Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Flower
Cannabis flower is one of the most well-known and popular products you can find at a dispensary. These buds of mature cannabis plants are prepared and packaged for at-home use, whether through traditional smoking methods, use with a vaporizer, or made into other cannabis products, such as infused butter or oil. This guide takes you through the ins and outs of consuming cannabis flower.
Why cannabis flower?
Flower is the classic and familiar way to consume cannabis, with documented use going back for millennia. This familiarity makes it a great product choice for those who are new to cannabis. For many, there is an almost ritualistic appreciation for preparing cannabis flower for inhalation. Others reach for cannabis flower for short-term relief alongside products like capsules that are geared for long-term relief.
There are more pragmatic reasons to choose cannabis flower as well. These include its:
- Versatility: Cannabis flower has many applications beyond inhalation. For example, flower can be used to make cannabis-infused butter, which can be added as an ingredient to create edibles. Flower can also be used to create hash, one of the oldest existing cannabis concentrates.
- Rapid onset: When inhaled, cannabinoids like THC and CBD enter the bloodstream through your lungs, skipping the lengthy digestion process. This makes inhalation one of the fastest-acting consumption methods.
- Predictability: Ingestible cannabis can be unpredictable, especially if you’re new to consuming cannabis. Flower, on the other hand, is less likely to cause any surprises, especially if you consume the same cultivar over several sessions.
- Lower THC content when compared to other products: Concentrates, edibles, and other manufactured products generally have much higher levels of THC than cannabis flower. This makes cannabis flower a great choice for those with lower tolerance.
- Ease of use: Consumption is simple: grind your flower, place it in your chosen device, apply heat, and inhale. If you purchase pre-rolled cannabis products, cannabis flower is even easier to consume.
While cannabis flower has its unique advantages, you may find that it’s not quite your cup of tea. Some of the reasons for that may be:
- Smell: Cannabis has a unique and distinctive odor that you may not desire, especially if you want to be discreet when consuming cannabis.
- Preparation: If you’re not purchasing a “ready to go” product, you’ll have to break up your cannabis, grind it, and place it in the device of your choice. While many find the ritual to be relaxing and familiar, you may want something that requires less preparation.
- Administration: If you don’t want to inhale, it’s best that you explore other product types.
- THC content: Cannabis flower may have too low THC content if you have a high tolerance.
How cannabis flower is prepared for the dispensary
Cannabis flower is the most straightforward product, requiring very little processing once harvested. Once a cannabis plant hits maturity, the flowers are harvested, trimmed of excess plant material, and dried to bring down moisture levels to help prevent mold and mildew from forming. This is sometimes followed by a curing process to help intensify flavors and aromas.
Once ready, the flower is tested for its phytocannabinoid and terpene content, as well as any tests for contaminates and other foreign substances as required by state law. These laboratory batch testing results are available via a batch number listed on the packaging; you may ask the dispensary associate for a copy of these results. Approved flower is packaged and sent to the dispensary for you to take home.
What are your options at the dispensary?
There are many kinds of cannabis flower on the market. Some estimates suggest there are nearly 800 strains of cannabis, and those numbers continue to grow as breeders develop new strains. Of course, not every single strain will be available at any given dispensary, but you can expect a fair amount of variety all the same.
Some of the types of cannabis flower you might encounter in the dispensary include:
- Hybrid strains: Most of what you will find at a dispensary are hybrid strains. Hybrid strains come in indica-dominant and sativa-dominant varieties. A sativa-dominant hybrid might offer more typically “sativa” effects, like an energizing, uplifting experience, while an indica-dominant hybrid might offer a more subdued, relaxing one. However, these strains truly vary widely depending on the cannabinoids and terpenes present in the flower.
- Landrace strains: Rarer and harder to find than hybrid strains, landrace strains are pure indica or pure sativa strains that evolved naturally. OG Kush, for example, is an indica landrace strain, while Durban Poison is a popular sativa landrace strain originating in South Africa.
- High CBD strains: Some cannabis flower contains a significant level of CBD. Most cannabis flower contains less than 1% CBD, but some strains like ACDC can contain up to 14% CBD content. These strains are typically useful for consumers looking to alleviate stress and relax without significant intoxication.
Available strains rotate regularly in many dispensaries. Before heading to the dispensary, you can view the menu online. If you have any questions, you can ask an Ethos associate at any of our locations to help you make the right choice.
How do you consume cannabis flower?
Cannabis flower is typically inhaled, while some may use the flower to make infused foods or topical products. No matter how it’s being consumed, cannabis flower must be prepared first. You’ll need a grinder to help you break apart the flower into smaller, evenly sized pieces; this supports proper air flow while inhaling. It’s also a good idea to use a rolling tray or a plate to keep your cannabis contained to one area as you prepare it. Once your flower has made its way through the grinder, it’s ready for use.
There are many ways for people to inhale cannabis flower, including glass pipes and making a joint from rolling papers. Similarly, there is more than one way to vape cannabis flower, with options like portable vaporizers and desktop vaporizers at your disposal.
While the specifics vary between methods and between devices, the general steps are the same. Place your ground cannabis in your chosen device, taking care to not pack it too tightly, as this restricts airflow. Once packed, heat the cannabis using a lighter or by following the vaporizer’s instructions. Inhale, exhale, and feel better.
Before consuming cannabis flower, be sure to do so in a lawful manner. Always consume cannabis flower in a safe location. Be sure to follow all local laws when consuming cannabis.
Explore the power of flower with Ethos
Whether you are new to cannabis flower or a long-time consumer, there is always a new strain to try. The helpful associates at Ethos can help you navigate the menu and select a strain right for your goals, whether you’re trying to relax, relieve pain, or another goal altogether. At Ethos, we are committed to taking this cannabis journey together, educating one another along the way.