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.

Lifter Private Reserve lab results

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.

Heavy Lifter (L) and Lifter PR (R)

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.

Author: cannabispharmacy

Before Covid I worked with chronic pain patients as a clinical psychologist. Many of them reported significant relief from cannabis and CBD. I was ready to retire anyway, and the pandemic hastened my retirement. I have been studying cannabis for several years and used CBD products for my own chronic pain. THC has been illegal where I live, but was recently approved for medical use.

6 thoughts

  1. Hello. Can you please confirm if the Hayden Gerson you spoke with from Starseed Botanicals is the same Hayden Abraham Gerson who is involved with the SWAT and police event that’s all over the news? I’m fairly sure that Hayden was working at Sunline Energy and is not the same person who owned (owns?) Starseed Botanicals. Any clarification would be appreciated. Someone on reddit linked the person involved with the SWAT fiasco. I don’t see any evidence that they are the same person. Thank you in advance. (wanted to email you but there is no contact info here.)


      1. Good article, btw. Re Starseed, I told them via their chat portal on their website that I hope Hayden returns to run their company, they replied that they hoped so as well. That was all they said regarding their Hayden. So that is suspicious right there. Also while browsing their reddit history, the person running their reddit account (I’ll assume was Hayden.. Their account has been inactive since a month, and I recall the user mentioning their were the owner of Starseed at the time of posting, last year I believe with an AMA they did) seemed a bit aggressive. If indeed it is the same Hayden Gerson who is all over the news, I do feel sorry for the man and hope he gets psychological help.

        My point of contention with Starseed was as also noted on Reddit, that they are misleading people with their cbd capsules, language used in marketing them. They claim their are 50mg of CBD hemp oil. Which isn’t the case and in their defense they offer an AOC lab test which confirms the capsules are 5.65mg CBD. Looks like the lab were given 10 capsules to test. Total CBD content stated was 56.7mg and THC at 3mg. There is no way one capsule can contain that much THC, correct? At least legally. I’m looking into another vendor. I see Lazarus has great deals on their Caps and there is no ambiguity whatsoever on the potency or cbd content per capsule. Also for my father who is on long term disability, they offer 60% discount! He liked CBD. Recently he bought some from the dispensary he belongs to and got ripped off. And while I won’t say we were ripped off by Starseed, we were definitely shorted (Lazarus has over 2.5x CBD for the same price!) And Starseed never followed up with my emails voicing my concern about the ambiguity of the language they use on their website, seeking clarification on what is the actual content. I was a loyal customer. When Hayden (if it is Mr. Gerson) ran the company they made sure to take care of me and their QC was better. I remember opening the Sour Space Candy (might have been the private reserve) and was blown away at the quality, the smell and looks. I’m let down but I wish their company well. Maybe they will tighten up their weaknesses and work through whatever they are going through as a business.


      2. Thanks for the update. I had not heard about the SWAT stuff. I’ve spoken with Hayden over the phone and he was enthusiastic abot his company at he time.

        I think one capsule could contain 50mg CBD if they loaded it with CBD isolate, but probably not the full spectrum capsules that they offer.


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