WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT WEED FLOWER

The cannabis flower, commonly referred to as the bud, is the part of the female plant that is covered in trichomes. Weed flower is the part of the plant that is preferred by cannabis aficionados as it can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Flower can be smoked in a traditional bowl, bong or joint, vaporized or cooked into a delicious variety of potent edibles.

In the following article we explore the cannabis flower and the many ways it can be found and enjoyed. So, let’s dive right in.

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Common forms of cannabis flower

Loose Flower

As the name implies, loose flower is basically just buds without any preparation. Typically, flower will be bought at a dispensary in a sealed bag or jar bearing the name of the strain, the weight and other pertinent information. After the flower has been harvested from the cannabis plant it must be dried and cured to be ready for consumption. The flower must then be broken apart for maximum efficacy, this can be done in a cannabis grinder or with the fingers. Once it has been ground down, it is easier to manage as well and can be rolled into a joint, packed in a bowl or bong or decarboxylated and used in a wide variety of tasty dishes and edibles.

image of ultra sour strain weed flower
image of headband strain prerolls

PREROLLS

For greater convenience, flower can also be purchased in a package of pre-rolled joints, called “prerolls”. Many users find this desirable as it eliminates the need for grinding, rolling and packing, which takes some experience to master. Prerolls are often sold individually or in packs of three, each preroll is about 0.75g. Furthermore, product diversification ensures that you will find a wide range of different preroll varieties. There are prerolls that have been coated in cannabis wax, coated with concentrates, dipped in cannabis oils or rolled in kief — you can even find some prerolls that feature all of these special features.

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Flower quality

Private reserve

The very highest-quality cannabis flower is sold under the title private reserve and is the very best product offered in a dispensary. This title often means that the dispensary itself plays a role in the cultivation, selection and preparation of this prime product.

If you are looking to buy “private reserve” it is important to know that this is not only the brand of this item, but also a name for a specific strain. Make sure you explain clearly to the budtender what it is you are looking for before making your purchase.

Top-shelf

The term “top-shelf” refers to a high-quality cannabis flower that is almost as good as “private reserve” but slightly behind for various reasons. There are many other terms for this top-quality product including loud, chronic, piff and artisanal flower. To properly cultivate such a top-quality cannabis flower takes special growing conditions, extensive knowledge of the crop and meticulous care and attention during the growing process.

For this reason, you can expect to pay more for this category of cannabis flowers. When cultivating “top-shelf” cannabis flowers, growers focus on the quality of their crop rather than the overall yield. Top-shelf buds can be dark green or very light-green with purple or orange shoots.

Upon close inspection, you will find that top-shelf buds also feature a large number of trichomes completely intact. You may also notice that this type of flower is very sticky, kind of like cotton candy. But the real indication of a top-shelf item is the rich pungent aroma.

Bottom-shelf

Then there is “bottom-shelf” cannabis flower that is basically the lowest quality herb you can buy. Also called brick-weed, popcorn, schwag, ditch weed and dirt weed, you can expect a considerable difference in the quality of bottom-shelf weed.

For example, bottom-shelf weed will have to be thoroughly cleaned from sticks, twigs and seeds before it can be smoked. The smoke is also much harsher than better quality weed and lacks the pungent fragrance and intact trichomes. 

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Smoking methods

JOINTS AND BLUNTS

Joints and blunts are the most common methods of smoking cannabis flower. A blunt is a lot like a joint, but is made from a hollowed-out cigar or rolled in a cigar rolling paper. “Blunt” is also a term used to describe an especially girthy joint. To roll joints and blunts, you will need the proper rolling papers, blunt wraps, grinders and crutches all of which are available at your local dispensary or available online. According to many cannabis aficionados, mastering this art and science of grinding, rolling and filling a blunt or joint is among the simple pleasures of enjoying your cannabis flower. Sharing a joint in a circle of friends is also one of the most socially recognized activities — remember, “puff, puff, pass” is how it’s done.

image of a monkey glue strain prerolled joint

PIPES AND BONGS

A Silicone Classic Style Pipe with Cover

There are pipes, bongs, chillums, Gandalf pipes and steamrollers; a whole selection of devices designed for smoking weed. Pipes are the simplest and most straightforward method of smoking cannabis flowers and are perfect because of their small size and discreet use. Simply grind the flower, pack the bowl and spark that baby up. Pipes can also be crafted into a very attractive form and made from a variety of materials including clay, silicone, metal, wood and glass.

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Bongs function in many ways like a traditional pipe and offer a simple yet sophisticated method of indulging this pleasure. Consumers need to grind the weed and pack the bowl as with a regular pipe, but they will also fill the bong with water or ice, which cools the smoke making it less harsh on the throat and lungs. You will find bongs in all shapes and sizes and made from a wide variety of materials as well.

It is also worth mentioning that cannabis users are known for being creative and there are ways to convert many household items into a suitable cannabis smoking device. Plastic bottles, soda cans, fresh apples, potatoes have all been transformed into suitable devices for enjoying the cannabis flower.

image of 14" 7mm Colored Beaker Bongs
the volcano classic vaporizer

VAPORIZERS

Another popular way to enjoy cannabis flower is in a vaporizer designed for these dry herbs. Just like most of the other methods of smoking weed, vaporizers can be purchased at your local dispensary. Whereas the pipes, joints, blunts and bongs will need to be smoked through the process of combustion, a vaporizer merely heats the herbs to a point where the active ingredients are “vaporized” and ready to be inhaled. This allows the user to enjoy the terpenes, cannabinoids and other secondary metabolites of the cannabis plant, without the tar and carcinogens that make smoking an unhealthy habit.

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How to properly store flower

Unless you have considerable knowledge and experience in aging bud to maximize the sedative effects of your product, then you should consider how you will be storing your herb to maintain its potency. For example, cannabis flowers should be stored away from sunlight, heat, oxygen and moisture.

This can be done by keeping your herb in an airtight container and storing the product in a cool and dry place. Hermetic containers are the only option for storing a premium product as they maintain a perfect level of humidity.

Signs of flower degradation

Color — there are some tell-tale signs that your cannabis flower has suffered some degradation in its lifetime. When in perfect conditions, the flower should be bright green with a variety of oranges and purples mixed in the color scheme. Older buds will have wilted and feature a drab khaki brown. Well preserved trichomes are indicative of well-preserved flowers, and the reverse is also true.

Smell — the smell of the flower will also deteriorate if not properly stored. If you notice a stale unpleasant odor from your cannabis flower, allow it to air out fully before smoking or vaporizing.

Taste — the taste of your flower will also change with time and treatment. Aged and dried herbs can have a very harsh punch to the throat and lungs and can be less pleasant in this regard. Nevertheless, as THCA degrades into THC and then into CBN, the flavor can grow intense and earthy.