What Is Top-Shelf CBD Hemp Flower?

Hemp flower is the bud on the plant that produces high levels of CBD. But, not all of CBD hemp buds are created equal. Top-shelf hemp flower is exactly what it sounds like; the very best!

What Is Top-Shelf CBD Hemp Flower?
What Is Top-Shelf CBD Hemp Flower?

Hemp flower is the bud on the plant that produces high levels of CBD. But, not all of CBD hemp buds are created equal. Top-shelf hemp flower is exactly what it sounds like; the very best!

You may have heard the term top-shelf liquor, which refers to premium quality brands and alcohols. When you see the word top-shelf in the context of hemp flower, it has a similar meaning.

Hemp flower that earns this prestigious title shares some top-notch characteristics, let’s explore those now.


Let’s say you found a product online advertised as top-shelf hemp flower. How can you know for sure that it’s actually high quality?

Look for the following criteria to determine if the hemp flower is marketed in good faith, or if the company’s only using the term to lure customers in.


One of the main reasons people smoke CBD hemp flower is for the immediate effects. If the potency is low then the effects won’t be very strong or even noticeable. So, it’s important to find out what the percentage of CBD is. Also, look out for other cannabinoids like CBGA, CBC, CBN, and CBDV.

Go one step further and see what terpenes the strain has. A varied chemical profile (lots of cannabinoids and terpenes) will increase the potency of the CBD hemp nugs.

To find out this information look over the cannabinoid and terpene profile. You’ll find these details on the third-party lab report. If you can’t find a copy on the company’s website, email them and ask for one. You might be able to find this information in the strain description as well.

A hemp flower strain with 14-15% or more CBD, indicates strong effects. But, there’s more that goes into potency than the CBD percentage. We’ll discuss what else affects the strength of a CBD strain in the criteria.


If you’re new to hemp flower and have never smoked or seen a lot of cannabis buds before, no worries. Let’s use the analogy of picking out a bouquet of roses or a basket of strawberries at the market. When you’re getting ready to choose your bouquet or basket, what do you look for? A lot of your decision has to do with the coloring, overall appeal, and the smell, right?

Well, picking out CBD hemp buds is very similar. You’ll want to take a close look at the buds to see how the color looks. In the case of hemp flower, the brighter the colors, the more hair and trichomes (frosty crystals), the better. Does it shine bright like a diamond? Awesome, you’re in the right place!

When shopping online, you’ll have high-quality pictures to look at and images from customers who posted a review on the strain. Study these closely, your gut instincts will let you know whether the strains are average looking or top-notch.


Ok, this one is a bit tough to gauge when you’re buying CBD flower online, but it’s not impossible. First off, the wonderful aromas from a cannabis strain come from its terpene profile. Some terpenes like myrcene, are earthy and fruity, while limonene is citrusy, caryophyllene is peppery, and pinene is piney.

You can find out the smell of the strain by reading about its terpenes. Also, if a CBD company cures their buds after drying them, the buds will have a deeper and more intense aroma. That’s because the curing process heightens the terpene profile.

Flavor profile

The flavor of the strain should resemble the aroma of the strain. The way to find this out is to look at the terpene profile and also read reviews from prior customers. It’s not always possible for the flavors to taste exactly like the aroma. That’s because you’re bringing the element of heat into the equation by lighting a flame to your joint or bowl.

However, top-shelf hemp flower does taste very similar to the smell of the strain. So, factor this into your decision when looking for a high-quality hemp strain.


The phrase “you get what you pay for,” is true in the majority of cases. In the case of premium quality hemp flower, this is also true. But, the price isn’t overly expensive compared to the average hemp nug, it’s only slightly higher but still very affordable.

If you see hemp flower for less than $6/gram and it’s called ‘top shelf’, this could be a sign of false advertising. Hemp flower nugs that have a high potency, a beautiful and healthy appearance, along with a robust terpene profile will be priced for at least $7 to $10/gram.

But companies who sell artisan hemp flower tend to offer discounted pricing per gram when you buy in bulk, such as 7, 14, or 28 grams of flower, or even more.

Growing conditions

Lastly, the final element that goes into proving whether a CBD hemp bud is top-shelf or not, are the growing conditions.

Did the hemp nugs grow on an organic farm, did the farmers use sustainable growing methods, and avoid pesticides and harmful chemicals? The origin of where the hemp grew holds a lot of weight in terms of its quality.

The best quality hemp flower will be free and clear of mold, yeast, pesticides, heavy metals, and other impurities.

Also, hand-trimmed buds will also give you clues into the growing conditions. Hemp plants that grew in an unhealthy environment, will not produce good looking buds. So, appearance comes into play here as well.

Now that we’ve covered the aspects of top-shelf hemp flower, let’s dive into the most commonly asked questions about hemp flower and the top reasons to buy it.


Yes, hemp flower has a high concentration of CBD. The other components of the hemp plant have very little to no CBD, like hemp seeds for instance.

If CBD is what you want, then you’re sure to find it in premium hemp flower buds.

Will hemp flower get me high?

Hemp flower, by nature, has very little THC. This is the cannabinoid with psychoactive properties. By law, hemp flower cannot contain more than 0.3% THC.

So no, hemp flower cannot get you high. You may experience deep relaxation in your body, but these potential effects are not disorienting and will not cause paranoia or make you feel out of control.


The biggest benefit of CBD hemp flower is its ability to enhance the functionality of your endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system regulates homeostasis or balance.

By including a mindfulness practice into your day, like restorative yoga, or smoking organic CBD nugs, you’re helping bring your mind and body into balance. And this balance is achieved because you’re helping the ECS do its job in maintaining homeostasis.

Some people don’t think they need CBD, because overall they feel fine and already have a wellness plan in place that’s working for them. But regardless, cannabinoids, like CBD, still play an important role in the health of your body.

Imagine never consuming any foods, drinks, or supplements with vitamin C. How do you think your immune system would feel? Not too great, right? Neglected in fact.

Well, the ECS wants some attention too, and to boost the health of this system it relies heavily on us to get cannabinoids into our diet. Whether, that be CBD oil, hemp flower, or other forms of cannabis and hemp-derived products.

Does CBD flower give you a body high?

Notice the wording here say “body high.” This is a key distinction to make, because most of us who use the word high, refer to a head high that promotes effects like euphoria, a case of the giggles, or in some cases anxiousness.

A body high can refer to feeling relaxed, calm, at ease, pain-free even. When you smoke CBD flower you may notice one or all of these effects depending on the strains potency, quality, and how much you smoke.


To recap, let’s go over the qualities to look for when searching for top-shelf CBD flower. First, see how much CBD is in the strain. This number will be expressed as a percentage. You can find this information in the product description or on a third-party lab report (COA) under the “Cannabinoid Analysis”.

Next, if you’re looking for buds online, take a close look at the images of the strain. How does it look? Are the colors bright, are the nugs hand-trimmed, are they coated in crystals and bright orange hairs?

Now it’s time to find out what terpenes the strain has. Terpenes give the plant its aroma and provide a unique set of therapeutic effects. Also, read about the growing conditions of the hemp flower and also assess the price point.

As stated earlier, if the hemp buds have a low price (not because it’s on sale), then it might not actually be top-shelf. Top shelf hemp flower is priced somewhere between $7 to $10 per gram, which decreases when you buy in bulk.

We know this was a lot of information. Please reach out to us or drop a comment below, so we can clarify any questions you might have.