Cannabis is not just for smoking anymore. While seasoned cannabis consumers know that there is more to it than just flower, new cannabis consumers may still need to discover all of the ways to consume cannabis. From concentrates to topicals to edibles, there’s much more to discover in the world of cannabis than just flower.
Flower is the dry form of cannabis, and it is primarily smoked in glass/water pipes or rolled into a cannabis cigarette called a joint (read our cannabis glossary for a cheat sheet on slang!) Flower is harvested directly from female cannabis plants, dried, cured, packaged, and delivered to a dispensary near you. When it comes to cannabis consumption, smoking flower is what most people think of, but it is far from the only way to capitalize on the benefits of cannabis.
Cannabis concentrates are made through a variety of methods. Some concentrates, like rosin, are made using mechanical methods, where flower or hash is pressed with controlled temperature and pressure to pull out the cannabinoids and terpenes desired. Other concentrates, like BHO (butane hash oil), are made by using solvents to draw out these desired substances and then removing the unwanted compounds that remain. The result of any of these processes is an ultra-concentrated form of cannabis with much higher levels of cannabinoids by weight than flower.
Different concentrates are made to be consumed in different ways, but most are consumed through vaporization. Many consumers choose to vaporize concentrates either in a glass oil rig heated using a torch or through specialty vaporization devices designed to heat the concentrate through a series of metal coils.
- Distillate oil is a thick, sticky liquid typically found within a vape cartridge or disposable vape pen.
- Shatter is a smooth, solid, and transparent concentrate, made by pouring extract into sheets before removing solvents.
- Wax is an opaque, malleable form of extract. Many concentrates can be considered a wax, including:
- Budder is a creamy concentrate texture with a, you guessed it, butter-like consistency.
- Live resin is a type of extract made from fresh flower that has been frozen after harvesting to preserve the plant’s natural terpenes, and these concentrates are typically higher in terpene content than other concentrate varieties. Shatter, budder, and other concentrate textures can all be produced as live resin concentrates.
Oral forms of cannabis can come in capsules, tinctures, and edibles, and are ideal for those looking to consume conveniently and discreetly.
Tinctures are a liquid form of cannabis and are applied under the tongue with an eye dropper or syringe. Tinctures can also be made to apply directly onto the tongue. Tinctures used sublingually have the added benefit of entering the bloodstream quicker than typical edibles.
Edibles are food products infused with cannabis. As the name suggests, edibles are consumed through eating! You can infuse cannabis into many different food products, but edibles typically come in the form of cookies, chocolates, and gummies. Edibles can provide a distinct difference from smoking. Some describe an edible high as being more of a physical body high than what comes from smoking. You must start low and go slow when it comes to cannabis edibles to get the proper dose.
Topical forms of cannabis are applied directly to the skin and are used primarily for medical purposes to treat localized chronic pain. Topical medical cannabis can come in various forms: creams and lotions, balms and salves, and patches. Topical applications are best suited for those looking to treat chronic pain, but cannabis-infused makeup, bath bombs, face masks, lube, etc., are available in some areas and are a fun new way to enjoy cannabis.
Since the expansion of the legal cannabis market, innovative new ways to benefit from cannabis have been and are continuing to emerge every day. If you are unsure about a specific consumption method or are just looking to try something new, be sure to talk with your Oasis budtender about what you might enjoy.