Over the years the most common method of using cannabis has been inhalation of the dried flower through a joint, pipe, or bong. Since legalization and introduction of many new products, there are now a wide variety of options. It can be very confusing and overwhelming choosing the product that is going to suit your needs.
Here are two inhalation options; this may help you decide which method is best for you.
What is Cannabis Dried Flower
Dried Flower consists of the many tiny flowers of the cannabis plant all clustered together. These flowers have very tiny bulbs called trichomes. Trichomes look like tiny crystals and contain many different cannabinoids like THC & CBD as well as the terpenes. Dried Flower is quite versatile and can be used for many methods in cannabis consumption. It can be inhaled by a joint, pipe, bong, or vaporizer but it can also be used to make topicals, capsules, oils, edibles, and many other things.
- Easily accessible and more affordable.
- Can be grown on your own.
- Known to be more flavorful as the terpenes remain in the product even after an infusion. Terpenes are what gives the flower their distinctive flavor and aroma and has some health benefits as well.
- A dry herb vaporizer doesn’t burn at a combustion level or create smoke, which can be harmful to your lungs. You can control the temperature preserving the terpenes and cannabinoids, creating a vapor instead of smoke.
- Can be easily infused into an oil for other uses like topicals or edibles, or just ground up and put into capsules.
- May not be potent enough
- Unpleasant flavor and smell for some people
- Needs to be stored properly
- Chances of mold or pesticide exposure
- Harder and more time consuming to incorporate into edibles than concentrates
What are Cannabis Concentrates
Concentrates are becoming increasingly popular and come in a variety of forms. Many names you may have come across would be rosin, shatter, hash, kief, live resin, diamonds, plus others. Consumers seem to steer clear of concentrates because they either don’t know what to do with them or they think they are too potent.
Concentrates are the process of extracting cannabinoids from the plant material, ultimately leaving you with a more concentrated level of cannabinoids than the dried flower.
Concentrates are made through devices or physical means like a heated press, micron screens, ice & water, and other methods. You may have also heard of extracts, which are a form of concentrates that are made using a solvent. These concentrates are typically known as shatter, tincture, or RSO (Rick Simpson Oil).
Concentrates can be consumed either on their own through inhalation devices, sprinkled into a joint, or incorporated into edibles just like dried flower.
Benefits of concentrates:
- Less cannabis flavour.
- Less product needed to dose with.
- Very versatile. Incorporates very nicely in ingredients for edibles compared to a dried flower oil infusion which can be frustrating trying to get the oil incorporated properly. Concentrates dissolve very quickly into cooking ingredients.
- More effect for clients with a higher tolerance level.
Disadvantages of concentrates:
- More expensive
- Not as easily accessible
- Harder process to make your own
- Need certain devices to inhale
- Not as many terpenes
- Increased risk of solvent residue if not purchased from a licensed producer
Dried flower is a great option for a lot of people; however, some people may need higher doses of cannabinoids at a time to achieve the results they are looking for. This is where a concentrate may be of value. Don’t limit your options and if you have any questions reach out to your cannabinoid therapy educator or a health care professional.