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Dispensary Menu Breakdown: All of the Ways to Enjoy Cannabis

With endless options available, it’s easy to get confused about all of the different ways to consume marijuana. We give you the full rundown on marijuana products and how to use them.
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Speaking to a budtender while shopping for cannabis for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. The staggering number of options is enough to make any marijuana enthusiast second guess their choices! We break down all of the different ways you can enjoy marijuana -  from popular newcomers to reliable staples - and you’ll never be lost at the counter again!

Dispensaries sort their items into specific categories based on the method of ingestion or product type. Below, you’ll find the most common categories found on dispensary menus, the products found within them, and tips on consumption.

Flower

The original cannabis product, flower, refers to the dried buds harvested directly from the plant. Most shops will sell as little as one gram of flower, all the way up to full ounces. Flower is typically ground up and smoked in various ways, including pipes, bongs, and joints. Many dispensaries will offer “shake” options under the flower category, and this is simply the broken pieces of flower buds typically left over after harvesting and packaging. Shake is cheaper than buying buds and works great for making cannabutter or oil.

Pre-Rolls

Often listed under flower, a pre-roll is a joint or blunt that’s already constructed, rolled, and ready for smoking. Most joint options come in half a gram or one gram, with pre-rolled blunts between three and six grams - but heavier options are widely available. Infused pre-rolls have grown in popularity and typically have a cannabis extract applied to the paper or the flower itself. Infused products have a higher potency, so use caution when first starting out.

Extracts

The extract market has exploded in recent years, and enthusiasts can now find the perfect mix of flavors and potency. Extracts are also known as concentrates or oils, and specific products are based on the method used to process. Hash, shatter, wax, tinctures, and capsules all use different extracts to deliver a powerful, clean product to consumers. Dab rigs have become the preferred method of consuming shatter, wax, and live resins due to a cleaner, smoke-free experience. A couple of drops of tincture under your tongue is an excellent way to dose accurately and discretely.

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Vapes

Vape products should fall under the extract category, but they’re almost always listed separately on dispensary menus due to their popularity. Vape pens contain cannabis oil that’s heated by a coil inside the cylinder, delivering clean, tasty hits reliably. Disposable pens are an excellent option for travelers who might have problems keeping a battery charged. Chargeable vape pens have seen vast technological improvements recently, and dialing in settings like the temperature has never been more convenient. Some will even connect to your smartphone, allowing full customization of your vaping experience.

Edibles

Options in the edibles market have expanded faster than any other category. Many users prefer to ingest cannabis without smoking or vaping, and the results can often be even better! These products are usually infused with cannabutter or cannaoil, but extracts are starting to appear in many items. Chocolate and candy products are the most common, but you’ll find everything from granola bars to marijuana-infused sodas on most menus. Dosing remains the biggest challenge for beginners trying edibles for the first time. It’s recommended to let at least two hours pass after first ingesting edibles, as the effects can often be slow to appear and difficult to perceive.

Topicals

A variety of topical products are also available at most dispensaries. THC and CBD-infused lotions and creams can work wonders on achy muscles and joints and provide a natural alternative for pain management. Oils and skin patches can provide targeted relief to common problem areas while remaining out of sight. Topicals containing THC won’t create any “high” sensations, making them a go-to for users seeking pain relief without intoxication. With the increased demand for CBD products, the variety of topical options will only grow larger.

Cannabis enthusiasts are living in the golden age of marijuana consumption. There’s never been a wider variety of products on the market specifically designed for consumer demands. From extracts to topicals, there’s truly something for everyone in the world of weed!

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you Plantlife Cannabis for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.