Marijuana flower is the dry flower bud of the marijuana plant is most often smoked, consumed using one or more of 4 primary methods:
The potency of your marijuana flower is measured by the total cannabinoid concentration and expressed as a percentage.
For example, a reading of 15% THC means there are 150 milligrams (mg) of THC per gram of flower. A gram of flower with 25% THC and 10% CBD means the flower contains 250 mg of THC and 100 mg of CBD.
The cannabinoid content, terpene content, and potency of different types of marijuana flower strains can determine the type of experience you have when smoking flower. In general:
Marijuana flower is also tested by its THC:CBD ratio. A 1:1 THC:CBD ratio tends to be less psychoactive than flower with a higher THC rating, and an equal ratio tends to produce more effective and tolerable effects.
The same cannabinoid can have different effects and different dosages, so there are two important things to remember when it comes to marijuana flower dosing:
Freedom Road’s marijuana flower products are rigorously tested against the highest industry standards for safety, quality, potency, and consistency. Clear and thorough labeling, as well as our experienced and knowledgeable staff, help ensure that you purchase–and know how to use–the dosage that’s right for you.
There are a variety of factors that affect the type of effect a strain of cannabis will produce, such as the stage of growth in which it was harvested and the environment in which it was grown, and these factors determine whether marijuana flower is considered bottom-tier, mid-tier, top-shelf, or premium in quality.
Marijuana flower with highly desirable qualities–such as unique bud structure, vibrant color, or strong aroma–is often set aside by cultivators as a separate reserve to sell at a higher price. Premium flower is grown in a meticulous process combining state-of-the-art grow facilities (indoor and out), master growers, and high quality cannabis seeds. Premium flower is produced in near-perfect conditions, where regulated temperature, wind, and moisture levels help ensure optimal results.
At Freedom Road, all marijuana flower produced in our in-house grow facilities is of exceptional quality, cultivated specifically for consistent, reliable results. We carefully manage every step of the germination, growth, and harvesting stages of our product, including curing, drying, hand-trimming, and packaging our premium flower to perfection.
When smoking marijuana flower, the cannabinoids enter your bloodstream via your lungs, and most people begin to feel the effects nearly instantaneously, within 2 to 10 minutes of inhaling. The effects tend to peak about 10 minutes after initial consumption, and last, on average, between 1 and 3 hours. However, residual effects could last for up to 8 hours.
The duration of the effect depends on the dose and potency of the product you smoke; the greater the amount and the higher the concentration of THC, the longer the effects will last.
Cannabis concentrates are among the most potent forms of cannabis, with some concentrates containing as much as 90 percent THC, making them up to four times stronger than other types. This means that you can experience intense effects with very little product. However, it doesn’t necessarily equate to unsafe; if purchased from a reputable dispensary and consumed responsibly, in the appropriate dosages, cannabis concentrates are just as safe to use as any other type of cannabis product.
You can improve the reliability, predictability, and safety of effects produced by cannabis concentrates by paying close attention to the labels–including dosage and potency information–and by consulting with one of the knowledgeable staff at Freedom Road. Whether you are a seasoned consumer or new to cannabis altogether, our staff can help guide you through the process of selecting the right concentrate and explain how to use it for the safest experience possible.
The cannabis concentrate landscape continues to evolve as new extraction processes are developed. While there are many different types of concentrates–varying in texture, color, taste, and extraction methods–almost all of them are highly potent, ranging from 40%-90% THC.
Concentrates are typically differentiated by their extraction methods as well as their final form and texture. The two primary extraction methods are solvent-based or solventless. (Most concentrates are produced via solvent-based extraction.)
Solvent-based extraction uses solvents like butane, ethanol, and CO2 to remove the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other trichomes from the marijuana plant or bud, then the solvent is removed from the extract. Solvent-based extraction is used to produce shatter, wax, crumble, distillate oil, and live resin.
Solventless extraction does not use any solvents, instead producing cannabis concentrate through heat, pressure, filtration, shaking, or grinding. Budder, rosin, kief, dry sift, and hash are concentrates produced by solventless extraction.
Concentrates also differ in whether they are live or cured. Curing removes the natural moisture from cannabis buds before extracting the trichomes, making the product easier to smoke and more affordable, but it also removes some of the terpenes and flavor.
Live concentrates are produced with flash-frozen plant material that is thawed before undergoing the extraction process. Freezing the plant at the point of harvest helps preserve most of the natural terpenes, making live concentrates typically more aromatic, flavorful, and have a premium price.
The terms “extract” and “concentrate” are often used interchangeably in regards to cannabis products, but they are not exactly the same thing. “Concentrates” is a broad description for any products that have been extracted from the marijuana plant.
Concentrates: produced through solventless extraction. Concentrates retain many of the naturally-occurring terpenes from the plant. They can be vaporized, smoked, or used in edibles.
Extracts: type of concentrate produced through solvent-based extraction.
All extracts are concentrates, but not all concentrates are extracts. Rosin, for example, is a concentrate, but not an extract because it is not extracted using a solvent; it is squeezed out of a the marijuana plant with heat and pressure.
A third product description you may see is “distillate,” which is produced via a process called distillation.
While extraction separates cannabinoids from the plant using a solvent, distillation is a post-extraction process that further refines the extract, heating the extracted oil into vapor, collecting the compounds at their boiling point, then recondensing them back into a more concentrated liquid form. By condensing the cannabinoids from a concentrate, distillation can increase the potency of a concentrate with an 80% THC rating to one of 90% or higher.
Distillate: an extract refined to remove any residual plant material or undesired compounds, leaving the pure form of one specific cannabinoid. Distillates do not retain any of the terpenes of the plant from which it was extracted, so they have no aroma or flavor, but they contain active cannabinoids in percentages near 95%. Distillate is highly potent and versatile, commonly used in vape cartridges or as a base for edibles.
Resin can mean several different things when it comes to cannabis, but, as a product label, it typically refers to a concentrate that has been produced using solvent-based extraction. You may also see it as “cured” or “dead” resin because it is made from cured, dried plant material.
(In other circumstances, resin also describes the sticky trichome sap found on the cannabis flower, as well as the brown or black tar that can build up in the accessories through which you smoke cannabis.)
Live resin is produced using live flash-frozen plants. It is more flavorful because the terpenes, trichomes, and cannabinoids from the plant have not been destroyed or damaged before they were extracted.
Rosin is a solventless concentrate. It is produced by extracting cannabis trichomes from the plant using heat and pressure. As with live resin, live rosin is extracted from flash-frozen plants and is more potent and flavorful than rosin.
While both live rosin and live resin contain a higher THC concentration than other cannabis products, live resin is typically more potent than live rosin, making it more labor-intensive and, therefore, expensive. Live resin is produced through solvent-based extraction while rosin is solventless. Both can be smoked, dabbed, or vaped with water pipes or handheld vaporizers.
While a fatal overdose of CBD and THC is highly unlikely, overconsumption of THC–especially very high levels and dosages–can make the effects of edibles unpredictable. It’s also possible to consume too much too quickly. This results in more of an “intoxication” than an “overdose,” characterized by symptoms such as pale skin, paranoia, increased heart rate, headache, and confusion or disorientation that can last for several hours.
When consumed properly in the right dosages for you and your body, edibles are no more addictive or dangerous than any other type of cannabis product, but, because of the delayed onset, edibles can carry a higher risk of overconsumption than smoking. Pay close attention to the concentration and serving size labels of your edibles, start with a smaller dosage than you think, and know your personal tolerance and level of consumption.
When choosing edibles, make sure you are purchasing products that are clearly labeled with their concentration of CBD and THC. This number will be expressed as a percentage of THC and CBD in a single serving. Then make sure you know how many servings are in the product you purchased. A chocolate bar, for example, will likely have several servings.
Also, make sure that you follow some basic guidelines for consuming edibles. The common adage with edibles is: Start low and go slow, especially if you are new to edible cannabis or even cannabis in general. Because they have to undergo the digestion process in your body, it will take a little longer for you to feel the effects of edibles than it would for other products. Start with a lower dose than you think and give your body time to experience the initial effects before taking any more, which could take up to 4 hours for some people. You should also wait at least 2 hours before consuming more, and be aware that the effects from edibles can be longer-lasting than those from other cannabis products.
If you have any questions or concerns about how much THC or CBD you will be consuming with your edible, be sure to speak with one of Freedom Road’s friendly and knowledgeable staff. Our products are meticulously tested and labeled to ensure the safest, most predictable experience possible, and our staff is committed to making sure you leave our store ready to use your product with confidence.
As with any controlled substance, the CBD and THC in edibles can affect how your brain and body function, and impair your ability to perform certain tasks. CBD and THC can also impair your judgment, coordination, reaction time, depth perception, concentration, and short-term memory. This means you should avoid activities like driving, carrying heavy objects, or operating machinery for at least the first 4 hours after consuming edibles, and it’s a good idea to wait 6-8 hours–or even longer–after consuming edibles before engaging in high-risk activities like skiing, biking, or swimming. You should also avoid mixing edibles with alcohol and other substances; this can make the results unpredictable and more likely to be adverse.
Make your edible experience as predictable and enjoyable as possible by knowing your tolerance, knowing your dosage, and consuming your edibles in a safe, familiar, and comfortable environment.
The liver is responsible for digestion, protein and enzyme synthesis, and detoxification. Edibles have to travel through your stomach and your liver before entering your bloodstream and brain. As they pass through your liver, the liver metabolizes the edibles, converting the THC in them into a stronger form and increasing the intensity of the cannabinoid effects.
While there are some indications that frequent, prolonged, and excessive consumption of high-dosage edibles can potentially reduce liver function and produce chronic disorders and disease–similar to alcohol–moderate edible consumption seems to pose less physical risk to the liver than many over-the-counter pharmaceutical products like acetaminophen. Any negative effects of edibles on the liver may also be exacerbated when they are consumed in conjunction with other substances like alcohol.
When used properly, edibles can produce predictable results with an array of potential benefits. The staff at Freedom Road can help guide you through our selection of high-quality, rigorously tested, and meticulously labeled edible products so that you can achieve the experience and results you want while minimizing any harmful side effects.
Find out more about edibles and your liver in our blog.
Cannabis topicals are non-intoxicating and do not enter the bloodstream, which means they do not produce the psychological effects of other types of cannabis.* They are applied to and absorbed by the skin, binding to cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body. These receptors are activated by the body’s natural endocannabinoids or by the cannabinoids found in cannabis compounds, like THC and CBD.
A properly functioning endocannabinoid system helps maintain skin homeostasis, modulating wound healing, inflammation control (in the skin and throughout the body), skin pigment, and the production of skin cells. Cannabis topicals work by helping to regulate the endocannabinoid system, either through stimulation or alleviating over-reactivity.
*Transdermal patches are an exception. Because they do deliver cannabinoids to the bloodstream, transdermal patches with a high enough THC content could produce intoxicating and/or psychoactive effects.
Most cannabis topical products follow the same general manufacturing process and contain the same basic components:
The effects of cannabis topicals on your skin will depend on the conditions the topical was formatted to treat, the type of base, and the concentration of cannabinoids. For example, a topical for relieving localized pain may produce a warm, tingling sensation. Another may deliver a cooling effect.
Freedom Road offers free samples of many of our cannabis topicals so you can get a good idea of what a product feels like or what kind of sensation it produces before you buy. Most cannabis topicals can provide relief in as little as 10 minutes, so you’ll know fairly quickly if something is right for you.
Most cannabis topicals fall under one of three main categories:
The different cannabinoids in each type of cannabis topical can be used to treat specific conditions. The experienced, knowledgeable staff at Freedom Road can help you determine which product is right for you, as well as what your best dosage is to achieve optimal results.
All of Freedom Road’s cannabis topicals are clearly and meticulously labeled with the type and concentration of cannabinoids, also known as their terpene and cannabinoid profiles, as well as any added ingredients.
Read more about the different types of cannabis topicals at Freedom Road in our blog.
What you’ll need to consume your cannabis depends largely on what type of cannabis product you’ll be consuming, the frequency with which you’ll consume it, and where. Some questions to think about include:
If you plan to consume cannabis regularly, you may want to invest in more and/or better quality equipment than a more casual consumer.
Flower is typically smoked, but it can also be vaporized. Smoking it will require something like:
Vaporizers come in a variety of types and sizes, including handheld or tabletop models.
Concentrates are versatile and can be enjoyed several different ways.
Tinctures, edibles, and topicals usually require no additional accessories or equipment to use.
However, no matter what product you use, you’ll need good storage.
Cannabis products like flower and concentrates are highly sensitive to UV light, temperature, humidity, and oxygen–all of which can affect their flavor, quality, and potency–so it’s important to store them in airtight containers. The rule of thumb is to store it in a cool, dry, and dark place.
To ensure your product stays as fresh and safe as possible, pay attention to important label information such as storage guidelines and shelf life, including any “best by” dates. With proper storage and care, your product should remain stable in quality and potency for weeks, months, or even longer.
If your product is dry, dusty, or showing signs of mildew or mold, then it has probably gone bad.
In addition to the proper storage containers and any equipment you may need to consume your cannabis, other useful accessories include:
Vapes and vape pens use an atomizer to heat cannabis concentrate into a vapor that can be inhaled.
Vaporizers are different from vape pens. Vaporizes convert the terpenes and THC in cannabis products into a colorless and odorless vapor.
Dab rigs are used to heat “dabs,” or small amounts of cannabis concentrates, vaporizing them on the nail of the rig. Dab rigs consist of:
Electronic dab rigs, or “e-rigs,” are similar to traditional dab rigs except they do not have a dab nail, dome, or torch.
Dabbers or dab tools are used to scoop the concentrates for dabbing, and dab mats are placed under a dab rig to catch any residue that might drip off the nail.
Bongs cool and filter cannabis smoke via water filtration. They are typically made from glass or silicone and consist of 4 main parts–a long tube, a water chamber, a stem with a bowl (to hold the cannabis), and a mouthpiece (for inhaling the smoke).
Pipes are just like tobacco pipes, and are generally made of glass. Pipes can be either water pipes–like bongs or bubblers–or dry pipes. Common pipe types are spoon pipes, chillums, and one-hitters.
Filters or screens are metal or glass inserts that are placed in the base of a bowl to keep burning embers or ash from entering the pipe stem or water.
Rolling papers can be made from rice, flax, hemp, wood pulp, or other natural materials.
Grinders are used to grind dry cannabis bud or flower in preparation for rolling or packing.