, which can become problematic over time.
  • Smells and looks like weed: Without testing or documentation to prove your flower is indeed CBD, it’s usually virtually impossible to distinguish between CBD hemp flower and marijuana. This may be less than ideal in some situations, namely if you live in an area that’s particularly strict about marijuana laws or are concerned about the reactions of others. 

Flower is an immensely popular option, and it’s a great starting point if you’re comfortable with the potential drawbacks. 

If you do decide flower is the right choice for you, check out our favorite CBD flower company Secret Nature for great product options.

Hands wearing see through gloves holding a glass jar in one hand and freshly harvested hemp flower in the other.

CBD Oil

CBD oil comes in all shapes and sizes, so it’s difficult to generalize its highs and lows. But, overall, CBD oil is an approachable way to get familiar with the cannabinoid and all it has to offer.

Pros:

What characteristics of CBD oil might make it a better choice than CBD flower? Consider factors like:

  • Delivery method: Since you won’t be smoking or vaping your CBD, the consumption method at play with oil is generally much healthier and less likely to pose potential health risks. 
  • Dosage: CBD oil is designed to be dosed precisely and with ease. Most products come with a dropper that can measure a single dose for you (or at least make it straightforward to do so yourself). If you find that one dose isn’t enough, CBD oil makes it easy to adjust until you find the amount that is.
  • Convenience: Because flower can be a bit “loud” in terms of the way it looks and smells, CBD oil can be a much more convenient option to use regularly, especially if you live with others. Likewise, taking a dose of oil is fast and simple, while smoking flower requires more set-up and clean-up. 
  • Length of effects: The method of consumption (oral or sublingual, usually) that goes along with CBD oil means that its effects last longer than smoking. CBD oil enters your digestive system, breaks down, and slowly works its way through over the course of several hours, so it is filtered out of your bloodstream at a much slower rate than it would be if it entered all at once.

Cons:

Specific drawbacks of CBD oil can depend slightly on the type of oil you’re using, but in general, cons to consider include:

  • Longer onset time: Though it leads to longer-lasting effects, CBD oil’s consumption method also carries the caveat of having a longer onset time (around an hour or two), although sublingual (under the tongue) absorption rates are still pretty rapid.

The ease of use and flexibility associated with CBD oil make it a popular staple for CBD fans of all walks of life. 

If you decide CBD oil is right for you, check out the wonderful product options from our favorite CBD oil company, FAB CBD.

Women dropping CBD oil onto her tongue.

Does CBD Flower Produce Different Effects Than CBD Oil?

CBD flower doesn’t really produce different effects than CBD oil, but it does bring them on much faster and, as a result, can seem to produce more intense results. But CBD oil’s effects last far longer. 

Every person is different in terms of the way they experience their product and react to certain cannabinoids, terpenes, etc., so it is possible to feel like one option gives you the experience you want more frequently than the other.

Also true is the fact that CBD oils may be more concentrated than CBD flower, so a single dose of each one may seem to introduce results of different intensities.

With so many factors at play, including strain type, method of consumption, and more, it’s hard to say definitively what your experience will be; only time and experimentation can tell!

Is CBD Flower Stronger Than CBD Oil?

CBD flower isn’t necessarily stronger than CBD oil, but it can produce stronger effects than some products due to the entourage effect. Using a full-spectrum CBD oil can help you take advantage of this phenomenon.

The entourage effect suggests that combining multiple parts of the cannabis plant (including hemp) leads to a more well-rounded, intense, and enjoyable experience.

So, because CBD flower has all the plant has to offer embedded inside its buds, it’s far more likely to give you this effect and, as a result, seem stronger.

Is Smoking CBD the Most Effective?

Smoking your CBD is certainly the way to go if you want the most immediate results possible, but there are some reasons to pause before you dedicate yourself to smoking regularly.

Though CBD itself isn’t necessarily harmful to the lungs, the smoke that it’s contained in absolutely can be. 

There still isn’t much research to support any claims in either direction about the long-term risks of cannabis smoke, but we do know that the heat and carcinogens that come from smoke are irritating.

Health risks associated with smoking, regardless of where the smoke comes from, include:

  • Damage to lung tissue
  • Scarring or damage to blood vessels
  • More frequent coughing or wheezing
  • Chronic or acute bronchitis

Final Takeaway: No One “Best” CBD Product

Clearly, CBD flower and CBD oil are not made equally, and for good reason! One of the best things about the CBD market is that it offers so many types of products; no matter who you are or what you hope to achieve, it’s possible to find something that works.

CBD flower is likely the way to go if you’re okay with the risks that come with smoking and are able to use your product in a safe, private place. It’s also great if you need something that gets the job done quickly.

CBD oil, on the other hand, is a versatile and easy-to-use product that can be used in all sorts of ways. It may be slower to act, but its effects last a long time.

Regardless of which one you choose, be sure to shop with sellers and for products you trust. To see more product and brand recommendations that are tried and true, be sure to visit our directory.

Josh Murdoch

Josh Murdoch

I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and although it is incurable, CBD and THC have been allowing me to live my life as a healthy adult now for years. For that reason, I’ve dedicated my career to spreading the good news about cannabinoids. Currently, I work for a vertically integrated cannabis company called Unrivaled Brands that operates in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Previously, I worked on two cannabis farms in northern California, one of which was located in the famous Humboldt County. I’ve also managed a medical cannabis delivery service in Marin County, California. I created CBD Facilitator to share what I’ve learned, and to recommend the best products that I have found in this chaotic market.

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