February 1, 2021

How to Shop for Weed: Herb, Edibles, Concentrates, Oils & Tinctures

Giving Canadians some time to adjust after the legalization of Cannabis in Canada allowed for casual users to learn more about cannabis, the effects of CBD / THC, and how to identify high-quality bud vs low-quality bud. However, what was lacking originally was alternate options available for people that did not want to smoke the weed. One year following the legalization of Cannabis, we saw edibles, concentrates, and topicals hit the shelves. And today we even have cannabis-infused soda water and more.

The new variety is excellent for experienced users, who understand the differences and pros/cons involved with each delivery method. But it can also be overwhelming for a consumer who hasn’t had the opportunity to experiment. Mixing and matching different delivery methods will allow for a tailor-made experience that is perfect for you. We hope that by reading this article you’ll be able to shop with confidence and select the method/high that is best suited for you.

Herbs/Flower

We covered the basics in more details of cannabis buds in our article about strains, and our guide on shopping for cannabis, but smoking herbs is the most common intake method for users. As such it is the most common to see at dispensaries and there are hundreds of different strains to explore with varying levels of CBD / THC and can be taken in a large number of ways.

Pros

Your body can absorb the effects of smoking bud very quickly as it’s absorbed by your lungs which generally allows for a user to better control how much they have. Compared to other methods that take longer to feel or have a stronger effect on a body it is easier to get to that desired feeling of calm or focus depending on if you choose an Indica or Sativa. This choice option turns into another positive as fresh top-shelf bud can have different levels of terpenes and cannabinoids and allow for a larger depth or range of effects on consumption.

Cons

The effects of smoking bud can sometimes last only thirty to sixty minutes which in some cases can mean having to roll a new joint, prepare a new bowl, etc. and may not always be accessible to a user if they are on the go or in a public setting. It is less discrete than alternate methods available such as edibles or concentrates found in vape pens. On top of this smoking can have a harsh effect on your lungs and for new users especially involve a fair amount of coughing on the first attempts, which can have an impact on your experience.

Edibles

You can find edibles in virtually any form now. And if it doesn’t exist at your local dispensary or online retailer then chances are you can make it at home using. You can get candies, brownies, sauces, oils, sodas, and much more which is perfect for a user looking to mix it up a bit or to hide the flavor or scent of alternate methods of consuming cannabis.

Pros

It’s very easy to find a preference that suits your needs. If you want to hide the flavor entirely there and pills available and for a sweet tooth there are also many chocolate or gummy products to choose from. These prepackaged edibles allow for very easy dosing for new users looking to experiment on control their high. Additionally, this version is a smoke-free method that will not have any impact on your lungs or cause coughing. Edibles can also be brought to parties or public functions and taken discretely with no odors.

Cons

Prior planning may sometimes be involved with edibles as It can sometimes take forty-five minutes or more to feel the effects of a cannabis edible. In some cases this makes a user think that they didn’t have enough to start and that’s why they aren’t feeling anything, so they have a little more and it hits later causing effects that may be too powerful. Edibles will always have a stronger effect than smoking buds on the body due to the way it is delivered to your bloodstream rather than your brain, so overdoing it can cause an unpleasant experience for new users. The absorption into the bloodstream also causes the CBD to stay in your body for longer and prolong the effects of the edible, sometimes lasting for six hours or more.

Concentrates, Oils, & Tinctures

Concentrates, oils, and tinctures cover a wide range of products but generally speaking they are cannabinoids extracted from hemp and then diluted within a type of oil. Intake methods can vary depending on which product is selected and have varying purposes/audiences.

Pros

These are usually the second fastest delivery method after smoking and can provide effects that are a lot more potent on the body. They are also a very discrete form of intake as the concentrate is odorless if smoked through a vaporizer, or taken with a few drops under the tongue as a tincture. This method is often cheaper and can give you more highs when compared to a traditional bud.

Cons

Taking the proper dose using concentrates or tinctures can sometimes be tricky as it also depends on the intake method or even just shaking the tincture bottle to make sure that everything is spread out evenly before dosing. Your absorption may vary based on how long you hold your breath, how high the temperate runs if using wax or concentrates, etc. Some oils found in vapes or E-pens can also contain propylene glycol, liquid alcohol found in e-cigarettes that may have a negative impact on the body in the long term.

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