With almost ninety percent of adults wanting to give weed a try, many want to learn more about what options are best for them. This can be hard for many people, as there are several methods for imbibing cannabis available. So, which type of cannabis is right for you?
This article will explain to you the differences between two specific types, those of flower and extract cannabis. Below, you will learn what each is, as well as what differentiates them so you can pick one you might want to involve yourself with.
When it comes to buying cannabis products, you will often be picking up flowers or extracts. While there are other options, these are two of the most popular purchases. With this in mind, you should have a good idea of what these two are before we delve into what makes them different in other ways.
What Are Flowers?
When you buy cannabis flowers, you are buying a part of the cannabis plant itself. This will appear close to its original form, though it is often dried, cured, and then packaged tight so it is often a hard lump.
This “flower” is the smokeable section of the plant, allowing you to imbibe it in many different ways. Some of the most common include:
Joints or blunts. This is a cannabis cigarette. It uses smokable rolling paper to create the cigarette, although “blunts” are a more expensive or expansive version of the same object.
Pipe smoking. Those with access to a pipe can smoke it in the same way one would smoke tobacco. It also allows them to do so without needing to buy new papers all the time.
Bong. This method lets the user filter the smoke through water, reducing the harsh feeling on their throat and cooling it down.
Edibles. While not as refined an ingredient as other options on the market, people still choose to put cannabis flower in food.
As you can see, there are many options when using cannabis flower, though they often involve burning the product. At the same time, there are over 700 types of cannabis flower out there, meaning it allows for a wide range of different flavors and experiences.
What Are Extracts?
Extracts, or “cannabis concentrates”, are a processed form of cannabis chemical.
There are several ways to produce such extracts, such as:
Pressing. This is as simple as putting large amounts of the cannabis flower into a strong pneumatic press. This pushes the oils out of the plant, which the manufacturer then collects and sells.
This method is not very effective and only leads to a small amount of oil, which means many terpenes remain in the oil. Some people believe the flavor of these can add to the experience, even suggesting health benefits. Others consider them an unnecessary part of the plant.
Solvents. The other main method of extracting cannabis concentrates is by using a solvent. Examples you might use include CO2 or ethanol, which will pull out the concentrate from the plant material.
When the solvent evaporates, only the extract remains. You can collect this and sell it as it is. If you want, you can then distill these into separate chemicals. For example, delta-9 and delta-8 are both very popular at present, so long as their local state allows for their sale.
After extracting the chemicals, they often get transformed into different forms for use. These include oils, shatters, waxes, or tinctures.
Which Is Strongest and Why?
Because they are a very specific set of chemicals, or in some cases a single chemical, concentrates are much more powerful than flower. Their THC percentage per gram is much higher, as the process they undergo creates a very pure product.
You can expect flower to have only around 10%-25% THC, whereas concentrates will often have closer to 50%-80%. Thus, concentrates are for those who want a more impactful hit all at once. It takes a much smaller amount of concentrate than flower to give you the same effect.
If you are new to the world of THC or cannabis, consider this when you think about which you want to take. You want to be in control when you take cannabis, and as such you might want something you can ramp up or down easier.
Which Tastes Better?
One other big difference is the taste of the different products. This is because flower includes almost all the original components of the cannabis plant itself. It has undergone drying and curing to allow it to remain in better condition for longer.
The heat, pressure, and process of making concentrates remove many of the terpenes from the cannabis product. For many, this is the whole point of the extraction process. For others, this means you lose something that makes cannabis special.
Within cannabis, you have a set of aromas and flavors. These exist because of chemicals called “terpenes”. Some people believe these terpenes are very important for creating strong health benefits in cannabis.
This belief, also known as the “entourage effect”, suggests the health benefits are strongest when all parts of the plant work together. While this is, in theory, possible, there is no strong scientific evidence to suggest that is the case with cannabis. Either way, the flavor of cannabis itself is an experience you might not want to lose, so you might want to make your decision based on this factor.
One exception to the idea of concentrates having fewer terpenes is the creation of “live resin”. People make live resin by taking fresh cannabis and freezing it as fast as possible. You then compress the whole plant, rather than creating a traditional concentrate.
Live resin thus has many of the benefits of handling and texture other concentrates have. Though, it retains the flavor and possible “entourage effect” of cannabis flower.
Which Feels Better?
There are at least two different types of feelings you can get with any cannabis product. Those are how it feels in your mouth, and how its impact on your body feels as a psychoactive substance. The following is a summary of both of these feelings, to give you a better idea of which one you might like more.
During the concentration process to make an extract, almost all the non-THC parts of the plant end up being removed to create any concentrate. This means you will not feel the presence of plant material should you cook edibles with extracts. For this reason, some extracts come with a “mouthfeel enhancer”, which is a material mixed with the extract to improve the experience.
At the same time, as flower is more often smoked, you can expect the feeling of smoke to impact a user’s mouth as it passes the tongue. This is like that of smoking tobacco and other products, though there are distinct side effects one gets from cannabis, detailed below.
With edibles, you may end up feeling a different texture when using flower. This is because of the presence of the flower itself, though for some this can be pleasant.
The mouth-based side effects of cannabis will affect you, regardless if it is in flower or extract form. These can include a dry mouth, which may affect your oral health in the long term. So make sure you hydrate and keep your mouth moist as often as possible.
With flower, the exact effects of cannabis will relate more to the exact cannabis strain in use. If you want more calming or sedative feelings, you will likely want to investigate strains such as Indica. Though, if you want to feel “buzzed” or energized, investigate Sativa strains.
Concentrates are less affected by the specific strains, as they focus more on the THC, which is a chemical with less variance to it. As a small part of a concentrate may be the non-oil parts of a plant, you might still have a secondary effect.
You might find you can get a small kick into feeling energized or sedated depending on where the concentrate comes from. Talk to your vendor to find out more about what you can expect.
Which Is More Obvious to Use?
Unless you put flower into edibles, where it still has a very obvious flavor, you will find concentrates are the much more discrete option.
You can find concentrates in tinctures, tonics, oils, topicals, and many other places. This means you can hide them in what other people would consider non-cannabis products.
Of course, if you are smoking, dabbing, or otherwise using drug-related paraphernalia, it will always be obvious. Despite this, concentrate is likely to have a less harsh odor. Thus, it will be the easiest to use without others noticing.
Find the Best Type of Cannabis For You
This article should have given you all the know-how you need to choose which type of cannabis, flower or extract, would suit you better. It should be easy for you to drop into a dispensary and grab something to help you out now.
Despite this, I know what you’re thinking: “But where can I find a dispensary near me?”. Lucky for you we do not even need you to leave the house.
Our online cannabis shop allows you to pick up vapes, oils, pre-rolls, and more from the comfort of your own home. So, check us out and find something perfect for you.